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What the WOKE?!

October 19, 2019 - Saturday 4:10 AM by E.R. Nartatez

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Bruh, you ‘woke’?

‘Woke,' "aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)." Merriam-Webster

Lexico (Oxford) gives more historical context to the word: ‘Woke’ has taken on an “adjectival meaning," and “by the mid-20th century woke had been extended figuratively to refer to being ‘aware’ or ‘well informed’ in a political or cultural sense.” In the recent decade, usage of the word began to carry “a particular nuance of ‘alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice’."

Its most recent resurgence came around 2010 in the US. The word gained strong traction with the emergence of Black Lives Matter, an aggressive movement asserting the rights of the black community and addressing perceived injustices and antiblack bias in predominantly white America. To be ‘woke’ meant to be mindfully aware of the plight of the black community.

Words evolve. And ‘woke’ has morphed beyond its 2010 revival, now encompassing a wider range of socio-cultural issues beyond skin color (though some in the black community take offense at this and say that it’s another form of injustice against blacks, i.e., ‘cultural appropriation’ or misappropriation, i.e., white people co-opting what should only belong to black culture). 

Generally, to be woke is to be aware that society is riddled with inequality and injustice that needs to be exposed and confronted. It’s to listen to the voice of the oppressed minorities in society.

Woke culture is very pervasive in all sorts of media (e.g., social media, Hollywood, even mainstream media). It’s common to witness so-called ‘beautiful people’ (e.g., actors, music artists, etc) using their platforms to make political speeches during the Oscars or the Music Awards.

Of course, politicians are not far behind. It’s also very popular among the highly impressionable younger generations who are just beginning to form and expand their social consciousness.

That’s all well and good. I fully applaud what I believe to be the word’s original and essential motivation, i.e., to inform and educate on relevant socio-political issues, encouraging vigilance against societal injustice. 

However, many have come to the awful realization that the most recent evolution of woke mentality is something quite toxic, deadly toxic!

The so-called ‘woke culture’ has evolved into this virtue signaling, finger-pointing, blame-mongering, self-righteous, unforgiving, cannibalistic beast; a political weapon to demonize and demean those caught “violating” woke commandments, to drive a chasm divide between the woke and the non-woke; 

‘The woke—good/righteous/intelligent, versus, the non-woke—evil/despicable/stupid,' and never the twain shall meet!

How so? A good way to grasp this is to look at its two recent victims.

Ellen DeGeneres, an openly lesbian proponent of the political left and the Democratic party, was recently slammed (by Hollywood luminaries such as Mark ‘the Hulk’ Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon, et. al., by academic leftists, in articles, etc.) because of some viral photos and videos showing her cozying up with former US president George W. Bush (known conservative Republican, accused of ‘war crimes’ in the Iraq war) while watching a football game. 

Bad Ellen!

The outraged woke crowd ganged up on poor Ellen; stirring up a controversy vicious enough to elicit an official response from her. She said of her critics, “They thought, ‘Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?'… A lot of people were mad.” 

She then explained, “Here’s the thing: I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have… But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them. When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean, be kind to everyone.”

Nope. The woke crowd will not have it. They’re still on attack mode. However, some did defend Ellen. Elton John stuck his neck out and appreciated her for “very eloquently” making a stand for friendship despite serious political differences. He said,

“Unfortunately, what our democracy has become now is that it’s not okay to have different opinions than yours and that is not healthy… George Bush has made a lot of mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes. Ellen DeGeneres has made a lot of mistakes… Yes, there were [bad] decisions that he’s made, but that was made by Democratic presidents and Republican presidents. And I admire Ellen for standing up and saying what she did.”

The woke beast eats its own children.

The beast spares nothing and nobody—not even SpongeBob SquarePants! 

SpongeBob SquarePants is a highly successful cartoon comedy television series at Nickelodeon; featuring the adventures of this yellow sponge character and his buddies in an underwater city called Bikini Bottom. A totally whimsical cartoon comedy featuring quirky aquatic, fantastic characters, e.g., SpongeBob—a sponge living under a pineapple, Patrick—a starfish living under a rock, Mr. Krabs—a crab obsessed with money, Plankton—as villain of the series, et. al.

Now try to fathom this: a University of Washington professor, Holly M. Barker, writes a “scholarly” article in an academic journal (“Unsettling SpongeBob and the Legacies of Violence on Bikini Bottom”) attacking the cartoon as “insidious” and—get this—guilty of racism, sexism, violence, cultural appropriation, colonial oppression (guilty of “whitewashing of violent American military activities” against Pacific Islands dwellers), and that the entire cartoon is dangerously numbing children, making them “become acculturated to an ideology that includes the U.S. character SpongeBob residing on another people’s homeland”!

She makes her case by arguing that the cartoon’s setting, Bikini Bottom, is actually referring to a real place in the Marshall Islands, the coral reef Bikini Atoll, where nuclear tests were conducted by the U.S. military during the Cold War. Thus, Barker argues, SpongeBob is “symbolic of violence”;

"SpongeBob’s presence on Bikini Bottom continues the violent and racist expulsion of Indigenous peoples from their lands… that enables U.S. hegemonic powers to extend their military and colonial interests in the postwar era.”

Major facepalm!

What a load of codswallop! It’s no wonder many today are seriously skeptical of the credibility of so-called “academic journals” publishing such utter nonsense!

At MetcatorNet (‘What’s wrong with social science today?’), Denyse O'Leary hits the nail on the head when she wrote, “Social science, our “science of us," is more susceptible to self-deception than other sciences.” And that a significant factor for this is “the almost universally admitted progressive bias that makes frauds and hoaxes easy to perpetrate.”

She continued, “There’s a technical term for that: ‘confirmation bias,' a tendency to attach more weight to evidence that confirms one’s own view. Much social science research seems to exist in order to provide evidence for theses that are already believed because they confirm the progressive worldview of the researchers.”

If you’re in woke world, you consider yourself a ‘social justice warrior’; eager and ready to take offense for any violation of woke rules, tireless and unforgiving in the hunt for the evils of injustice, racism, sexism, and all sorts of (whatever)-phobia.  

 And guess what? You see what you WANT to see—even SpongeBob as a racist, sexist, colonialist bigot! Who knew?

Woke? I’ll pass.

Apparently, even way back in 2017, SNL (Saturday Night Live) already pronounced woke dead—or wanted it dead! Watch here: