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Letters for Tuesday, July 19, 2022

What’s ‘woke?’

When I first heard the word “woke,” I figured it was a shortened version of the word “awake.”

So I went to my dictionary and looked up “woke” and “awake.”

“Woke” is defined as being a slang word meaning be aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues, especially those of race and social justice.

“Awake” is to be not asleep, fully conscious, alert and aware.

Certainly a strong connection between the two words.

The first recorded use of the word “woke” was in 1938 by blues musician Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. He performed the song “Scottsboro Boys” that told the story of nine Black teens who were accused of raping two white women. He ends the song, and in a warning to Black people says, “Best stay woke, keep their eyes open.”

Be aware, know your surroundings, be awake, be woke. Great advice for the Jim Crow South. These days the word “woke” is often demonized, weaponized and, in the end-game, cancelled.

I knew all along that the extreme right-wing loved cancel-culture. They just had to find the right subject, “being aware, being conscious, being woke,” and then attack.

In America it’s dangerous to pay attention.

Mark Perry, Lihu‘e

Waipouli construction wall dangerous

Now that hurricane season is upon us we need to call attention to a potential threat on the Eastside. Since the permit lapsed for construction on Aleka Loop, the temporary wall has remained. It continues to deteriorate, and some panels are barely held on by a few rusty nails.

Should a hurricane or substantial wind event hit our island, the wall will turn into multiple projectiles, putting all those across the street in danger. We encourage county officials to find a solution that will keep area residents safe.

Karen and Kevin Hall, Waipouli

Navy think humans haven’t done enough damage to planet

According to a July 18, 2022 TGI article, RIMPAC has seen fit to trash another Navy ship in our oceans.

We are not told the number of times RIMPAC has done this, but it seems a US Navy ship is sunk with every RIMPAC.

It’s bad enough that every two years we invite well over 20 nations to practice war in the Pacific at the expense of our ocean environment and marine life. Apparently the Navy doesn’t think humans have done enough damage to the planet yet.

Paulo Tambolo, Wailua Homesteads
Source: The Garden Island

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