Wednesday, April 17, 2024
HomeCulture WarWhy you can never win an argument with woke folk

Why you can never win an argument with woke folk


IT IS possible to predict with almost perfect accuracy the reaction of the woke political, cultural and media establishment’s position on almost any issue once you have understood the interrelated axioms that govern their world view.

These overlapping ideologies can be distilled by asking the following question: ‘How is Western liberal democracy and the white patriarchy in particular to blame?’

If it’s a third or fourth wave feminist wanting to understand why more women are drawn to nursing or social work over being lumberjacks or sewer maintenance workers, the question is: ‘How is the straight white male patriarchy to blame for this underrepresentation?’ Of course, I’m being facetious in that feminists rarely concern themselves with underrepresentation in manual working-class jobs. They are mostly concerned with how straight white males are to blame for women being a minority on the boards of large companies. When they are presented with any of the vast amount of evidence that contradicts their view of the world, instead of dealing with the facts, they resort to smearing their opponents as sexists.

If the issue of anything related to Islam is being discussed, it is very important for ‘progressives’ that the axiom is constructed without any mention of the term patriarchy owing to the inconvenient fact that males are very much the dominant gender within that religion. In such instances, the question would be: ‘How are Western liberal democracy and “Islamophobia” to blame?’ If the issue is related to racial issues, the reformulation is: ‘How are whites and Western liberal democracy to blame?’

Once you have decided that most of the world’s problems must be measured in accordance with the aforementioned axioms, it is impossible to accommodate evidence which shows certain contemporary social and political problems have other influencing factors that have nothing to do with white males or the deficiencies of Western societies in the past and present. 

These overlapping axioms explain why one of the most pronounced themes promulgated by our dominant woke culture is a focus on the historical wrongdoings of Western countries and a redefinition of white supremacy that smears all critics of wokeism and critical race theory, including dissenting black and brown voices, of being complicit in white supremacy. This neo-Marxist and post-modern world view is so deeply embedded in Western culture that its assertions on a wide range of issues are parroted right across the political spectrum, even by some who call themselves conservatives. In the United States, and increasingly here in the UK and Ireland, purveyors of this world view are often referred to as liberals without any understanding that wokeism is the antithesis of genuine liberal values.  

Simultaneously, while white wokesters are flagellating themselves for the sins of long-dead elites, there is no demand to rummage through the litany of historical wrongdoings of non-Western cultures. That’s one kind of inclusion and diversity the Left have no time for.    

This may be well-intentioned to some degree, to prevent ethnic minority citizens in the West from being vilified for the sins of their ancestors for which they are not responsible. It’s a pity we aren’t all treated equally in that regard. 

It’s not only the historical wrongdoings of non-Western cultures that are ignored, but any contemporary problematic behaviours or social pathologies prevalent among non-Western cultures or ethnic minorities in the West are highlighted in such a way as to shift the blame on to whites and Western liberal democracy. In 2017, the Labour MP David Lammy conducted a review of the criminal justice system. He concluded that the system was institutionally racist because black people were over-represented in the prison population. The fact that young black males commit more crime than British Indians and white Britons, and that they are more likely to come from fatherless households where there is a causal link with higher rates of reoffending, was completely overlooked. If the facts don’t conform to the predetermined axiom, they are cast aside and can bear no determination on conclusions drawn.   

Whenever there’s a TV documentary, newspaper article or government report that doesn’t comply with the ‘Western liberal democracy/whites/white males are to blame’ narrative there is a strong backlash and a flurry of articles and TV debates and documentaries to remind us that of course it’s the fault of the aforementioned and that to suggest otherwise is to be complicit in white supremacy and/or sustaining the patriarchy. 

