Letters to the Editor
February 16, 2023

To the Editor:
I was so depressed after reading your Editorial I nearly swore off the Gazette. While I am used to your dismal views of anything not Inquisitional, Crusade-minded or White Christian Nationalist, I must question your revulsion at the term “woke.”
The term was originally used by Black communities in the last century. One of its earliest uses was in a 1931 recording of the protest song "Scottsboro Boys" by Lead Belly. The recording addressed the prosecutions of 7 Black boys for the false accusation of raping two white women in Alabama.
To “stay woke” meant to stay alert to the deceptions and potentially violent racial threats from other people. But following the police killings of Michael Brown in 2014 and subsequent killings of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, etc., “stay woke” became the cautionary watchword of Black Lives Matter activists on the streets and meant to keep alert for police brutality and unjust police tactics.
On the left, to be “woke” now means to identify as a social justice advocate who’s concerned about contemporary civil rights. On the right, “woke” - like “canceled” - refers to “political correctness” gone awry, and the usurped term is usually used sarcastically or to fulminate against progressive values.
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has implemented policies in schools that limit discussion and curriculum on race, systemic oppression, gender and sexual orientation and the now-blocked “Stop WOKE Act.” A federal judge in FL recently ruled the Act "positively dystopian," in restricting teachers, university professors and employers who are providing education or training that could make some people feel “guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological stress” about historical facts or gender issues. Truth and reality are irrelevant.
DeSantis complained, in a December 2021 speech, "they [Woke] really want to tear at the fabric of our society." He means only White, Christian, straight society. His “Woke” dog whistle promotes White grievance politics without having to resort to explicitly racist or homophobic terms to flog those seeking equality and justice.
An comment in the LTTE was that Biden had the nerve to sign bills for badly needed infrastructure improvements, to be funded by “your tax dollars.” Yep. That’s how federal funding works. And why the corporate users who gain the most from that infrastructure should absorb a huge percentage of that tax bill.
Kelly Scoles,