MSNBC columnist quickly backpedals after branding DeSantis ‘dangerous’ for take on cellphones in class

MSNBC columnist and New York University professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat accused Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) of being “authoritarian” and “so dangerous in every way” for suggesting during a press conference that students put away cell phones while in class.

DeSantis announced new measures on Monday to fight back against Critical Race Theory in education while protecting educators’ rights to resist unions. During his speech, the governor addressed getting cell phones out of classrooms.

“I think to myself, ‘Why are these kids on their phones during class all the time?’ I mean, I think a school district would be totally within their rights to say, ‘You know what, leave your phone in some cubby or something, go sit in class and learn, and if you get it at recess and you want to text people, fine.’ But they should not be always on their phones being distracted from the lesson. So, I think that our school boards will be able to lean in on some stuff, too, to buttress what we’re doing. And I look forward to being able to do that,” DeSantis stated.

That caused Ben-Ghiat to come fully unhinged on Twitter, “He is so dangerous in every way. Truly an authoritarian personality.”

She regrouped and sent out another vicious tweet against DeSantis in the wake of the one she deleted after getting blowback over it, “It is not the phones, people. It is the arrogance of a man who wants to control everyone and everything: businesses, students, other [politicians]. He wants to dictate what you learn and read, how you train your employees, and much more.”

Despite Ben-Ghiat coming unglued over DeSantis taking phones away from kids who should be learning in class and not texting their friends, studies have shown that kids’ screen time has exponentially increased while academic performance has decreased since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the New York Times.

Both reading and math scores for children in fourth and eighth grades plummeted between 2019 and 2022, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

MSNBC claims that Ben-Ghiat is a “commentator on authoritarianism and propaganda.” She previously warned in an MSBNC column that DeSantis would “turn back the clock on social progress in America by silencing and disenfranchising tens of millions who don’t fit into Republicans’ white Christian vision for the nation” and cited his opposition to mask mandates and opposition to Critical Race Theory being taught in public schools as evidence of his unfitness to lead.

She charged on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show last year that the Florida governor is setting up a “regional power base.”

(Video Credit: MSNBC)

“Remember at the height of the pandemic, he invited policemen and others who didn’t want to submit to tyrannical mask mandates to come and be free in Florida,” Ben-Ghiat asserted before charging that he was “setting himself up as the kind of nemesis of federal government, and that’s a very subversive and extremist thing to do in my book.”

DeSantis’ comments follow the Florida Department of Education rejecting an Advanced Placement (AP) African-American studies course after it was found that it promoted elements of Critical Race Theory as well as “black queer studies.”

Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. tweeted, “Despite the lies from the Biden White House, Florida rejected an AP course filled with Critical Race Theory and other obvious violations of Florida law. We proudly require the teaching of African American history. We do not accept woke indoctrination masquerading as education.”

Ben-Ghiat was mocked by conservatives over her unhinged assertion. DeSantis’ Deputy Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern tweeted that he hoped she could “find peace during this difficult time.”

Others piled on the ridicule and dragged her relentlessly for her comments:

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