What to Know About the Poem Controversy

Yes, it’s Florida again

PR King
3 min readJun 1

Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the inauguration of Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

I’ve written before about Governor DeSantis whose decisions and actions are unchecked by the Florida legislature with its massive Republican majority. His ongoing battles with the largest employer in the state, the revered Disney World, is shocking and may tank his political career.

Add to that the resident craziness of the Florida Man jokes and the shenanigans of the Boomers running wild in the Villages and you have a toxic mix. The fact that Trump’s headquarters is in Florida only adds to the potentially combustible brew. So there’s a lot to write about, politically, in Florida.

Along with all the other books banned or limited to Florida’s school children, the spotlight is now on Amanda Gorman’s poem, The Hill We Climb, which was read at President’s Biden inauguration.

Here are some facts about the controversy:

  • The complaint was made by one mother. One.
  • The mother, Daily Salinas, has two children in the school.
  • She thought it had been written by Oprah Winfrey.
  • By her own admission, she is “…not a reader. I’m not a book person.”
  • She thought it would “cause confusion and indoctrinate students” according to documents obtained by the Florida Freedom to Read Project.” National Review, May 24, 2023.”
  • The poem was not banned but was removed from lower grades students.

English is not Salinas’ first language, nor is she a reader, so I don’t understand how she interpreted the elegant words to cause “indoctrination,” or read “hate messages in it.”

The Guardian has reported that Salinas was seen at two far-right gatherings, Moms for Liberty (based in Sarasota, Florida) and Proud Boys, though she says she is not a member of either organization and just happened to be at the gatherings.

When questioned about Gorman’s poem, Governor DeSantis stated that he didn’t know anything about it, that he “:…never heard of it. I had nothing to do with any of this, but it was a book of poems that was in an elementary school library, and the school, or the school district determined that was more appropriate to be in the middle school…

PR King

Florida stories, history fan, avid reader, geeky Boomer, Sagittarian with a Capricorn moon, Chromebook convert, military brat, sober 30+