We continue to focus on the wrong things

“Woke” is a word that gets tossed around a lot these days.

A lot.

I had not heard of the word until a couple of years ago, but now it gets used all the time, generally as a put down of a segment of society that is fighting against what is sees as injustice.

Just so we all are clear here, “woke” means “alert to injustice in society, especially racism.” Now, I don’t know about you, but reading that I think we should all be a lot more woke.

Racism continues to be a huge problem in our society. After years of slow progress, in recent years we have really slipped backward. It has become more acceptable in certain circles to belittle, mock and even for politicians to use racist dog whistles.

Tearing down Confederate statues in this country was and is a good thing. Is it “woke” to tear down statues honoring those committed to oppression and racism? If so, again, we should all be woke.

Of course, in 2022 we can’t all just agree on something. One side or the other twists a meaning, starts with the sloganeering and we drive the entire concept off the cliff collectively. It is like the whole “cancel culture” thing, which I have written about before. People complain about it, and then do the same thing when it suits their needs.

Look at those complaining about people being woke. Those people mock it and put it down and want those they consider woke to suffer some consequences.

Isn’t that just cancel culture? Of course it is, but people rarely see themselves in the things they love to hate.

Honestly, this is all so tiring. I feel like we, as a society, are looking for things to keep us separated. Us vs. them seems to be the American way these days, and we can’t sustain that forever.

When I look at those who are feeling the most pressure to push back against things they see as “woke,” it is the same people who want to protect the status quo, even when that is no longer working. We can’t stay stuck, people. We must move forward, even if that makes certain people uncomfortable.

No one said progress would be easy. And yes, this is progress. Fighting racism, helping lift up those who have been marginalized – those are good things. Those are things we all should be doing without question.

If you feel that lifting all Americans is somehow a threat to you or your “lifestyle,” you are the problem. We should want the same rights and freedoms for all Americans.

So, can we please dispense of nonsense like critical race theory (which means “don’t teach actual history”) and cancel culture and wokeism? These are not real problems in this country.

We have plenty of problems to focus on: Out of control healthcare costs, wages not keeping up with the cost of living, warming temps that are going to pose huge problems here and all over the world, deteriorating infrastructure.

Those are things that do and will affect our lives directly. Those are problems we need to focus on and correct. Every time I see a friend on social media having a fundraiser because they have an ailment and, even though they have worked hard and paid their taxes and heave “good” health insurance, they are on the verge of going broke, it makes me angry. Not at them, but at people doing nothing to help average Americans when it comes to healthcare costs.

That is a real problem. Worrying about someone being “woke” is not.

If you hear elected officials screaming about cancel culture and wokeism and critical race theory, it is clear these are unserious people not concerned with the daily lives of Americans.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could focus on the things that really mattered?