One of the most frustrating parts of our culture over the last decade, politically and otherwise, has been watching the so-called “woke” movement flourish. The overwhelming speed with which it has overtaken so many aspects of society and dominated conversations would be impressive if it weren’t so harmful.
In that regard, the question for any movement is not whether it is righteous on paper, but rather if it betters or worsens a given situation. On that front, I believe I can make a definitive judgment – the woke movement has failed.
The Great Awokening: mission accomplished. pic.twitter.com/MFM6xD2rhQ
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) July 22, 2021
What’s so depressing about this is that it was imminently preventable. Nothing substantive in our laws has changed to cause such divisions. We didn’t start implementing segregation or other forms of state-mandated discrimination again over the last eight years, for example. Instead, every bit of the above collapse can be explained by political rhetoric, almost exclusively coming from the left under the guise of “being woke.”
Victimhood is not only addictive, it has become a form of currency. That’s not to say that there are no actual victims. It is to say that the idea of collective victimization, i.e. all black people are being oppressed at this very moment because one police officer did something bad in a single instance, on a single street, to a single person, is an incredibly divisive way of thinking. Victimization should logically be based on personal impact, and when it is, it can be dealt with. Yet, when John Doe in Sacramento is a “victim” because of something that happened to Sally Sue in New York, that leaves nowhere to go. Everything becomes so abstract as to have no solution.
Perceptions brought about largely by a well-funded activist class, not actual realities on the ground in individual lives, have caused the absolute collapse in race relations we are now seeing in the country. And again, has anyone actually been helped along the way, black people included? Objectively, the answer has to be no because when relations are trashed based purely on politically pushed narratives, again, there is no end game. There is no big issue to rally around to say “ok, let’s change this specific law and it will fix this specific problem.”
Obama also was critical of some voting laws but I don't remember him talking like this. This kind of racial fear tactic is so common now. https://t.co/biDJENmaVt
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) July 22, 2021
And that’s really the issue. When the President of the United States goes around telling people that not having 24-hour, drive-thru voting in a single Texas county is “Jim Crow on steroids,” it breeds panic and division that is simply not justified. When woke activists tell black people that police are literally hunting them to murder them, something not backed up by any objective data, it breeds distrust and hysteria. That is especially true in younger people who then claim that they are perpetually “exhausted” by their supposed oppression when an objective look at their life would leave people perplexed as to what they are talking about.
What has substantively changed between 2013 and 2021 to cause what we see in regards to race relations? The answer is that nothing at all has substantively changed. In fact, if one wants to focus on police shootings of unarmed black men, something that has animated the woke movement more than anything else, those numbers are down over the last decade. Despite that, the angst and hostility of the woke movement only grows. Why? Because, to reiterate, there is no end game.
The division is the point for the woke. If their intentions were good, perhaps we could chalk all this up to unintended consequences, but their intentions are not good. One look at how often the goalposts move regarding what constitutes “racism” will show you that. Meanwhile, politicians take those bad intentions and amplify them a thousandfold for their own gain. The result is predictable – race relations cratering for no reason other than the woke and their political allies demanding it.
This is not healthy, and it’s not a situation that a country can survive long-term. A political movement should be judged by its fruit, not by whatever righteousness it bestows upon itself. The fruit of the woke movement has been bitter and rotten. It serves no purpose except to divide and worsen whatever situation it claims to be fixing. For that, it does not deserve respect, but destruction.