Ray Cardello February 25, 2021
It is no longer enough to simply be
I guess that I am old enough to remember when we were not traveling through life burdened by the many labels that we are forced to carry today. Growing up in a very diverse city, Lawrence, Massachusetts, we lived in neighborhoods that were identified by the local church. Whether the church was named after an Irish, French, Italian or Polish Saint you could tell what the predominant ethnicity of the community was. It was an identity but not a restriction. We had friends from other neighborhoods and we even had the pleasure of enjoying sharing the traditions of a different “culture”. We may have come from the Italian area or the French area but we were all from Lawrence. We enjoyed our roots, we enjoyed interaction with others and we existed as one. When we got to high school and all the different areas were melded together, there were no issues, there was no labels, there was just us….young people making our way through adolescence. It was a simpler time, maybe even a naive time.
Something happened in the decades since I grew up. A system that used to be responsible for educating our children has taken over the role of indoctrinating them from their first day they enter a kindergarten classroom. Who gave them this mission? Who gave them this power? We did. Not by affirmation but by our complacency. We allowed it to happen and now it is bigger than all of us. It has taken on a life of its own being fed, or festered, by our higher education system that is turning out bots injected with more feelings than knowledge all excited to become a part of the system. The system to create a “Woke” society one student at a time. I tried to do some research into the term Woke but I got totally frustrated. There are so many interpretations that the word really has no meaning. Using the word becomes the meaning of the person saying or writing it. It means nothing but it is a way of judging someone on your own terms and standards. In my eyes, you are either woke or not…..wow, that was easy.
I think that the term Woke, will become so overused that it will burn itself out. Racist, sexist, bigot, misogynist, supremacist, even libertarian are all labels that have been used so much by the media, the talking heads, the brilliant Hollywood elites that they now have little meaning. I think the recent Super Bowl was clear evidence of a movement gone too far. From the singing of the Black National Anthem (like we really needed one) to God Bless America to The Star Spangled banner all being performed by black artists. To the half time show featuring dozens of performers nearly all of which were black. To the plethora of advertisements featuring either black actors or bi-racial couples and families. The message that the NFL was trying to tell was so in your face it was offensive. Let us just be people, not people with a color. I know I am not a racist. I have many friends and acquaintances that I do not believe are racist. I am not sure I even know a racist personally. If I did, they probably would not be welcome in my circle. Yet why are all of us who identify as non-black or non-brown being forced to feel guilty as white privileged racists? Because society and academia have deemed it so. Sorry but I do not accept the label and I’ll be damned if I will accept the guilt. Let’s wake up and can the woke. If not, it will continue to divide us as a nation and have far greater impact on us as a people than the COVID-19 virus could ever accomplish.