Gov. Ron DeSantis’s “War on Woke” is nothing new in Florida. Although many point to Anita Bryant’s 1977 “Save Our Children” campaign as the forerunner, the War on Woke started with the Florida Legislative Investigative Committee, popularly known as the “Johns Committee.”
A few days ago, a federal judge in Florida temporarily blocked a new law allowing the state to penalize businesses that admit children to “adult live performances” such as drag shows. Judge Gregory A. Presnell of the Federal District Court in Orlando issued a preliminary injunction blocking the new law, which went into effect last month. The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the measure in April. Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for president, has made anti-LGBTQ policies central to his agenda, signed the legislation in late May.
In 1978, as a sophomore in college, I was assigned to read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and then write an essay for the English class. Fahrenheit 451 was written in 1953; it presents an American society where books have been personified and outlawed and "firemen" burn any that are found. The novel follows Guy Montag, a fireman who becomes disillusioned with his role of censoring literature and destroying knowledge, eventually quitting his job and committing himself to the preservation of literary and cultural writings.
This month we celebrate Stonewall once again, the historic riots that gave birth in June 1968 to Gay Pride. The spark was lit by tired and rebellious drag queens. Today, Drag Queens are under fire once more thanks to the efforts initiated by our own HIT (Hitler in Training) Ron DeSantis.
The current dangerous trend of trying to water down or erase history in the quest for “unbiased” and politically motivated reasons is covering our eyes from history as a whole — averting our attention from those lessons of the past that we must learn and remember lest we be doomed to repeat those same mistakes.
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