Who Told You That You Were Naked?
On Gov. Ron DeSantis's frantic search for fig leaves.
the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.
Gov. Ron DeSantis used his second inauguration extravaganza to declare that “Florida is where woke goes to die.”
Normally, I would (correctly) file someone who said something like that away as a racist and go on about my Black owned business. But this man is the Governor of Florida. And, unfortunately, Miami-Dade County is in Florida. Which means I live in Florida. That’s right. That makes me a Florida Man. I got a dog in this racist.
Racist people saying racist things does not catch me off guard. It is what I expect. However, racist people blatantly enshrining their racism in laws with blatantly racist nicknames is not something I expect at this point of the 21st century. They didn’t even bother to do the Lee Atwater coded-racism thing. They just said it. Out loud.
This sustained assault on talking about racism in ways that make racists uncomfortable claimed another casualty when Florida’s Department of Education blocked an AP African American Studies course from piloting in any high schools in the state of Florida. The course was rejected on the grounds of being an attempt to “indoctrinate” people with Critical Race Theory (CRT). This post does not aim to clarify any of the confusion around what does and does not constitute CRT. That is a battle I’ve grown tired of fighting. Instead, we’ll focus on the fact that people are being (re)indoctrinated with something else.
The problem with speaking about racism in ways that make racists uncomfortable (which is often what racists mean when they label something as CRT), is that it conflicts with the myth. If something other than the purest of motives (and the better angels of democracy) has shaped the society we now recognize, then much of what we have learned about American exceptionalism and innocence is untrue.
There are two ways of confronting a moral failing. One acknowledges the way things are and seeks to justify them through whatever means will allow as many people as possible to act as though nothing has gone amiss. The other acknowledges a reality and does the hard work of repairing the damage, striving to construct a newer, more whole reality.
When our eyes are opened to that which those around us can already see, will we lean on the oneness of creation to right the wrongs we’ve been made aware of? Or will we dress around our nakedness and hide from accountability?
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