OPINION: We must act to protect our future

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By Derrick Johnson

President, NAACP

In the wake of a new wave of anti-DEI attacks targeting universities in Florida, the NAACP sent a letter to NCAA President Charlie Baker, addressed to current and prospective student-athletes.

I wanted to share my thoughts with you as well because this is not about politics. It’s about the protection of our community, the progression of our culture, and most of all, it’s about education and our future.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made no effort to conceal his administration’s devaluation of Black America. From racist voting policies to unraveling reproductive freedoms and attempts to rewrite Black history, DeSantis has waged war on Black America.

Now, as a result of his administration’s anti-Black ideals, all state-funded universities in Florida will be forced to dismantle their diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. While the University of Florida may be the first, it will not be the last.

This imbalance of power and profit demands a response, particularly because these institutions reap considerable financial benefits from the very individuals they fail to stand by in matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion. If any institution is to reap the benefits of Black talent, it is only right that they completely invest in Black futures.

Under their current leadership, the state of Florida is on a path of extreme regression.

In an attempt to gain political points with an extremist minority, this administration has pursued a dangerous agenda that is a direct threat not only to Black America but to our democracy as a whole.

These hate-inspired policies are a cancer that is spreading throughout our nation like a wildfire. We cannot allow ill-informed, malicious actors to destroy hard-won victories and set us back decades, if not centuries.

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OPINION: We must act to protect our future

By Jackson Advocate News Service
March 25, 2024