Woke Racism Is a Fraud

 

In his book, Woke Racism, John McWhorter (a black, university-educated man and professor) fearlessly undermines the history, lies, and trappings of this destructive belief system and shows us its fraudulent origins, how we have been duped into believing it, and what we can do to stop its progress in our times. I came away greatly encouraged by his candid and incisive description of this system, and believe more than ever that we can slow, if not stop, its attacks on our culture.

Early on, McWhorter explains that the elitist black community, which he calls “the Elect,” has created a religion, although they don’t use that label. Many people would decry that description, but for the purposes of understanding woke racism, it’s ideal. He gives several examples of its “religious nature,” but here are some of the more powerful ones:

Elect scripture stipulates a judgment day: the great day when America ‘owns up to’ or ‘comes to terms with’ racism and finally fixes it. Apparently, this will happen through the long-term effects of psychological self-mortification combined with the transformational political activism that whites will be moved to effect upon being morally shamed and verbally muzzled.

This explains why even centrist views on race are so often tarred as ‘selling out.’ The logical sloppiness of it comes from a kind of desperation, born of a basic sense of personal injury. The guiding commandment is that we battle power differentials, especially racism, via spreading the Word. The black conservative wants to improve black lives just as they do but refuses to join their particular battle. The black conservative sees battling ‘racism’ as futile, and seeks alternate ways of helping people make the best of themselves. As such, they counter the Word. That, from the Elect perspective, is not ‘a different view,’ but heresy. Heresy makes you mad.

McWhorter also explains that the Elect are convinced that nothing has changed since the early days of racism:

The Elect require that we pretend that figures of the past are walking around with us, as if time does not pass. At best, this is the higher reasoning of quantum physics on the space-time continuum. But at worst, it is willful dummity. (Yes, I intend the word, which I made up. It summons how profoundly goofy this way of processing history is.)

The tragedy of characterizing racism in terms of the past shows how debilitating it is to the black community. They have created a distorted and irrational view of the black population by essentially inculcating these beliefs and insisting that these “feelings” are part of being black. That means they have created a fake religion and insist that whites and blacks accept it without question:

On racism, Elect philosophy teaches black people that cries of weakness are a form of strength. It teaches us that in the richness of this thing called life, the most interesting thing about you is that the ruling class doesn’t like you enough. It teaches us that to insist that black people can achieve under less than perfect conditions is ignorant slander. It teaches us that we are the first people in the history of the species for whom it is a form of heroism to embrace the slogan ‘Yes, we can’t!’ Elect philosophy is, in all innocence, a form of racism in itself. Black America has met nothing so disempowering—including the cops—since Jim Crow.

We are assured by McWhorter that there is no way for whites to redeem themselves, even if they fully accept the victim liturgy; that there is no way to have a discussion with people who are determined to elevate their victimhood to elite status; and the Elect will continue to humiliate the black population as long as they are allowed to speak out, and as often as we allow their ideas to flourish.

But there is hope.

One of my favorite parts of the book is when McWhorter gives the reader suggestions for fighting back against the religion of the Elect, and helps us face the hard truths of this ugly religion. He even offers “sample scripts” for fighting back:

People often ask, ‘How can I talk to people like this without being called a racist?’ The answer is: You cannot. That is, they will call you a racist, no matter what you do or say beyond what they stipulate as proper. Black people: Be ready for the alternate slam, that you are ‘self-hating’ and ‘betraying your own people.’ They will say this to and about you. The coping strategy, therefore, must be not to try to avoid letting them call you a racist, but to get used to their doing so and walk on despite it.

Especially helpful are the many examples that McWhorter gives for standing up to the attacks that are likely to ensue when you speak against the Elect. Many people who have been attacked have refused to apologize or back down, at times simply saying that the accusations against them are not true, and then refuse to engage with the diatribes. Eventually, people get tired of fighting someone who won’t fight back, and the outrage peters out. In rare situations (which are highly publicized), people have lost their jobs, but those are probably much rarer than we might think. I liked his analogy of our thinking of these situations as fighting sharks:

You can make a shark approaching you go away by bopping it on the nose. Something about that throws them and makes them turn around. We need to, metaphorically, start bopping Elects on the nose when they come for us. Wherever you are in a position to give an Elect the experience of calling you a dirty name and finding that you do not back down, you can contribute to a groundswell needed to put these people back in their place. Help set a new mood, even if only by refusing to heed the judgments of that little Elect angel on your shoulder when making decisions.

