Ernest Hooper: DeSantis needs to transform acknowledgements into action

Translating moves like pardoning the Groveland Four into true inclusion will require a policy approach that does more.
Gov. Ron DeSantis in Tampa in January. (TAILYR IRVINE   |   Times)
Gov. Ron DeSantis in Tampa in January. (TAILYR IRVINE | Times)
Published March 11
Updated 2 hours ago

Critics have accused Gov. Ron DeSantis of pandering after he weaved a number of African-American acknowledgements into his state of the state speech on March 4.

DeSantis wants to send a signal he’s governing for all of Florida while sticking to his conservative principles. Pardoning the Groveland Four, boasting of the appointment of Broward County’s first African-American sheriff and touting school vouchers as a viable alternative for African-American parents reflect an effort to at least give the appearance of being inclusive.

However, to translate those moves from political savvy to true inclusion will require a policy approach that does more, including protecting voting rights for every citizen, delivering meaningful criminal justice reform and pushing an education policy that truly leaves no child behind.

As my third-grade teacher said, show don’t tell. …

David Straz’s uphill battle to defeat Jane Castor in the Tampa mayoral race will grow more steep if he refuses to face off against her in debates. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: I’m Not Bossy. I Just Have Better Ideas. …

Kudos to Dore Beach, Arlene DiBenigno, Rita Lowman, Terri Lipsey Scott, Rachel May Zysk and former State Sen. Arthenia Joyner, who were honored at the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida Women of Distinction Luncheon last week. …

Shoutout to Pete Engle, or Pete from St. Pete as he says, for giving me a tour of the rooftop hospitality area at the Grand Prix of St. Pete. Nice guy. …

They’re planning to make more Hallmark movies in Tampa Bay. I so want to be that sage wise man who talks the guy into giving love another chance. There’s one in every Hallmark movie.

That’s all I’m saying.

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