Judge blocks Ron DeSantis’ law banning ‘awakened’ education

Tallahassee, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Thursday blocked a law pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that would limit certain race-based conversations and analysis at universities.

Judge Mark Walker of the United States District Court of Tallahassee issued a temporary injunction against the so-called “Stop Wake” law, ruling calling the law “positively dystopian.”

The law prohibits educational or business practices that claim that members of some ethnic groups are racist in nature and should feel guilty for past actions committed by others. It also prohibits the idea that the status of privileged or oppressed individuals is necessarily determined by race or gender, or that discrimination is tolerated in order to achieve diversity.

“Our professors are important to a healthy democracy, and the decision Florida makes to choose which perspectives deserve lighting and which perspectives must stay in the shadows affects us all,” Walker wrote. “Democracy will die in the dark if our ‘democratic ministers’ are not allowed to shed light on challenging ideas.”

The ruling is at least against the powerful Republican governor’s agenda to combat what he describes as liberal “awakened ideologies” and critical race theory, a way of thinking about American history through the lens of racism. It’s a temporary setback. DeSantis won a landslide reelection to a second term this month after a campaign focused on cultural issues.

The governor’s office did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on Thursday. I’ve often said it’s highly probable.

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In his lengthy ruling, Walker quotes George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 and writes, “‘It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clock was striking 13.’ Florida. The authority in charge of the public university system has the liberty to silence its professors in the name of state “freedom.” ”

Judge Walker issued a similar ruling in August blocking the law from being applied to businesses. The law is also subject to separate legal challenges from groups of K-12 teachers and students.

The governor began calling for the bill late last year, and the Republican-controlled Congress passed it in the 2022 Congress.

“What we are currently seeing in the rise of this awakened ideology is an attempt to truly delegitimize our history, delegitimize our institutions, and I see the awakening as a cultural Marxist. “They really want to tear apart the fabric of our society.”

Critical race theory developed in the 1970s and 1980s in response to what scholars saw as a lack of racial progress following the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s. It is based on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and functions to maintain white dominance in society.

Conservatives reject critical racial theories, and the philosophy is to racially divide American society and rewrite history to make whites believe they are inherently racist. It claims to aim at

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