The Portland Phoenix

Letter: On ‘woke,’ Edgar Beem and Ron DeSantis

Edgar Beem, I love your stuff, man, but you fiddled up a coupla key points in your “woke” column. First, you decry the new Florida law restricting teaching that puts personal responsibility, guilt and anguish on individuals who played no part in the past in perpetrating or perpetuating racist and bigoted actions but who happen to be the same race, gender, or national origin as those who did. Why blame the innocent? Frankly, there must have been woke people in the past, abolitionists and underground railroad conductors, for instance, who by this definition were culpable for other white folks’ sins.  And what of a male today of German descent? Is such a one to be burdened with Nazi guilt? Teaching historical facts needn’t include an indictment of the students.

Secondly, you don’t even mention how DeSantis essentially plagiarized Churchill with his “we fight the woke” everywhere and never surrender rally rant. He’s smart enough to know his listeners aren’t smart enough to recognize an historical allusion, so he rips it off with impunity. Your readers know better, and you coulda called him out. (Not that it matters; he has no shame.) The rest of the column was great, as usual.

Robert L. Petrillo

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