Bari Weiss explains the Religion of Woke, and how to destroy it

In case you don’t know who she is, Bari Weiss was hired away from the WSJ by the NYT in 2017. In the wake of Trump’s win, the stunned NYT leadership, who believed in their own fake polls showing Hillary with a 20 point lead, realized they were completely out of touch with the deplorables. So they hired Weiss to bring some reality, or at least center-left, to the op/ed page. After all, at the NYT, a lesbian from Columbia University represents balance.

But it was destined to end in failure. You can read about all that here:

The thing is, she seems really grounded in logic, rational thought, and intellectual honesty. So here she tries to explain to you how wokeism works. You need to push past the notion that logic, rational thought, or intellectual honesty are tools you can use in this war. That would be like bringing a fork to the dam break or an umbrella to the tsunami. Spoiler alert: Wokeism is NOT about seeing everything through the lens of race, class, privilege, victimhood, and past grievances. Rather… race, class, privilege, and past grievances ARE THE ONLY REALITY. Persons holding contrary opinions will be subject to all the things the Woke claim to be against: Exclusion, persecution, bullying, intolerance, prejudice, violence. Because in their minds, this presents no contradiction.

We Got Here Because of Cowardice. We Get Out With Courage

Say no to the Woke Revolution

by Bari Weiss

A lot of people want to convince you that you need a Ph.D. or a law degree or dozens of hours of free time to read dense texts about critical theory to understand the woke movement and its worldview. You do not. You simply need to believe your own eyes and ears. 

Let me offer the briefest overview of the core beliefs of the Woke Revolution, which are abundantly clear to anyone willing to look past the hashtags and the jargon.

It begins by stipulating that the forces of justice and progress are in a war against backwardness and tyranny. And in a war, the normal rules of the game must be suspended. Indeed, this ideology would argue that those rules are not just obstacles to justice, but tools of oppression. They are the master’s tools.  And the master’s tools cannot dismantle the master’s house.

So the tools themselves are not just replaced but repudiated. And in so doing, persuasion—the purpose of argument—is replaced with public shaming. Moral complexity is replaced with moral certainty. Facts are replaced with feelings.

Ideas are replaced with identity. Forgiveness is replaced with punishment. Debate is replaced with de-platforming. Diversity is replaced with homogeneity of thought. Inclusion, with exclusion.

In this ideology, speech is violence. But violence, when carried out by the right people in pursuit of a just cause, is not violence at all. In this ideology, bullying is wrong, unless you are bullying the right people, in which case it’s very, very good. In this ideology, education is not about teaching people how to think, it’s about reeducating them in what to think. In this ideology, the need to feel safe trumps the need to speak truthfully. 

In this ideology, if you do not tweet the right tweet or share the right slogan, your whole life can be ruined. Just ask Tiffany Riley, a Vermont school principal who was fired—fired—because she said she supports black lives but not the organization Black Lives Matter.

In this ideology, the past cannot be understood on its own terms, but must be judged through the morals and mores of the present. It is why statues of Grant and Washington are being torn down. And it is why William Peris, a UCLA lecturer and an Air Force veteran, was investigated for reading Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” out loud in class.

In this ideology, intentions don’t matter. That is why Emmanuel Cafferty, a Hispanic utility worker at San Diego Gas and Electric, was fired for making what someone said he thought was a white-supremacist hand gesture—when in fact he was cracking his knuckles out of his car window.

In this ideology, the equality of opportunity is replaced with equality of outcome as a measure of fairness. If everyone doesn’t finish the race at the same time, the course must have been defective. Thus, the argument to get rid of the SAT. Or the admissions tests for public schools like Stuyvesant in New York or Lowell in San Francisco. 

In this ideology, you are guilty for the sins of your fathers. In other words: You are not you. You are only a mere avatar of your race or your religion or your class. That is why third-graders in Cupertino, California, were asked to rate themselves in terms of their power and privilege. In third grade. 

In this system, we are all placed neatly on a spectrum of “privileged” to “oppressed.” We are ranked somewhere on this spectrum in different categories: race, gender, sexual orientation, and class. Then we are given an overall score, based on the sum of these rankings. Having privilege means that your character and your ideas are tainted. This is why, one high-schooler in New York tells me, students in his school are told, “If you are white and male, you are second in line to speak.” This is considered a normal and necessary redistribution of power.

Racism has been redefined. It is no longer about discrimination based on the color of someone’s skin. Racism is any system that allows for disparate outcomes between racial groups. If disparity is present, as the high priest of this ideology, Ibram X. Kendi, has explained, racism is present. According to this totalizing new view, we are all either racist or anti-racist. To be a Good Person and not a Bad Person, you must be an “anti-racist.” There is no neutrality. There is no such thing as “not racist.” 

Most important: In this revolution, skeptics of any part of this radical ideology are recast as heretics. Those who do not abide by every single aspect of its creed are tarnished as bigots, subjected to boycotts and their work to political litmus tests. The Enlightenment, as the critic Edward Rothstein has put it, has been replaced by the exorcism. 

