Media and the Twitter-verse are having a jolly good time with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ recent channeling of Winston Churchill to promote his war on WOKE. Instead of pledging “we shall never surrender” by taking the battle against Nazi Germany to the beaches, landing grounds, fields, streets and hills, on Saturday DeSantis told Iowans:
We will wage a war on the woke. We will fight the woke in education, we will fight the woke in the corporations, we will fight the woke in the halls of Congress. We will never, ever surrender to the woke mob.
He often refers to the “WOKE ideology.” Why? Because ideology is about what individuals think or intend to do, not what they actually do. Just ask the Governor. On April 22, 2022, he signed the Florida “Individual Freedom Act.” A more appropriate title would be the “Selective Individual Freedom Act,” since the law does not apply to a woman’s right to choose, parents’ right to determine their child’s health care, academic freedom at the state’s colleges and universities or a corporation’s right to protect its employees from a pandemic or promote diversity and inclusion.
Equally important, WOKE refers to getting up in the morning, that time of day when we ask ourselves about the future. What am I going to do today? It is also a time of reflection, to consider what we learned from yesterday’s experience. Am I going to make the same mistakes? How can I be a better person than I was 24 hours ago?
I still cannot understand why WOKE is a bad thing. Consider the following.
- If the founding fathers had been less WOKE about religious freedom and the divine right of kings, would we still be British subjects, beholden to the tenets of the Church of England?
- If Abraham Lincoln had been less WOKE, would the country still be divided into free and slave states?
- If Teddy Roosevelt had been less WOKE, would we be able to enjoy America’s national parks?
- If Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton had been less WOKE, would women have gained the right to vote?
- If Nelson Mandela had been less WOKE, would a majority of South Africans still live under apartheid?
- If Franklin Roosevelt had been less WOKE, would a majority of older Americans be living in poverty?
- If Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lyndon Johnson had been less WOKE, would African-Americans still be legally discriminated against or lack voting rights in some states?
Though not of the same historic consequence or impact, each of us has the opportunity to be more WOKE every day.
- Is writing a check to a food bank but not volunteering to staff the facility WOKE enough?
- Is contributing to relief funds for dislocated Ukrainians but not housing a refugee WOKE enough?
- Is supporting a ban on assault weapons but not attending a protest rally WOKE enough?
- Is giving a blind person the right of way at an intersection but not getting out of your car to offer assistance WOKE enough?
- Is calling animal rescue after spotting an injured bird but not taking it to the shelter WOKE enough?
That is why I propose “The SLEEP Act.” It is based on a simple principle. When we go to bed each night, ask ourselves, “Was I WOKE enough today? Could I have done more?” If yesterday was not a WOKE day, when the alarm goes off the following morning, do not just wake up. BE MORE WOKE.
For what it’s worth.