Showing posts with label woke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label woke. Show all posts

January 25, 2023

Is there anything left to say about the DeSantis culture war?

Is there anything left to say about the DeSantis culture war?
By Hal Brown
My version of the image below

This is a quote from Gov. Ron DeSantis: “I think we are showing that Florida welcomes debate and that the cure for an idea that you disagree with is to point out why that idea is wrong.” Really. I couldn't make that up.

Currently the governor of Florida is often pictured happily standing behind a sign that suggests he has his own definition of the word education.


Perhaps he can get his definition added to the dictionary.

DeSantis likes his podium signs:
Click above to enlarge

At least he stood behind a State of Florida seal when he made this hypocritical speech:

Click above to read article

 A campaign about free speech on Florida college campuses – a hot-button issue across the nation – is being backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and public university presidents, who signed a resolution vowing to welcome all types of debate unless they promote “true threats or defamation.”

At the request of the governor, all 12 university presidents signed the resolution late last week. It says institutions will not “stifle the dissemination of any idea,” even when individuals find that speech to be “abhorrent.”

“It permits the freest expression of views before students, trusting to their good sense in passing judgment on those views. Only in this way can we best serve American democracy,” said John Thrasher, president of Florida State University, where DeSantis appeared Monday.

Once upon a time Florida was known as The Sunshine State. While Florida ranks last on the list of the 10 sunniest states I won't quibble about their use of this slogan. 

It was also known as the state where northerners went to die. Now it has become the state where eduction has been put on the critical list.

This photo was reproduced in various stories similar to this article and the one below:

The faces of the children recruited to stand behind him show they have no compression of why they are there. One could say this is a form of abuse.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced launching his new book titled The Courage to Be Free in February 2023, and the media was quick to slam the upcoming release, claiming hypocrisy because of Florida’s decisions on banning certain books.

The most recent news about the Florida governor and the presidential wannabe's war on Woke is his making school teachers liable for books in their classrooms deemed to be breaking Florida law. If convicted of the third degree felony he is making it having these books in their classroom libraries they could be imprisoned for up to five years. Examples of third degree felonies include aggravated stalking, theft of a vehicle or firearm, and trespass while armed. They also face losing their teaching license.

DeSantos is shoehorning what he calls "woke" into a law which emphasizes obscene and pornographic material:

847.012Harmful materials; sale or distribution to minors or using minors in production prohibited; penalty.

(1)As used in this section, “knowingly” means having the general knowledge of, reason to know, or a belief or ground for belief which warrants further inspection or inquiry of both:

(a)The character and content of any material described in this section which is reasonably susceptible of examination by the defendant; and

(b)The age of the minor.

(2)A person’s ignorance of a minor’s age, a minor’s misrepresentation of his or her age, a bona fide belief of a minor’s age, or a minor’s consent may not be raised as a defense in a prosecution for a violation of this section.

(3)A person may not knowingly sell, rent, or loan for monetary consideration to a minor:

(a)Any picture, photograph, drawing, sculpture, motion picture film, videocassette, or similar visual representation or image of a person or portion of the human body which depicts nudity or sexual conduct, sexual excitement, sexual battery, bestiality, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors…

His announcement is making the news, for example in this article:

This article on Judd Legum's website Popular Information article includes reactions from Manatee County teachers. Here's an excerpt from that article:

The Parental Rights In Education Act prohibits all instruction on "sexual orientation or gender identity" in K-3 classrooms and instruction in other grades that is "not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate." But the law applies only to "[c]lassroom instruction by school personnel or third parties" — not library books. Similarly, the Stop WOKE Act is limited to classroom instruction. 

The teacher training approved by the Florida Department of Education, however, does not inform librarians that the Parental Rights in Education Act and Stop WOKE ACT do not apply to library books. Rather, librarians are told: "There is some overlap between the selection criteria for instructional and library materials." One slide says that library books and instructional materials cannot include "unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination." 

A subsequent slide provides a list of "unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination," which includes information about "sexual orientation or gender identity." It also includes a variety of topics related to race, including "Critical Race Theory" and material that might make someone feel "guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress" as a result of their race. The training instructs librarians to "err on the side of caution." 


