Several well-known companies, organizations, and federal agencies have, throughout the years, continued capitalize on political disasters or movements to advance leftist narratives — from the advancement of radical LGBT ideology to the recent push for mass gun control. But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is one of the few GOP governors who has openly defied woke virtue-signaling, making it clear time and time again that the “Free State of Florida” will not participate.
During an interview with Breitbart News last year, DeSantis offered a special message to woke corporations kneeling to leftist groupthink.
“What I’ve said is, look. If you stick your beak into things that don’t concern you, then I’m going to start asking questions. I mean for example, if you say having a — we’ve [Florida] had voter ID for a long time — but if you’re upset at Georgia for having voter ID but you do business with the Castro regime in Cuba or with the Communist Party of China, that’s something that we’re going to want to make sure that that’s known and vetted because it’s just hypocrisy,” the Republican governor said.
A guard tower and barbed wire fences surround an internment facility in the Kunshan Industrial Park in Artux in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region In this Dec. 3, 2018, file photo. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File; inset: Kevin Winter/Getty)
“But it’s really hypocrisy rooted in cowardice. These are executives who are scared to death of the left and the corporate media and so they always want to take the path of least resistance, and they think the path of least resistance is just to cave and to kind of give them what they want,” he continued, urging them to “grow a spine and actually stand up and stop being sucked into genuflecting to the left.”
During his time as governor, DeSantis has set the example.
1. Perhaps most recently, DeSantis’s administration made headlines following a report that the governor intends to veto a bill that earmarks $35 million for a Tampa Bay Rays facility.
The report came one week after the Rays, teaming up with the New York Yankees, virtue-signaled on social media by going on a lengthy anti-gun blitz.
“This cannot become normal. We cannot become numb. We cannot look the other way. We all know, if nothing changes, nothing changes,” the Rays statement reads as the team also made it clear that it was donating $50,000 to the Mike Bloomberg-affiliated Everytown for Gun Safety’s Support Fund. The series of tweets that followed were fraught with anti-gun sentiments.
On Friday, DeSantis made it clear that he does not “support giving taxpayer dollars to professional sports stadiums period.”
“But clearly, it’s inappropriate to be doing tax dollars for professional sports stadiums [and] is also inappropriate to subsidize political activism of a private corporation,” he added.
2. DeSantis pushed back against Disney after the woke company vowed to fight against the Parental Rights in Education bill.
The bill itself, which leftists falsely labeled “Don’t Say Gay,” bars classroom discussions on gender identity and sexual orientation for children in kindergarten through third grade. But Disney went full groomer, stating that its goal as a company is “for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in courts.”
“This is a real bill that empowers parents. It protects our kids,” DeSantis said in March, noting that Disney failed to say a word about the bill when it was going through the Florida House.
“They only started doing this because the mob, the woke mob came after them. But put that aside, for them to say that [they], as a California-based company, are going to work to take those California values and overturn a law that was duly enacted and … supported by a strong majority of Floridians, they don’t run this state,” he added. “They will never run this state as long as I’m governor.”
The legislature took action, and in April, DeSantis signed a bill dismantling Disney’s special tax jurisdiction, eliminating Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, which essentially has allowed Disney to self-govern.
“You’re a corporation based in Burbank, California, and you’re gonna marshal your economic might to attack the parents of my state. We view that as a provocation, and we’re going to fight back against that,” the governor said.
3. In June 2021, DeSantis signed a bill protecting women’s sports, which was seemingly further motivated after the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) said it would not hold events in states with such laws.
“In Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports,” DeSantis announced at the time.
During a June 2021 interview with Tucker Carlson, DeSantis suggested that the NCAA’s position against such laws only further motivated the legislature.
“I think, as these bills were going through various legislatures, I remember the NCAA putting out a statement that said any state that enacts this, we’re not going to hold events there. And so I called the Speaker of the House in Florida and said, ‘Did you hear what they said?’”
“He said, ‘Well, we’ve definitely got to get this done.’”
“You can’t be cowed by these organizations, but particularly by woke corporations, from doing the right thing. So my view was throughout this whole time — was we have to protect our girls. It is discriminatory to force them to compete against biological males,” he added.
4. DeSantis deemed Olympic silver medalist and Florida native Emma Weyant to be the true winner of the NCAA 500-yard freestyle championship.
This was a controversial move, as those in the world of woke gathered around transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, a biological male who defeated the female athletes in that race.
“The NCAA is basically taking efforts to destroy women’s athletics,” DeSantis said in March. “They’re trying to undermine the integrity of the competition. They’re crowning somebody else the women’s champion, and we think that’s wrong.”
5. DeSantis defended Columbus Day from the woke mob as members of the left attempted to rebrand it “Indigenous Peoples Day.”
In October 2021, DeSantis released a proclamation recognizing Columbus Day as a day to commemorate the life of the Italian explorer and blasted those who sought to erase the day, doing so ” as part of a mission to portray the United States and Western history in a negative light as they seek to blame our country and its values for all that is evil in the world,” according to the governor:
6. The governor signed anti-Critical Race Theory (CRT) legislation as the mainstream media continued to push 1619 Project propaganda.
In April, DeSantis furthered his battle against woke culture infiltrating classrooms, signing a bill providing “substantive protections for both students and parents to ensure that the education they’re receiving in Florida is consistent with the standards of the state of Florida.”
“We are not going to tell some kindergartner that they’re an oppressor based on their race,” DeSantis said. “We are not going to allow — teach that a person simply by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive.”
“That’s wrong,” he added.
7. When the latest woke trend was to “defund the police,” DeSantis did the opposite.
In April 2021, he signed anti-riot legislation, to the dismay of left wing critics who seemingly condoned the lawless actions committed by certain groups, including some members of Black Lives Matter (BLM).
“The more blue an area is, the worse it’s governed. I mean it’s just a disaster what we’ve seen. It’s always been the case kind of in my lifetime, but I think in the last year, it’s been exacerbated between COVID lockdowns and the rioting,” DeSantis told Breitbart News at the time.
8. The administration reportedly “docked funds for school board members and schools after two districts in the state defied the order that masking students is a parent’s decision and school officials should not put a mandate in place.”
The following month, every school district that attempted to defy DeSantis’s freedom-based approach to masking dropped their mask requirements.
The popular Florida governor shows no signs of stopping, and continues to stay ahead of the curve on a series of controversial issues, all while continuing to call out the “wokeification of federal policy.”