Bogeymen in Blue Suits and Red Ties
Malevolent men and women have always used fear to control us. Without the anxiety they try to induce in us, they are only paper tigers. A bogeyman is one who is evil or unpleasant and makes others afraid. A paper tiger is one who is outwardly powerful and possibly dangerous, but inwardly weak and ineffectual. Now that we have the terms of this game, let’s try to figure out why these creatures have glommed onto the term “woke.”
The timeworn African American slang term “woke” once referred to someone who was alert to racial prejudice and discrimination, but just as people grow up and change, so do words, phrases and slogans. Today, there are those who characterize a woke person as “hip” or “open-minded.” Therefore, it follows that an anti-woke person is CLOSE MINDED. This background, however, doesn’t answer the question about why so many politicians and mouth-breathing zealots have decided to force this term into the malicious column. If I am aware of cultural discrimination, while being open-minded enough to see beauty in every culture and tribe, why am I the enemy?
A “woke monster” is born when she or he puts down others, then rallies people around their criticism and attack. With the power of social media, it takes mere minutes for a stupid policy, statement or action motivated by self-profit to be consumed and believed. Every time Donald Trump, Jr. opens his mouth, all the pundit putdowns, comedic ridicule and digital abuse will not make him smarter. He will always be enormously close-minded and far from hip.
But why do the bogeymen label those who disagree with them as “woke?” It’s an incorrect term for a putdown. A person who is “alert,” “awake” or “hip” is trendy, cool and up on the latest things. Such a being doesn’t warrant a repugnant response from an elected official. One who attacks another person or group using the term “woke” means they are discouraging critical thought on any level. And guess what; that is exactly what they want to do.
I remember Richard Nixon used to call protesters against the Vietnam war, “outside agitators.” This was always offensive to me, a protester, because I was just as much a citizen as anyone else. Regardless of what I chanted while marching, I was still an American. Positioning us as OUTSIDERS, who the White House claimed were bused in for protesting, was an US and THEM tactic. We were protesting a corrupt and unjust war, and gee, we eventually discovered that was a hundred percent true.
What gets my goat are these self-serving hypocrites who run around the country talking about how they support the First and Second Amendment with no true understanding of what those articles even mean. The governor of Florida constantly claims grievance from an invisible foe of “woke culture,” but introduces and promotes laws to restrict school books, courses and curricula that he personally disagrees with, even when educators tell him he’s wrong. Once anyone tells Ron DeSantis he is wrong, they are moved onto his Enemies List and classified as “radical.” I honestly believe not teaching students about the true history of America is unamerican.
There have been some interesting characters throughout US history. Remember Senator Joe McCarthy? He wanted to round up all the commies in the country and put them in jail. Then there was Governor George Wallace, who genuinely believed in segregation and used racist tropes to gain power in the south. Now we now have about twenty people in Congress who are using lies, misinformation and conspiracy theories to raise money, defraud their constituents and disrupt the normal business of Congress. They need you to believe in woke scapegoats to move their narrow, dogmatic vision of America. They work tirelessly behind the scenes to devalue the vote of minorities and disenfranchised citizens. Why?
The divide makes Rupert Murdoch and Fox News billions of dollars, because they feed back misconceptions and lies to their eagerly misled audience. What a country! They box up a term like Critical Race Theory (CRT), demonize it, slap it and push it as evil by saying they want to protect the feelings of white students. Oh really, isn’t that fake wokeness? CRT is fundamentally an advanced college concept proposing that systemic racism and the way our laws are written place people of color at a disadvantage.
Ted Cruz, Ron DeSantis and Margorie Taylor Greene say they are aiming for clarity, but they’re just manipulators in search of attention and fame at any cost. If you took all the money out of Congress, all three would be working other jobs.
We liberal thinkers and writers are not the bad guys. Those are the men in blue suits with red ties who hate immigrants, colleges and criticism. They want to “take their country back.” But to where? 1950?
For every book that is banned, smart kids will be motivated to independently search the internet to get at truthful information. I once cracked, “I agree we shouldn’t teach CRT in public schools because most white kids are not smart enough to understand the concept.” But seriously, what is the big deal? Derrick Bell, whose views formed the foundation of CRT, wasn’t as angry as white politicians want you to believe.
When states ban teaching CRT in schools that receive taxpayer money, they are simply proving Mr. Bell was right. It’s white people making laws that disadvantage Black people. It’s socialized racism that gerrymanders the boundaries of what can be taught and closes the door on critical thinking. It’s a mystery why Ron DeSantis, who attended Yale and Harvard, believes he can erase history and whitewash the truth. His malevolent social engineering causes minority, gay and trans kids feel bad about themselves, and he must stop.
I am really not sure what “woke” means, but if it means I see right through these spineless bigots and racists, then I guess I am woke. Maybe it’s time for us all to woke up.
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