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Sen. Whitehouse tells the truth about GOP’s anti-‘woke’ smoke screen

Sen. Whitehouse tells the truth about GOP’s anti-‘woke’ smoke screen
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It’s no secret that the conservative movement’s attack on “wokeness,” their appropriated misnomer for virtually any awareness of social inequality, is contrived

Anyone surprised that the Republican Party would try to repurpose Black slang meant to denote intellect and cultural consciousness into something nefarious clearly hasn’t spent much time watching the GOP in action. 

Personally, I’ve found comedy in the fact that white conservatives embraced the term years after it seemed to have reached its zenith in the Black lexicon. As many Black people can tell you, “woke” was dying as a relevant cultural term long before white conservatives came along. And even now, Republicans use the term to describe such a broad range of subjects that it’s essentially useless as anything but a dog whistle telling conservatives not to like something. 

I thought Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., described this tactic beautifully Wednesday when he referred to it as a “smoke screen” used by Republicans when they want to slash funding.

“From behind this new catchphrase, Republicans want workers and families to line up behind the tax cheaters, behind the polluters, behind the campaign donors, behind the well-connected and the well-off whom they serve,” Whitehouse said.

He added: “Well, their problem is, you can say ‘woke’ for a while, but then people will notice that they no longer have disability benefits, or that they can’t afford their prescription drugs, or that huge corporations are paying nothing in taxes. The ‘woke screen’ is a smoke screen and people need to see through it.”

While we’re on the topic of Black colloquialisms, I have another to describe the senator’s remarks: “BARS!

(I can’t wait to see what Republicans do with that one.)





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