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The Bigotry of Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis is a bigot. While it’s been overshadowed by his homophobic and other so-called “anti-woke” legislation, his recent law discriminating against Chinese residents of Florida is a particularly disgraceful example of his bigotry.
The law places severe restrictions on Chinese nationals buying property in Florida. These are people who have come to live in our country legally. They hold work and student visas. Earning those prized visas is not easy. The HB-1 Visa program for workers requires companies to show a specific need to hire a foreign national who holds a college degree or the equivalent. In other words, exactly the type of legal immigrants our country should want.
The Florida law is being challenged as unconstitutional by four individual plaintiffs and a real estate firm with a specialty in helping Chinese clients. Below is a brief description of the law and how it affects one of the plaintiffs. (The lawsuit is linked at the bottom of the post for anyone curious to read the whole thing or learn about the other plaintiffs.)
“This lawsuit challenges a new Florida law, SB 264, that imposes discriminatory prohibitions on the ownership and purchase of real property based on race, ethnicity, alienage, and national origin—and imposes especially draconian restrictions on people from China.”
“Plaintiff Zhiming Xu is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident of the United States but has temporary permission to stay and live in the United States as a political asylee. Prior to coming to the United States, Mr. Xu was persecuted by the Chinese government and had to flee to the United States, where he has applied for political asylum. He is not a member of the Chinese government or of the Chinese Communist Party. He has a bachelor’s degree and is managing and repairing short-term rental properties in Florida. Mr. Xu has lived in the United States and Florida for the past four years. In early 2023, Mr. Xu signed a contract to buy a single-family home near Orlando. The property appears to be located within ten miles of a critical infrastructure facility. The estimated closing date for Mr. Xu’s property is in September 2023. Because Mr. Xu’s closing date is after July 1, 2023, Florida’s New Alien Land Law [targeting will prevent Mr. Xu from acquiring his new home—specifically, by forcing him to cancel the contract for the purchase of his new property. Mr. Xu stands to lose all or part of his $31,250 deposit if the law goes into effect and he is forced to cancel the real estate contract.”
Effectively, the law makes it legal to discriminate against a class of people because of their nationality. Inevitably, it will make it more difficult for any Florida resident of Chinese or perhaps Asian descent, citizen or not, to buy property. And easier to discriminate against them.
Of course this law is motivated by pure political theatre as DeSantis tries to show how “tough” he is on China. And the law is perfect in one singular respect. It provides great ammunition for the Chinese government to whip up anti-American sentiment. So the law is not only unjust, it’s stupid as well unless the goal was to provide propaganda for China and discourage other Asian nationalities from coming to Florida or America. (I know Florida is in America, but, increasingly, I think of the state as an un-American aberration.)
Aristotle wrote, We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.”
Ron DeSantis is establishing that the reverse holds true. The more actions he takes that are unjust, intemperate, and cowardly, the more he himself becomes those very things.