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Extreme right weaponizes “woke,” while spewing conservative propaganda

First let’s use a little common sense. Since 2015, people pushing extreme agendas have bred a culture of unsubstantiated tirades touted as truth, running roughshod over any sensible attempt to fact check.

“The Big Lie” in 2020 was merely the culmination of corrupt doublespeak that made it acceptable to lie with impunity on every level of government. The media became entrenched in the scheme, putting profit over professionalism.

It’s how “45” eked out an unlikely successful run for the White House and it remains the status quo of morally bankrupt government and media, duping a public too lazy or unconcerned to dig beneath the surface for the veracity of the outrageous.

CNN in a desperate effort to stop the profit bleeding of that network made a deal with the devil allowing the previous president priceless air time to reiterate his hateful, divisive, baseless rhetoric to a broad audience. CNN made a joke of journalistic standards.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey recently replaced her director of early childhood education over the use of a teacher training book, written by a nationally recognized education group, that the Republican governor denounced as teaching “woke concepts” because of language about inclusion and structural racism.

Barbara Cooper was forced out as head of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood after Ivey expressed concern over the distribution of the book to state-run pre-kindergartens.

“The education of Alabama’s children is my top priority as governor, and there is absolutely no room to distract or take away from this mission. Let me be crystal clear: Woke concepts that have zero to do with a proper education and that are divisive at the core have no place in Alabama classrooms at any age level, let alone with our youngest learners,” Ivey said in a statement.

The book is a guide for early childhood educators. It is not a curriculum taught to children. The governor’s office, in a press release, cited two examples from the book, one discussing white privilege and that “the United States is built on systemic and structural racism.

“Early childhood programs also serve and welcome families that represent many compositions. Children from all families (e.g., single parent, grandparent-led, foster, LGBTQIA+) need to hear and see messages that promote equality, dignity, and worth,” the book states.

The section on structural racism states that “systemic and structural racism … has permeated every institution and system through policies and practices that position people of color in oppressive, repressive, and menial positions. The early education system is not immune to these forces.”

It says preschool is one place where children “begin to see how they are represented in society” and that the classroom should be a place of “affirmation and healing.” This all sounds innocent enough but not in Alabama, where reality is apparently an anathema.

Alabama is a microcosm of a nation increasingly unwilling to deal with unpleasantries of its history. Across the south and beyond, government is striving to cherry-pick portions of history they want to teach. Those who persist are marginalized, punished or eradicated.

It’s a struggle certain to worsen before it gets better. But it’s a fight from which the conscientious among us cannot relent or battle weakly. The efforts to erase the proud history of African Americans or to rewrite the shameful past of White America are intolerable. Nothing will ever substitute for the truth. Ultimately, no slick, articulate lies will survive forever.

Vernon A. Williams
Vernon A. Williams

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].

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