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This past week, Phillipa Soo, who played Eliza in “Hamilton,” tweeted:
Cancel culture: If you are ‘cancelled’ but do not wish to be, you must WORK to EARN back people’s respect by owning up to the thing that cancelled you in the first place, LISTENING to others, EDUCATING yourself, and ADVOCATING on behalf of the people that you have offended/harmed.
[The CAPITAL LETTERS FOR EMPHASIS are all hers.]
This is what I’ll call “wokesplaining.” But the term “woke” is a misnomer, because the people who engage in wokesplaining are actually quite unconscious concerning its inherent dangers. Ms. Soo, for example, apparently presumes that she will always be absolutely correct in whatever she says, and that the slightest criticism, or deviation from the accepted script, requires not only apology but penitence. This is hubris of the highest degree.
I obviously don’t know her, and I assume that her heart is in the right place, and she truly believes that she’s trying her best to right a wrong. The trouble with wokesplaining, however, is that critical thinking is discouraged, or, as her tweet suggests, possibly punished by banishment. In order to be acceptably woke, you must accept, without analysis, everything that BLM advocates dictate. I believe in the essential message of BLM, but I am unwilling to give blanket pre-approval to everything that any group says, and I do not intend to grovel to anyone because I said something that was deemed “offensive” by the powers that be.
When Ms. Soo talks about LISTENING and EDUCATING yourself, she doesn’t appear to mean listening and educating yourself at all. She means to shut off your brain, shut your mouth, and do what I say, the way I say. I cannot understand why young people and those in academia do not comprehend the dangers of this type of mob rule.
As Gen. Patton once famously said, “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” And as Professor John Henry Wigmore once famously said, cross-examination is “beyond any doubt the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”
If you are unwilling to expose your argument to critical dissection because you might be “offended/harmed,” then why should I LISTEN to you?
And lastly, the conflation of “offended/harmed” is disturbing. They are two different things. Sometimes criticism may sting your pride, but it helps you to grow up.Published in