Sunday, May 19, 2024
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I don’t need lessons in wokeness


DEAR reader, when an online woke mob are after you or if you live in America and are about to encounter a BLM march, do you think, wonderful, what a kind bunch they are? Or do you start boarding up your grocery store? If you live in the real world it will be the latter; if you are Samantha Price, president of the Girls’ Schools Association, you think the former. 

Ms Price wants us all to embrace the woke, and she is telling teachers and parents they need to ‘keep up’ with children. In fact, it is the parents and not the children who need lessons. Well, that’s your first problem right there: it is teachers and parents who should be leading and guiding children, not the other way around. 

Ms Price believes that being woke comes down to ‘something very simple: being kind’. I think not, dear reader, I think not. 

Let’s take a moment to define what being woke is. Being woke, we are told, is being someone who has ‘woken up to issues of social injustice.’ However, promoting ‘social justice’ is the exact opposite of promoting justice. 

When you promote justice, which all decent people should thirst and hunger for, you treat people fairly whatever their sex or racial or ethnic group, for instance. Social justice warriors do exactly the opposite: they condemn people for being white, not because of anything they have done, but because they are white. Or they condemn someone for being male and having ‘male privilege’. 

If you are white you are guilty of ‘privilege’, unconscious bias or structural racism. Nowt you can do about it, my dear reader, if you are white you must be treated unfairly because you are white. This is the very opposite of an enlightenment understanding of justice. 

Further, the idea that the woke are kind is laughable. Again, being woke means being the opposite of what you say you are. Being woke often means being mean, nasty and abusive.  So, if you do not agree with the latest woke doctrine, you will be hounded and hated and threatened out of your job. Just ask philosophy professor Kathleen Stock, lately of Sussex University. ‘After three years of death threats and online abuse’ she was forced to resign. Such kindness!

The art of being woke also means taking offence at everything. It is living in the land of the perpetually offended. This way you can keep everybody on edge over the dinner table and ruin family occasions and traditions. It means that when a presenter asks you a question on racism in cricket and you happen to be from an ethnic minority you can accuse her of racism, as happened on Question Time last week. Of course, if Fiona Bruce asked a white person instead, you could say she was racist for ignoring the views of a member of an ethnic minority group that was the subject of the racist abuse you were debating. In the eyes of the woke, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t; which is where the woke want you: in damnation.

In sum, in the eyes of the misguided being woke means never being wrong. It means you can harass, abuse, cancel, and in extreme cases loot and riot, but you are still right. You are in fact taking part in ‘mostly peaceful protests’. For the transgender woke it means putting rapists in women’s prisons and ruining women’s sports. For everyone else, being woke is certainly not about justice or kindness: it’s about narcissism. 

The energy, vitality, and beauty of youth should be welcomed and nurtured. But it needs guidance, not indulgence. Those who thirst and hunger for what is truly right and just should be applauded. The woke, on the other hand, should be shown the error of their ways.  

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