What would normally sound like minor news, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) appoints six new members to the New College of Florida Board of Trustees. However, one name on the list is activist Christopher Rufo, a well-known critic of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
Rep. Anna Eskamani (SD-42) slams DeSantis' appointment of Rufo.
"DeSantis just appointed a political propagandist to the @NewCollegeofFL BOT. DeSantis is destroying higher education in Florida for his own political gain. It's disgusting, bad for our workforce development & everyone -- faculty, admin, alumni, students -- need to fight back," stated Rep. Eskamani.
DeSantis just appointed a political propagandist to the @NewCollegeofFL BOT.
DeSantis is destroying higher education in Florida for his own political gain. It's disgusting, bad for our workforce development & everyone -- faculty, admin, alumni, students -- need to fight back. pic.twitter.com/4bwWlhYiyk
— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) January 6, 2023
DeSantis' press release describes Rufo as having "led the fight against critical race theory in American institutions." Additionally, Rufo's work has inspired education policy in fifteen other states "to craft successful public policy."
According to Rufo, Critical Race Theory (CRT) has its roots in Marxism, which is traditionally based on the conflict between the capitalist "bourgeoisie" and the working-class "proletariat." However, the American belief in the individual as opposed to social class, the brutalities of the Soviet Union, and the unrest of the 1960s led to Marxist thought shifting towards race. From there, says Rufo, racialist Marxism developed into the academic Critical Race Theory.
Consequently, this form of teaching has entered public consciousness as it seems to be taught to increasingly younger students, apparently without parental knowledge. While an April 2022 poll suggests there is a divide between Floridians on whether or not Critical Race Theory is acceptable to be in school, Governor DeSantis has long been an opponent of CRT.
In January 2022, DeSantis prohibited schools from teaching CRT.
More recently, he issues an executive memorandum which will audit Florida colleges and universities' expenditures going towards CRT-related courses, staff, and programs. DeSantis describes this move as a means of creating "a cost-effective higher education system that delivers high quality service to Floridians to best prepare them for employment."