John McWhorter is calling on all of us, of all colors, to refuse to back down to the Elect. He is encouraging us to acknowledge and exhibit our own power against these misguided and hateful people. We don’t know if we will ever be able to fully eliminate Woke Racism, but taking these steps will be a powerful beginning. As he says:

The Elect is not merely some mess. The Elect is a scourge and must be treated as such.

Let’s fight this scourge with courage and determination.

Published in Culture
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 35 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    John McWhorter, along with Justice Thomas and Thomas Sowell, is a national treasure. 

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    John McWhorter, along with Justice Thomas and Thomas Sowell, is a national treasure.

    They are all so erudite and so humorous and down-to-earth. 

    • #2
  3. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    John McWhorter is a liberal Democrat in most things.  Good guy despite being a Democrat.  Appears with Glenn Loury bi-weekly on The Glenn Show, one of the Ricochet podcasts where they discuss many things, but race mostly.  

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    John McWhorter is a liberal Democrat in most things. Good guy despite being a Democrat. Appears with Glenn Loury bi-weekly on The Glenn Show, one of the Ricochet podcasts where they discuss many things, but race mostly.

    I wasn’t sure about his politics, but at least he’s sane on race! Thanks for elaborating, David.

    • #4
  5. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    In my opinion, the endgame of the Elect is the enslavement of whites by blacks. Nothing else will satisfy their desire for payback for slavery, which was ended by whites in the 19th Century. 

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    In my opinion, the endgame of the Elect is the enslavement of whites by blacks. Nothing else will satisfy their desire for payback for slavery, which was ended by whites in the 19th Century.

    That would be hard for me to believe, RB49. What would that gain them? I think they’d rather just keep the topic alive and keep beating up on us. But no approach would seem to satisfy them, and they’re unable to state an end game.

    • #6
  7. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    John McWhorter is a liberal Democrat in most things. Good guy despite being a Democrat. Appears with Glenn Loury bi-weekly on The Glenn Show, one of the Ricochet podcasts where they discuss many things, but race mostly.

    I wasn’t sure about his politics, but at least he’s sane on race! Thanks for elaborating, David.

    He’s good on linguistics, too. 

    • #7
  8. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Woke racism isn’t a fraud by a successful tactic of the cultural Marxists. It serves several purposes:

    – It supports the Marxist critical theory  goal to destroy our republic by creating cultural self-doubt. It is a lot easier to destroy it when a generation or two has been taught it is an evil, sinful country.

    – It creates a radical block of protestors to do their dirty work. (BLM) Once they have an evil enemy, they can justify their violence. Anarchy and destruction aid the Marxist cause. Not only does it destroy the old, but it offers them a path to power by promising they can bring a return to civil society.

    – Cultural Marxists can convince people that those who oppose their Marxist cultural revolution are the bad guys thus weakening them. Look how they exploited a simple meal Trump had with two kooks. Even some on our side fell for it.

    – Since their goal is to destroy western civilization, specifically the Judeo-Christian culture, they target its people. They also use liberation theology to replace it in Black churches.

    Not only has this tool been powerful, it has been one of the best the Marxist have devised therefore I would not call it a fraud but a lie. Don’t accept it but ignore their accusations. 

    • #8
  9. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    In my opinion, the endgame of the Elect is the enslavement of whites by blacks. Nothing else will satisfy their desire for payback for slavery, which was ended by whites in the 19th Century.

    That would be hard for me to believe, RB49. What would that gain them? I think they’d rather just keep the topic alive and keep beating up on us. But no approach would seem to satisfy them, and they’re unable to state an end game.

    Susan, I’m with you on this one.  I don’t see any way for blacks to actually enslave whites.

