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The Woke Mind Virus
Today, being “woke,” has little relevance to its original 1930s racial context. The term has become broadly generalized to encompass so-called “protected groups.” These mostly arbitrary, and unrelated, groups are labeled beyond reproach by the media and government.
Woke no longer means merely being aware of discrimination, unfairness, and oppression, nor does it connote simply being a good, compassionate, caring human being. Ironically, in practice, wokeness manifests in bullying, threats, identitarian essentialism, and devaluation of others. Many times it’s just narcissism masquerading as empathy. Acceptance and tolerance aren’t seen as good enough. Good people must actively celebrate and promote. Wokeness perverts empathy by elevating victimhood and weakness, literally incentivizing people to identify as members of perceived victimized groups, stumbling over themselves to claim trauma, even on behalf of others. In reality, compassion and empathy must be tempered by discernment, discretion, and healthy skepticism.
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The Forced Morality Binary
Empathy and compassion have become weaponized through a crafted morality binary: if you don’t agree with us, on whatever “the thing” is, you are a monster, an enemy, and your opinion must be silenced. “Too dangerous to be heard,” is far too common.
“The thing,” seamlessly moves from one issue to another, demanding compliance with a preferred narrative: Gender Theory, Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter, Critical Race Theory, COVID vaccines, Wearing Masks, Ukraine, Climate Change, Abortion, Election Integrity, The Border Crisis, Monkeypox, Elon Musk, Censorship, Parental Rights in Education. It’s all seen to be black and white, right and wrong, a morality binary, despite all being nuanced topics that demand deeper discussion.
Progressing from a black square to the newest version of a pride flag, from COVID vaccination status to the Ukrainian flag, narcissistically worn as if a badge of honor, virtue-signaling is constantly on display. Any questions or deviation from the approved narrative is quickly ostracized and silenced.
Freedom of speech and association are cornerstones of America. We need more discussion, more transparency, and more dissent, not less. “De-platforming” and “de-banking” should have no place here. Perhaps we need to update our anti-discrimination laws to include protecting political opinions.
Wokeness has no place in education. Collective guilt, incentivized grievance, racial essentialism, and rejection of merit & achievement aren’t healthy ingredients for prosperous successful students. In teaching our children, we should be honest about injustices in the US, but only in context with American ideals and the actual progress that has been made toward realizing them. Grievance-centered teaching through a Critical Theory lens is not teaching honest history, and ultimately sets children up for an unhappy and pessimistic life. Prioritizing “equity,” which, by definition, requires arbitrarily enforced discrimination, over equality, isn’t healthy nor equitable. Merit-based admissions, academic standards, and optimistic possibility should be the norm. Elimination of standardized testing, grading, and disciplinary standards will only produce mediocre students unprepared for adult life. The bar should be raised, not lowered. Raising our children to be successful productive citizens should be the priority.
Criminals, Addicts, and Homeless
Safe streets are the bare minimum obligation of a city government to its taxpayers. Woke progressive policies are destroying our cities. Unsafe streets result from bail reform, de-carceration, harm-reduction and homelessness. It’s common sense that decriminalizing crime causes more crime. More criminals on the street means more crime. So called “safe use,” sites aren’t an answer, merely enabling the problems with no significant addict redirection into treatment programs. The answers seem simple: mandatory compulsory in-patient treatment for the mentally ill and drug addicts, and jail time for criminals. The funding is there, but it’s being used incorrectly and funneled to the wrong non-government organizations. Prioritizing the safety and well-being of taxpayers and families should be the norm.
While the list of “protected people” is constantly growing, in reality, most LGB don’t consider the others a legitimate part of their community. Their long-fought struggle to mainstream same-sex marriage is now overshadowed. Pride has been co-opted and weaponized in the name of “queering” and gender ideology. We must not only accept, but also actively celebrate every element, without question, in the name of inclusion.
Again, in reality, compassion and empathy should be tempered by discernment, discretion, and healthy skepticism. None of that requires celebration or promotion.
Wokeness, from an activist standpoint, is ultimately about control, exploiting the kindness of people, policing language and narrative under the guise of empathy. “Fat-shaming, misgendering, and land acknowledgements” are some examples of this. It is an objective fact that obesity is unhealthy, but stating that fact is now somehow a “perceived harm,” to an obese person. “Misgendering” someone is also now “harm.” In some places, a purely virtue-signaling “land acknowledgement” is required at the start of an event.
For a woke protector, taking on “grievances of oppressed people” on behalf of others delivers a narcissistic savior complex endorphin rush. It literally feels good to signal ones virtue, whether truly virtuous or not. Censoring any questioning or skepticism of their views is always within bounds because those on the opposite side of the issue are considered “the bad guys.” To them, the ends justify the means.
In attempting forced normalization of things that would be conventionally unpopular, woke narratives divide and control through manipulation of “grievance,” creating and then amplifying problems, rather than solving them.
Anti-woke isn’t anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, or anti-equality. It’s neither MAGA nor fascist, and it’s absolutely not discriminatory or extremist. Anti-woke rejects the artificially constructed forced morality binary. Elevating arbitrarily chosen “grievances” and protecting select groups above others can only end in disaster. Not all grievance rises to a level that requires or demands redress. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated.