God Hates a Berkeley

Perhaps these university students of old are more to the governor's liking? University of Florida cadets in the 1900s. Florida Archives photo

Florida, beware! Our colleges teeter on the brink of becoming like a certain institution in a certain deranged state on the Leftist Coast where they openly embrace Hispanic vowels, plastic bag bans and Pete Buttigieg. Worse, they allow, nay, encourage! students to commit activism, a direct result of thinking.

Not the sort of thing we want for our children.

Addressing the state university system’s Board of Governors, Gov. Ron DeSantis warned against the “culture” which flourishes “in places like a Berkeley.”

The so-called University of California at Berkeley may brag about its 107 Nobel Prize laureates, as well as its 45 MacArthur Fellows, 14 Fields Medalists, and 14 Pulitzer Prize-winners, but the dread curse of “activism” renders its ranking as the world’s top public university perfectly meaningless.

“Activism,” as the governor said, “is a bad way to go.”

The governor graduated from “a Yale.”

To combat that Berkeley style of dangerous social awareness and political engagement which supported the Civil Rights Movement, pushed for women’s equality, popularized resistance to the Vietnam War, and–most importantly– hurt conservatives’s feelings, Florida’s Republican leaders have pledged to fight the sinister forces in higher education that encourage our youth to read books full of radical foreign ideas and question our God-given profit motive.

The governor rightly prefers our universities stay in their lane: that is, producing young people highly skilled at asking, “Do you want fries with that?”

To this end, a bill is currently moving through the Florida House mandating universities survey the political and social beliefs of their faculty and students every year so our government can identify the commies, the AOC fans, the owners of “Lock Him Up” hats, the public radio donors, the users of gender-neutral pronouns, the Parkland kids aficionados, the Medicare-for-All crowd, and the kill-joys who frown on the good clean fun of fraternity parties.

No longer will the children of Florida taxpayers have to accept without protest the so-called “scientific method,” forced to accept the “theories” of gravity, natural selection and heliocentrism. No longer will our kids fear standing up to tenured liberals in the classroom to proclaim that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery, Native Americans wanted to give their land to the nice white people, and Emily Dickinson was a weirdo.

We’ll insist colleges hire more God-fearing Young Earth adherents and free market evangelicals. Surely there are plenty of Ph.D.s from Bob Jones and Liberty U. who’d be happy to work 70 hours a week for forty grand a year.

To nip unhygienic thoughts in the bud before our kids even get to college, Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Gone With the Wind, has filed a bill (SB 330) demanding that K-12 schools teach “controversial theories and concepts” in a “factual, objective and balanced manner.”

Teachers will have to tell both sides. One the one hand, the Great Rift Valley and bipedal apes, on the other hand, blond Adam and Eve. And regardless of the way 98 percent of so-called “scientists” can show the earth has been getting drastically warmer since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, so what? Maybe God wants Alaska to grow oranges.

Baxley’s bill also decrees that civics and history lessons “strictly adhere to the founding values and principles of the United States.”

Founding values and principles such as “all men are created equal” (emphasis on men, as in white), and God really does like America best.

Sen. Baxley’s nice friends at the Florida Citizens’ Alliance, who helped him write the bill, have expressed rightful suspicion of the 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution and worry that Islam has infiltrated our schools. Patriots!

Sen. Baxley is very busy. That survey to expose the total lefti-hood of universities? That was his idea. He’s also pushing for our right to pack heat in schools and carry our Jesus-blessed guns in church, as well as protect Confederate monuments from Political Corrections, make it nearly impossible to abort a precious baby human, or allow citizens to pass a constitutional amendment.

God’s work.

Sen. Baxley, Gov. DeSantis and all our Christian soldiers will make sure we don’t get Californicated here in Florida. Berkeley? They were nasty to that nice young man Milo Yiannopoulos and their football team sucks. Last year they lost to Texas Christian in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Obviously, God hates a Berkeley.

Diane Roberts
Diane Roberts is an 8th-generation Floridian, born and bred in Tallahassee, which probably explains her unhealthy fascination with Florida politics. Educated at Florida State University and Oxford University in England, she has been writing for newspapers since 1983, when she began producing columns on the legislature for the Florida Flambeau. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and Flamingo. She has been a member of the Editorial Board of the St. Petersburg Times–back when that was the Tampa Bay Times’s name–and a long-time columnist for the paper in both its iterations. She was a commentator on NPR for 22 years and continues to contribute radio essays and opinion pieces to the BBC. Roberts is also the author of four books, most recently Dream State, an historical memoir of her Florida family, and Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America. She lives in Tallahassee, except for the times she runs off to Great Britain, desperate for a different government to satirize.


  1. Hey Julia, I recently saw the map depicting what will happen to Florida when all the polar ice has melted. I don’t know your thoughts on Divine Intervention (and/or Retribution), but having just read your reaction to this terrific editorial, I wonder if you might want to ease up a bit on your anti-activism attitude. Otherwise, in the race to figure some way out of the problem of how wet your front yard is going to get, the brain power at your Florida universities won’t stand a chance against the thinkers at ‘a Berkeley.’

  2. I cannot get enough of Diane’s insightfulness delivered with that snarky southern punch! Unfortunately, most of the rest of us, especially young activists, probably don’t even know about this decades-old movement against “liberalization” of higher education as laid out in the ‘Lewis Powell Memorandum.’
    . .
    “…the Powell memo essentially marks the beginning of the business community’s multi-decade collective takeover of the most important institutions of public opinion and democratic decision-making.”

    Googling results in a number of perspectives on the Powell Memo with links to the actual memo – READ IT FOR YOURSELF! This first one happens to be Common Dreams, which is too left biased for my taste, although this perspective appears to fit the norm. But below is also a link to a Bill Moyers and Company.



  3. I did not mean to ignore the impact of conservatism in early public education, the lower grades. Remember John Ashcroft, GW Bush’s AG who was exposed as linked to an even older group with the mission to reform public education, ‘returning’ public schools to purveyors of the Christian religion. Makes sense that Republican law-makers across the country are pushing federal tax dollars to private, parochial, and charter schools with less oversight than public.

    Last year, new Florida law mandated that schools prominently display the slogan, “In God We Trust.” This year, they are pushing teaching the Bible (HB 195). During a hearing, a proponent was asked to add the Koran to a list of acceptable books – response was NO.


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