Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis boasted having put his state on the leading edge of removing "woke indoctrination" in public institutions and private corporations as a malign Democratic Party effort to control the vote, the country, and Americans.
"Florida will never ever surrender to the woke mob because our state is where woke goes to die," DeSantis told the annual Pennsylvania Leadership Conference (PLC) on Saturday in a speech that aired live and in its entirety on Newsmax. "Now we're proud of the stands we've taken. We're proud of the success Florida has had."
Among the anti-woke initiatives in Florida is the ban of ESG investment in state employee pensions and moving legislation to curb DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) programs, which DeSantis denounced as "division, exclusion and indoctrination."
"That has no part in our public institutions," he said. "One of the reasons I think we've thrived as being a free state is because we understand freedom is not just about the absence of restrictions."
It has attempted to moving from ideological Democrat-controlled public institutions to even corporate America, DeSantis warned.
"The left is trying to impose its agenda through a wide range of arteries in our society, including corporate America, so we have fought against corporate wokeness," he said. "We are going all out against ESG investing: That's environmental, social governance. We banned ESG in our pension investing.
"We're passing legislation to broaden that and to make sure that Floridians are not discriminated against by banks and other financial institutions because they own guns or they're Christian or they're conservative.
"Woke banking is using the financial might of Wall Street and some of these other entities and using that to try to impose an agenda on you, which could never win at the ballot box.
"They're not accountable to anybody. They simply try to do this, and they try to say that they're for social justice, so we recognize that as a threat to freedom and the state of Florida. We also recognize the threat to government colluding with some of these folks."
Woke indoctrination starts with the youngest in America, in elementary education, according to DeSantis.
"In Florida we've just said, 'No,'" he continued. "We said we recognize this as a threat across the board and we pledge to fight the woke in the schools. We pledge to fight the woke in the corporations. We pledged to fight the woke in the halls of the legislature.
"We've also understood that higher education plays an important role, but it needs to be focused on traditional academics and not ideological indoctrination."
DeSantis said he intends to sign a law to make "Florida the first state in America to eliminate these DEI departments from our university system."
"They say it's about diversity, equity, and inclusion, but in reality, it's using the university's administrative bureaucracy to impose an ideological agenda," he said.
The liberal ideology has even politicized medicine, which DeSantis rebuked as, "Woke medicine; it's not real medicine."
"You don't take off their body parts like that," DeSantis said, railing on gender transition activism for minors. "That is not medical science. That is ideology run amok. And so what we've done in Florida is we've done rules through our medical board. Physicians that do that with those minors will lose their medical license in our state – just that simple."
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