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    Monday, March 20, 2023

    Embrace ‘inclusion, kindness, historical accuracy’

    Florida Governor DeSantis has signed legislation, known colloquially as the Stop WOKE Act, which insists that any African American studies be “objective” and avoid negative references that might make anyone “feel guilt.” (“Black professor defies law restricting lessons on race,” Jan. 22). This epitomizes the governor’s effort to suppress educational references to systemic racism and discrimination in our history.

    Maybe DeSantis, of Italian descent, has not experienced discrimination. But is he aware of the country’s strong anti-Italian prejudice in the late 1800s and early 1900s? And do we examine that honestly and learn from it, or just wish it away?

    Perhaps because Jim Crow laws are no longer legal, DeSantis wants us to think that racism is a thing of the past. As if murder, rape, and robbery — also illegal — were things of the past as well.

    Woke culture embraces inclusion, kindness, historical accuracy, and awareness. It is not, as DeSantis asserts, some sinister plot to make today’s white population feel guilty. But understanding that requires consideration and intellectual curiosity, things for which DeSantis apparently has little appetite. He would rather bring back the whitewashed, heads-in-the-sand, business-as-usual, failed attitudes of old.

    Al Crossley


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