On DeSantis’ Florida Legislation, America Has A Problem

May 29, 2023

Before social media, America’s PR machine had the world convinced of “the American dream”. While the comment is rooted in ideals of equality, BIPOC people in America have always known that their ability to access said dream is predicated on overcoming inequality first. Nevertheless, for immigrants, the idea of an “American dream” is a far better goal in the face of strife in their home countries. 

Imported labor forces have built America, brick by brick. Historically, enslaved people and immigrants have provided the United States with the cheap labor force capitalism relentlessly seeks out. Yet immigrants and BIPOC people in general, have been on the receiving end of American politicians’ vitriol since the Mayflower. 

DeSantis legislation in Florida

SAN FRANCISCO – JUNE 30: A parade goer waves a flag during 43rd annual San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Celebration & Parade June 30, 2013, in San Francisco, California. The annual S.F. Pride Parade occurred just days after same-sex marriages were reinstated in California following the recent Supreme Court rulings. (Photo by Sarah Rice/Getty Images)

On May 10, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis introduced legislation that actively targets and threatens immigrants. One can argue that it’s important to encourage the immigration laws of a sovereign country to be upheld and enforced. At the same time, it’s important to note that doing so inhumanely is the very antithesis of upholding human rights. As such, it should come as no surprise that Governor DeSantis’s 1718 bill has been met with a mass exodus of Florida labor forces and standstills on construction sites. 

In addition to color and nationality, DeSantis has made Florida a hostile state towards members of the LGBT+ community. On May 24, 2023, DeSantis signed 20 bills into law. Gender-affirming care for minors, drag shows, discussions around pronouns, and gendered bathrooms were all targeted and legislated against. Essentially, to know, communicate, and actualize your truest self as someone under 18 is illegal and punishable by law.

What is the American problem?

According to the United Nations, founded by former President Franklin D Roosevelt, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” In many ways, Governor DeSantis is legislating in direct contravention of universal equal rights. More insidiously, by expanding on “Don’t Say Gay” laws, places of education are becoming hostile towards LGBT+ youth. For students, where gender identity or sexual orientation is shunned at home, their school was a reprieve of sorts. For students with supportive parents, schools have become a place to repress themselves. 

As the weather warms, it’s easy to get lost in the serendipity of summertime. Moments like The Little Mermaid premieres, Beyonce’s Renaissance tour, and festival season in general, offer necessary respite in the midst of pernicious political climates. However, much like we can walk and chew gum simultaneously, it’s important to remember that in our happy moments, America has a problem and it’s going to take community engagement to fix it.



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