    What they can do, with the help of white Wokeists and clueless people on the center-left, is to keep in place — and expand — the system of Black Privilege that has been in place since the late 1960s.  This system provides a variety of racial preferences to blacks, most notably in higher education and employment, especially government employment.

    I think that there is a grift associated with this, both on the part of black leaders and on the part of the Democrats, who get an overwhelming proportion of the black vote.  The racism narrative also discredits Republicans who oppose it.

    The other unpleasant fact is black underachievement and dysfunction, statistically speaking.  Of course, there are successful black people, but black rates of just about every type of social problem are higher than any other major group.  The claim that this is a consequence of Jim Crow and more subtle racism has become less and less plausible over the decades, but this creates a conundrum, because people have been taught to believe that any other explanation is racist.  The plausible explanations are:

    1. Mistreatment (i.e. racism)
    2. Lower capability, as a statistical matter (e.g. a lower IQ distribution as a genetic matter, perhaps other genetic factors making blacks more prone to dysfunction like violence or promiscuity, such as higher testosterone levels)
    3. Cultural factors, which could include black culture itself and poor incentives created by government programs (high illegitimacy is an example of such an important factor)

    However, for about 50 years now, it’s been considered racist to consider possibilities 2 and 3.  This is a prime example of ideology preventing scientific inquiry.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Woke racism isn’t a fraud by a successful tactic of the cultural Marxists. It serves several purposes:

    – It supports the Marxist critical theory goal to destroy our republic by creating cultural self-doubt. It is a lot easier to destroy it when a generation or two has been taught it is an evil, sinful country.

    – It creates a radical block of protestors to do their dirty work. (BLM) Once they have an evil enemy, they can justify their violence. Anarchy and destruction aid the Marxist cause. Not only does it destroy the old, but it offers them a path to power by promising they can bring a return to civil society.

    – Cultural Marxists can convince people that those who oppose their Marxist cultural revolution are the bad guys thus weakening them. Look how they exploited a simple meal Trump had with two kooks. Even some on our side fell for it.

    – Since their goal is to destroy western civilization, specifically the Judeo-Christian culture, they target its people. They also use liberation theology to replace it in Black churches.

    Not only has this tool been powerful, it has been one of the best the Marxist have devised therefore I would not call it a fraud but a lie. Don’t accept it but ignore their accusations.

    Re the highlighted part — it is an evil, sinful country.  It used to be a pretty decent country, I think, though mostly just a little before my time.  The irony is that the Leftist/Wokeist agenda is responsible for making the country much more evil and sinful.  With the help of the libertarians, of course.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    Not only has this tool been powerful, it has been one of the best the Marxist have devised therefore I would not call it a fraud but a lie. Don’t accept it but ignore their accusations. 

    I don’t recall McWhorter talking about Marxism. I think the issues of woke blacks are related but not the same.

    • #11
  12. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    John McWhorter, along with Justice Thomas and Thomas Sowell, is a national treasure.

    I would add Shelby Steele to that list. 

    • #12
  13. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Woke racism isn’t a fraud by a successful tactic of the cultural Marxists. It serves several purposes:

    – It supports the Marxist critical theory goal to destroy our republic by creating cultural self-doubt. It is a lot easier to destroy it when a generation or two has been taught it is an evil, sinful country.

    – It creates a radical block of protestors to do their dirty work. (BLM) Once they have an evil enemy, they can justify their violence. Anarchy and destruction aid the Marxist cause. Not only does it destroy the old, but it offers them a path to power by promising they can bring a return to civil society.

    – Cultural Marxists can convince people that those who oppose their Marxist cultural revolution are the bad guys thus weakening them. Look how they exploited a simple meal Trump had with two kooks. Even some on our side fell for it.

    – Since their goal is to destroy western civilization, specifically the Judeo-Christian culture, they target its people. They also use liberation theology to replace it in Black churches.

    Not only has this tool been powerful, it has been one of the best the Marxist have devised therefore I would not call it a fraud but a lie. Don’t accept it but ignore their accusations.

