In a move that has ignited controversy and drawn widespread attention, Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida and a potential presidential candidate, has recently dismantled all diversity, equity, and inclusion programs within Disney World’s governing district. Here’s the full story.
Encroachment of “Wokeness”
This decision is part of a broader stance against what he perceives as the encroachment of “wokeness” in various aspects of American society, including within one of the nation’s most iconic entertainment destinations.
Desantis Abolished Diversity Programmes
On August 1st, DeSantis took the unprecedented step of abolishing the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee within Florida’s Central Tourism Oversight District board, which holds authority over the operations of Walt Disney World.
The move has generated significant backlash, with district officials characterizing these initiatives as divisive and a means of perpetuating a focus on racial differences.
Desantis Abolished Diversity and Equity in Hiring
In addition to dismantling the committee, DeSantis and his appointees also rescinded previous policies that had been established to promote diversity and equity in hiring and contracting processes.
The District Administrator Supports DeSantis’s Actions
The newly appointed district administrator, Glenton Gilzean, who used to run the Central Florida Urban League (a group fighting for civil rights), has openly supported DeSantis’s actions.
Community Thrives Only When People Work Together
Gilzean has echoed the governor’s sentiment that these initiatives are not only misguided but potentially illegal. He insists that the best way for the community to thrive is when people work together, despite their differences.
A Move In the Wrong Direction
Critics argue that the move represents a significant step backward in terms of fostering a more inclusive and equitable society.
This Can Cause Several Problems
They point to the potential consequences of such actions, which could discourage attempts to address systemic inequalities and promote a sense of belonging for marginalized communities.
DeSantis and Disney
This decision by DeSantis is the latest development in an ongoing feud between his administration and Disney.
The rift between the two entities emerged after Disney publicly criticized Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Legislation that restricts discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.
In response to Disney’s condemnation, state Republicans, including DeSantis, fueled the conflict by taking more control over the area that manages Disney World.
The New Board
This included appointing a new board of supervisors, who have now abolished the inclusion initiatives.
It Sums up Desantis’ Campaign
Several social media users shared their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “Ron DeSantis’ whole campaign is waging an anti-DEI, CRT, LGBTQ, pro-book-banning culture war.”
Hard to Believe
Another user added, “Hesitant to believe Desantis did something actually based.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Hunter Crenian. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.