A Letter to My Woke Friends

 

I don’t buy your narrative that America is a racist country. I think you are ignorant: you have a cramped and impoverished understanding of history, and no sense of proportion. I reject your “white privilege” palaver. I don’t slice and dice my fellow man into little groups based on superficial characteristics, and I won’t claim to know any more about a man based on his skin color than you know about me based on mine.

Diversity and inclusion? You can keep it. Diversity of views is lovely. Diversity of race, sexual orientation, color, and other trivial details of anatomy and preference is a crock. Every man is an identity group of one, so keep your woke bigotry. You obsess about it all you like, but I’m not interested.

I’m far from perfect but I’m free of the sin of which my color, you believe, makes me guilty. I don’t care what you think about it. I’m not joining you in reinventing racism. I want our laws and our public institutions to be color blind, without preference or bias toward any race. Beyond that, every man can decide for himself how noble or petty he wishes to be.

I reject your thesis, I reject your claim to moral superiority, I reject your demands and your obsession with identity, and I reject your efforts to reinvigorate racism. I don’t take you seriously, and I’m not going to pretend that I take you seriously.

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  1. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    Very well said!

    May I use this? I’ll give you attribution.

    • #1
  2. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Matt Bartle (View Comment):

    Very well said!

    May I use this? I’ll give you attribution.

    Always.

    • #2
  3. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Hear, hear!

    • #3
  4. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    I hope this letter reaches its intended audience but from what I’ve seen, wokeness and self-awareness are mutually exclusive terms.  However, I guess it doesn’t hurt to try.

     

    • #4
  5. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    I hope this letter reaches its intended audience but from what I’ve seen, wokeness and self-awareness are mutually exclusive terms. However, I guess it doesn’t hurt to try.

     

    Sometimes the goal is to give encouragement and words.

    • #5
  6. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    More eloquent than my efforts (which basically consist of two words).

    • #6
  7. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    More eloquent than my efforts (which basically consist of two words).

    The shortest distance between two points is frequently two words…

    (That might be geometrically incorrect but with the “woke”, it’s frequently easier.)

    • #7
  8. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Should be given to all students.  Wokeism can’t be argued, only rejected wholesale.   

    • #8
  9. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    I’m far from perfect but I’m free of the sin of which my color, you believe, makes me guilty.

    I was reading a Twitter thread tonight about the attacks on Asian-Americans. The author said:

    The inescapable reality is that the well-being of most minorities in the US is directly related to the relations their ancestral countries have with America.

    Yes, whenever I meet someone of Korean ancestry, I make sure to ask “North or South?” so I know how to treat them.

    Once the relationship with Country Y deteriorates towards conflict, the minority in the US that descent from Y – and others that “look” like them – will face hard times. Discrimination will increase. As will violence

    Glad they’re coming on board to the idea that FDR was not, in fact, an infallible god, but anyhoo. This is the point that struck me:

    Jess rightly argues that Biden’s condemnation of the murders in GA misses the mark because it fails to acknowledge that Washington’s over-the-top rhetoric on China fuels an atmosphere of fear and anxiety, which boomerangs in the form of violence against Asian Americans.

    So, racial essentialism for thee, but not for me?

    Can we have some guidelines on who is responsible for the sins of their ancestors, and who isn’t? Are the Chinese and Koreans entitled to have thoughts about Japan? You’d think so, since Japan was behaving in a racist and imperialist fashion. Since that no doubt has remnant echoes in contemporary politics, however it may be diminishing, is it permissible for someone of Korean descent to have feelings about a Japanese person, if both are native-born Americans? Or immigrants? If it is impermissible, then do we not recognize that historical grievances are best not played out in contemporary interpersonal relations? If that is so, then doesn’t this call into question the whole CRT theories of racial guilt and inherited sins?

    No, of course not. In America, the accumulation of privileges mean that everyone in Group A is a direct beneficiary of wrongs visited on Group B, and that’s pretty much all there is. It’s a mindset that does not consider all the small and interwoven things that thrum under the crust of American comity.

    I had an Armenian friend who had great animus for the Turks, in the General Sense of History. He was also a rational man who would have considered a fellow American of Turkish descent to be just that: a fellow member of society. He would have stopped to help him change a tire.

