by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Daniel Idfresne offers New York Post readers a column that could ease their minds about the pervasiveness of the woke.
I’m a first-generation, 17-year-old Black American who grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the Brooklyn neighborhood made famous by Jay-Z.
Given that brief biography, perhaps you’d assume that I’m a Black Lives Matter slogan-chanting, capitalism-chastising teen activist. Or that I’m an at-risk youth, destined for dropping out or incarceration.
You’d be wrong on both counts.
I’m a religious Christian and political conservative with an after-school job as a dishwasher at Panera: three things that, if we’re to believe the statistics about Gen Z, make me an outlier.
One thing the studies definitely get right: my peers and I are online all the time. I’ve had a cellphone since I was 11 years old and immediately downloaded Instagram. While there had always been references to social justice, they didn’t dominate. Until the past two years. Suddenly, they were everywhere I clicked and, often, at the centerpiece of our lesson plans at school. As classes moved from the classroom to bedroom, I began to notice my classmates denouncing their “white privilege” in Instagram posts, updating their bios with their gender pronouns, and posting links to various social justice causes.
Even though I find myself in similar circles as my activist counterparts, I did none of those things. I’m a proponent of equality and pluralism. But I don’t believe in the kind of self-aggrandizing, virtue signaling that accompanies so much of “woke” politics.
My inoculation — against woke politics and the social accreditation thereof — was given to me in stages.
The first shot came early, care of my parents, who run a Baptist church in our Brooklyn neighborhood. My mom and my dad, both immigrants from Haiti, have always been devout. Before they had a space for their church, they held services in the living room of our Bed-Stuy apartment.