We Hear You: Awake or Woke in America

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Editor’s note: Judging from your emails, many in The Daily Signal’s audience don’t recognize the “woke” country around them and long for a return to normal. Here’s a sampling from the mailbag at [email protected]—Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: I awoke at 5 one recent morning like something had hit me in the head. It was as if I were awake to something for the first time in a long while.

Why can’t I go to church as usual? Sit in my pew with my friends, pray, and sing hymns? 

At Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge National Historical Park, we always started our service with the Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem. I miss that.

Why are the schools closed? The kids have missed a year of learning, of being with friends, and have had no sports or other activities.

My grandson had a “phony” graduation, no prom or parties, when he graduated last year from high school in Radnor, Pennsylvania. The school administration did the best it could, given the guidelines it was forced to follow.

We’re still paying our school taxes, which promise to go up. What are we getting? Teachers are allowed to “hold out.”

Why are we pummeled with COVID-19 numbers hour after hour, day in and day out? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and even our own health departments seem to be playing games.

Many in the medical professions say it’s safe enough to get the kids back in school and us back to church and basically resume a more normal life. Why aren’t we? Who is keeping us from doing this?

And why is there an enormous fence around our U.S. Capitol? A very tall fence, miles long, with razor wire along the top and anchors in the ground.

Who allowed this to be built? What is it supposed to be protecting? Do our National Guard troops still sleep in garages and eat bad food near the Capitol?

Why are we allowing these things to happen, this tyranny? Who is in charge? Who is doing this to us?

We’re the proverbial frog in the boiling pot, and the pot is about to boil over. It is way past time to fight back and put a halt to this.

Author and editor John Basil Barnhill, during a discussion of socialism in 1914, is recorded as saying: “Where the people fear their government, there is tyranny. Where the government fears the people, there is freedom.” Amen.—Betty Dunkel Hernon, Phoenixville, Pa.

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A French Twist on Wokeness

Dear Daily Signal: About Jarrett Stepman’s commentary “If France Can Reject Wokeness, So Can We,” I recently received an email from my daughter’s alma mater, a private college in Texas.

The administrators there will be reviewing the names on all school buildings to check for political correctness. (This is blunt; they were way more obtuse in the letter.)

I wrote back something to this effect:

You are headed down a slippery slope.  Let me remind you that no one in the history of the world is perfect. Look to your religious roots. King David owned slaves, he was an adulterer and a murderer. Yet God loved him and future generations of Jews have not rejected the writings of the Davidic dynasty.

Saint Paul (previously Saul) famously persecuted early “Christians” even to death, until he became one himself.  Have Christians rejected all Pauline doctrine because of his infamous past? No.

I guarantee you that every one of the named buildings on campus has a flawed person behind the name. Let me save you time and money: Name the buildings after colors and numbers, but please avoid white, black, yellow, brown, red, 1, 2, and 13.—Barry J. Rava, Houston

Dear Daily Signal: In response to Jarrett Stepman’s commentary “If France Can Reject Wokeness, So Can We,” I say wokeness is socialism rebranded to sound less insidious and self-serving.

Wokees are all about control of society and control of you and me.  History is to be remembered and learned from, not destroyed. 

Wokees want to remove and destroy history, so we won’t recognize what they are doing (as it’s all been done before) and so it won’t interfere with their plans to gain control of U.S. society.  

Please refute them and do not allow them to take control of our schools, government, and historical institutions. 

The First Amendment guarantees they should be able to express themselves, but we must guard against them achieving any of their goals. The First Amendment is sacred to everyone, not just freedom-loving conservatives. And without the Second Amendment, the First Amendment will not exist.—Jerry M. Houston, North Carolina

Dear Daily Signal: I almost fainted dead away when I read this comment from former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss in Jarrett Stepman’s commentary: 

Every day I hear from those with means with children at private schools who are being brainwashed; people who run companies where they are scared of their own employees; people who donate to their alma mater even though it betrays their principles.

I have found myself in this exact same situation. I have literally been putting together a letter to the alumni relations director explaining why, after 50 years of donating, I no longer can support my prep school. I did love it at one time, but no longer do.

When the word “equity” is used, I think of Karl Marx, who said: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” 

When the term “microaggressions” is used, I think it’s time to grow up. That’s something kids at prep schools and colleges don’t seem to want to do.

I credited my prep school, Williston Academy, with showing me the pathway to adulthood. Looks as though that is a thing of the past.

This is long but you will find both “equity” and “micro-aggressions” along with the rest of the brainwashing terms on full display in the letter below.

Thank you for this article. I was feeling guilty, but no more.—Fred Ruder III, Williston Class of ’68, Broomfield, Colo.

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When the people who are behind the woke ideology get the government they want, with way too much power, someone truly ruthless will take over.

