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Here Are the Things Ron DeSantis Thinks Are “Woke” – Mother Jones


Here Are the Things Ron DeSantis Thinks Are “Woke” – Mother Jones

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Big Tech? Woke. Infrastructure spending? Woke. Academia? Definitely woke.

The word that was once a rallying cry for Black Americans to stay alert to racial injustices has been coopted by the conservative right to denounce any educational, cultural, or policy position that attempts to reckon with our nation’s racist history. People appropriate the language of Black struggle all the time. Like a game of telephone, the more politicians use a phrase as shorthand for things-I-don’t-like, the less it means. Take your pick of victims: socialism, critical race theory, Black Lives Matter. On the right, these have become less ideas to be discussed than large, blinking, neon signs to indicate destruction of conservatives’ idea of “America.”

Arguably no one has done more to dilute the meaning of “woke” than Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. When the potential 2024 GOP nominee proposed legislation to ensure that a student “not be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race,” he named it The Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act. Get it? “Stop W.O.K.E.,” for short.

But that’s hardly the start of it. We dug up some examples of DeSantis’ attempts to label anything that bugs him as “woke.” And, don’t worry, this list is a work in progress.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttiegieg has clearly read The Power Broker. “If an underpass was constructed such that a bus carrying mostly Black and Puerto Rican kids to a beach…in New York was designed too low for it to pass by,” he said at a press conference in November, “that obviously reflects racism that went into those design choices.”

DeSantis disagrees. “I heard some stuff, some weird stuff from the Secretary of Transportation trying to make this about social issues,” he said afterward. “To me, a road’s a road.”

Earlier this month, he doubled down on his oblivious-to-history…

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