    Now, if the guy had started in on how the Turks were not responsible for a genocide and in any case the Armenians deserved it, things might have gotten zesty. But that did not happen. Point is, what my friend held in his head and heart in the gilded, bejeweled box marked “Cultural Stuff I Got from My Parents” was one thing, and living life was another.

    The question is whether we believe that transplanted blame and racial guilt is anomalous, or central to the culture,  seems important. The foundational beliefs of the American experiment point to the former. Racial essentialism demands the latter, and if so, seems to justify the very thing the tweet thread condemns.

    Oh,  but no! they’d say. Only a fool would think that resurrecting skin-color guilt means it should be applied universally. But they would also say that criticizing the authoritarian government of China guarantees unformed minds and indolent tongues will somehow be snapped into action, and do the wrong thing.

    • #9
  10. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    James?  Haven’t you heard?   I think all of that is what “intersectionality” solves.

    Or so I’m told.

    • #10
  11. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    If that is so, then doesn’t this call into question the whole CRT theories of racial guilt and inherited sins?

    No. Because CRT is wholly grounded in the failure of the white, liberal savior’s crusade to better Black America.

    Since Affirmative Action, throwing money at inner city schools, dumping classroom management and school discipline against minority students, abandoning vocational tracts, lowering college admission requirements, destroying standardized testing, and gutting school curriculums have not succeeded in filling corporate boardrooms and journalist rooms and halls of excellence with black people, then it isn’t because THEY suck (or Charles Murray is right), but because Western Civilization is racist.

    So now math is racist, bedtime stories are racist, and knowing how to write is racist.

    CRT isn’t founded in racial grievance. It delivers racial grievance because they have no other explanation for their failures.

    • #11
  12. Joan of Ark La Tex Member
    Joan of Ark La Tex
    @JoALT

    And just like that Asians went from ” Adjacent-White” to “victims” due to a shooting that is completely not hate motivated and 3 other white people died. Yet all over the lying lamestream media and now the whole world now chants  Yellow is the new Black. Insanity. My sister called me so concerned with my well being,  had to inform her that most of these hate crimes are committed by black people in Democrat controlled cities!. 

    • #12
  13. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Stina (View Comment):

    So now math is racist, bedtime stories are racist, and knowing how to write is racist.

    CRT isn’t founded in racial grievance. It delivers racial grievance because they have no other explanation for their failures.

    Yes.

    And, whatever the motives, the focus on nonexistent institutional racism also distracts from and shields the actual causes of violence and dysfunction plaguing black American communities. That’s the great tragedy in this foolishness.

    • #13
  14. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Amen.  The individual is the ultimate minority, and taking away individual freedoms is the highest form of bigotry . . .

    • #14
  15. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    It does not matter. You will be forced to comply or be imprisoned. 

    The woke is the language of genocide, Cancel Culture is the practice for mass murder. 

    America is lost. Freedom is lost for generations. The natural order or brutal tribes and scrambling for power will reassert itself within this generation.

    The elite get to do what they want, and if we complain we will be destroyed. 

    It is only a matter of time before Ricochet is deplatformed for not being woke.

    • #15
  16. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Stina (View Comment):
    CRT isn’t founded in racial grievance. It delivers racial grievance because they have no other explanation for their failures.

    Bingo. Also dangerous is their claim that only whites can be racists because only whites have power ergo all their vile comments can’t be racist. Racism is vile. Excusing it only foments more of it.

    • #16
  17. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    So now math is racist, bedtime stories are racist, and knowing how to write is racist.

    CRT isn’t founded in racial grievance. It delivers racial grievance because they have no other explanation for their failures.

    Yes.

    And, whatever the motives, the focus on nonexistent institutional racism also distracts from and shields the actual causes of violence and dysfunction plaguing black American communities. That’s the great tragedy in this foolishness.

    I have been called a racist many times for quoting Walter E Williams on that very subject. They called Williams worse stuff

    • #17
  18. Dominique Prynne Member
    Dominique Prynne
    @DominiquePrynne

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    It does not matter. You will be forced to comply or be imprisoned.

    The woke is the language of genocide, Cancel Culture is the practice for mass murder.

    America is lost. Freedom is lost for generations. The natural order or brutal tribes and scrambling for power will reassert itself within this generation.

