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DeSantis Conference 'Scandal' Proves 'Race' Is All the Democrats Have

September 12, 2018 - 2:45pm
Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis

Look, I understand the Florida Democratic Party faces a difficult challenge in the gubernatorial race. 

You have all manner of yard signs, posters and political pamphlets reading “Gwen Graham,” and you need time to produce all new items. And I get it, you never planned on the candidate who was polling a distant fourth all summer suddenly winning, and now you're faced with trying to sell a far-left agenda.

That will not be easy in a state with a surging economy, convincing people to support someone who wants a job-killing $15-an-hour minimum wage, who wants to impose a starkly higher corporate rate that will serve as a NO VACANCY sign for out of state corporations, and who is selling higher taxes with a promise of funds going to schools after we've been burned on that kind of promise before.

So sure, making the campaign all about race is the way you need to go. We see that because here we are once again in a deep cycle of racial accusations of Ron DeSantis being a racist candidate. What is noteworthy here is that despite the pleas from Andrew Gillum to not make the subject a focal point, and lectures from the FDP to keep race out of the campaign, we are getting an all-new cycle of racial news talk -- without Ron DeSantis having said anything objectionable.

Interesting how this happened.

What has sparked this latest round of “regrettable” racist talk from the left is DeSantis speaking engagements in the past at supposed racist political conferences. Journalists have willfully spread this news and social media have gleefully broadcast the headlines -- all in this atmosphere of supposed willfulness to move past racial commentary. The charge derives from the hyper-partisan outfit the Southern Poverty Law Center, and that was all that was needed.

David Horowitz
David Horowitz

The SPLC has decreed that commentator David Horowitz is an “anti-black extremist” based on some positions he took in the past. Sure, Horowitz can say some things deemed provocative, especially in this era of extreme linguistic sensitivity. What is of note is that SPLC has declared itself the arbiter of what is considered offensive, and has taken it upon itself to deem particular groups and organizations as extremist, or hate-groups. 

While Horowitz has said things about Barack Obama’s religion, and has opinions how crucial whites were in securing the freedom of slavery, there has been little in the way of examples of overt racism. At issue are the political conferences Horowitz has hosted for years, affiliated with his David Horowitz Freedom Center. They have drawn a number of  political people to speak. 

The way accusatory politics works in this day and age is, since Horowitz can be labeled “anti-black,” then his conferences are also “anti-black.” By extension, anyone who has attended these conferences and delivered speeches are ALSO anti-black. Which is how we arrive at Ron DeSantis being racist. He has not been quoted as saying something inflammatory, and the conferences were not in fact alt-right racist gatherings, but that lack of evidence has not prevented the slanted coverage in the press:

“GOP Candidate for Florida Governor Spoke at racially-charged Conference”
-- Washington Post

“Ron DeSantis Made Speeches At Alt-Right Events”
-- Miami Herald

“Rep. Ron DeSantis Repeatedly Spoke At Events Organized By A Racist”
-- Business Insider

“Ron DeSantis Spoke At Event Hosted By White War Theorist”
-- Newsweek

What is telling in all of these accounts, and most of those repeating the inciting headlines, is the stark lack of any content supporting the claim. You would think when labeling these conferences as “racist events” they would provide examples of the “racist” content. I mean, that kind of stuff is red meat for the race-baiters, but they can't even manage to come up with a dog whistle.

The Newsweek article, as one example, frequently invoked the Southern Poverty Law Center’s contentions -- but nothing concrete is ever offered. Three consecutive paragraphs begin with “The SPLC has stated…”, “SPLC says…”, and “The SPLC has said…”. Not actual examples are actually given of actual racism. Just take their word for it, these things were racist!

Yet nothing substantial is given, and nothing that even comes close to approaching proof. No quotes, no hateful headlined speeches, nor any outright racist figures on par with Richard Spencer or David Duke. No Nazis were reported, and no Skinheads were found. In fact, these rather mainstream gatherings, attracting some significant political players, have a collection of names some would be hard-pressed to label with their invective.

