Editorial: “CRT! ESG! DEI! Hut one! Hut two! ‘Woke'”

Column By John Young

Do you suffer the pain, itch, and night sweats of contextual CRT in schools?

Has intersectionality harmed the unwitting young near you?

Have you noticed the debilitating condition of DEI in businesses and agencies around you?

Have any of your governmental institutions developed the syndrome of ESG?

If you are wondering about these terms, don’t ask your doctor. Unless he watches a ton of Fox News, he won’t have a clue either.

Ron DeSantis will tell you, though. He’ll go on and on. He’s a veritable acronym factory.

I have to say, one needs a dog-whistle glossary to decode conservatives these days.

Consider “woke.” YouTubers are getting great mirth from a clip of a right-wing talker prone to assail wokeness. When asked to explain what the word means, she stumbles and fumbles like a peewee backfield.

So, what is it? For African-Americans, “woke” is the condition of being an energized citizen. For white people of the frightful right, it’s a 21st-century derivative of “uppity (n-word).”

For those who use it liberally (which is never to call them liberals), “woke” provides a broad palate for people who need a social alarm to get up in the morning.

It’s like “political correctness,” a term Donald Trump used from a debate platform to catapult to the front of the GOP pack in 2016.

Saying you are not PC in the Trump mold means, “Racist as I wannabe.” (Insert “rude,” “greedy,” “misogynist.” Whatever you wannabe.)

Now, back to that dog-whistle glossary and why threats wrapped in acronyms are stupid politics.

DeSantis will rattle off the ABCs that stand for critical race theory (CRT); diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing as if everyone knows them, or cares. But of course, not everyone is a MAGA extremist.

Anyone who uses words to make a living will tell you a bunch of acronyms will lose people. They are a turn-off, a disconnect.

See the dynamic at play in today’s drug commercials.

If you haven’t unplugged from cable, you know too well the annoying drug ads that go on and on, production masterworks with spritely jingles and feel-good images.

They make time to advise us about every possible adverse effect. We appreciate this, though we suffer neither from moderate nor severe plaque psoriasis or bulging eye disease. We just hope the best for those who do.

Though in each commercial the merry drug merchants make time to lay out any and all agony that could visit their clientele, they apparently don’t have time to give us the complete name for the conditions their drugs treat.

Hence, acronyms: “TED” (thyroid eye disease). “A1C” (blood sugar something or other). “PML?” “RMS?” “JAK?” I lose track, Jack. I did look up “IBS” and found it stands for “irritable bowel syndrome.”

The drug companies use this shorthand because they are broadcasting to a tiny sliver of the population. A sliver, by the way, that could not possibly justify the immense outlay and creative splendor of the ads in question. How many bulging eyes do we have out there?

And so I ask, how many Americans know or care what DEI is, Mr. DeSantis? You’ve made it a central issue of the leadership you would bring to the nation and world.

Please explain “intersectionality” in 10 words or less. Sorry. The word count’s up.

DeSantis has used indecipherable white grievance code to rocket to relevance in the GOP. Understand, though, that dog whistles achieve only so much.

For the unaffected, what are these people really saying? How is one supposed to react?

A dog doesn’t know what it’s supposed to react to, either. It just knows to howl.

The rest of us just cover our ears.

DeSantis can offer all the Republican codes and acronyms he or Fox News can devise. They ring true to a sliver of sufferers of the grievances he bears.

To a whole lot of Americans, however, DeSantis, like Trump, simply and pathetically comes across as one who suffers from IBS – incessant blowhard syndrome.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email him at jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.