Perry Bacon junior’s Thursday, June 8 opinion piece in The Washington Post, “Before his ouster, Chris Licht showed the problem with anti-woke centrism,” wastes no time getting off course. He goes astray in the very first sentence and circles in a whirlpool of oblivion from that point on.
“In a roughly 15,000 word profile published last week by the Atlantic, CNN chief executive Chris Licht, who has complained that the network’s journalists were too opinionated when Donald Trump was president, gave a lot of, well, opinions.”
Tim Alberta wrote the article, not the ousted CNN capo. The personal views of its subject are the primary things being profiled. It would have been mighty vapid without coverage of Licht’s slant on things. Beyond that, does Mssr. Bacon really not know the difference between holding opinions and reporting what happened? Whatever Licht thinks about say BLM, it’s a completely separate matter from demanding less bun and more burger from reporters on a network. CNN was long known to fill whole hours with people talking about controversies without one material fact at stake ever surfacing in discussion.
Bacon’s whipping boy isn’t Republicans. They don’t even really come up until the 16th of 18 paragraphs. The trouble is with “White men in Democratic politics.” People like him have “to nod along … even if you don’t agree with them, to signal that you are a reasonable person worth talking to.”
“Licht’s comments,” we are told, “embody an anti-woke centrism that is increasingly prominent in American politics today, particularly among powerful White men who live on the coasts and don’t identify as Republicans or conservatives.”
By “anti-woke,” what he means is, “skepticism of progressive causes and ideas, especially on issues of gender, race and sexuality.”
If Perry needs help figuring out why this “skepticism” has been gathering so much momentum, it isn’t hard to provide. Before delving into more serious stuff, look at “woke” impact on American humor. The Babylon Bee, satirically serving up fake headlines, has been canceled on Facebook and elsewhere. Is Meta afraid that users will take “fake news you can trust” literally? Or is it that the joke usually hits too close to home? While probably, plenty of both – the latter fear likely put the real weight into FB’s decision. Once “woke” became too sacred a thing to laugh at, it began its own demise.
The defenders of the trend sidestep facts whenever and wherever possible. Whether it’s due to myopic reading habits or brain damage is an open question. “Wokeness” rendered itself psychotic, hilarious and dangerous years ago. There is an avalanche of examples.
The Smithsonian was pressured into taking down the “Aspects & Assumptions Of Whiteness & White Culture In The United States” chart at The National Museum of African American History and Culture. When the chart isn’t lying, it is ridiculous. “No tolerance for deviation from single god concept” is one of its claims. So, we are supposed to believe that it has been black academics leading the charge against traditional faith for the last 150 years?
The chart gets worse getting things “white.” The “Emphasis on Scientific Method” section is an attack on sanity itself. It lists “Objective, rational linear thinking,” “Cause and effect relationships” and “Quantitative emphasis” as white transgressions. How you can arrive at a conclusion about “inequity” without any “quantitative emphasis” must be a racist question. In any case, ignoring cause and effect relationships would end the existence of anyone – from the Kalahari to the North Pole – before they reached an age of financial responsibility – unless their mother kept them on leash. .
The chart’s author finds fault with the notion that “Hard work is the key to success.” That explains why the project crashed and burned faster than CNN+. Also frowned upon is planning for the future, thinking “tomorrow will be better,” “delayed gratification” and maintaining a schedule. It’s as though choosing a lifestyle above wallowing in your own fecal matter is a white oppressive invention. Any African-American who failed to be offended by the chart either requires institutionalization or practices the opposite of what he preaches.
The rest of it is contradictory or incomprehensible. Dr. Tema Okum, who looks white enough to be Leif Erickson’s mother, cooked up the potions in this cauldron. They’ve been ripped to shreds by every single competent commenter on them. Oregon governor Jay Inslee must not have heard. He made the same points in an “Equity” speech on November 30, 2022. Agreeing with any of them is a first step toward deprivation, a lack of purpose and homelessness.
While Bacon haplessly humors snoozy blue state chardonnay swillers, the wokies he romanticizes are not quite so pliant. They go for heads on platters in publishing, academia and all the way down to getting girls who sang rap with lyrical accuracy booted from college acceptance.
