New Trustees Senate Confirmation Hearing

Questions Lead to Discussions About Religion and Free Speech

May 1, 2023

New College of Florida Trustees needed to be confirmed by the Senate after our appointment by Governor DeSantis. Our attendance was not required, and given the supermajority in the Senate, there was no reason to respond to Senator Polsky’s invitation. But I felt compelled to honor the process and accept the invitation. Debate and exchange of ideas are needed, and I was honored to oblige.

My comments prompted the senators to ask me questions that led to the inescapable reality that wokeism is a religion. During Senator Powell’s questioning, he asked me to define wokeness. I replied, “It’s a set of beliefs containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” That set of beliefs is Neo-marxist and secular and dominates public universities today. People are quickly put in line, “Do not proselytize your religion!” But you can proselytize critical race theory, liberation theology, gender studies/trans ideology, or any other woke belief. It is this untenable position that left Senator Powell flummoxed and Senator Polsky frustrated.

You can view the entire hearing here. My appearance starts at the 2:24:30 mark.

4-24-23 Senate Committee on Elections and Ethics