To Be or Not to Be Woke…….. That is the question?

Without a Clear Agenda for America – GOP Use Fear & Ignorance to Attack

By DL White

When William Shakespeare (April, 1564 – April 23, 1616), conceived of the famous solitogury in Hamlet, “To be, or not to be: that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them,” Shakespeare, in essence was asking “is it more important to be Woke or not Woke?……that is the question?

A number of fatal and lethal confrontations between African Americans in particular and People of Color in general and Law Enforcement across the country from California to New York and Chicago to Florida with many states in between has given rise to heightened socially consciousness activist using the term “Woke and to stay Woke.”

In turn, the GOP from former President Trump to 2024 GOP Presidential hopefuls, former VP Mike Pence, Florida and Texas Governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, former So. Carolina Gov Nikk Haley, members of Congress Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott and Jim Jordon, are now inverting the term negatively as if being Woke is a threat to society……(Unbelievable)!! 

“Woke,” or  “Wokeness” from a political social perspective derive from the vernacular of Africana American cognitive thought meaning, “Alert to racial; prejudice, discrimination and other micro-aggression challenges that have historically served to impede the progress of a people.

Said DeSantis recently using the term (woke) in a negative narrative, “We oppose this ‘woke’ culture of thought. The belief that there are systemic injustices in America society and the need to address them? 

DeSantis went on to ban many African American authored literary works as well as curriculum of African, Native American or other cultures, opting for American culture to whitewash history.

“We reject woke ideology. We will never ever, surrender to the whole agenda. People have come here (America) because of our policies,” DeSantis stated sounding very much like the late Alabama Governor George Wallace who stood in the doorway blocking African American’s from entering the University of Alabama in the early 60s, thus proclaiming ‘Segregation today, Segregation tomorrow, Segregation forever!”

South Carolina Senator, Tim Scott (a Black man) went as far to say, “Wokeism is the boogie man in the room, it is just as concerning as racism?”….. (and that from a Black man)?

What DeSantis and unfortunately Senator Scott  fail to realize or understand, America was built with the labor (free labor) of People of Color. Africans taken by force, the indigenous individual’s native to America and other groups. For example:

Many people of African descent built America and its great economy, while the Chinese built much of the railway system before being excluded from the country.

Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and even Arizona, to list a few states have banned and are attempting to ban  reading material (mostly African American authored literature) as well as curriculum Dr. Carter G. Woodson, noted was factual history of American’s development, while derogatory literature such as Mark Twain and Huckabery Finn, remain on schools “required reading list.”

One would think being “woke” or alert to history for all Americans would be a goal and not a threat?

 To know the truth about America’s history and those that contributed to the development of the country development should not be whitewashed, it demeans and creates a lie.

History is not nice, and there are many skeletons in this country’s closets (past) from its inception to last week. Attempting to bury that history (both good and bad) does not strengthen the countries resolve, it only makes it weak.

Finally, Arkansas Gov Sarah Huckabee boldly stated during a press conference recently that she was banning anything related to CRT, and then in the next breath, she stated how proud she was of the Little Rock Nine?

The Little Rock Nine were those African American students that integrated the Little Rock School system in 1957, amidst threats by their white student counterparts. Huckabee went to call those students brave and courageous.

The Governor in fact was promoting (CRT) the same curriculum she was banning by speaking so highly of the courage it took for those students to stand in the face of such hate.

Gov. Huckabee like most (uninformed individuals) fail to understand the courage that it took students to walk into schools with angry white students yelling at them and calling them names and hurling objects is very much this country Civil Rights history.   

This history (the truth) that she and DeSantis want taken out of history books. (Thus the attempt to whitewash American history).

The GOPs Fear and ignorance are fueling the argument against the term Woke and CRT, which was improperly titled from the start. It is not Critical Race Theory, but rather Critical Race Contributions to America’s and World development.

 Sounds like American history truth be told!…………. (The part that was left out of history books and academic discussions for years).

America and the world could use a double dose of Wokeness as a class (actually an entire semester or two) on Critical contributions by those of African American descent to the development of this great country. 

We all should value and stay Woke!

Danny L. White currently lives in Phoenix, AZ. He is the author and creative lead for the Sensational letter “S”, a children’s book focused on early reading comprehension and word development. He is also a Adjunct faculty member at Maricopa College, and staff reporter for the Arizona Informant. He is an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc, in Phoenix.

D.L. White
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