Waging a war on the woke

Human rights are at risk



Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference at the University of Miami Health System Don Soffer Clinical Research Center on May 17, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/TNS)

Story by Kamryn Jean, Opinion Editor

To be woke in today’s society means to be conscious of and informed on societal issues, mainly those of racial discrimination and inequality, as well as social injustice. “Woke” culture has recently become a popular target of the hateful speech and ordinances of the right-wing conservatives.

The most obvious example is the actions being taken by Florida GOP lawmakers. Governor Ron DeSantis has shown his outright support for bills that purge curriculum that includes the teaching of Critical Race Theory and limit gender-affirming services for trans youth.

Governor DeSantis has launched his campaign to put an end to the indoctrination of children in schools through the banning of teaching Critical Race Theory, labeling it as “state-sanctioned racism.” 

Critics of teaching Critical Race Theory believe that it reinforces the idea that there is a superior race and an inferior race. However, Critical Race Theory simply reestablishes the idea that systemic racism exists.

Systemic racism refers to how non-white people are discriminated against in areas such as education, housing, criminal justice, etc… To deny the existence of it and permit children to continue to live in a state of ignorance is racist in itself.

Without educating children and forcing them to acknowledge the existence of racism in day-to-day life, we as a society are encouraging the perpetuation of discrimination and social injustice.

DeSantis and Florida state legislatures have recently been targeting the LGBTQ community. Although the ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors was passed through a vote of its medical boards, Governor DeSantis highly encouraged the decision. 

For those who started treatment, like hormone-blocking, before the board’s ban, their future is unclear. These individuals are being told that they are not allowed to live comfortably in their own body, and they’re forced to live in a place where they cannot express themselves.

We, as U.S. citizens, are endowed with the right to pursue happiness, promised in the Declaration of Independence, meaning this right cannot be forfeited. Therefore, the transgender community should be given the right to choose to receive the care that ensures their happiness. 

However, people in positions of power, like DeSantis and the state’s Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine, are now deciding the future of our nation’s youth, and as a result, are impeding on the happiness of these individuals. 

Our basic human rights, like the freedom of expression, are in jeopardy. Those who have been elected to serve their people are the ones who are encroaching on our civil liberties. For the minorities in this country who have been working to make progress in the field of equality, their progress has been turned into regression at the hands of predatory politics.

Slowly but surely, we are watching this country retrogress, and we are at the mercy of those in power. Now, we must helplessly watch as our rights are stolen and the power of the people fades.

The future of America is grim.