Facts that are inconvenient to the “woke” social justice narrative have to be explained away. The narrative is that we live in a class society in which whites, males, heterosexuals, Christians and Jews, and the rich all oppress people of color, females, LGBTQ++, Muslims, and the poor. The facts are, well, more diverse.
When the kosher supermarket in Jersey City was attacked and multiple people murdered, Representative Rashida Tlaib tweeted: “This is heartbreaking. White supremacy kills.” Tlaib’s interpretation fit the narrative. The facts were a bit different. The attackers were African Americans. But African Americans are not supposed to engage in hate crimes, because racism allegedly “only goes one way,” from powerful white oppressors to harmless people of color, who are always victims. (This also neglects the fact that almost half of all murders in America are carried out by African Americans, usually against other African Americans.)
Woke sociologists define racism as “prejudice plus power,” arguing that people of color cannot be racist, because they do not have the power, just as females cannot be sexist, LGBTQ++ cannot be heterophobes, and Muslims cannot be anti-Semitic. Thus, only whites can be racist, only males can be sexist, only heterosexuals can be phobic, and only the rich callous. Therefore, they argue, there is no such thing as reverse discrimination, of victimizing whites, men, heterosexuals, Christians and Jews, and the financially well off.
Unfortunately, no one told Grafton Thomas, an African American, who burst into a Chanukah celebration at a rabbi’s house, and attacked celebrants with a machete, seriously injuring five. The usual excuses were quickly brought forth, about mental illness and the like, but Thomas had been perusing anti-Semitic literature. He has been charged with a federal hate crime.
After the attack on the Chanukah party, and a series of daily attacks on orthodox and ultraorthodox Jews in Brooklyn and elsewhere in New York City, also by African Americans, Mayor de Blasio blamed the attacks on divisive rhetoric coming out of Washington—in other words, President Trump, always the target of woke activists. The president, the most pro-Jewish president ever to occupy the White House, said Americans “must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism.”
The woke narrative asserts that the dominant structural feature of America and other Western societies is clear-cut classes based on race, sex, sexuality, religion, and economics. One of the unexamined assumptions is status crystallization, the clumping of all high (oppressing) statuses together and of all low (victim) statuses. In other words, all whites, men, heterosexuals, and Christians and Jews are financially well off, and all females, people of color, LGBTQ++, and Muslims are poor. Once again, even a passing acquaintance with reality shows that this is a ridiculous assumption, as there are poor whites, Christians and Jews, and heterosexuals, while there are rich women, people of color, gays, and Muslims. The same with education and other markers of status. Senator Elizabeth Warren, candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, has trouble handling the cognitive dissonance of people who do not fit into the woke narrative. She classifies Asian billionaires as “white,” thus upholding the clear racial class narrative. And woke race activists do not want to discuss the economic success of Caribbean and West Africa blacks in America, because it undermines their claim of RACISM!
Linda Sarsour is of Arab descent, officially classified by the U.S. Government as “white.” And to all appearances she is very white. But as a woke activist, she was classified by Elle magazine as a “woman of color.” There was some pushback about that, but she doubled down, saying “I’m Palestinian. If I want to say ‘I’m black,’ I’m black!” Whatever facts may say about status crystallization, woke activists insist that everything in the narrative is true. Part of the narrative is intersectionism, which says that all victims about the world are in the same position, and should unify as allies. Sarsour sees Palestinian as victims, not of their religious supremacism and corrupt leadership, but as victims of Zionists! So, since Palestinians are victims, and people of color are victims, Palestinians and people of color are at least allies, but really sisters. This does not accord very well with tedious historical and contemporary facts of Arab slave-raiding in Africa and holding black slaves today, nor the fact that the Arab term for blacks is “abd” which means “slave,” a term currently popular among the Arab population of Michigan for disparaging African Americans.
Woke Socialist Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, campaigning for Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, advocates a massive redistribution of wealth from those who earned it to those who have not earned it, and to those who do not wish to work. Equality of income, of economic results, must be imposed. Without this, she explains, America is not an advanced country, not like advanced Venezuela, for example. But not only that, because America has not opened its borders to all of the needy people around the world, and continues to enforce Congress’s oppressive immigration laws through agencies such as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, America is a fascist country. Got that? Venezuela good; America bad.
