Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibility
Close Alert

DeSantis says Florida is where 'woke goes to die'

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses attendees during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses attendees during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon

During a Tuesday press conference discussing teacher recruiting efforts, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said his state is the place where "woke goes to die."

DeSantis spoke on several topics during the press conference in Pasco County, including education in his state, COVID-19 mandates, political ideologies, gender reassignment surgeries, and "woke" institutions.

What I’ve said is the state of Florida is the place where woke goes to die," DeSantis said. "We are not going to let this state descend into some type of woke dumpster fire. We’re going to be following common sense, we’re going to be following facts."

DeSantis introduced three new proposals on Tuesday, all focused on recruiting teachers and supporting students in the classroom, he said.

The three proposals included bonuses for qualified military veterans who commit to teaching in an area short on teachers, an apprenticeship program that would reward "mentor" teachers who successfully guide prospects, and dual enrollment scholarship initiatives that would provide teachers the opportunity to earn their master's degree.

We are committed to having the best and brightest in our classrooms educating our students," DeSantis later said in a tweet containing an infographic about the three proposals.

DeSantis said during the Tuesday appearance that he would also prioritize local teacher prospects over foreign ones.

With everything, I think that we’re putting Floridians first, we’re putting Americans first. If we have a qualified teacher in the United States or in Florida, I don’t want to go with a foreigner over somebody that’s from our communities,” DeSantis said. “There’s nothing wrong with, in some situations, I don’t know how it would work, with what they’re doing, but clearly we believe in putting the people here in Florida first. Our programs are designed to benefit Floridians, not people in other countries."

To be "woke," a word Merriam-Webster says is "chiefly" American slang, a person needs to be "aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)" according to the dictionary definition.

Used as a pejorative by critics, "woke" is, as Vox explains, "political correctness done awry." The pejorative "woke" is also largely flexible, being used primarily as an insult. CNN summarizes "woke" as being an "imprecise term used to decry progressive action."

DeSantis has long been a critic of the "woke," perhaps most famously when he pushed back against criticism from Disney, which stood firmly against DeSantis signing the Parental Rights in Education bill.

DeSantis later led the effort to strip the company of longtime special tax benefits that had been used to entice Disney to build its iconic theme park in Central Florida.

After revoking its special tax status, DeSantis accused Disney of having "lost its way" and hoped his legislative action against the media conglomerate would be "the wakeup call they need to get back on track.”

For Disney to come out and put a statement and say that the bill should have never passed and they are going to actively work to repeal it — I think, one, was fundamentally dishonest. But two, I think that crossed the line," DeSantis said at a press conference.
This state is governed by the interests of the people of the state of Florida. It is not based on the demands of California corporate executives.," DeSantis added. "They do not run this state. They do not control this state."

Other battles that DeSantis has fought against the apparent "woke" include him suspending a prosecutor for his perceived "woke agenda." State Attorney Andrew Warren of Tampa was targeted by an executive order from DeSantis in which the state attorney was deemed incompetent and defiant.

We are not going to allow this pathogen that’s been around the country of ignoring the law, we are not going to let that get a foothold here in the state of Florida. We are going to make sure that our laws are enforced and that no individual prosecutor puts himself above the law,” DeSantis said in regards to his suspension of Warren.

Warren had pledged not to press charges against anyone who violated the state's 15-week abortion ban, nor would he criminalize doctors who perform gender-affirming health care. Warren fired back after the announcement of his suspension, telling DeSantis he was not going anywhere.

DeSantis is considered to be a front-running Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential race. Many see him as a competent challenger to former President Donald Trump if they both decide to run.

Loading ...