    Re the highlighted part — it is an evil, sinful country. It used to be a pretty decent country, I think, though mostly just a little before my time. The irony is that the Leftist/Wokeist agenda is responsible for making the country much more evil and sinful. With the help of the libertarians, of course.

    Imagine what we will have in 20 years after another generation goes through the left’s propaganda mill known as public schools.

    • #13
  14. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    Not only has this tool been powerful, it has been one of the best the Marxist have devised therefore I would not call it a fraud but a lie. Don’t accept it but ignore their accusations.

    I don’t recall McWhorter talking about Marxism. I think the issues of woke blacks are related but not the same.

    Oh, they are the same whether McWhorter addresses it or not. One reason the Marxist left made such progress the last century is that nobody addressed what it was. 

    • #14
  15. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    This is an existential struggle. We are fighting for nothing less than the soul of America.

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    This is an existential struggle. We are fighting for nothing less than the soul of America.

    That’s  why, as hard as it can get, we can’t back down. We must stop making excuses.

    • #16
  17. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Bravo, Susan

    I don’t think the Black Elite can enslave just whites; their efforts are part of a larger plan by their masters to enslave us all.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Bravo, Susan

    I don’t think the Black Elite can enslave just whites; their efforts are part of a larger plan by their masters to enslave us all.

    Unsk, I think that’s why I said @redherring’s comment about equating Marxism with the Black Elite didn’t quite work for me: related but not the same. Thanks.

    • #18
  19. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    It has been my impression, and I could be wrong, that the majority of wokesters are not black elites but white Liberal elites.  

    • #19
  20. GFHandle Member
    GFHandle
    @GFHandle

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    John McWhorter is a liberal Democrat in most things. Good guy despite being a Democrat. Appears with Glenn Loury bi-weekly on The Glenn Show, one of the Ricochet podcasts where they discuss many things, but race mostly.

    I wasn’t sure about his politics, but at least he’s sane on race! Thanks for elaborating, David.

    And he LOVES the Great American Songbook in addition to the Blues, Jazz, etc. He is a linguist so he knows about cultural variety. His is an actual liberal spirit.

    BTW, the post title confused me at first. I thought it was saying that McWhorter’s book was a fraud. I know the title wasn’t in quotes or italics, but still it took reading a few paragraphs of the post to be sure. Glad I was wrong!

    • #20
  21. GlenEisenhardt Coolidge
    GlenEisenhardt
    @GlenEisenhardt

    We need to get off the “It’s actually the left is racist” train. It doesn’t work. The left doesn’t care. It’s a waste of time. The left shouldn’t be argued with. They don’t argue in good faith. They should be made out to be as many times worse than they are as possible and mocked. And we should ignore their criticisms while all remnants of leftist racial policy that has divided this country for 60 years is stamped out. 

    • #21
  22. Ben Sears Member
    Ben Sears
    @BenMSYS

    I got tired of hearing people defend woke racial ideas and say that “CLR isn’t real and it’s only being taught in law schools anyway,” and such. The definition is intentionally vague so they can motte and bailey all day long. To cut through the nonsense and see what was being put out there where it is in print and can’t be walked back I bought several books often mentioned by those I disagree with on the subject of race: White Fragility, Critical Race Theory, Between the World and Me, How to Be an Anti racist, a second book titled Critical Race Theory, and Woke Racism. In retrospect I have no idea how McWhorter got lumped in with the others but I read it fifth, going in on the assumption that it was of a piece with the rest. I think I read about his book in an article that mentioned one or more of the others, jotted down the title with the tests, and when I went back to my notes I saw an interview list. I got that one wrong. What a breath of fresh air, even though it ran counter to my reading project. After it, I couldn’t drive back in so the only one I didn’t read, the second Critical Race Theory, is still sitting with its spine pristine in a stack on a bedroom table. This movement is a religion. Sowell had the fervent left pegged in 99’s Quest for Cosmic Justice. This is a particularly poisonous movement. 

    • #22
  23. davenr321 Coolidge
    davenr321
    @davenr321

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    John McWhorter is a liberal Democrat in most things. Good guy despite being a Democrat. Appears with Glenn Loury bi-weekly on The Glenn Show, one of the Ricochet podcasts where they discuss many things, but race mostly.

