Florida Democrats are using a state law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis against him, seeking to ban his autobiography “The Courage to Be Free,” The Daily Beast reported.
“The very trap he set for others is the one that he set for himself,” said Democratic minority leader Fentrice Driskell, who is leading an effort across 50 counties to see if any of them will review or ban DeSantis’ book based on his law’s criteria.
“At the very least, the move draws attention to how HB 1467’s vague and arbitrary language can be abused when taken to its logical conclusions—while putting a critical spotlight on the contents of the book, widely seen another clear sign that DeSantis will run for president in 2024,” The Beast reports.
DeSantis approved the law last year, which includes guidelines for content deemed inappropriate on grounds of race, sexuality, gender and depictions of violence — guidelines that will be used to ban certain books in the state’s public schools.
Within his book, DeSantis alleges students have been forced to “chant to the Aztec god of human sacrifice” and describes violence that took place at Black Lives Matter protests, at one point pointing to a video showing “dead black children, dramatically warning … about ‘racist police and state-sanctioned violence’”.
The book also goes into detail about the 2017 shooting at congressional baseball practice in which Steve Scalise (R-LA), was seriously wounded.
The Beast reports that DeSantis’ book “use[s] the terms ‘woke’ and ‘gender ideology’ 46 times and 10 times respectively, both of which could constitute ‘divisive concepts’ the governor has argued should stay out of curricula up to the college level.”
Democrats say that such passages within the book run afoul of DeSantis’ own law.
“We’re leaning into one of [DeSantis’s] weaknesses,” Driskell told The Beast. “… If America doesn’t want Florida’s present reality to become America’s future reality, people need to know what it’s like here. This is our way of fighting back, but also highlighting how ridiculous some of this becomes, right?”
It’s not known how many copies of DeSantis’ book is on the shelves of Florida school libraries. As The Beast’s report points out, at least one school district responded to the Democrats’ effort, writing to thank them for “expressing your concerns” about the book, but said no school within the district currently carries any copies.