    The elite get to do what they want, and if we complain we will be destroyed.

    It is only a matter of time before Ricochet is deplatformed for not being woke.

    Unfortunately, I completely agree with you.  I asked my husband at dinner Saturday night if he thought the language and the corporate/military/educational institution struggle sessions were a precursor to the above and he professed that he did not, that reason will prevail.  I do not share his optimism.  But, he thinks I have “worst-case-scenario” personality disorder.   

    • #18
  19. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Dominique Prynne (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    It does not matter. You will be forced to comply or be imprisoned.

    The woke is the language of genocide, Cancel Culture is the practice for mass murder.

    America is lost. Freedom is lost for generations. The natural order or brutal tribes and scrambling for power will reassert itself within this generation.

    The elite get to do what they want, and if we complain we will be destroyed.

    It is only a matter of time before Ricochet is deplatformed for not being woke.

    Unfortunately, I completely agree with you. I asked my husband at dinner Saturday night if he thought the language and the corporate/military/educational institution struggle sessions were a precursor to the above and he professed that he did not, that reason will prevail. I do not share his optimism. But, he thinks I have “worst-case-scenario” personality disorder.

    I am 51. My whole life has been one big leftist push. The right never wins any cultural war battle. The battles are over, the wars have been won, and know they are out to kill those of us who lost. 

    • #19
  20. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    It does not matter. You will be forced to comply or be imprisoned.

    The woke is the language of genocide, Cancel Culture is the practice for mass murder.

    America is lost. Freedom is lost for generations. The natural order or brutal tribes and scrambling for power will reassert itself within this generation.

    The elite get to do what they want, and if we complain we will be destroyed.

    It is only a matter of time before Ricochet is deplatformed for not being woke.

    I have resolved to be less… caustic… in my responses to comments like this. And I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd.

    We can fight or we can surrender. If we want to surrender, we can admit defeat, because admitting defeat doesn’t do any damage if we want to surrender.

    But if we want to fight, or if we want anyone else to fight, or if we think we should fight even though we don’t think there’s much hope, then it would probably be wiser to speak encouraging words and, when that isn’t possible, to say nothing at all.

    And a lot of us don’t think we’ve already lost.

    • #20
  21. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    And a lot of us don’t think we’ve already lost.

    Some of us think even if it’s bleak that we must at least try to fight and/or raise a fighting generation.

    • #21
  22. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    Stina (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    And a lot of us don’t think we’ve already lost.

    Some of us think even if it’s bleak that we must at least try to fight and/or raise a fighting generation.

    I figure we’re basically monks in the dark ages copying scrolls in case civilization ever comes back. It might, but it might not be during our lifetimes.

    • #22
  23. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Matt Bartle (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    And a lot of us don’t think we’ve already lost.

    Some of us think even if it’s bleak that we must at least try to fight and/or raise a fighting generation.

    I figure we’re basically monks in the dark ages copying scrolls in case civilization ever comes back. It might, but it might not be during our lifetimes.

    YES! And also debating what went wrong or what could have been a better way so future generations have some wisdom in the rebuild.

    • #23
  24. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Hank, I like the post.  I’m not sure about this part.

    Henry Racette: Diversity of views is lovely.

    I can think of many topics about which a diversity of views is horrid.  Pedophilia is an extreme example.

    I think that diversity of views is preferable to a rigid orthodoxy that is wrong.  I doubt that it is preferable to a rigid orthodoxy that is correct.

    • #24
  25. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Hank, I like the post. I’m not sure about this part.

    Henry Racette: Diversity of views is lovely.

    I can think of many topics about which a diversity of views is horrid. Pedophilia is an extreme example.

    I think that diversity of views is preferable to a rigid orthodoxy that is wrong. I doubt that it is preferable to a rigid orthodoxy that is correct.

    But how likely is a rigid orthodoxy that is correct?