I do not believe many would accuse Ben Carson of forwarding a racist agenda when he spoke at one event. Herman Cain must have been surprised to learn he is an anti-black extremist for attending a Horowitz gathering. The Orthodox Ben Shapiro may be interested he can now be called a Nazi for his visit to a conference. And the Israeli journalist Caroline Glick may dispute her title as a Nazi sympathizer for giving her speech at a Horowitz conference.

Amazing how diligent our media can be, hurling strident accusations of racism without anything approaching tangible evidence. It would almost appear as if something as pedestrian as basic research is beyond their ken.

Also amazing is how a Democratic Party that insists it wants only to speak about the issues cannot seem to bring those issues up -- all while expressing how much it wants racism expunged from a gubernatorial campaign it is incapable of shutting up about. 

Maybe sometime in the next two months they will get around to those issues.

Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the entertainment industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.

Comments

Stupid article! Gillum has a clear, succinct, easy-to-understand platform ... and he can readily explain it and talk about it extemporaneously. DeSantis HAS NO PLATFORM whatsoever beyond "Trump" and "socialism". (And, DeSantis clearly evidences the same kind of latent racism that his hero Trump does. Whether it's real or he just uses it to appeal to his ostensibly racist base is, I guess, debatable.)

One party’s Socialism is another party’s New Deal. Those scare tactics didn’t work then, and they won’t work now.

Republican agenda's include, deregulating all of government, leave us, Joe citizens, hanging out to dry, while corporate America just keeps getting richer, and us poorer. The fact that any of you, so called, Republicans don't see what they are doing to us, just boggles the mind. You keep throwing out the mantra, "Democrats are socialists" and that they want us all to pay higher taxes. Democrats have always had the consumers, and tax payers backs. Taxes are a necessary evil (sorry to say). If you eliminate taxes, you eliminate governments ability to function "for the people". Roads and bridges have to be repaired, police, sheriff, fire and rescue have to be paid, and even the mosquito control has to function all with tax money. Taxes go up, for the same reason your costs go up. Greedy profit gouging corporations and their bottom line. Fuel for patrol cars, fire engines and ambulances. Road repair is fuel based as well. All government employees want a cost of living wage hike to. Just like you. As those costs go up, so do taxes. Giving us a tax cut, does nothing but lay off essential personnel. If that's what you want, then keep believing Fox News and the great orange poobah you elected. Government Regulations are there to protect you from being killed by corporate America's profit mongers. Obviously, you don't give a rat's rear end, about whether you live or die.

The article was about political conferences...

I never cease to be amazed at what the "Democrat" (Socialist) party chooses to use in its toolbox of anti-right blurbs. Does ANYONE REALLY believe that Gillam has the political skill to RUN Florida?

If the Democrats are "socialists", dude, then the Republicans are clearly "fascists"!

We're gpnna find out if Floriduh has more racist haters that people who hate racists!

Hey - it is what it is - own it!

So, democrats made DeSantis make the comment “monkey it up”. Democrats made DeSantis attend a conference held by a man who made racist comments. Yes, despite what your mouth says, the comments were racist. When DeSantis finishes “fleshing out” his platform, I’m quite sure that will be discussed along with anymore ties to racism he has. I know I’ll be discussing it. Don’t like it? Tough!

Hey Thickhead, Did you not just read the article?!?! No racist comments were made. No racist comments were made. No racist comments were made. No racist comments were made. No racist comments were made. No racist comments were made. No racist comments were made. No racist comments were made. No racist comments were made. No racist comments were made. It is amazing that some people can even regulate their own breathing. THERE HAS BEEN ZERO PROOF PRESENTED BY THE SPLC THAT DESANTIS OR ANYONE WITH WHOM HE HELD A CONFERENCE MADE ANY RACIST REMARKS.

Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle! You sound like nincompoop Trump protesting "No collusion!" "No collusion!" "No collusion!" Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle.

read a few comments down Danny boy. They didn't quote them because reputable press should not have to. It is so well documented that you'd have to be an idiot or dead not to know Horowitz's platform. I guess you missed the boat...

TRANSLATION: DeSantis said nothing racist, no racist comments were made at the conferences, , so we'll look for any excuse to still call him "Racist!!!"

Translation, can you read dumbass? I give you Mr. Horowitz's own words at these conferences and many others, "If not for the sacrifices of white soldiers and a white American president who gave his life to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, blacks in America would still be slaves … Where is the gratitude of black America and its leaders for those gifts?” “Unfortunately, as a nation we have become so trapped in the melodrama of black victimization and white oppression that we are in danger of losing all sense of proportion. If blacks are oppressed in America, why isn't there a black exodus?” “Guns Don’t Kill Black People, Other Blacks Do”.

And that makes DeSantis a racist, by not saying something racist? Not how that works.

Until I see a picture of Desantis marching in Charlottesville, I plan to give him the benefit of the doubt on race, but he really needs to lay out a vision for his administration, not just a continuation of Scott nor a cheerleader for Trump. Being cozy with Mr. Horowitz is not a plan. Claiming to be strongly pro-Israel while claiming Gillum is not, does nothing to address the job of governor. When you say race is all they've got, what you really mean is it's all you've got to write about because Desantis thinks he can finish the race via Fox News. Is his platform a secret, or is he making it up as he goes along?

Ugh, we get this nonsense day in and day out in the "Orlando Slantinel". I wish they would finally just give up on pretending to have any semblance of objectivity and just rename themselves the Orlando Democrat. You may not not have loved Scott, but the guy did a damn good job of attracting business to Florida. The economy is really starting to roll and electing an anti-business, small town politician who thinks that what the state really needs is more government bureaucracy and regulation would squander those gains and set the state back years. Jerry hates Trump and DeSantis, but you know what everyone else out here really, really hates even more? The idea of giving any political power to self-righteous bigots who think they know best how everyone else should think and live their lives and believe that it is the job of government to enforce those views from the top down and take care of them. Screw identity politics. We'll vote for the candidate most likely to leave us and our businesses the hell alone and not muck up an improving economy.

Any decent person hates Trump because he is a proven serial liar, con man mentally ill sociopath who's biggest joy seems to be pushing people around and attacking anyone who shows the want to be emperor to be the liar he is...…….It is shown in how the repub party has shrunk a those racist, other far right nutjobs, even Nazis amazingly repub have pandered to with the southern strategy, have taken over the party...………...BTW I'm a real fiscal conservative, unlike most repubs whom seem to love being ripped off by corporations, the 1%...……….For instance we pay 20% higher income taxes to pay for the pollution, healthcare, military, etc costs of FFs...……...Despite the fact solar, wind and many other techs cost less and don't pollute, kill many thousands and hospitalize 100,000s people/yr YOU mostly pay for...…………..So you'd rather pay more, subsidize $600b/yr for them to poison us when RE costs less?...…….Repubs over doubled the cost of drugs with their Prescription Drug Company welfare bill, Part D which is bankrupting Medicare, Medicaid...……….Is that fiscally conservative?...…………..But the open racism Trump has shown like the kneeling football players and so many other thing DeSantis just picked up and ran with, will be your downfall as women, independent, etc get up and vote, disgusted with the repub party in November, deal with it.

Jerry, you should understand Trump is not running for governor. Hope that helped.

But lickspittle DeSantis is running in his stead. Pete and Re-pete!

