"Florida, Where Woke Goes to Die" What Does It Mean?
New College of Florida Needs a Detailed Answer for Guidance
We have a mandate. Governor Ron DeSantis declared that Florida is where woke goes to die and the proceeded to win the election by tremendous margin of 19 points. The taxpayers of Florida have spoken clearly. Do we understand the assignment? As I see it, we as trustees, are to lead New College of Florida out of wokeness and into its mission:
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1004.32 New College of Florida.—
(1) MISSION AND GOALS.—New College of Florida with a campus in Sarasota County serves a distinctive mission as the residential liberal arts honors college of the State of Florida. To maintain this mission, New College of Florida has the following goals:(a) To provide a quality education to students of high ability who, because of their ability, deserve a program of study that is both demanding and stimulating.(b) To engage in educational reform by combining educational innovation with educational excellence.(c) To provide programs of study that allow students to design their educational experience as much as possible in accordance with their individual interests, values, and abilities.(d) To challenge students not only to master existing bodies of knowledge but also to extend the frontiers of knowledge through original research.
Florida Statutes for New College
I feel like the answer to the question is common sense. But, as the saying goes, common sense isn’t so common. Also, it is easy to talk about but difficult to actually articulate. We will need to articulate common sense in order to carry out our mandate. We will need boldness and courage in order to give clear guidance to curriculum and other committees of this board as well as school administrators, faculty, staff and students.
I would like to propose that we define wokeness as a religion. We can clearly see anti-racism as the new racism. In like manner anti-religion is the new religion. Please compare Wokeness to these definitions of religion:
Definition @ dictionary.com
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion;the Buddhist religion.
3. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
Definition at Britannica.com
religion, human beings’ relation to that which they regard as holy, sacred, absolute, spiritual, divine, or worthy of especial reverence. It is also commonly regarded as consisting of the way people deal with ultimate concerns about their lives and their fate after death. In many traditions, this relation and these concerns are expressed in terms of one’s relationship with or attitude toward gods or spirits; in more humanistic or naturalistic forms of religion, they are expressed in terms of one’s relationship with or attitudes toward the broader human community or the natural world. In many religions, texts are deemed to have scriptural status, and people are esteemed to be invested with spiritual or moral authority.
Definition at Merriam-Webster.com
1: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
2a(1): the service and worship of God or the supernatural
(2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
b: the state of a religious
a nun in her 20th year of religion
3: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
: relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity
a religious person
Wokeness fits these definitions regardless of whether its supporters agree with the definition or not. As a Christian, I do not like to be called religious and try to explain that my set of beliefs is not a religion, but a relationship with God. This does not exclude me from being defined by my beliefs as religious. Likewise, Wokeness is a set of beliefs concerning the nature of the universe containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs, ergo religion.
Religion is hard to recognize at first until it becomes dogmatic in its approach. What we are seeing now that has caused a backlash is not the religion of Wokeness, but the dogmatic expression of that religion through aggression that seeks to coerce pledges of fealty. In Islam, these forced pledges are called Bay’ah. As Americans and Floridians we should not fight against Islam, but we should fight against bay’ah. This distinction is critical. Coercion and intimidation into a religion is dangerous to our liberties and is clearly an anti-western totalitarian practice.
My mom used to say, “well, you can run it up the flag pole and see who salutes.” It was another way of saying try it out. This has changed slowly over my lifetime. We have seen the priests of Wokeness run something up the flagpole, and then demand that you salute.
We have seen this in the anti-American practice of kneeling at sporting events. While others may claim that this practice is about awareness. I believe that most people in the higher ranks of this religion would see the connection of this practice as virtue signaling connected to Barack Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright when he famously stated, “no, not God bless America, but God Damn America!”
Comedians also recognize this cultural truth and have delighted audiences with it by holding up a mirror to the culture. This episode of Seinfeld amusingly highlights such pledges of fealty demanded by these priests of wokeness. I recommend the entire clip, but you can move to the 2:07 mark to get the gist of it.
Kramer says no, “you are a ribbon bully” and consequently pays the price. And here on SNL two cultures find surprising common ground, but in the end the dogmatic tenets of wokeness won’t allow such unity and demand a pledge of fealty with the final Jeopardy question.
