Democrats use Ron DeSantis’ own laws to demand his book be banned from schools

Florida Democrats have turned the tables on Republican governor Ron DeSantis, calling for his memoir to be banned, under laws passed by his own administration.

The Florida governor’s book, The Courage to be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival, is being subjected to the same stringent criteria used to ban books in an epic troll by his political opponents.

DeSantis has been the chief architect of censorship in Florida, most infamously with the “Don’t Say Gay” law which prevents teachers from discussing gender or sexuality with children in school up to third grade.

“The very trap that he set for others is the one that he set for himself,” Fentrice Driskell, the minority leader in the Florida House, told the Daily Beast on Monday (3 April).

DeSantis also passed the education reform law, HB 1467, which requires all books to be reviewed for “inappropriate” content such as sexuality and gender, and to be removed from school libraries if they touch on those topics.

The move to ban DeSantis’ book is an attempt to highlight how vague and arbitrary the HB 1467 legislation is and how easily it can be abused.

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Florida governor Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis introduced Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law. (Elijah Nouvelage / AFP / Getty)

Driskell and other Democrats identified 17 instances in The Courage to be Free that could potentially violate Florida law.

In their petition, they highlighted that the author uses the terms “woke” and “gender ideology” 46 times and 10 times, respectively, which could be seen as a “divisive topic” and therefore, “inappropriate”.

DeSantis also discusses systemic racism in the book and summarises The New York Times “1619” project, which violates the legislation, as race-based content is also deemed inappropriate.

Despite the book not being in any schools, Driskell told The Daily Beast this move is important to highlight how the law could be exploited.

“If America doesn’t want Florida’s present reality to become America’s future reality, people need to know what it’s like here,” she said. “This is our way of fighting back, but also highlighting how ridiculous some of this becomes.”

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