It is easy to see why you are a freelance writer Brad. To Gillum's credit (and I'm not really a fan), he took the high road and said this campaign should be about issues, not race, twice now. However, the media, the real media, that is, should not give DeSantis a pass. He should have to answer for why he chose to speak at a conference that on the surface promotes racial discord, but at the very least is anti-black and minority. I give you Mr. Horowitz's own words at these conferences and many others, "If not for the sacrifices of white soldiers and a white American president who gave his life to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, blacks in America would still be slaves … Where is the gratitude of black America and its leaders for those gifts?” “Unfortunately, as a nation we have become so trapped in the melodrama of black victimization and white oppression that we are in danger of losing all sense of proportion. If blacks are oppressed in America, why isn't there a black exodus?” “Guns Don’t Kill Black People, Other Blacks Do”. Now, I am not saying these statements are inherently racist, but they are... They are clearly in poor taste for anyone in a position of public service. Additionally, anyone that would attend and speak at a conference where these ideals are welcomed and spread like candy, would either have to be a supporter, or in the case of someone seeking higher office in public service, an idiot. It certainly appears to be the latter here. If you think the media should NOT only ask, but demand a position on participation with this non-sense, you are either an idiot, a free lance writer, or a columnist for FoxNews. I'm guessing door number 1 in this case...peace.

evidence?....Boom.

Try reading the actual column next time. I addressed all that. Gillum has not said it should not be about race 2 times, he has repeatedly said so for two solid weeks.

perhaps you should read your own article again if that is the only response you got...

Brad Brad Brad, your head is so far up your ass that you are seeing sunshine. For the last twelve years, the Republicans have destroyed our courts to the extent that a consumer has no rights versus big business. Insurance companies have full reign to not pay claims and force consumers to to file lawsuits just to get a claim paid. Republicans have weakened the regulations on insurance companies to the extent that they are not concerned about a civil remedy notice. I have damage to my home from Irma and Universal has not sent me one paper recognizing my claim, but they did send two inspectors. If we had leaders instead of followers who suck the balls of the insurers, consumers will be protected. If we had leaders instead of followers, the big sugar caused algae blooms would not be threatening our shores. This is the shit you repuglicans give us, big business rules and damn the consumers. I'm so glad Gillum is kicking De-Scam-tis' ass. Come November the Dems will be in the Govenor's mansion and running the US Congress. Your little scam is about to be over.

What does any of that have to do with the column? Nothing? Okay then...

More of the same repub polices now becoming blatantly racist, corporate welfare and big tax cuts for them, the 1%...………..To appoint SCOTUS, etc judges that will back corporations to the hilt that if the take American's rights away and give them to police, corporations or extreme religious groups...…………..And you are part of that makes you proud doesn't it?..………….Luckily many repubs have woken up, left the party and independents, women have too means you are screwed in November...………….BTW just what is DeSantis polices? He still hasn't told anyone publicly. What's up with that?

You are really scared when DeSantis, the most lightweight idiot in congress whom hasn't even made a platform yet vs Gullium who has excellent ones...…………….And anyone against a $15/hr minimum wages is going to lose a lot of votes. ………………..People are tired of not getting paid enough to live on and having to pay more taxes to subsidize Walmart, Trump and his Polish immigrant H2B workers, etc...…………..And they want low cost healthcare instead of insurance, hospitals, etc rip them off...…. And clean water, air to protect our tourist industries, beauty, waters of the state repubs have refused to fix and giving massive corporate welfare and the 1% tax breaks while Florida declines...…………. Yes, we'll see you in November as lying Trump and his puppet feel the sting of the voters...………...Just look how the repub party has shrunk as decent people leave in droves from what is now fiscally and morally bankrupt for everyone to see DeSantis, Trump shows them well...……….Now all you have to beat is women, the educated, minorities, progressives, moderates, independents and decent former and present repubs voting for dems as can't stomach the lying, racist, nasty thing repubs have become. ……….At his speech at his last rally he made 70% lies, misleading and just made up stuff...……..No one is fooled anymore..

This column was about the news reports on political conferences. Your comment was supposed to go under a different article.

Excellent article Sir. Leftists only reach up their shirt sleeve and pull out their Ace Card...AKA the Race Card when they are totally down for the count. Conservatives will keep Florida.

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