What we call “cancel culture” is really the justice system of this revolution. And the goal of the cancellations is not merely to punish the person being cancelled. The goal is to send a message to everyone else: Step out of line and you are next. 

It has worked. A recent CATO study found that 62 percent of Americans are afraid to voice their true views. Nearly a quarter of American academics endorse ousting a colleague for having a wrong opinion about hot-button issues such as immigration or gender differences. And nearly 70 percent of students favor reporting professors if the professor says something that students find offensive, according to a Challey Institute for Global Innovation survey.

Why are so many, especially so many young people, drawn to this ideology? It’s not because they are dumb. Or because they are snowflakes, or whatever Fox talking points would have you believe. All of this has taken place against the backdrop of major changes in American life—the tearing apart of our social fabric; the loss of religion and the decline of civic organizations; the opioid crisis; the collapse of American industries; the rise of big tech; successive financial crises; a toxic public discourse; crushing student debt. An epidemic of loneliness. A crisis of meaning. A pandemic of distrust. It has taken place against the backdrop of the American dream’s decline into what feels like a punchline, the inequalities of our supposedly fair, liberal meritocracy clearly rigged in favor of some people and against others. And so on.

“I became converted because I was ripe for it and lived in a disintegrating society thirsting for faith.” That was Arthur Koestler writing in 1949 about his love affair with Communism. The same might be said of this new revolutionary faith. And like other religions at their inception, this one has lit on fire the souls of true believers, eager to burn down anything or anyone that stands in its way…

Read the rest, and how we fix this:

8 thoughts on “Bari Weiss explains the Religion of Woke, and how to destroy it”

  1. This is basic postmodernism, born from Luther and his suspension of reason. It’s the ideology communists embraced when logic and reason failed them in applying communism (which was offered as better than the west’s scientific method, economics, etc). It’s the worship of power over all other things. And narcissism is its fuel.

    1. I agree. It’s really Protestantism taken to it’s logical conclusion. Chaos. People do not understand how insidious Protestantism is. Essentially it is a “I will not serve” mentality. Luther was a bad man. That Lutherans venerate him is telling. Just as Henry VIII was a murderous, evil fiend and his daughter carried on the legacy. Is Queen Elizabeth II evil? No, yet Britain has become quite the godless place since her coronation. She has no moral voice. Look at the chaos among her kids. 3/4 divorced. (Don’t know about Edward.). And in 1930s the Church of England refused to obey God and approved of contraception which opened the door to even more chaos—the pill, promiscuity, and widespread abortion.
      St Edmund Campion, pray for us. St Robert Southwell, pray for us. St Peter Canisius, pray for us.

      1. Yeah I think Luther said something like people should have an irrational faith, like in a stupor. Jist accept it. I think he said that so people wouldn’t question his new doctrine, nor the Catholic doctrine.
        The book “Explaining Postmodernism” and a lot of Barnhardt’s postings on Luther are really good.

    2. Jesus said He is Truth. These academics and their students are saying “No!” to Truth Himself. This will not end well. They are embracing Mr Chaos himself, aka satan.

  2. Thank God I majored in a STEM field. My old Physics textbook sits on the same bookshelf as my copy of Vulgate (I see no conflict between those two books).
    Sadly, I see that a lot of people today in academia who teach in those fields are now showing their “preferred pronouns” in their bios.
    On college campuses we have tax-payer funded insanity. People are taking out student loans (which are owned by the government, and can never be discharged in bankruptcy) to waste 4-6 years of their life. Imagine if you took out a loan for a car, the deal was: You can never sell your car, you must pay off the loan, you can never discharge the loan in bankruptcy. No one would take that deal. But every year millions of students sign up for exactly that deal.
    The sort of people who would sign up for that insane deal are just the sort of people who will fall in line with this craziness. Those poor kids would be FAR Better off taking the money from those loans, and putting it in the S&P 500, and not touching it for 4 years, and then working stocking shelves at Walmart.

  3. “In this ideology, the equality of opportunity is replaced with equality of outcome as a measure of fairness.”
    But therein lies the problem… equality of opportunity inevitably leads to equality of outcome, because meritocratic standards keep exposing innate strengths and weaknesses between races.
    Even though there are Gaussian distributions for each race, the preponderance of people in some race who fall short of skills and talents necessary for a modern society, mean that they will never be rewarded where fair standards exist. It eventually becomes glaringly obvious to everyone. But if we in society are not allowed to acknowledge that fact, because there’s a mistakenly conflated moral imperative called ‘racial equality’, then the inevitable result is that equality of outcome becomes the only approved agenda. Meritocratic standards must die. Anyone who tries to reasonably put forward facts and arguments about race realism must then be shouted down and hated as an evil racist. If you ever wondered how truth dies, that’s how it’s done… one step at a time, simply because everybody bought into the wrong assumptions at the outset, and never questioned them after that.

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