Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a new state law that observes November 7 as a day of remembrance for the over 100 million people killed by communist governments.
DeSantis announced the signing at the Freedom Tower in Miami, which served as a Cuban Assistance Center from those fleeing communism. The bill also provides $25 million to restore the landmark.
“Honoring the people that have fallen victim to communist regimes and teaching our students about those atrocities is the best way to ensure that history does not repeat itself,” DeSantis said.
“We want to make sure that every year folks in Florida, but particularly our students, will learn about the evils of communism, the dictators that have led communist regimes, and the hundreds of millions of individuals who suffered and continue to suffer under the weight of this discredited ideology,” he added.
DeSantis noted that many younger people don’t know anything about the horrors of communism, something that he seeks to fix with this bill.
The bill, HB395, cites as its justification the following:
“WHEREAS, based on the economic philosophies of Karl Marx, communism has proven incompatible with the ideals of liberty, prosperity, and dignity of human life and has given rise to such infamous totalitarian dictators as Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot, and WHEREAS, communist regimes worldwide have killed more than 100 million people and subjected countless others to exploitation and unspeakable atrocities…”
The bill requires observance of the day and requires schools to hold 45 minutes of instruction on communist regimes and their atrocities.
“You would think that after seeing all the wreckage of communism that it would have been something that would have completely faded in the background, but it’s not dead,” DeSantis said. “These Marxist ideas are not dead. They are in many places oppressing people right now.”
Lt. Gov. Jeannette Núñez echoed Gov. DeSantis’ comments, noting, “Throughout this country, we are seeing communism and socialism being romanticized. Positive attitudes are at an all- time high in this country, but not here in Florida, because freedom, not Marxism, has a home here in the free state of Florida.”
Marxism is, in fact, increasing in popularity in the U.S. The 2020 Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation annual report showed that 40 percent of Americans have a favorable view of socialism, up from 36 percent in 2019. Socialism’s popularity with members of Gen Z rose from 40 to 49 percent.
Among Gen Z respondents, 18 percent said that communism is a fairer system than capitalism and deserves consideration.
Oddly, while Gen Z and millennials showed favorability to socialism in various questions, they were distrustful of the government. Only 13 percent of Americans said they trusted the government to take care of their interests, while just 6 percent of Gen Z and 5 percent of millennials shared that belief.
Last year, DeSantis signed a bill requiring schools to discuss the evils of communism in social studies.
At Monday’s press conference, the governor ironically observed, “There are probably more Marxists on college faculties in the United States than in all of Eastern Europe combined. They don’t want to go back to communism.”
People who have not experienced or studied the horrors of communism are too often unaware of its evils, thanks to a public school system and left-leaning media that have softened or ignored its ills. Decades of undermining America’s values and whitewashing Marxism’s history has given rise to a generation of young men and women who believe communism can save them. Its ideology is built on jealousy and victimhood, pushing the idea that anyone who reaches prosperity must have stepped on everyone else to get there. While it promises to achieve fairness, utopia even, its actions and its record show the danger and destruction that comes when the government is trusted to have full control over just about anything. Just ask those currently locked down in Shanghai or the once-free people of Hong Kong.
Or ask Florida’s Cuban-American community, who were among — or are descended from — the hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees willing to risk their lives and families on the dangerous crossing to America in order to escape the repressive regime that began with a promise of free healthcare and other benefits but soon morphed into a typical communist regime that denied its people basic freedoms; tortured, jailed, and killed dissidents; and relied on the secret police to surveil, intimidate, and harass the populace. If people were willing to risk and endure so much, then it is important that we understand exactly why communism resulted in such harsh and miserable living conditions — and why it continues in countries like China, Venezuela, and North Korea.
There are those trying to build a similar society in America, led in part by those pushing “wokeism,” a Marxist strategy designed to co-opt language; create chaos; divide Americans along racial, gender, and other lines and build a sense of victimhood by categorizing everyone as either oppressor and oppressed; and destroy the individual, the family, American traditions and values, and the church.
History shows that communism promises heaven, but always delivers hell. Florida lawmakers should be commended for recognizing this and working to keep the memory of communism’s victims alive — and other states should move quickly to follow their lead. This legislation will go a long way towards dispelling the myths and outright lies of communism’s current cheerleaders, including that it just hasn’t been implemented well enough to succeed (it has), that it is better than capitalism (it’s not), and that it can work in America (it can’t). This will help young people truly understand that, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, the only equity this brutally repressive ideology has ever achieved — and can ever hope to achieve — is equal misery.