A classic example of woke impact on academic priorities happened to Dr. Ned Lebow. At a 2018 academic conference in San Francisco the prof was boarding a crowded elevator. When asked what floor, he responded “ladies lingerie.” Simona Sharoni, a professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Merrimack College, used the comment as a casus belli to spit venom. She made a complaint to the International Studies Association and numerous irate public statements. The lady looked and sounded on the verge of violence. The crack was played and unfunny but it takes advanced emotional yoga to be offended by it.
Would Lebow, who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, have been safe from this wrath if he really wanted to try on female apparel? Or did this incident precede the time when giving lessons in drag became a national rite of piety? It’s no surprise Sharoni once sermonized at Evergreen College. That’s a place where administration bows and scrapes to the whims of student mobs. Anyone who fails to is fair game. Remember Bret Weinstein? Keeping track of all the raving ravages of fake umbrage has become a task requiring an archival staff. Bacon is not inclined to take any of this into account.
“The term woke is vague and imprecise. But I think it does capture the movements toward greater equality such as Black Lives Matter…” It isn’t just “woke” that is “vague” and “imprecise.” The linguistic movement covering that movement is equally so. When you hear the expression “mostly peaceful protest” how does it jibe with the words “crowd control”? If every member of a raging mob had to be found criminally liable through the ages, no riot would ever be put into check. Historically, gatherings that include people committing arson, assault, vandalism and looting have been dispersed. Compiling the evidence against each and every demonstrator has its practical limitations. The mere fact it has become necessary to point this out is adequate indictment of this “movement” already.
In June of 2020 the city of Seattle’s mayor, Jenny Durkan, compared a six-block “autonomous” zone – known as CHAZ or CHOP — to a “block party” or “summer of love.” There was free stuff and no cops. In its 22 days of existence, the enclave amassed four shootings, two of them fatal, and scads of other crimes. Mayor Durkan changed her tune after the experiment achieved the world’s highest per capita crime rate in less than a month. Still, a careful examination would likely find 51% or more occupants on those love-fest grounds “peaceful.” Where did Seattle get off shutting them down?
We may not know exactly what “woke” is. But Emily Dickinson could tell you it is a thing without feathers that never settles for crumbs. Its appetite demands buildings and cars in cinders, flat-screens and cases of liquor, uninhabitable, paralyzed city blocks and public safety abandoned. If that doesn’t stir you from slumber, what can?
“In reality, there has never been a right to voice your opinion without the possibility of being shamed or shunned (terms without precise meanings) –and there shouldn’t be. Shaming and shunning people are free expression too.”
But, “In reality,” what are the standards? Gordon Klein, a professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, was suspended and banned from campus for disagreeing with the suggestion that “oppressed” students should hurdle lower bars in grading. Dean Antonio Bernardo backed down after being appraised of the legal liabilities. There’s no doubt he’d have stuck to woke guns if he could have gotten away with it. But this case is generally an exception.
The same people complaining about urban “food deserts” find prohibitions against shoplifting criminal oppression. The enlightened faculty and student body of Oberlin College spent years holding this line. When undergrad Jonathan Aladin tried to make off with two bottles of wine from Gibson’s Bakery, Allyn Gibson had the phone slapped from his hand taking a photo. In pursuit of the thief he was knocked to the ground and being pummeled by Aladin and comrades as cops arrived. Oberlin’s ire began the next day. Contracts were canceled, flyers were circulated and demonstrations against the business were nearly mandatory for the student in-crowd.
What kind of fascism would prevail if college kids faced discipline from administration for attacking a victim of theft across the street from their school? The right to plunder and mayhem was literally a lesson embraced by the professoriate of the oldest coed institution in the US. Aladin and codefendants plead guilty at trial. There wasn’t much controversy over the facts of the case. In light of this knowledge, a night of sobriety must have been too cruel a thing for an Oberliner to bear. It seemed to be the equal of Jean Valjean’s nieces and nephews going to bed emaciated and hungry again. Where was the board of trustees in all of this?
Scenarios just as insatiable and surreal have played out across the land time and again. In one video, since taken down on YouTube, anti-police protestors are blocking a major artery of traffic, cursing and throwing various objects at impeded vehicles. When a driver emerges in aggressive posture we hear from the mob: “call the police!”
