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Looking Foolish

Post # 266, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary

The freshman Senator presented a bill offensive to his race and prior lawmakers of color, without prior education from his sponsor...Governor Ron DeSantis.

Corey Simon was an All-American football player for the Florida State Seminoles. He went on to become an All Professional football player for the Philadelphia Eagles. As with almost all FSU alumni, I joined in and cheered his athletic success on the gridiron.

I did not expect him to be a success at effective law-making in the Florida Legislature, at least in the beginning. If anything, I expected a pleasant, smiling personality who would try to learn everything he could about the lawmaking process, before filing any legislation. I was hoping he might have enough support from his political party or sponsor, Governor Ron DeSantis, or just average intellectual curiosity to at least study the issues and their history. I did not expect him to file a controversial bill at the start of his legislative career. I was wrong about Senator Cory Simon.

Last week the freshman Senator presented SB266 to his colleagues in the Senate dealing with public education. It:

  • Took half a billion dollars of public money and gave it as vouchers to anyone (including millionaires like Simon) for unregulated and unaudited private and church schools.

  • Prohibited Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in education public policy after Simon benefitted from DEI as a student, with no explanation.

  • Prohibited the study of Critical Race Theory and Gender Studies after he benefited from those studies as a student with no explanation.

  • Permitted, and maybe encouraged post-tenure review for the studies and education of African American education, which was described by a black colleague of Simon as a "farce."

With his presentation to his colleagues, Simon was embarrassed and ashamed at presenting such a hypocritical bill defeating so many important causes to his race, without his full understanding. Who was the source of the embarrassment? None other than Governor Ron DeSantis, recruited Simon for the political firing squad, without proper education, training, or apparently even a discussion.

Most observing the ambush the newly elected Senator suffered felt disgusted for another DeSantis trick, similar to transporting the immigrants out of Florida to Cape Cod. Perhaps, at some time in the future, our Governor will have the courage to fight his fights.

Senator Simon sounded embarrassed his SB266 passed the Senate Committee.



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