Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is taking a lot of heat after last weekend’s shooting by a white supremacist at a Dollar General store in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Jacksonville left three Black people dead.
Democratic state Representative Angie Nixon issued a scathing rebuke of the governor on Sunday, one day after the shooting occurred. Nixon’s district includes the neighborhood where the shooting took place in Jacksonville.
On Sunday, she spoke with Yasmin Vossoughian of MSNBC, saying that the Florida governor has been leading “an all-out attack on the Black community with his anti-woke policies.”
She said that what DeSantis has been doing and saying directly led to the shooting that occurred on Saturday. As Nixon said:
“This is a governor who has done nothing but fan these types of happenings throughout our state. At the end of the day, the governor has blood on his hands.”
DeSantis has pushed policies that have served as “dog whistles to get folks up and riled up in the way in which it just happened,” Nixon commented.
The shooting was carried out by 21-year-old white man Ryan Christopher Palmeter, who shot and killed three Black people at a Dollar General store before he ultimately shot and killed himself.
T.K. Waters, the sheriff in Jacksonville, said that Palmeter wrote racist manifestos before he carried out the shooting.
After the shooting happened, the governor said that Palmeter was a “deranged scumbag.” He continued:
“Perpetrating violence of this kind is unacceptable, and targeting people due to their race has no place in the state of Florida.”
Nixon, though, quickly dismissed the statement DeSantis put out, saying that she and other people in the state Legislature have warned the governor in the past about the potential effects of what he’s been doing – all of which played out in Saturday’s shooting.
As she commented:
“My blood is literally boiling. Myself and other representatives, particularly Black representatives, throughout the past few legislative sessions have repeatedly told him what his rhetoric was going to do, and that is exactly what transpired on yesterday.
“This is absurd. It’s ridiculous. He is one of the causes to this. This is an agenda that he has been pushing since he has gotten into office. He showed us who he was when he initially ran for governor, saying, ‘Don’t monkey this up.’ Those types of statements, it only leads to things like this.”
Liberals have heavily criticized DeSantis for some of the policies that his administration has passed in his tenure as Florida governor, many of which they’ve said could be considered anti-Black.
Earlier this year, the DeSantis administration rejected an Advanced Placement course put forth by the College Board surrounding African-American studies. He argued that the content in the court is “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”
Just two months ago, the Florida Board of Education also approved standards for how schools can teach African-American history. One section directs all teachers to instruct on “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”