Woke feminists will tell you that they strive for equality for women. But they have a decidedly unequal view of their male counterparts, whom they deem to be insensitive (not sharing feelings), inconsiderate (manspreading), brutal (always happy to rape), and, really, poisonous (toxic). Women are viewed by woke feminists as superior to men in every way, and allegedly have not historically received the statuses, recognition, and acclaim of men only because they were blocked by men and coerced into menial positions. That is why, they explain, females must be given priority in all admissions, funding, hiring, political appointments, and other benefits. There is currently a great push in governments, academic science associations, and universities for the admission, funding, and hiring of females in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, in order to counter female demographic underrepresentation, although there is no concern that females choose and demographically dominate every other academic field, such as the humanities, social sciences, education, social work, law, and medicine. Females also dominate in university administrations. No calls come from woke feminists to correct the 60% to 40% female-male ratio in our universities. Rather, they focus on gaining more benefits for females at the expense of males, and on blocking any initiatives (men’s health groups, councillors or ombudsmen for men) meant to support males.
Woke justice reform advocates want to abolish prisons, police, and other enforcement agencies. Some have more “modest” proposals: “‘There is always going to be some role for prisons, but maybe 10 percent of what we do now,’ said Martin Horn, a former New York State parole director, now a professor at John Jay. ‘I think we need police. We may not need as many as we now have, and we want to use them differently.’” These proposals have been outpaced by the decriminalization movement of radical justice officials in municipal and state governments. Three woke prosecutors argue that “Not every social problem should be criminalized. We shouldn’t use cash bail to keep poor people in jail when similarly situated but wealthier people can pay to go home.”
In New York, consideration of public safety plays no part in decisions about bail. Grafton Thomas, who attacked the Chanukah celebrants, was out on bail from a previous slew of crimes. A new law in New York City bans bail for up to 90% of criminal offenses, including drug crimes. An African American woman arrested for assaulting three Jewish women was immediately released, and immediately assaulted another Jewish woman. California, for its part, no longer prosecutes shoplifting, theft, and other crimes, and, what a surprise, the crime rate has shot up markedly. Reformers explain that the justice system is RACIST! and thus needs to be abolished. The alleged evidence for this is that African Americans are overrepresented in prisons, which must be the result of prejudice and discrimination, not due to African Americans committing more crimes in almost every category. Nor is any consideration given to the sources of crime in African American culture. The abovementioned three prosecutors assert that “We also believe that no system can achieve justice if it tolerates racial and class disparities.” Woke justice reformers are very concerned about criminals, but not at all about the victims of crimes, even when they are African Americans and other minorities. Is it any wonder that the crime rate goes up in woke Democrat-administered jurisdictions, and that peace-abiding citizens are fleeing?
No one is better at wokesplaining than university professors and administrators. Universities have jettisoned the task of teaching students about the great works of Western culture and beyond, of teaching students how to think and conduct research, and how to critically assess evidence and points of view. They have replaced study and research with woke social justice activism, indoctrinating their students with neo-Marxist class theory, and activating them on behalf of members of allegedly oppressed victim categories. As Victor Davis Hanson puts it, “The woke university lectures us that ubiquitous racism, white privilege, sexism, homophobia, transgender hatred, Islamophobia, nativism, and xenophobia supposedly make life deadly for people of color, gays, immigrants, the transgendered, and women.” Governments and universities require their professors and students to swear to abide by “diversity and inclusion,” and enforce this ideology by hiring many, highly-paid “diversity officers” to supervise speech and the written word, making sure it is “correct.” But what they mean by “inclusion” is favoring members of alleged victim categories, and excluding members of alleged oppressor categories. And what they mean by “diversity” is people of many shapes, colors, and backgrounds, all saying the same things, because diversity of thought and opinion is forbidden.
Woke trans activists claim that men can become women and women can become men, that transwomen can menstruate and get pregnant, and that transmen can inseminate. The biological facts are somewhat different. Male xy genes cannot be transitioned into female xx genes, any more than female xx genes can be transitioned into male xy genes. The plastic surgery and hormones of transitional treatment cannot give males female organs, nor give females male organs. Sex “transition” is largely imaginary. This has not stopped government and other authorities from insisting that transfemales and transmales be treated as legitimate females and males respectively, upon pain of large fines, loss of jobs, or incarceration. Transmales and transfemales have thus invaded male and female spaces, and transfemales have intruded their largely male bodies on female sports and dominated them. Once again, counterfactual woke “truths” have been imposed on the body politic, and suppressed legitimate objections as HATE! crimes.
Wokesplaining is the weaponization of the “social justice” narrative, and no criticism will be tolerated.
Philip Salzman is a Senior Research Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
Republished from PJ Media