There was such a reaction from the Left-wing media to Trevor Phillips’s 2016 Channel 4 documentary What British Muslims really think. The documentary carried out a survey amongst British Muslims which revealed the prevalence of extreme views on a range of issues. For instance, 32 per cent refused to condemn violence carried out in response to blasphemy. Fifty-two per cent wanted to criminalise homosexuality. Four per cent sympathised with suicide bombings and only 66 per cent completely condemned stoning for adultery, which in Islam involves any sex outside marriage. The response of the Left-wing media was to attack Trevor Phillips for stoking up Islamophobia. There were also accusations that the survey’s unflattering results were down to flawed methodology. 

However, a more extensive survey carried out by the reputable Pew Research organisation also showed high degrees of support for extremist views in British Muslims’ countries of origin. Many on the Left refused to engage with the evidence presented by Phillips’s documentary. It didn’t matter to them that all he was doing was reporting what a sample of British Muslims openly believe. The issue for the Left was that Phillips had investigated an issue and the outcome didn’t adhere to their axiom. It didn’t matter that the documentary acknowledged that many Muslims don’t hold extremist views. Phillips highlighted the prevalence of extremism among a worryingly high number of Muslims and then he didn’t blame the West. 

If Trevor Phillips had wanted to investigate extremist views within Islam in a way that accorded with the axioms of many on the Left, Guardian columnist Afua Hirsch would have been an ideal mentor. In a 2014 piece, she argued that one of the factors driving some British Muslims towards violent jihad was that they felt alienated from mainstream British society. According to her deranged logic, she stated that part of what contributes to this alienation is white Britons asking British Muslims where they are from. I’m not exaggerating. You can read the piece here. 

It’s mind-boggling to me that anyone could look at the Manchester Arena bomber or the 7/7 Tube bombers and conclude that what may have pushed them over the edge was someone asking them where they are from. Besides, people ask their fellow citizens where they are from all the time in certain social situations. It’s called small talk. Maybe I should refrain from engaging in any kind of friendly chit chat with waiters in Indian and Turkish restaurants in case any of them are Muslims and my asking them where they come from leads to me getting skewered to death in between the starter and main course. For Afua Hirsch to suggest that curiosity about someone’s origins might be a contributory factor in them murdering their fellow citizens really is the most pathetically absurd form of victim blaming I’ve ever read. 

Now, let’s return to everyone’s favourite topic these days. Race. The response to the recent report by the government-appointed Commission on Racial Disparities was entirely predictable. It didn’t matter that the commission was headed by a black Briton, Dr Tony Sewell, and was almost entirely composed of ethnic minority members. In fact, that made it even worse for ‘progressives’ in that they demand black and brown people should never deviate from dominant ‘progressive’ axioms. 

The report found that Britain wasn’t an institutionally racist country. Even worse, they stated that while a degree of racism still existed among individuals, on the whole Britain was a welcoming and inclusive country for ethnic minorities. As the report conflicted with the dominant narrative on racial disparities there was a predictable hostile reaction from the professional racial grievance industry.

If you think I’m exaggerating the extent to which these axioms influence Western culture, let me suggest a little experiment. Go to Google and randomly ask it are certain topics, products, hobbies, seasons, clothing etc racist, Islamophobic, transphobic, sexist or any combination of the above. My own research led me to an array of articles that included: why tennis is so white, why cheese is racist, a Teen Vogue article explaining how marriage is both racist and sexist, a Guardian piece on how workplaces are Islamophobic, and racism in the ethnic food sections in supermarkets. My favourite finds were how summer is sexist, and whether dogs can be racist, which included a letter to an American agony aunt from a woman wondering if her in-laws’ dog was racist; she wasn’t sure as the dog had no issues with mixed-race people.  

How can you ever win an argument with wokesters when they have already made up their minds and are determined to see oppression and ‘isms’ in relation to almost everything? In fact, for many of them, trying to win a debate by emphasising rational objective analysis is just further proof that you are an enforcer of white supremacy. 

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Andrew Devine
Andrew Devine
Andrew Devine is an Orwell Prize winning writer & blogger

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