Jim Crawford: DeSantis and his war against ‘woke’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican wants to be president of the United States in the worst way, by opposing the expression of any concept of equality, inclusion and diversity. 

In a nation founded upon equality before the law, equal opportunity regardless of skin color and protection of the rights of the few over the many, DeSantis is the national champion of the exact opposite of what constitutes American Exceptionalism. 

DeSantis does not like corporations participating in politics…if those corporations disagree with his perspective on any issue. Whether Disney, the family entertainment company or cruise lines anchored in Florida. If your corporation champions inclusion or national COVID-19 safety guidelines, you will find the Florida governor drafting legislation to sail through his Republican legislative supermajority, imposing his campaign favorites into your “woke” business.  

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If your hotel crosses DeSantis, he will take away your liquor license. Suppose your school teaches actual American history with an awareness that slavery existed and inequality exists. In that case, he will seek to fire your elected school board, errant informed teachers and those pesky books that speak the nation’s history. 

In DeSantisland, where DeSantis proudly says, “Woke goes to die,” replacement conspiracy is altered to signify the replacement of free speech, with his fascist-bent desires to limit or end freedoms broad and wide. 

If you believe women should have reproductive rights, including the right to abortion, DeSantis will stand against you and legislate those rights into oblivion. If you seek an inclusive educational environment where minority rights are protected, DeSantis will fund private schools at the expense of a secular public education system. If your idea of minority rights includes legal protection from discrimination against those of differing sexuality, the DeSantis government will not offer those protections. 

And now, as this article goes to press, DeSantis seeks to restrict the freedom of the media in Florida. 

But DeSantis is not alone in his political leaning away from an inclusive society. DeSantis, like Trump, is far from a fan of Black and brown-skinned citizens who would ask for faired policing, better schools in minority communities or recognition that racism remains an impediment to a greater nation. 

He is, at best, a follower of Donald Trump, seeking success through division of American against American. 

The term “woke” has been misappropriated by DeSantis and his fellow extremists to be used as a pejorative for its actual meaning. “To be informed, educated on, and aware of social injustices.” (USA Today Ipsos Poll 3/9/23). Americans should be proud to be aware of social injustice and always seek to form a more perfect Union.  

Abraham Lincoln asked at Gettysburg if such a nation “can long endure?” The answer lies with all of us today, as we face a challenge by those, like DeSantis, who would seek to undermine all that makes America an exceptional nation, that is, that Americans and America thrive only when we come together to allow our strengths to defeat our lesser Impulses.  

Together, we have been a generous and compassionate people, a tolerant people accepting those who seek nothing more than an unimpeded freedom of opportunity. Together, we have advanced equality, with yet more work to be done. Our future, and the answer to Lincoln’s question, lies within our ability to cast aside those who would divide us for their personal and political gain. 

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.