Wokeism poisons everything – Redlands Daily Facts
There are productive and meaningful ways to talk about societal issues like racism, poverty, inequality, and problems with the justice system. And there are inconsistent, obnoxious and stupid ways to do it.
The “wake-up call” is representative of the latter way of doing things, and it is everywhere, to the detriment of those of us who really want to solve the problems. It’s when people replace calm, rational examination of an issue with far-left talking points that are almost always nonsensical upon examination. Far-left ideas, like far-right ideas, are rarely helpful in understanding the world, much less helpful in finding real, tangible solutions.
I’ve mostly avoided writing about culture war and awakening issues, because that always seems to me to be the fast food of opinion writing.
But as a Jon Stewart fan at the time, I was disappointed with how he woke up.
On a recent episode of “The Trouble with Jon Stewart,” he hosted a segment called “The Trouble with White People.”
It happened basically as you think. White people, it was explained, are fundamentally racist and are involved in maintaining white supremacy whether they intend to or not, whether they know it or not.
One of the guests was a white woman named Lisa Bond from something called Race2Dinner, which offers small groups of (specifically) white women the privilege of being told they’re racist over dinner for $2,500.
All she really had to offer were Twitter talking points like, “Every white person supports these systems and structures of white supremacy and we need to talk about it.”
And Stewart and the audience in attendance just ate as if something significant was being said.
In highly educated liberal circles, this is what passes for profound. But all it really is is pseudo-intellectual nonsense that diverts attention from where the attention should be, that solves real problems faced by real people.
Unless you’re actually talking about literal white supremacist groups who have genuine white supremacist views, it makes no sense to throw the word around so casually and literally blame all the problems on it. It belittles what true white supremacists are and it belittles political discourse to reduce everything to something so extreme.
But it is awakening for you.
So, I was inspired to write this column giving just a brief overview of wokeism and how it is failing us.
Twitter is home to the peak of awakening, usually expressed in radical slogans about white supremacy or heterogeneous power structures. Things that don’t resonate with everyday people, whose support you would need to win political victories or change real or perceived injustices.
It was very woke to post “Black Lives Matter” a few years ago. But it would have been useful, for example, to black people, if tangible solutions could also have been proposed, and perhaps even followed. Most people who at one time or another said or tweeted “Black Lives Matter” had no idea what to say, really, after that. But the woke loons did.
They rallied around slogans such as “defund the police” as a solution, alienated the average American and thus wasted the momentum that could have been engaged in a number of legitimate public policy battles, from the end of the federal prohibition of marijuana to the dismantling of the doctrine invented by the court. of qualified immunity that protects offers that violate people’s civil rights from being held personally liable.
Awakening is what drives people to go to war with the likes of JK Rowling for saying perfectly reasonable things like, “If the sex isn’t real, there’s no attraction to the same sex. If the sex is not real, the lived reality of women in the world is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of gender robs many of the ability to meaningfully discuss their lives. It’s not hate to tell the truth.
The bizarre emphasis on JK Rowling for having opinions most people agree with has gotten to the point where Vladimir Putin recently likened Russia’s ‘cancellation’ to its ‘cancellation’.
It’s madness that doesn’t help anyone. Demonizing someone like JK Rowling for not being awake enough is the opposite of how you persuade people to take your cause seriously. It doesn’t help trans people. All the wokesters did was make their hyperbolic response to Rowling a target for right-wing trolls.
But the wokesters don’t care. They want sectarian devotion to their worldview, otherwise.
Woke up the politicians
Naturally, the politicians are trying to get her on the act.
One of my favorites here in California was when Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf took a bold and courageous stand against what she thought were nooses in a park. When Victor Sengbe, a black man, explained that it was really just exercise equipment, she doubled down on saying that “intentions don’t matter” and said that would be investigated as a hate crime.
In Schaaf’s mind, she was engaged in a righteous crusade against hate. It’s very woke, but it’s also absurd in this case.
To take a more concrete example.
The California legislature has repeatedly tried to show how woke it is. One attempt that blew up in the face was the 2020 ballot measure to restore affirmative action to state colleges, employment practices and state contracts. Since the state government has completely failed black and Latino communities when it comes to education and economic mobility, they figured they could cover up some of those failures with affirmative action.
They were certain that left-leaning Californians would opt for this very woke measure.
It failed miserably, with over 57% of Californians rejecting it. It’s not hard to see why: it reduced people to their demographic information, pitted people against each other based on their demographic information, and wouldn’t have solved any of the underlying problems.
Tackling the poor outcomes of black and Latino children in K-12 schools means reassessing the power of teachers’ unions, tenure, rethinking school choice, reprioritizing the state budget . But the state establishment has neither the courage nor the will to do so.
And I’ll even note here a politician I still like very much (I’ll write a column about that later, long story), Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón. Gascón starred in the case of Hannah Tubbs, the 26-year-old with a long criminal history who, at age 17, sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl. Tubbs, a man who identified as a trans woman after being arrested, can be heard on a recording gloating over the light punishment. Gascón’s office offered Tubbs a two-year contract at a juvenile facility out of concern for Tubbs.
It was, objectively, a stupidly awake thing for Gascón’s office. I don’t know if even the most wok of wokesters was ready to congratulate him for centering the interests of a 26-year-old sexual predator who now identifies as trans. At least he learned his lesson and brought his politics back to a more reasonable place, but wokeism almost drove him off a cliff, which in turn threatens the criminal justice reform movement he is now in. a figurehead.
Criminal justice reform is a serious project that needs to be done thoughtfully and empirically, not ideologically and emotionally.
Academia is of course a hotbed of madness that lurks behind the cover of the “stock market”.
Take, for example, the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy. The front page of their website reads: “Recognizing the dispossession and displacement wrought by the structures of global racial capitalism, our research and scholarship emphasize housing justice. Thinking of Los Angeles, as well as other key global nodes of struggle, we expose the modes of capitalist ownership and state violence that produce housing insecurity.
Uh. It’s really not that hard to figure out how to house more people: make it easier to build more houses.
Instead of babbling about “capitalist ownership and state violence,” promote reform of the California Environmental Quality Act, repeal mandates that make housing more expensive, and repeal mandates that deter housing construction.
There you go, done, abolish the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy.
Instead of babbling about how bad capitalism is, find the tangible solutions right in front of us that don’t require adhering to some elaborate, crazy worldview.
Many mainstream media outlets are clearly guilty of indulging and enabling revival.
New York Times columnist Nikole Hannah-Jones for some reason got a Pulitzer for her historically illiterate “Project 1619”, which is erroneously based on the idea that “one of the main reasons the settlers decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.
Dozens of historians have criticized the historical claims of the project, which makes sense, since these are historians who studied this stuff for a living.
Despite its flaws, efforts like the “1619 Project” have helped give ammunition to those on the furthest fringe of the left who simply want to downplay anything about America and the founding principles of America. America to white supremacy and racism.
As most people know: uh, it’s more complicated than that.
It’s spreading everywhere, including sparking culture wars over how to teach history in schools.
But, again, is anyone helped by this?
I will stop here.
I think I made my point.
The alarm clock is stupid.
Because the far left is.
Sal Rodriguez can be reached at [email protected]