In March of 1985, Donna Hylton participated in the kidnapping of Thomas Vigliarolo. Before his murder he was starved, raped and tortured for over two weeks. Plying his testicles with pliers was among the treatments he received. Hylton delivered the ransom note with the expectation of a nine grand cut of the loot and tendered the hostage. Since being paroled in 2012 she has become an activist and public speaker. She was featured at the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C. the day after Trump’s inauguration. This was followed by participation in a 2020 promotional video for the Democratic National Convention.
Post conviction Hylton has regaled the world with successive tales of abuse in every relationship since early childhood. All of them solely backed by the evidence of her sacred word. Never mind that her confession was glib and forthcoming. Jill Nelmark, writing in Psychology Today, offers this description during Hylton’s incarceration:
“She is quite beautiful, but more than beautiful–she has a hypnotic kind of sweetness that made it hard to concentrate on what she was saying. I preferred simply to watch her, as one might watch a monologist on an empty stage, lit by a single, bare bulb. “I don’t know why,” she’d said on that first visit, “but I keep feeling things are going to get better. It’s like a fairy tale. There’s going to be a happy-ever-after.””
It isn’t the first article from that organ of woke news suggesting Psychopathology Today would be a better fit. The rehabilitation of criminals is a worthy goal. But is there no limit to how far a co-conspirator in a crime as grisly as Vigliarolo’s ordeal can go? Some actions simply can’t be lived down. By woke lights, mangling a living human being prior to extermination isn’t among them, but singing along to rap while white is.
Having a dream has come a long way since MLK was having his. This year’s Miss San Francisco, Monroe Lace, “dreamed” of the title since age 12. Other than not being a “Miss,” no one reporting the story has come forward to explain Lace’s qualifications for the sash and tiara. No beauty and a distinct baritone fail to cut it by ordinary standards. In the meantime, women repeatedly lose competitions to others with clear advantages.
US soccer star Megan Rapinoe has been going on for years about men being paid more in the sport. This is not followed by the assertion she could compete at the male level of play. Austin Killips, a transgender bicyclist competing as a woman, won the Tour of Gila in New Mexico in April. The 35 grand of prize money matched that in the men’s category. He went on to take first place in the Belgian Waffle race in Hendersonville, North Carolina for another 5. Broadening the category of “women” in sports isn’t driving the female share of revenue upwards.
Rapinoe is still keen on the development:
“But when it comes to those who are “afraid [a trans person is] going to have an unfair advantage over their kid,” Rapinoe thinks they need to “get a grip on reality and take a step back.”
“I’m sorry, your kid’s high school volleyball team just isn’t that important,” she told Time. “It’s not more important than any one kid’s life.””
The “trans,” you see, have dreams and it’s theirs that are matters of life and death. They may just do themselves in if anything stands between them, the gold and celebrity. What else society may have to concede as “victims” hold guns to their own heads has yet to be seen.
“Miss” Lace tells us she was held at gunpoint during her journey to the title. Between the lines we must imagine a transgender bigot with homicidal hate motives. Citing actual stats that establish exactly how much peril to the trans community comes from the haters never seems to arrive. PBS reported 32 transgenders murdered in 2022. Nowhere in the report is any evidence of “hate” motives in these crimes. We are also told 302 were criminally slain since 2013, with a population of about 1.6 million. During that ten year span the US murder rate has been close to, or over, 5 per 100,000 in the US per annum. Hence, in sports, pageantry and victimization “equity” demands some demographics are more equal than everyone else.
Being wide awake and aware of things, according to the ultra-inclusive, always entails the exclusion of inconvenient details. Bacon closes his homily with: “I can’t tell if the anti-woke don’t understand what’s actually happening in America – or if they actively oppose a more equitable country.” [Emphasis added] No one else can tell if he is really as unaware of woke priorities — that cancel people and facts systemically to establish their inequitable reality – as he pretends to be. Inequities in police shootings, for example, must never be placed next to where inequities in murder occur. Noticing any overlap places the observer in a camp with Richard Spencer. How this kind of approach will help preserve black lives is less than evident to the cognitively non-comatose.
What’s listed here hardly scratches the surface. Op-eds that leave out anything that contradicts the woke agenda — canonizing criminals, ignoring evidence in trials, oblivion to statistics, finding ever creative ways to be offended, encouraging intoxicated aimlessness, demanding taxpayers fund an endless stream from elsewhere, placing penises in female spaces and applying common sense to any situation – appear by the thousands in US news dailies yearly. Woke means always having to say you’re sorry … that things aren’t worse than they are.