Nothing wrong with being a ‘woke” person

The following Letter to the Editor was published in the Jan 2nd Daily Sun.

Governor Ron DeSantis recently proposed a bill he calls the “Anti Woke Act” which allows parents to sue schools for teaching critical race theory. This proposed law is outrageous in too many ways to enumerate here, but let’s start with the concept of “woke.”

As is often the case with oversimplifying complicated issues, DeSantis and his Fox TV followers, find it amusing to denigrate the idea of learning the facts of an issue such that your perspective changes.

Two well-researched books recently had that very impact on me. The “1619 Project” by Nikole Hannah-Jones and “All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack” by Tiya Miles are artfully written pieces which shifted my view of our country’s complicated relationship with race and people of color.

Contrary to what DeSantis and his supporters might suggest, knowing our grim history with slavery and oppression didn’t make me hate our country. Quite the opposite. The words in our founding documents which read “all men are created equal,” penned by a person who himself owned human beings, are an aspiration, not a statement of reality since all men are not treated equally. Some 600,000 people died over a century ago in a brutal war testing the fulfillment of those words. It is clear from issues like police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests, we continue fighting such battles today.

If reading books and learning the truth about such things makes me “woke,” then call me proud to be so.

William Welsch, Punta Gorda

Image Credits: Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto