By Steve Woodward
It is worth noting, and only mildly surprising, that “woke” is assigned a definition in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. One who professes to be woke is “aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).”
There is no mention of other ways through which a woke person exhibits his active attentiveness, such as by vandalizing private property, threatening college campus guest speakers, or hijacking public education.
We now see the evolution of woke on a track similar to the one that re-defined “science” during the age of Wuhan Virus hysteria. It has become an “ism”.
“Science-ism” (especially under the reign of Dr. Anthony “I Am Science” Fauci) became the sweeping explanation for all restrictions on daily life “required” to keep everyone safe from certain death should one contract a head cold. Similarly, “woke-ism” no longer is merely persistent awareness that all aspects of culture are racist. It is a persistent state of misery that goes beyond finding racism at every turn, and now extends to rejecting every element that heretofore comprised what we once knew as American values.
To name a few, woke-ism rejects Christianity, America’s founding, gasoline combustion engines, red meat consumption, and the obvious existence of but two genders, female and male.
During a recent interview with Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer, who hosts a highly recommended podcast, The Josh Hammer Show, a University of Pennsylvania professor and expert on all things woke-ism described in great detail its cancerous spread within academia. Amy Wax, a tenured member of the Penn law school faculty, has become an outcast and, despite constantly facing the wrath of woke mobs, refuses to be silenced.
Woke-ism, she says, reduces everything to “oppressed versus oppressor” and sees our nation as “irredeemably racist” thus requiring society’s “demolition from the bottom up.” Woke dogma “dwells on the evils of our democracy and our system, and accords special status to oppressed minorities and especially blacks. And, finally attributes all disparities between groups to this nefarious force of racism.”
At UPenn and beyond, Wax warns, “the key is that the woke forces have taken over the university, and they do not tolerate dissent.
“They are extremely wary of anyone who questions any of these tenants, and whom points to facts on the ground or ways of interpreting them that are inconsistent, and sees those as a threat to their hegemony and to these oppressed groups who, of course, are of paramount importance now. Cosseting them and pleasing them and protecting them is the top priority in academia.”
As we find ourselves at a cultural crossroads, it is important to recognize that woke-ism is not generational, making it a much broader phenomenon than, say, anti-war protests of the 1970s, or the 99% who became the Occupy Wall Street movement a decade ago. Exhibit A: Hyper-woke President Joe Biden, 80.
This reality recently was on display in a whiny editorial published in The Pilot, the undertones of which tell us that the honeymoon is over in its relationship with a reformed and revitalized Moore County Board of Education.
The editorial laments that the cause of ongoing unrest and faculty resignations at Crain’s Creek Middle School is entirely the fault of outspoken school board vice chairman David Hensley and his fellow board minions, who are accused of hanging on his every word like bobblehead dolls.
It’s not the first time we’ve been subjected to a baseless editorial by The Pilot’s editorial board (comprised of one, or maybe two, white males). The assessment of Crain’s Creek chaos blames Hensley’s rhetoric while overlooking all of the root causes of discipline problems in schools. Such as: lack of discipline enforcement; children who have not recovered mentally and emotionally from pandemic lockdowns; parents, or a single parent, who are raising disrespectful kids; and, last but not least, overwhelmed teachers and bus drivers.
Instead, The Pilot infers that Hensley & Co. forced the reassignment of the Crain’s Creek principal that sparked a wave of faculty resignations, which is patently false, and then does what the woke always do — denies that woke-ism sows seeds of chaos.
Hensley rightly has called out “the failed woke strategic plan which governed (Moore County Schools) from 2019-2022,” and pointed to “their ‘woke’ plan which resulted in this breakdown in student discipline and declining academics.”
Amusing and also delusional were comments posted at ThePilot.com in response to the editorial. One commenter suggested that dismissing another person as “woke” is as demeaning as assigning an ethnic slur to those of Polish, Italian and Hispanic descent. He further lamented that woke is “a word meant to demean”. Think about that. How does one demean someone whose world view is that all are to be demeaned?
Another commenter concludes that “woke” is meant to shut people up, leaving no room for discussion or debate. Here again, we see a typical tactic of the Left. Accuse your polar opposites of doing and saying precisely what “wokesters” are doing and saying, then add tears, rage and shrieking to drive home the point.
Allow me to offer an alternative view on the matter. Woke is a joke. But no one is laughing.