 I don’t know what Lenin would have done in Russia, but I know what Stalin did.—Lawrence Baker

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Thank you, French President Emmanuel Macron and The Daily Signal for taking the time to turn your headlights on—even during the day. Truth!—Richard Howard

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Wokeness gone too far: Disney is putting warning labels on Muppets movies? Why? Because Miss Piggy is caustic? She is the … (wait for it) … pig de resistance.Ron Smith, Larned, Kan.

Woke Math Doesn’t Add Up

Dear Daily Signal: I’m responding to Jarrett Stepman’s commentary, “Woke Math Spreads to Oregon.” As a mathematician, I think back to the earliest recorded histories of civilizations. In those histories were mathematical discoveries of remarkable complexity.

These earliest civilizations developed geometry for surveying and navigating, counting notations, and systems for commerce. The Greeks discovered some esoteric concepts that still inform mathematical advances thousands of years later. 

Mathematics, in fact, is essential to the fabric of civilization. And if our “woke” academics dismantle it, they will create a population of humans too ignorant to perform even the basic decisions needed in life. 

And who suffers? The poor, who can’t escape these cesspools of indoctrination that we charitably call schools.

Once again, the progressives’ soft bigotry of low expectations steals opportunity and future parity from exactly the identity groups they claim to care for.—John Doner

Dear Daily Signal: As a former high school math teacher, after reading Jarrett Stepman’s commentary on woke math I can only shake my head in disgusted wonder and bow my head in prayer. 

Having recently reviewed The New York Times’ 1619 Project and having immediately recognized its lies and distortions as propaganda to draw children’s minds into the mire of group-think, I’m not surprised that the poison of Marxist indoctrination has found its way into the teaching of mathematics.

It is divisive and places children in a separate but morally nonequivalent groups based on race, ethnicity, and sexuality. It disheartens all of them and is designed to disfigure views on the United States and its founding– during which the prevailing, motivating impulse was freedom–and twist it into a sorry saga of white supremacy, slavery, and oppression. 

Now we find the father of lies slithering into the math class. These woke alchemists use their dark powers to turn the refreshing, invigorating, clear water of mathematical thinking into swamp sludge. Their victims are the souls of children themselves, but these “educators” are far too unconscious to see that.

All of them could use a refresher course in mathematics, logic, and enlivened thinking, and experiment personally with these new, absurd techniques of study to see how they lead to failure and ignorance.

Hillsdale College offers a free, online course on Euclid and the evolution of geometric thinking. It might awaken a few of these dolts from their tormented nightmare. They will learn that clear, free thinking favors the individual and transcends ethnic, racial, and cultural identity.

This is an antidote to the slavery of group-think, and may help them stand up against the totalitarian forces they blindly follow today.—Bill Kelly, Huntsville, Utah

Dear Daily Signal: As an engineer, I cannot avoid commenting on Jarrett Stepman’s “woke math” article.

Math is a nonpartisan, nonethnic, nonracist, nonpolitical science that deals in the logic of quantities, shapes, and arrangements. Being old school, we had to memorize addition, subtraction, and multiplication tables in school, and practice each with sample problems.

Having a fundamental grip on math positions you for a brighter future in life or, dare I say, the ability to think for yourself. I cannot understand how anyone can attach racism or some other attribute to solving math problems.

The school systems are doing a huge disservice by confusing students with unrelated jargon (garbage) that only sets them up for failure in the real world.

I think the bigger picture here is to dumb down society, starting in the schools. This sets up the government to be the cradle-to-grave supplier for the population as citizens become incapable of providing for themselves.

I can tell you one thing from experience: If you don’t learn how to do math on a basic level, you’re cutting yourself off from many endeavors in life. You don’t have to know how to solve calculus problems or complex or differential equations to survive, but having a basic understanding of simple math sure helps.

I feel sorry for the cashier who has to rely on the register to tell him or her how much change to provide. You can see him struggle when you give him more money than the amount owed, just to reduce the amount of change given back.

But again, I am old school. I actually pay for many things with cash money and do not charge or debit all my purchases. Just my 2 cents.—Richard DeBuck, Houston

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This effort with woke math points up the fact that electing conservatives to local and state school boards (where those boards are elected) is critical in eliminating such nonsense from our public education systems.

It also demonstrates the importance of parents’ being actively engaged in knowing what their children are being exposed to in school. 

Until these two elements of the puzzle are mastered, we will very likely be playing whack-a-mole with this sort of destructive indoctrination for years to come.

Complacency is as much a disease in America as COVID-19. Keep up your efforts. They are sorely needed.—Thomas Stark Weston, West Virginia

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I have said many times that we did not win the Cold War. We are becoming more and more like a communist nation.

This “woke” math proves it. The long-term goal is to brainwash the kids.—John Winslow, Tucson

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