Rick Scott certainly has his priorities screwed-up.
It was reported today that Scott wants a detailed accounting from state university system Chancellor Frank Brogan regarding an incident in which Florida Atlantic University student Ryan Rotela claimed he was suspended from class for refusing to stomp on a piece of paper bearing the word “Jesus.”
“Whether the student was reprimanded or whether an apology was given is in many ways (inconsequential) to the larger issue of a professor’s poor judgment,” Scott stated in a letter to Brogan. “The professor’s lesson was offensive, and even intolerant, to Christians and those of all faiths who deserve to be respected as Americans entitled to religious freedom.”
It’s Holy Week for most Christians. And Scott’s up for re-election next year. So there’s no downside to Scott coming to the aid of Jesus.
But where was Scott when our culture veered even closer to ‘Running Man’ self-parody with the news that FAU will name its stadium after a private prison conglomerate, the GEO Group.
GEO Group is the mom-and-pop shop with reported revenues in excess of $1.6 billion in 2011 — income generated mostly from state and federal prisons and detention centers for illegal immigrants.
“‘It’s startling to see a stadium will be named after them,’ one critic said. ‘It’s like calling something Blackwater Stadium. This is a company whose record is marred by human rights abuses, by lawsuits, by unnecessary deaths of people in their custody and a whole series of incidents that really draw into question their ability to successfully manage a prison facility.’”
How shameful is it that we ostensible lovers of freedom — mainly on account of our ridiculous incarceration rates — not only have a private, for-profit prison industry flourishing in our country — one that routinely maintains substandard prisons and undercuts wages by employing their captive labor force — but that we’re sufficiently unembarrassed about it to start naming stadiums after them?
Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this post.