Ron DeSantis is a Human Trafficker

I said it, I mean it, and he can’t sue me for doing so, because truth is the ultimate defense against a charge of libel

Tim Wise

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Image: Gage Skidmore, Flickr, Creative Commons license, ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

When so-called coyotes shove desperate human beings in trucks to carry them over the United States’ southern border with vague promises of opportunity, we recognize their actions for what they are.

Human trafficking.

But when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — a potential presidential contender — shoves desperate human beings into an airplane to send them 2000 miles away with equally vague promises of opportunity, the obvious seems to elude us.

He, too, is a human trafficker.

The analogy is nearly perfect, yet few are willing to make it.

It sounds so harsh, so hyperbolic.

So what? That doesn’t make it untrue.

Of course, far from condemning him for it, MAGA land applauds DeSantis for sending 50 Venezuelan asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, all the way from San Antonio, using money from Tallahassee.

That’s right, a Florida Governor used hundreds of thousands of dollars — and is promising to use millions more — to fly people who are lawfully seeking asylum from a state not his own to another state in which he neither resides nor holds any power.

He claims he did it because some of those migrants would have come to Florida — thus, this was a pre-emptive strike of sorts — but really, he did it for a much more predatory reason.

And one that, again, renders him the equivalent of a coyote.

He did it to “own the libs,” hoping and expecting they would balk at the arrival of the newcomers, thus exposing their hypocrisy when they claim to love diversity and immigration (more on this below).

In other words, he used flesh and blood human beings as a political prop — as a way to gain contributions and votes in future elections, be they in Florida or nationally.

He did it, in short, for personal enrichment, no less so than a traditional human trafficker.

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Tim Wise

Anti-racism educator and author of 9 books, including White Like Me and, most recently, Dispatches from the Race War (City Lights, December 2020)