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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law Friday a bill that strips Walt Disney Co. from being able to govern the land where the Disney World theme park is located and a bill that effectively blocks Critical Race Theory from being pushed in classrooms.
In reference to the bill ending Disney’s special tax privileges in the state, DeSantis said, “I’m just not comfortable having that type of agenda get special treatment in my state.”
Disney’s ability to govern the area was created when the Reedy Creek Improvement Act was signed into law in May 1967. The local government did not have the resources needed to help bring Disney’s 25,000 acre plan to fruition so the Reedy Creek Improvement District was established to give Disney the same authority as a county-level government.
DeSantis commented on the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, saying, “We are not going to teach our kids to hate this country or to hate each other.”
“The law, which will go into effect on July 1, prohibits Florida’s public schools and private businesses from making people feel uncomfortable or guilty over their race, sex, or national origin,” WFTS reported. The bill states teachers would be able to talk about topics like sexism, racism, slavery, and racial segregation but they can’t persuade students to a particular point of view.”
The governor’s office noted that the bill also “expands instruction of African American history to develop students’ understanding of the ramifications of prejudice and racism.”
DeSantis’ office highlighted concepts that constitute unlawful discrimination:
Christopher Rufo, Senior Fellow and Director of the Initiative on Critical Race Theory, The Manhattan Institute, praised DeSantis at the signing on Friday.
“Critical Race Theory takes people and segregates them against each other. Individualism is not exclusive for any race, and it is patronizing to say people have different work ethic based on their skin color,” Rufo said. “We are in the initial stages down a dark path, but luckily community leaders have said not in this state, not in this country. I think it is a testament to the legislators in Florida and the greatest Governor in the country right now, standing up to these people. He stood up to the lies, he stood up to the ideologs and he stood up to the big corporations because he is on your side and he’s not going to back down.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.
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