'Huge level of hypocrisy': Activists slam corporations that preach anti-racism while donating to Ron DeSantis

'Huge level of hypocrisy': Activists slam corporations that preach anti-racism while donating to Ron DeSantis
image via Creative Commons.

Although Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was reelected by 19 percent in the 2022 midterms, the far-right MAGA Republican continues to be a highly polarizing figure in U.S. politics — a fact that was evident when, in late January, he received the Union League of Philadelphia’s gold medal award. DeSantis was greeted by a crowd of angry protestors who argued that it was an insult to Black Philadelphia to give DeSantis a prestigious award that went to President Abraham Lincoln back in 1863.

DeSantis had been drawing vehement criticism for banning, from Florida high schools, an advance placement course on African-American history. And the protestors who gathered outside the Union League included some Black Democrats who are well-known in Philly politics, including Pennsylvania State Sen. Vincent Hughes and City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. Philly is roughly 41 percent African-American.

In an article published by The Guardian on February 13, reporter David Smith stresses that DeSantis’ critics have a problem with corporations that "use Black History Month to denounce racism" yet have given the Florida governor or groups that support him generous donations. Smith, using research from the Center for Political Accountability, cites Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, DoorDash and Walmart as examples.

READ MORE:Why 'anti-wokeness' may not be Ron DeSantis’ panacea: researcher

Jasmine Burney-Clark, founder of the progressive group Equal Ground, told The Guardian, "These corporations can say that they stand with the Black community but then, also fund the governor and his work around dismantling Black history. It’s a huge level of hypocrisy."

Another company that Smith names is Disney, which is ironic in light of DeSantis’ well-publicized battle with that company. DeSantis stripped the Disney World amusement park in Orlando of its special tax privileges after the company criticized Florida’s controversial "Don’t Say Gay" law.

Smith observes, "Disney writes on its Resorts website: 'During Black History Month in February, the Disney Parks Blog will celebrate Black stories and highlight special experiences at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.' Yet early in the election cycle — and before its relationship with DeSantis fully soured — Disney contributed $50,000 to his reelection campaign and $125,000 to the Republican Party of Florida, which supported his campaign and inauguration."

Although DeSantis has not made an official announcement, he appears to be gearing up for a 2024 presidential run — much to former President Donald Trump’s umbrage. And Burney-Clark believes that the time is now for corporations that salute Black History Month to take a stand on DeSantis’ positions.

READ MORE: 'Our governor is racist': Miami Black Affairs Board slams Ron DeSantis during intense meeting

Burney-Clark told The Guardian, "This man is attempting to be president of the United States. We could draw the line right now; these corporations had the true capacity and not the performative capacity to do that…. Disney, unfortunately, is going through a difficult time but has the power and capacity to be doing more than they’re actually doing. I don’t think that they should worry about the threat of losing support or favor with the governor. They should be focused on the consumers who have built these publicly held corporations to where they currently are right now with the scale that they have."

READ MORE: Ron DeSantis retaliates against Florida venue that hosted drag show in December

Read The Guardian’s full report at this link.

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