The Crusader Newspaper Group

Florida governor is part of problem, not solution

Photo caption: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in front of the Florida state flag. (source: Canva/Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore)

You can run but you can’t hide, Florida Governor Ronald DeSantis. We know who you are. We know what you represent. We know the damage you have inflicted on people and your morbid agenda.

Now you find yourself facing the forces of nature in Hurricane Idalia, as well as a human storm of discontent in the wake of the racist Jacksonville shooting deaths of three Blacks by an avowed racist white gunman.

Before speaking on the storm, DeSantis read a statement addressing the attack at a Dollar General store. The white gunman, who DeSantis called “a deranged scumbag,” used racial slurs, left behind a racist screed and drew swastikas on his firearm, authorities said.

“Perpetrating violence of this kind is unacceptable,” DeSantis said. “And targeting people due to their race has no place in the state of Florida.” His comments said too little too late. And listening to supposed condolences, it is impossible not to consider the source.

DeSantis’ jaded expression of sympathy is hollow and compromised. The words spoken are a cruel mockery of the misery unjustly heaped on three innocent families suffering the loss of loved ones in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy.

Governor DeSantis, we know that hearts have been broken throughout your state and around the country, as a result of the climate you have established in your state, and due to the level of contempt demonstrated by you and your administration towards people of color.

This killing is the manifestation of your brazen intolerance and aggressive initiatives to embrace fringe elements of our society, while alienating those who are legitimate citizens distinguished only by race, gender, or sexual preference.

In this moment, there is nothing you can do or say, short of renouncing all that you have been in the past and are today. There is nothing you can do short of expressing genuine contrition, repentance and commitment to changing your life and your views. And we all know that’s not ever going to happen.

So save your breath, Governor. Don’t aggravate the situation with additional hypocritical utterances. Accept that you are deeply complicit in this tragedy. Politicians like you are largely the reason this antipathy between races is cultivated. How dare you feign surprise over the outcome of your hateful rhetoric and policies.

Yes, we know who you are Florida Governor Ronald DeSantis, so you may as well embrace it. You are not clever enough and the people are not gullible enough to acknowledge an ounce of sincerity in your vain efforts to play both sides, to hedge your bet, to empathize with both bigotry and targets of antipathy.

It won’t work. We know who you are and good people of all races around this great nation will wage the good fight and create as much good trouble as necessary to defeat your agenda. With the help of God, you will not prevail.

We pray protection for the people of Florida threatened by hurricanes. And we pray protection for people of your state victimized by the atmosphere of discontent that threatens their everyday lives. In the end, we pray that the will of our loving God will prevail in both situations.

 CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].

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