To ensure they "wither on the vine" without funding, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday his intention to ban state universities from spending money on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
“It really serves as an ideological filter, a political filter,” DeSantis said while speaking in Bradenton, Florida.
This proposal is one of DeSantis' top priorities for higher education this year, along with giving politically appointed university presidents and board members more power to hire and fire employees and encouraging schools to focus on the future workforce needs of the state.
As a result of his public support for hot-button issues relating to culture and education, DeSantis's popularity has soared among conservatives nationwide.
Upon announcing the legislation, the governor's office called diversity, equity, and inclusion programs "discriminatory" and pledged to prevent universities from funding them, regardless of their funding source.
As a precursor to Tuesday's announcement, the governor's office asked all state universities in December to account for all their spending related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and critical race theory.
DeSantis' vendetta against acknowledging and respecting the diversity of the U.S. will continue to create hostile environments for children and educators of color by reinforcing the white supremacist ideals that directly harm Black and Brown communities.