by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Charles Cooke of National Review Online challenges those who defend the politically “woke.”
Emily Hauser suggests that:
“‘Woke,’ like ‘PC’ before it, means ‘being decent to people who are not you’ and it is genuinely remarkable how many people are willing to go on record as being firmly opposed to such an endeavor.”
Perhaps it would help Hauser to understand why so “many people are willing to go on record as being firmly opposed to such an endeavor” if it were noted that her description here is inaccurate — and to the point at which it is hard to believe that she can really mean it. To look at what is happening in the United States at present and say, “Woke just means being decent to people who are not like you” is the equivalent of saying, “but Antifa just means anti-fascist” or, “Communism just means making sure people have enough to eat.” They don’t mean that, and only a useful idiot would propose otherwise.
In practice, “wokeness” involves a lot of extremely destructive habits that deserve widespread resistance. It involves the hunting down of anyone who disagrees with axioms that a handful of self-appointed arbiters decided were inviolable just yesterday; it involves the on-the-fly invention of malleable standards that are, by design, unequally applied; it involves the rank infantilization of everyone who is not both white and male; it involves the picking and choosing of who counts as “real” representatives of the very groups its adherents believe they are helping — based, of course, on their ideological leanings; and, eventually, it demands the wholesale destruction of classical liberal ideas within our institutions. If “wokeness” really did mean “being decent to people who are not like you,” the vast majority of the people who have recently been victimized by it would have been left alone in the first instance. …