We need to be working from a commonly understood set of words and understanding. Wokeness is a religion. There are many very fine attributes of Wokeness that we all share. There is also religious dogma associated with this religion that should not be a part of NCF’s curriculum. Additionally, there are forced pledges of fealty through intimidation and coercion that should not only be eliminated, but also made to be a part of NCF’s curriculum of how to fight against it.
The desire to give NCF’s students a classical education (in the basic sense) is not enough. Students need to incorporate the last 10 years and even the last 3 years into their consciences and work through our recent history to identify risks to our way of life. A strong new curriculum combined with the mentorship of experienced faculty to inspire courage to speak the truth is new. This new approach will enable graduates of NCF to stand and fight to secure the benefits of our constitutional liberty, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, and guarantee equal civil and political rights to all.
Once Wokeness is defined as a religion, I would suggest creating a committee to give the necessary further detailed definition of these three categories.
Aspects of wokeness that are shared values. These aspects should be incorporated and included in our curriculum. They should also be supported in extra-curricular programs and activities. Diversity and inclusion, for example, we should not and clearly would not throw out of any curriculum that describes the beautiful aspects of America’s diversity. In fact, this should be celebrated and America’s triumphs in creating this melting pot should be recognized. And the shared values that unite us should be highlighted as the glue that hold us together.
Aspects of wokeness that are dogmatic. These aspects should not be incorporated into a curriculum, nor supported through school sponsored programs or activities. One example of a dogmatic expression of wokeness is the assertion that America and its institutions are systemically racist and must be torn down.
Aspects of wokeness that are in essence pledges of fealty. These aspects should be actively fought against; furthermore, curriculum, programs and activities should be made that expresses the dangers of these aspects and equips students to fight against them in defense of Florida’s constitution. Through either coercion or intimidation these pledges of fealty are antithetical to Floridians shared values. One such example of a pledge of fealty is the demand that woke pronouns are used. These aspects
Therefore I suggest this framework be recognized and adopted as an initial guiding principles to give clear guidance to curriculum and other committees of this board as well as school administrators, faculty, staff and students.
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Here we see a perfect example of a deeply mediocre white man. His writing, which is frankly embarrassing, reveals that there's no possible way he has achieved his position by merit. It's understandable that he feels compelled to deny the existence of the very racism and sexism that makes it possible for him to hold this position for which he is so clearly unqualified.
He's a Christian who denys what Christ actually said and did. He's a constitutionalist who wants to compel prayer. He's the very model of a modern republican.
And now, as they so often do, he's going to ruin a good thing that other people built and then blame the thing for being broken. He will show no shame, no embarrassment, and will likely pay no consequences.
Sigh. This is, at best, a B paper in a high school English class about opinion writing taught by a mediocre teacher with low grading standards. It should not be mistaken for a well-researched, well-reasoned, or well-written piece of scholarship. (I suspect the author wouldn’t recognize such even if one chased him around a library and bit him on the ass.) Unfortunately, some people (honestly, more than I care to acknowledge at the moment) will mistake it for something more—something deeper—than it is: the unnecessarily-long-form version of musings-masquerading-as-deep-thoughts that are as shallow as a debate between button-pushing-dogs arguing in 30-second Insta reel about whether the backyard is for pee or water. (Serious question: How many words can you define while simultaneously demonstrating you have little to no understanding of those words or language or religion or history or sociology or critical analysis or critical reasoning—nevermind. Truly, it boggles the mind and is a feat that should only be attempted by the most naturally (or intentionally) obtuse.) Nevertheless, even dull blades can cut and shallow waters can drown, so I am not unaware that it is also a dangerous piece of writing in light of its author’s position and the social context in which he has written it. I have no doubt its release into the world will promote societal harm and inspire even greater declarations of ignorance and hubris and physical acts that result in the misfortune of many people. I believe in God, but I do not recognize the unflattering representations of God and the Christian faith that are expressly and/or implicitly presented in writings such as this. The God I serve is, among other things, love. I did not find or feel God in this piece. I found and felt hubris and smallness, a spirit of scarcity, mediocrity and a lack of rigor. My God has higher standards than what this piece achieves. Older folks folks say more simply, “God don’t like ugly.” Well, this piece is ugly.