Opinion |
The end of Anti-Woke politics?

from Jim Hightower

Well, well, well — look who’s waking up and raring to go: Mr. and Ms. Woke!

We so-called “woke” people have been the target of far-right politicos and front groups that are frantically trying to ban us and our ideas from America’s political discourse. In the past few years, such thuggish gubernatorial demagogues as Ron DeSantis have perverted the power of Big Government to attack teachers, librarians, public agencies, and even beer. Beer!

Why? Because such people and organizations make educational efforts to reduce bigotry, hatred, and exclusiveness in our society. “That’s woke,” screech the ultra-rightists, demanding that any talk about racism, sexism, gender discrimination, or other ugly realities in America must be suppressed.

Like the witch hunters of old, today’s pious puritans of ideological conformity have demonized such basic values as diversity and equity, calling them “toxic.” DeSantis outlawed any teaching of them in Florida universities, and then he cut sociology from the core curriculum of the state’s educational system — essentially cutting out “us,” the study of humanity.

If ignorance is bliss, the DeSantis clique must be ecstatic, for they are eliminating crucial lessons in the art of tolerance, community, sharing, collaboration, and getting along together. You can have a society that works for the benefit of all — or a DeSantisWorld, where the few rule, and everyone else is forced to conform to their biases.

But the great majority of Americans are rebelling and saying: “We are woke!”

Even Republicans flatly rejected DeSantis’ presidential campaign that promised to “Floridize” America with anti-woke nonsense. And far from wanting to reverse efforts to increase diversity and inclusiveness, a recent poll found that 70 percent of Americans (including half of Republicans) say our country “needs to do more to increase social justice.”

About the author ~

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. This op-ed was distributed by OtherWords.org.