Editor's Note

Editor’s note: Eric Adams needs to be cautious about using the word ‘woke’

New York City’s mayor should remember this isn’t Florida.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams

New York City Mayor Eric Adams Caroline Willis/ Mayoral Photo Office

New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ many colorful public statements are certainly attention grabbing. And the remarks he made on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday were no exception. It was the day after the State of the Union and the mayor was asked in what way Democrats had a disconnect with working-class voters. He answered that the Democratic base was “hemorrhaging” Latino and Asian communities and suggested that part of the blame was on those who are “the loudest and those who consider themselves to be ‘woke.’” He added: “Some of us never went to sleep.”

Adams chose to use a term that Republicans and some of the more conservative politicians across the U.S. have weaponized to carry out their agendas. One only needs to look at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “anti-woke” policies and more recently Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ comments in the GOP’s response to the State of the Union.

Adams, who was a Republican previously, is a moderate Democrat who deserves to express his opinion but not when he’s using the same language that’s being distorted and abused by others, especially those in a party he no longer wants to be affiliated with. “‘Woke’ is a term pundits are now using as a derogatory euphemism for civil rights & justice,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted just before the start of the State of the Union. Surely, Adams doesn’t want to be lumped into that group. He’s better off sticking with his original “Get Stuff Done” messaging. At least that sets out to accomplish something on a more positive note.