Whoopi Goldberg called out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his efforts to ban DEI programs from state colleges during a “Hot Topics” discussion on The View on Wednesday, February 1. The moderator called out DeSantis for the recent push after he already banned an A.P. course on African American history. Goldberg stressed that even if DeSantis banned Black history in the classroom, families and communities would still share their stories with one another.
The hosts shared a clip of the Republican governor speaking out against what he calls “zombie studies” in a new plan to do away with diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in public universities, which would include doing away with African American studies. “We are also going to eliminate all DEI and CRT [Critical Race Theory] bureaucracies in the state of Florida. No funding and that will wither on the vine. I think people want to see true academics, and they want to get rid of some of the political window dressing that seems to accompany all this,” DeSantis said in a clip, which received boos from the studio audience.
After the clip ended, Goldberg pointed out how little funding DEI programs have already, and she spoke about how banning them from public colleges wouldn’t prevent people from learning history. “He wants it seen through [a history of western civilization and philosophy] lens. Why is your lens better than my lens?” she asked. “What is it that he doesn’t get? We’re not going anywhere. Just cause you stop teaching it in the colleges, you think people are going to stop telling these stories? No, it’s not going to happen.”
Co-host Sunny Hostin also expressed her anger at DeSantis and his latest move, while pointing out that many A.P. classes from other cultures besides African American history hadn’t been banned, including European, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish cultures. “I found it highly offensive that he compared African American studies with learning about zombies,” she said. “Does he just not like African Americans? When they call him racist against African Americans, he’s like, ‘No, I’m not.’ He’s saying that this is an ideological argument. Well, he can’t put his ideology in place of everyone else. What happened to Republicans’ limited government?”
Towards the end of the discussion, Whoopi also warned that Black voters in Florida may take action next time the governor runs for office. “My folks are from Florida. They’re Floridians, and they’ve been Black the whole time. They were raised in Florida. There’s always been Black people in Florida, and if you’re not careful, that base is going to rise up and vote your a** out of there,” she said.
DeSantis has been rumored to be planning a presidential run in the 2024 election, and he’s been an outspoken critic of the class. The Florida Department of Education rejected an African American history Advanced Placement class in January, per The New York Times. The College Board has since removed some topics from the curriculum, including writers associated with Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter.
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