Friday, May 24, 2024

#2774: Byron Donalds

Byron Lowell Donalds is the U.S. representative for Florida’s 19th congressional district since 2021 (when he ran on being a “Trump supporting, gun owning, liberty loving, pro-life, politically incorrect Black man”), member of the Freedom Caucus, and a serious wingnut and conspiracy theorist. In January 2021, Donalds voted to deny certification of electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania in the 2020 presidential election, and he has repeatedly claimed that Biden is not the legitimate president of the United States. As a staunch ally of Moms for Liberty (his wife Erika Donalds is apparently a central figure in the movement), Donalds has also become something of a nonsensical centerpiece in wingnut bookbanning efforts.


Before going to Congress, Donalds was a member of the Florida House of Representatives (from 2016), where he quickly made a name for himself as a tireless champion of wrong. As a state legislator, Donalds was for instance responsible for a series of efforts to make it easier for creationists and climate change denialists to remove materials they don’t like from public school curricula. In 2017, he introduced bills HB989 and HB827, whose corresponding Senate Bill, 1644 (co-sponsored by e.g. Dennis Baxley), was approved by the Senate Education Committee before dying, both of which were carefully tailored to undermine science education. Like many wingnuts, Donalds is no fan of science, and no fan of schools teaching kids science, like climate change: “I don’t believe in man-made climate change”. So there.


Diagnosis: A rising star in conspiracy-minded wingnut circles, Donalds has become something of a star in the rightwing’a bookban and anti-education efforts. And he’s unfortunately unlikely to go away anytime soon.

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