This interpretation of the law runs directly counter to the arguments the DeSantis administration is making in court. In federal court filings, lawyers representing DeSantis insist that the Parental Rights in Education Act does not apply to library books. Nevertheless, the DeSantis administration, through its media specialist training, is encouraging a much more expansive interpretation of the law. 

I am not sure what to make of his exempting librarians from this aspect of his war on Woke. The law he is using is already on the books. If there was a similar law about libraries I suppose he might use that too. It's also possible he believes librarians and public libraries are insignificant. He may have been told how well organized the American Librarians Association is and was informed that a well-funded lawsuit would be leveled against him if he attempted to target them. I doubt that since he was willing to take on Disney. For him it isn't about winning or losing in court. It is about ginning up publicity for his war on Woke.

November 20, 2022

I woke to the nightclub shooting on TV: Thoughts about the MAGA demonization of being woke

I woke to the nightclub shooting on TV: Thoughts about the MAGA demonization of being woke

By Hal Brown

I try to write something every morning but may not post something until later if I post at all today. I have to leave soon to go for mohs surgery on the tip of my nose.

This is how Mirriam-Websters defines being woke:

Woke is now defined in this dictionary as “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice),” and identified as U.S. slang. It originated in African American English and gained more widespread use beginning in 2014 as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. By the end of that same decade it was also being applied by some as a general pejorative for anyone who is or appears to be politically left-leaning.

By chance they used the image of the clock above. I literally woke to this news as I turned on my bedroom TV. I thought about the new meaning of woke.

I thought about how MAGA politicians campaign against "woke" and how it suits them to play into the hate fueled prejudices of bigots. They can use anti-LGBT code words and dog whistles but Republican governors with Republican legislatures can actually pass laws.

If you are the presumptive alternative to Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination everything you say or do will gain national media attention.

More than any other politician, and this includes Trump, Ron DeSantis epitomizes the anti-woke movement. Consider this HUFFPOST story:

This is from June, 2022:

After spending the last year attacking LGBTQ people, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) claimed that the state “will not tolerate hatred towards the LGBTQ” community “of any kind” as part of his proclamation on the anniversary of the Pulse shooting.

On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed and 53 people were injured when a gunman opened fire on the LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando. June 12 has remained Pulse Remembrance Day in the state. DeSantis ordered flags in the state to be flown at half-mast.

From the LGBTQ Nation story:

DeSantis is the ultimate hypocrite. He happily signed the "Don't Say Gay Law" while saying that “the state of Florida will not tolerate hatred towards the LGBTQ and Hispanic community of any kind, and together we stand united against terrorism and hate of any kind."

This is how DeSantis described his lopsided victory over Charlie Crist in his gerrymandered state:

“We fight the woke in the legislature. We fight the woke in the schools. We fight the woke in the corporations. We will never, ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die.”

If the Colorado Springs shooting happened in Florida like the Pulse Nightclub shooting, I wonder how DeSantis would have been parsing his words in order to condemn it while sending the message to his anti-LGBT supporters that he didn't mean what he was saying.

I suppose he could dust off what he said after the Pulse Nightclub shootings and order flags to be flown at half-staff.

It is a shame worth crying over that the notion that "woke" has been applied to the political left because I'd like to believe that there are many people who consider themselves to be non-MAGA Republicans who believe in the percepts of being woke.

Feeling people are proud to be woke.


This was on Fox News:

Fox News expert links gay club shooting to 'elementary school' in wake of GOP 'anti-woke' laws


"How do we tamp down hate crimes across the board?" Neville wondered. 

"I think it begins in our schools, our educational system," Rogers explained. "We have to do a lot of educating in elementary school with regard to, yeah, people may be different in your eyes but they're people, they're American citizens and they deserve to have the constitutional protections that all of us have."

"So, it begins at the elementary school level and we have to make sure that it continues throughout our entire lives," he added. "We need to stop the hateful rhetoric on the internet, by our politicians, by everyone! And we need to bring the temperature down and understand that, you know, we're all God's children and we have to respect each other."

And then there's her expression of feigned sympathy:

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