Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) says the idea that the U.S. has systemic policies that perpetuate racism is absolute "horse manure."
While speaking to Fox News' Laura Ingraham at a governors' town hall event on Thursday night, DeSantis was asked about systemic racism, which Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) discussed in his rebuttal to President Biden's speech to Congress. Scott declared "America is not a racist country," an increasingly hot topic as politicians disagree "over the pervasiveness of non-obvious racism within systems," writes The Washington Post.
DeSantis' position in the debate is obviously clear, as he called the notion of systemic racism "a bunch of horse manure." But the timing of his comments was conspicuous, as earlier that same day, Florida's Republican-led legislature passed new rules on voting that Black lawmakers said would make it harder for millions of voters, especially people of color, to cast ballots. DeSantis said "of course" he'll sign the bill into law.
"Give me a break," DeSantis told Ingraham, arguing that because "we've had people that have been able to succeed" the system must be fine. However, the latest voting law, which restricts voting by mail and ballot drop boxes, has been criticized as an example of systemic racism in that it deepens longstanding discrepancies between voting access for white voters and nonwhite voters — Florida state Rep. Omari Hardy (D) called the bill "the revival of Jim Crow in this state, whether the sponsors admit it or not."