By Joe Rector
Just like most elders of any time period, I’m having trouble with some of the crazy ideas that folks have created. To be more specific, I’m lost as a last year’s Easter egg when it comes to being “woke.” Perhaps my failure to understand is due to my age. Maybe I just need more socially conscious education. Whatever the reason, I know I simply find the entire matter a little more than I can stand.
In researching “wokeness,” I discovered that its use first appeared in the 1940s and that it symbolized social issues and the fights against racism and social injustice. At times, the term has slipped to the background, only to be revived with the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement. I can appreciate use of the term as a means of fighting injustices. When I do hear another person say, “Stay woke,” I want to scream, “Stay awake!”
At any rate, I see how we should be woke to some things. I’ve always thought that our Black brothers and sisters should have the same rights as white folks. I’m woke to the need to weed out the lousy cops so that the majority of good ones can protect citizens, regardless of color. It is important for us to take care of the planet.
What’s happened is that every group of activists has now become woke. They belittle anyone who dares to disagree with their goals. Individuals must agree with every move and idea that comes from the group; otherwise, those people are called all sorts of names and accused of all sorts of terrible acts.
I found online one example of what seems to be outrageous wokeness. It was refraining from using anti-animal language. Hey, no one loves animals more than I do. However, using old sayings like, “Don’t beat a dead horse” or “Bring home the bacon” are not anti-animal language. They are idioms. No one other than persons with too much time on their hands or with sour outlooks on life is offended by such things.
What’s happened to us? As I said earlier, some causes are worthwhile, but too many of the cries of injustice come from people who are worried or offended by things of little consequence to the human race. We might spend our time making sure everyone is treated fairly and equally.
I am just the least bit tired of being berated for being an old white man. I had no part of choosing my parents, although I am thankful for the mother and dad I had. I was never taught to hurt others physically or emotionally. Yes, I’ve met some people that didn’t impress me. They have been few and far between. The vast majority of students I taught over the years are special to me. For the most part, I’ve always thought of all of us being in the same boat, we must work together to conquer real problems.
Most people just try to get through a day of work and have enough energy to enjoy family or friends. I can’t even turn on the news without hearing so much ridiculousness that I want to scream. My new line of attack against such foolishness is to lean the recliner back a bit more and sleep through all the grumbling.