Author

Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts is an 8th-generation Floridian, born and bred in Tallahassee, which probably explains her unhealthy fascination with Florida politics. Educated at Florida State University and Oxford University in England, she has been writing for newspapers since 1983, when she began producing columns on the legislature for the Florida Flambeau. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and Flamingo. She has been a member of the Editorial Board of the St. Petersburg Times–back when that was the Tampa Bay Times’s name–and a long-time columnist for the paper in both its iterations. She was a commentator on NPR for 22 years and continues to contribute radio essays and opinion pieces to the BBC. Roberts is also the author of four books, most recently Dream State, an historical memoir of her Florida family, and Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America. She lives in Tallahassee, except for the times she runs off to Great Britain, desperate for a different government to satirize.

COMMENTARY

U.S., U.K. vie to outdo each other in misogyny

By: - May 9, 2022

LONDON — Which country hates women more, the U.S. or the U.K.? In America, a woman will apparently soon be forced to carry a child to term, even if she was raped, even if she was trafficked, even if she can’t care for the kid, doesn’t want it, and having it means ruining her life. […]

COMMENTARY
Banned books

We don’t talk enough about the positive side of our history of racism and genocide

By: - April 25, 2022

It’s a known fact that books can turn children gay. Say your 9th grader comes into contact with “Rainbow Boys” or “All Boys Aren’t Blue” — boom, it’s all over. That kid is now a certified Friend of Dorothy. Let your child near a book such as “Almost Perfect” by Brian Katcher, and, before you […]

COMMENTARY

Conservative white men are losing their grip

By: - April 11, 2022

Republicans are angry. So very, very angry. Deranged White Man Syndrome has not yet been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but it’s just a matter of time. Seriously, these dudes (and they are mostly male-gendered persons) are on a rampage of rage and loathing which cannot be healthy. U.S. Sen. […]

COMMENTARY

Ron DeSantis getting cozy with the wingnut alliance comprising Clarence, Ginny Thomas

By: - April 4, 2022

It must be love. Ron DeSantis has a major man-crush on Clarence Thomas, calling him our “greatest living justice and one of the greatest public servants in America.” We haven’t yet heard the famously reticent justice pour his heart out regarding Our Dear Governor but, according to Thomas’s wife, we know the two of them […]

COMMENTARY

The GOP displayed its inner bigot during Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearings

By: - March 25, 2022

Just when you think conservatives have reached their nadir, the absolute bottom of the stupidity barrel, they start slinging poop like a bunch of over-stimulated chimps. During the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Republican senators picked up all kinds of rhetorical turds to hurl. They only soiled themselves, wallowing […]

COMMENTARY

‘Nothing matters to these Republicans but power — power and malice’

By: - March 15, 2022

The cruelty is the point. Adam Serwer’s 2018 Atlantic essay on Donald Trump describes the first year and a half of his administration as a “whirlwind of cruelty,” a never-ending storm of insults, pettiness, and bullying. He could have been writing about Ron DeSantis and Florida’s Republican “leadership.” The 2022 session, an orgy of malice, […]

COMMENTARY

Too many Floridians have gone all whiny — but not our intrepid governor!

By: - March 8, 2022

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE — Who says Ron DeSantis is a bully? So he humiliated some Hillsborough high schoolers, demanding they remove the face diapers they were wearing, and calling the whole thing “ridiculous.” So what? Everybody knows masks don’t do anything to prevent the spread of COVID — everybody except the CDC, the Mayo Clinic, the […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Scott appears to imagine he can out-DeSantis DeSantis in the Culture War

By: - February 28, 2022

Why does Rick Scott hate America? Last week he lurched out of wherever he’s been sulking and presented an 11-point action plan so reactionary, so dangerously stupid, so antithetical to American values, Vladimir Putin should write him a thank-you note. Florida’s junior senator proposes to take us back to the 1950s, that glorious era when […]

COMMENTARY

FL Legislature honors women by taking away their autonomy and control over their bodies

By: - February 11, 2022

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE – Babies! Here in Florida, we love us some babies. Unless they’re already born. Then the little buggers become a bit of a problem, especially the nearly one in five who live in poverty and expect frills such as food, medical care, and a decent education. But the Republican Herrenvolk of the Legislature […]

COMMENTARY

The casualties are piling up from the Republican Party’s War on Knowledge

By: - January 31, 2022

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE — Just in time for Black History Month, Florida’s dimmer bulbs — you know them as the state Legislature and their salad-brained co-religionists — mean to clamp down on educators who dare tell the truth about racism. Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr. of Hialeah is convinced someone somewhere is teaching white kids to hate […]

COMMENTARY
House

Stupid legislator tricks: Mendacity, malevolence, monkey business at FL’s Capitol

By: - January 24, 2022

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE — Well, that got stupid fast. The legislative session is only two weeks old and the reliably witless Sen. Joe Gruters (R-Somewhere Up Trump’s Rump) is moving a bill to fine professional sports teams if they don’t play the national anthem. Wait, you say, aren’t the Heat and the Magic, the Bucs and […]

COMMENTARY

Actually, y’all, some of us would prefer facts with our politics

By: - January 14, 2022

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE — In the first speech of his 2024 presidential campaign, not-so-cunningly disguised as the “State of the State” address, Ron DeSantis declared, We have made Florida the freest state in these United States. And the freedoms just keep coming. Florida women will be free from controlling their own bodies. DeSantis supports a bill […]