When people are actively attentive to issues of racial and social justice, MAGA republicans classify them as ‘woke’ as a way of dismissing and denigrating their concerns. Earlier this year in Florida, the governor signed into law the ‘Stop WOKE act’, that amends the Florida Civil Rights Act to make it unlawful for employers to host mandatory employee trainings that promote certain concepts related to discrimination, diversity, equity, and inclusion. The law targets diversity trainings that promote ideas such as unconscious bias, racial colorblindness, and white privilege.
As if by forcing people to hide their heads in the sand, they won’t notice the unrelenting racial bias that permeates much of America. Just look at the news:
Black shopper at Walmart harassed by loss prevention unit employee and told to leave the store. Police are called, find no evidence of anything, and refuse to take action against the shopper. Jury awards over $4 million dollars to shopper as they agreed he was a victim of racial discrimination. Several months later the employee was fired.
Black man is arrested for watering neighbor’s flowers, at their request. Police arrested the black neighbor of out-of-town homeowners when he was caught watering their flowers. The city attorney says, "As result of my investigation, I have recommended to the Municipal Judge of The City of Childersburg that the warrant be dismissed with prejudice.”
Black real estate agent and black clients handcuffed by police when touring home. 20-year real estate veteran and black family are harassed, threatened with drawn weapons and handcuffed by police in mostly white neighborhood while the agent is showing them the ‘for sale’ home.
Black woman forcefully arrested by male police officer. The officer is seen swinging the woman to the concrete and drawing his taser, because she refused to sign a ticket. He also performs a body search on her, instead of waiting for a female officer to arrive on scene.
Black woman sentenced to six years in prison because she ineligibly registered to vote, after her probation officer signed official documents stating her probation had ended. “White individuals who are known to have committed blatant voter fraud have only received probation,” the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund said in a statement.
Black teen attacked by woman claiming he stole her phone. It was later returned to her by the Uber driver in whose car she had left it. The woman accosted the father and his son and yelling for them to "show me my phone." The hotel manager can also be heard asking to see the young man’s phone. Security camera video showed the woman rushing at and tackling the teenager.
It took about five minutes to search the internet for these basic examples of racial prejudice, which is perpetuated daily against innocent black people in America. As a nation, we need to wake up to the unrelenting racism our black neighbors, friends and fellow Americans suffer.
The only thing that changes are the names of the victims. Being ‘woke’ is better than the alternative.