    Yes. And very much worth listening to, and paying attention-to. 

    • #23
  24. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    Not only has this tool been powerful, it has been one of the best the Marxist have devised therefore I would not call it a fraud but a lie. Don’t accept it but ignore their accusations.

    I don’t recall McWhorter talking about Marxism. I think the issues of woke blacks are related but not the same.

    Oh, they are the same whether McWhorter addresses it or not. One reason the Marxist left made such progress the last century is that nobody addressed what it was.

    There is overlap but they are not the same. There are lots of black nationalist racists who are not collectivists.

    • #24
  25. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    The plausible explanations are:

           3. …poor incentives created by government programs (high illegitimacy is an example of such an important factor)

    An easy way to provoke a liberal into white-hot rage is to suggest that current social pathologies might be largely a consequence of liberal polices.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    GFHandle (View Comment):
    BTW, the post title confused me at first. I thought it was saying that McWhorter’s book was a fraud. I know the title wasn’t in quotes or italics, but still it took reading a few paragraphs of the post to be sure. Glad I was wrong!

    So sorry, GF! I hadn’t thought about that understanding. Glad you stuck with it!

    • #26
  27. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    In my opinion, the endgame of the Elect is the enslavement of whites by blacks. Nothing else will satisfy their desire for payback for slavery, which was ended by whites in the 19th Century.

    That would be hard for me to believe, RB49. What would that gain them? I think they’d rather just keep the topic alive and keep beating up on us. But no approach would seem to satisfy them, and they’re unable to state an end game.

    It is the logical end of their belief system. Intermediate goals are getting racial preference in jobs, programs, and income redistribution. Then they will want political control over territory where Blacks run things and hold the social power over Whites and they can dominate them at will. These locations would need to he autonomous from the United States until they control the US in its entirety. But even when they achieve those goals, what next?  How will they continue to retain their power, especially when their policies (Marxist at worst, leftist at best) will destroy the economies of their autonomous zones? They will still need an enemy to show that they are being stymied from attaining the utopia they promised. That enemy will be White people. We saw what happened in Rhodesia when Black’s took over and seized the White plantations. The end game is either genocide or slavery,  assuming they are able to stay in power that long. 

    • #27
  28. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    Not only has this tool been powerful, it has been one of the best the Marxist have devised therefore I would not call it a fraud but a lie. Don’t accept it but ignore their accusations.

    I don’t recall McWhorter talking about Marxism. I think the issues of woke blacks are related but not the same.

    The technique of CRT is, at its heart, Marxism/Maoist in nature. The bourgeoisie can never truly be reformed until they are made equally as poor as the laborer. The only way to confront such deeply held beliefs is the struggle session when the oppressor is made to publicly deny their prior beliefs in the most embarrassing way possible. Only when they are reduced to the bottom of society can they be allowed to exist. 

    • #28
  29. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    Not only has this tool been powerful, it has been one of the best the Marxist have devised therefore I would not call it a fraud but a lie. Don’t accept it but ignore their accusations.

    I don’t recall McWhorter talking about Marxism. I think the issues of woke blacks are related but not the same.

    Oh, they are the same whether McWhorter addresses it or not. One reason the Marxist left made such progress the last century is that nobody addressed what it was.

    There is overlap but they are not the same. There are lots of black nationalist racists who are not collectivists.

    True, they are kleptocrats usually. To then the Idi Amin model or Eobert Mugabe are example of how things should work. While they may not express Marxist beliefs, the aren’t free market people either. At least not in my opinion (which with $5.95 will get you a Venti Mocha at Starbucks)

    • #29
  30. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):

    We need to get off the “It’s actually the left is racist” train. It doesn’t work. The left doesn’t care. It’s a waste of time. The left shouldn’t be argued with. They don’t argue in good faith. They should be made out to be as many times worse than they are as possible and mocked. And we should ignore their criticisms while all remnants of leftist racial policy that has divided this country for 60 years is stamped out.

    This is right. Leftist precepts are not just wrong, they are evil, debate is a waste.

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.