Ron DeSantis has a habit of throwing the term "woke" around — here are some of the silliest examples

“At this hit rate, Ron DeSantis will have trouble defeating wokeness. To him, it seems to be nearly everything"

By Alex Henderson

Published February 10, 2022 2:43PM (EST)

Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

For many years, the term "woke" had a very positive connotation in the Black community. But these days, "woke" is often used as a pejorative by the MAGA right — and even some supporters of the Democratic Party, including political strategist James Carville and "Real Time" Host Bill Maher, are critical of what they view as the excesses of modern "woke" culture. Carville and Maher are very specific in their criticisms of contemporary "wokeness," whereas countless MAGA Republicans toss the word around so casually that it becomes nothing more than dumb, empty, buffoonish rhetoric. One of the worst offenders is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and journalist Abigail Weinberg cites some examples in a cutting article published by Mother Jones on Feb. 9.

"The word that was once a rallying cry for Black Americans to stay alert to racial injustices has been co-opted by the conservative right to denounce any educational, cultural or policy position that attempts to reckon with our nation's racist history," Weinberg explains. "People appropriate the language of Black struggle all the time . . . Arguably, no one has done more to dilute the meaning of 'woke' than Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis."

Weinberg continues, "When the potential 2024 GOP nominee proposed legislation to ensure that a student 'not be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race,' he named it The Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act. Get it? 'Stop W.O.K.E.,' for short. But that's hardly the start of it. We dug up some examples of DeSantis' attempts to label anything that bugs him as 'woke.' And, don't worry, this list is a work in progress."

Weinberg goes on to show how silly DeSantis' constant use of the word "woke" has been, noting that he has applied it to everything from infrastructure to anti-Semitism to big tech. At the Common Sense Society Conference and Gala in January, Weinberg writes, DeSantis railed against "corporate wokeness" and told the crowd, "This wokeness, it's a religion of the left, and it's infecting a lot of institutions: big Corporate America, big tech, the bureaucracy, of course academia. It is wokeness, a form of cultural Marxis . . . This wokeness is dangerous, and we've got to defeat it on all fronts."

DeSantis, according to Weinberg, has become so obsessed with "wokeness" that he sees it lurking behind every corner.

"At this hit rate," Weinberg observes, "Ron DeSantis will have trouble defeating wokeness. To him, it seems to be nearly everything."

Alex Henderson

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Alternet Politics Republicans Ron Desantis Woke