A growing number of Americans appear to be pushing back on so-called “wokeness” and are choosing instead to stick with their traditions, values, and mores amid non-stop demands to abandon them.
Despite facing opposition from the Left during the tumultuous periods of 2020 and 2021, the state song of Kentucky, “My Old Kentucky Home,” was played before the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in 2021 and will be played again in 2023.
The event organizers have stood firm in their decision not to give in to woke critics and cancel the song, which has been played at the race since 1921.
In 2020, controversy surrounding the song began to intensify, and in 2021, woke critics called for the Kentucky Derby to remove it from the event.
Newsweek reported on the controversy surrounding the song at the time, saying, “while some people consider the song to be a powerful condemnation of slavery,” others have a problem with “its original title and lyrics, and the contexts in which it has been performed, including at minstrel shows.”
Despite left-wing criticisms, even Smithsonian Magazine described the song as “a condemnation of Kentucky’s enslavers who sold husbands away from their wives and mothers away from their children,” and as “the lament of an enslaved person who has been forcibly separated from his family and his painful longing to return to the cabin with his wife and children.”
However, as has become a common occurrence, the woke critics disregarded the historical and traditional significance of the song, and instead sought to force the Kentucky Derby to eliminate a cherished aspect of the event to appease their demands.
Thankfully, the Kentucky Derby stood its ground and played the song, despite facing criticism from the woke mob.
Tonya Abeln, Churchill Downs VP of Corporate Communications, said:
“We give careful considerations to all of our traditions year after year. And this one in particular we’ve engaged in really meaningful conversations with the community and with our fans. And with that said, it’s the state song of Kentucky and we’ll be singing it before this year’s Kentucky Derby.”
“It is the state song of Kentucky. To our knowledge there isn’t any larger discussion about that changing. If that were to happen, we’d certainly respond to that.”