    • #25
  26. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos
    1. For your white woke friends:  Does the name Nicolas Salmanovitch Rubashov ring a bell?  No matter how woke you are, you will never be woke enough.  When the revolution runs out of targets less currently woke than you, you are next. Count on it.
    2. For your African-American friends:  When you have successfully convinced all white Americans that they are irredeemably racist and that nothing they can do will change that, would such a mass realization really be a good thing?  [In college, I knew a rather belligerent Jewish kid who found anti-semitism everywhere.  He would accuse others of anti-semitism and through sheer persistence, he invariably won that argument, sometimes by an apparently spontaneous conversion.  I don’t think he was helping.]
    3. For employers:  If you check social media of applicants for distasteful racist or hateful remarks shouldn’t you also check for willingness to joining woke mobs against people who committed minor verbal transgressions a decade ago?  Don’t you think that the wokester will also readily do that to you, to your customers, and to your other employees?
    4. For women:  Remember how feminism (was it the second or third wave?) mutated into a belief that sexuality could be made completely subject to ideology?  Then remember how ideology decided there is no such thing as a woman and that’s why you are currently sharing the ladies’ room with an unshaven teamster in a mumu deadnamed Earl.
    5. For all normals:  How the bloody hell did we give so much power to the vilest, most militantly mediocre people in our society, and what are we doing to rectify that mistake?
    • #26
  27. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Hank, I like the post. I’m not sure about this part.

    Henry Racette: Diversity of views is lovely.

    I can think of many topics about which a diversity of views is horrid. Pedophilia is an extreme example.

    I think that diversity of views is preferable to a rigid orthodoxy that is wrong. I doubt that it is preferable to a rigid orthodoxy that is correct.

    But how likely is a rigid orthodoxy that is correct?

    Seems to me our traditions should have passed on a few no go areas. Pedophilia is a good example. Cannibalism is another. Homosexuality used to be one of those. Just how far in debating the no go zones do we want to go?

    • #27
  28. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Hank, I like the post. I’m not sure about this part.

    Henry Racette: Diversity of views is lovely.

    I can think of many topics about which a diversity of views is horrid. Pedophilia is an extreme example.

    I think that diversity of views is preferable to a rigid orthodoxy that is wrong. I doubt that it is preferable to a rigid orthodoxy that is correct.

    I could have written “freedom is lovely,” or “good health is lovely,” or “hard work and dedication to one’s craft is lovely,” and you could have made an identical objection to any of those.

    Sometimes we have to put down the micrometer.

    • #28
  29. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    1. For your white woke friends: Does the name Nicolas Salmanovitch Rubashov ring a bell? No matter how woke you are, you will never be woke enough. When the revolution runs out of targets less currently woke than you, you are next. Count on it.
    2. For your African-American friends: When you have successfully convinced all white Americans that they are irredeemably racist and that nothing they can do will change that, would such a mass realization really be a good thing? [In college, I knew a rather belligerent Jewish kid who found anti-semitism everywhere. He would accuse others of anti-semitism and through sheer persistence, he invariably won that argument, sometimes by an apparently spontaneous conversion. I don’t think he was helping.]
    3. For employers: If you check social media of applicants for distasteful racist or hateful remarks shouldn’t you also check for willingness to joining woke mobs against people who committed minor verbal transgressions a decade ago? Don’t you think that the wokester will also readily do that to you, to your customers, and to your other employees?
    4. For women: Remember how feminism (was it the second or third wave?) mutated into a belief that sexuality could be made completely subject to ideology? Then remember how ideology decided there is no such thing as a woman and that’s why you are currently sharing the ladies’ room with an unshaven teamster in a mumu deadnamed Earl.
    5. For all normals: How the bloody hell did we give so much power to the vilest, most militantly mediocre people in our society, and what are we doing to rectify that mistake?

    Always love the references to Darkness at Noon.  I wonder if it’s even assigned reading anymore at our fine universities.  Of course, it was written by a “white supremacist”, so probably no.

    • #29
  30. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Hank, I like the post. I’m not sure about this part.

    Henry Racette: Diversity of views is lovely.

    I can think of many topics about which a diversity of views is horrid. Pedophilia is an extreme example.

    I think that diversity of views is preferable to a rigid orthodoxy that is wrong. I doubt that it is preferable to a rigid orthodoxy that is correct.

    I could have written “freedom is lovely,” or “good health is lovely,” or “hard work and dedication to one’s craft is lovely,” and you could have made an identical objection to any of those.

    Sometimes we have to put down the micrometer.

    Stop measuring with a micrometer, just go ahead and mark it with a grease pencil and cut it with an axe?

    • #30