Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has sparked a nationwide debate with his claim that the NAACP’s warning about Florida being openly hostile towards Black Americans, other minorities, and LGBTQ+ individuals is nothing more than a “stunt.” This comes as DeSantis, a prominent presidential hopeful, finds himself in a swirl of controversies surrounding his policies and his stance on inclusivity.
CBS Grills DeSantis on Inclusivity
CBS recently interviewed the presidential candidate and touched upon many issues.
Norah O’Donnell’s pointed questions to DeSantis were aimed at understanding if, as a potential future leader, he would represent a United States that welcomed all, regardless of their racial, ethnic, or sexual orientation backgrounds.
To this, DeSantis was quick and emphatic: “A hundred percent.”
“The Stunt They’re Playing”
His tone was combative as he immediately shot back at the NAACP’s claims. “That’s politics. That’s a stunt they’re playing,” DeSantis expressed.
Citing statistics, he defended Florida’s standing, pointing out the lower unemployment rate for African Americans in the state compared to traditionally ‘blue’ states like New York and California.
He went on to state, “We have more Black-owned businesses in Florida than any state in the United States.”
His defense didn’t stop there. He proudly declared, “I have more African American students on scholarships for our school-choice program than any other state in the United States.”
To DeSantis, these facts illustrate a Florida where success isn’t determined by race or ethnicity.
But O’Donnell wasn’t done. In a sobering turn, she highlighted the growing apprehension among certain minority groups and the LGBTQ+ community, suggesting that these communities feared potential discrimination from DeSantis.
Blame the Media
With a hint of frustration, DeSantis partly laid the blame on media outlets.
“Well, part of the reason they think that is ’cause of narratives that are put out by media,” DeSantis retorted.
The conversation then pivoted to a heated discussion on education policies, particularly those surrounding the teaching of gender and sexual orientation concepts in early grades, an area where DeSantis has faced substantial scrutiny and backlash.
“Don’t Say Gay” Bill
DeSantis was visibly irate over the media-christened “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
“The bill had – did not mention the word ‘gay,'” he insisted, shifting blame onto the media and left-wing entities for pushing the narrative.
When pushed about the appropriate age for schools to address topics like gender identity, DeSantis’s response was evasive, but he stressed that children gender transitioning without parental consent was “unacceptable.”
Voting Against Gay Marriage
While the governor seemed confident in his assertions, there was a moment of diplomatic sidestepping.
O’Donnell queried whether DeSantis would back a Supreme Court justice who could potentially vote against gay marriage, which saw DeSantis avoid a direct response.
Instead, he said, “You know, I’ve already said in terms of, in terms of Obergefell, that what the court pointed out, and the other justices, was reliance interest is important with respect to precedent. And I think all those other eight justices have signaled that, because there’s a significant reliance interest, that they would not view that the same as they did with Dobbs. And I think that’s likely to be, to be the case going forward. I don’t think you’re gonna see them reevaluate that.”
Standing Firm Amidst Criticism
As the nation tuned in to witness this exchange, it became apparent that DeSantis was standing firmly grounded in his convictions, undeterred by the criticism and warnings from groups like the NAACP.
While his detractors view his policies as fostering an environment of hostility and discrimination, DeSantis portrayed a different picture – one of prosperity and opportunities flourishing under his governance in the Sunshine State.
Continuing Political Journey
As DeSantis continues his political journey, his ability to address these concerns will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping his future.
The nation watches, with bated breath, to see how DeSantis’ America shapes up in the years to come.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Juli Hansen
Source: CBS News