Remember in 2016 when the National Basketball Association (NBA) moved its All-Star Game out of Charlotte, NC because the state passed a bill that mandated that transgender people use bathrooms associated with their birth gender in public buildings and schools?
Three years later Nike succumbed to Colin Kaepernick, the selfish, oafish, former quarterback who said he was offended by the famous Betsy Ross flag that incorporated the thirteen stars representing the thirteen original colonies. That was just a few weeks after Nike pulled a line of Chinese sneakers because the Japanese designer authored a social media post in favor of freedom for Hong Kongers.
Remember last year when Major League Baseball decided to move its All-Star game away from Atlanta because Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola and other corporate elites decided that Georgia’s voting law was overly restrictive?
In these cases, major corporations and brands made unilateral decisions not because they wanted to stand with the values that a majority of Americans hold but because they wanted to stand with the Far Left Socialist Democratic woke activists and because profits matter more.
We all know that there are at least three sides to every story or claim. There is the protagonist position, the antagonist position and the truth is generally somewhere in between the two.
These days, corporate America continues to push political correctness at a time when average Americans are pushing back against the elites of both Hollywood and Wall Street. In fact, Donald Trump was elected president because Americans were at their wits end from the abusive and aggressive “p.c.” culture.
Given these facts, we shouldn’t really be surprised when yet another corporate elite decides to weigh in on public policy without knowing all of the facts.
Yes, I’m talking about Bob Chapek, the CEO of the Walt Disney Company, which owns Walt Disney World in Orlando. This now woke chief executive has obviously been pressured by the “you know who” crowd. So I’m nominating Bob for the American Business Hall of Shame, Hypocrisy, Insensitivity and Temerity (SH*T) so he can join the NBA’s Adam Silver, Nike’s Mark Parker, MLB’s Rob Manfred’s, Delta’s Ed Bastian and Coke’s James Quincey in infamy.
Now, if we were the Far Left, we would just call for a boycott of these companies, but hey, ordinary Americans just don’t do that. Instead, we’ll seethe, gnash our teeth, cuss them under our breath and go about our business because we understand that when it comes to moral values, these businesses are a joke.
Disney has two theme parks in China where 300 employees are official members of the Chinese Communist Party. Disney filmed the live action “Mulan” movie in Xinjiang province, the home to a million Uighur Muslims in so-called “re-education” camps. The lead actress in that film called for police crackdowns in Hong Kong. Disney kowtows to Chinese authorities so that its films make the official distribution list. In 2019, Disney made $9 billion in China, second only to the $11 billion in the good ole USA. Disney also does business with China’s Tencent in the gaming business that attracts children.
So, to have CEO Chapek express concern about Florida’s Parent’s Bill of Rights (PBOR) legislation is laughable when his hands are filthy rich from doing business with the Chinese Communists.
The PBOR, House Bill 7, is not about “Don’t Say Gay,” the cute but inaccurate moniker given the bill by the Far Left Democrats. The bill is about something much, much more important – parents’ inalienable right to educate their young children about sexual identity or orientation in their home, church or synagogue, not in a school.
PBOR only limits what teachers can “instruct” via-a-vis sexual identity or orientation for very young children in K –3rd grade with kids between the ages 5 – 8. Children can still talk about sexual identity or orientation, but teachers cannot counsel them on these matters – that’s the right of parents. Somehow the Far Left – and their corporate chums – believe that teachers trump parents on sex. Now we already know that the Far Left is against pledging of allegiance to the American flag and silent prayers and any mention of God in schools. Now they demand to be the right people to talk to these young children about sex.
How perverted this world has become to see some godless Florida Democrats demagogue this issue and paint it as anti-gay. When HB 7 came before the House State Affairs Committee earlier this month, I was the only person among the 73 who testified that voiced support for this legislation.
Why did I speak out? Because if parents, with the key support of Gov. Ron DeSantis and the GOP leadership in the state Senate and House, don’t draw a line in the sand now, the next thing we know we will have, as I testified, “Drag queens in elementary schools.”
Not a single Republican who supports this landmark legislation, which I predict will quickly spread across this country as the new battle cry for increased parent control over public education, is homophobic, anti-gay or supports discrimination against anyone in the LGBTQ crowd. Neither do I. All they want – we want – is that it not be flouted in our young children’s faces at school – that’s not an appropriate place.
Opponents state that this legislation will cause more harm to gay people. In fact, gay people are already being bullied, committing suicide, shunted aside, made fun of, and ostracized by other children despite every effort by woke teachers to instill in them that they can be any gender they want, or for that fact, have no gender at all. But, if the status quo isn’t working, then change must happen.
And since when did we as parents give teachers this right? And exactly who gave them the authority to instruct our very young children about sexual identity or orientation?
No one did. These woke teachers have declared war against God and parents have every right to keep these illiberal teachers away from young children.
As this battle continues, Florida parents will continue to walk away from public schools and send their children, with state tax dollars, to public charter schools where a traditional “classical” education can be had with no worry of woke-ism infiltrating the curriculum. I know because I sit on the board of Tallahassee Classical School, affiliated with Hillsdale College, and our teachers don’t discuss sex identity or orientation with our scholars. Our teachers know that is the sole right of parents.
Of course, this legislation will be litigated, but the courts will ultimately rule in favor of parents because we are the default for deciding what our children will learn.
So, allegedly family-friendly Disney no longer holds the high ground as it has cast its lot with the Far Left woke minority. Hopefully, CEO Chapek will actually read the bill himself, ask the right questions, and then reconsider whether he wants to be on the side of God-fearing American parents or with the godless teachers who demand the right to instruct very young children about sexual identity and orientation. Disney’s very reputation, built over generations, is now on the line.
Barney Bishop III is a native Floridian, a former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, and a former CEO of Associated Industries of Florida known as “The Voice of Florida Business.” He recently, after 52 years, became a Republican and is currently CEO of Barney Bishop Consulting, a strategic public affairs firm based in Tallahassee. He can be reached at Barney@BarneyBishop.com
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