When announcing that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ district governing Disney World abolished its diversity, equity and inclusion programs, District Administrator Glen Gilzean Jr. name-dropped his previous employer, the Central Florida Urban League.
“Our district will no longer participate in any attempt to divide us by race or advance the notion that we are not created equal,” Gilzean, who is Black, said in the Tuesday announcement. “As the former head of the Central Florida Urban League, a civil rights organization, I can say definitively that our community thrives only when we work together despite our differences.”
But that civil rights organization is an affiliate of the National Urban League, which, in a statement sent to the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida, blasted Gilzean and the decision.
“The National Urban League and our nationwide movement of more than 90 local affiliates are shocked and dismayed by Glen Gilzean’s betrayal of the values at the very core of our mission,” said Marc Morial, its president and CEO, in a statement to the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida.
“His rejection of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion principles is a rejection of the Urban League Movement and the pursuit of racial justice itself,” Morial said. “We vigorously and emphatically reject any implied association with Mr. Gilzean’s current words or actions. His crass political expediency is all the more offensive given his previous vantage point to the harm he knows it will cause.”
The district, which DeSantis now appoints the board of, said its decision came after an internal investigation found its previous leaders “implemented hiring and contracting programs that discriminated against Americans based on gender and race, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.”
The district says “gender and racial quotas” were also given to contractors, which drained it of cash as it looked for complying businesses, which were “aggressively monitored” for their racial and gender practices.
“The so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives were advanced during the tenure of the previous board and they were illegal and simply unAmerican,” Gilzean said.
Race-based college admissions was recently ruled illegal/unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. But the Urban League says that promoting race-based hiring and contracting is the “very core” of its mission.
Separately, here’s Oga’s Cantina in Hollywood Studios, June 19, 2023:
(Not to be confused with Mos Eisley Cantina in Episode IV!)
- Will Harvard apologize for discriminating based on skin color if this is found unconstitutional? (2022; answer: no! In fact, “Harvard united in resolve in face of Supreme Court’s admissions ruling” says that the university will do its best to continue to sort applicants by skin color; in the same article, the president of Brown says “our values have remained constant” (i.e., they still value something that the Supreme Court says is unconstitutional))