Florida’s disgraceful legislative session just ended. Gov. Ron unleashed a torrent of hateful new laws on the Sunshine State. As DeSantis attacked, too many Democrats meekly stood back. We needed heroes and they were zeroes.
One brave lawmaker answered the call. Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Steven Glassman should be upheld as an example of how to defend our rights and fight back against bullies like DeSantis.
In a speech to the City Commission this week, Glassman raised several salient points. He brought up how Florida Republicans have elevated ignorance over education. They have embarked upon a dangerous and dumb censorship crusade that will leave our youth ill-prepared for the future.
In DeSantistan, teaching human empathy to school children is now considered problematic.
Republicans believe that if they can groom students to be free of empathy or decency, they can produce the next generation of Republicans. They’re probably right since that seems to be a prerequisite to vote for the modern GOP. But empathy defines humanity. If you are unable to feel for your fellow human beings, there is a deficit in your heart and a defect in your damaged brain. We call such people sociopaths, and leading psychiatric experts recommend they seek professional help.
In a society without basic humanity and empathy, you get laws like the one recently passed in Florida, where religious doctors are no longer required to treat people, they don’t like.
By definition, a doctor treats all people who are sick. If your fanatical version of faith is so cruel and discriminatory that it doesn’t allow you to treat LGBTQ patients, you have no business being a doctor. You have abandoned the Hippocratic Oath, failed your profession and should be permanently stripped of your medical license.
Finally, this week the state passed a slew of anti-LGBTQ laws. Florida is seeking to make LGBTQ people invisible. DeSantis has even targeted a substitute teacher for retribution because she showed a class a PG-rated Disney movie where one of the animated characters happens to be gay and biracial.
Whether bigots like Ron DeSantis likes it or not, LGBTQ people exist, and we aren’t going back into the closet. DeSantis wants to create an imaginary, phony world where only white, fundamentalist Christians have a right to exist in the public square. This perverse, exclusionary, unamerican vision must be defeated.
Thanks to heroes like Councilman Steven Glassman, we are going to prevail over prejudice and overcome primitive ideologies held by autocrats like Ron DeSantis. But we need more brave leaders in Florida to stand up and speak out. If we had 100 lawmakers in Florida like Steven Glassman, we wouldn’t have even one Ron DeSantis in Tallahassee.