Wokeness on the Ropes: America Pushes Back

Did you see this headline from today’s The New York Times: Liberals Envisioned a Multiracial Coalition. Voters of Color Had Other Ideas?

Liberals didn’t envision this. Liberals believe in the individual. Equality before the law, equality of opportunity—these lie at the heart of liberal thinking, not abstract groupings based on race and other identities or quality of outcome.

The New York Times meant to write that progressives envisioned a multiracial coalition and voters of all races and ethnicities have other ideas. Progressives are the ones pushing group-based rights and notions of equity, not liberals. Kamala Harris even narrated a cartoon about it. See here:

The New York Times has long conflated liberalism and progressivism in an attempt to falsely divide conservatives and liberals who, while differing in many ways, don’t differ much on the fundamental premise of America, namely a republic where personal sovereignty and individual liberty reign.

At any rate, it didn’t work out so well for progressives, did it? The electorate rejected their agenda. In addition to being blown out on the affirmative action question in California, and Republicans likely retaining control of Senate, Democrats have so far lost seven seats in the House. Padding Biden’s tally with Californians voting out of reflexive hatred of the Orange Man in the White House does not a mandate make. Indeed, despite elites engineering Trump’s defeat, the vote remains close in several key states. There was no Blue Wave. And, improbably, the loser had the coat tails (see The Watchdog is a Sheepdog).

A Black Lives Matter White Privilege Story As Told By A Dumb Middle Class  White Guy | Freeport News Network

Maybe it was the divisive identitarian politics that animated Antifa and Black Lives Matter that put voters off the Democrats. It doesn’t seem that working people want what progressives are peddling. Perhaps that’s why Silicon Valley is aggressively censoring conservative and liberal content on social media. Desperate to obscure the backlash against identity politics and political correctness, they can’t stop reassuring the public that the Associated Press has called the race for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. It feels like they are reassuring themselves.

Trump gained considerably in black and Hispanic support. US Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, boasted that the Republican Party had become a multiracial and multiethnic party. But, as Pedro Gonzales pointed out today on Steve Bannon’s War Room Pandemic show (see below), diversity politics suffers from a core problem: if the preachers of multiracialism/multiculturalism argue that the government must, instead of investing in development and infrastructure projects benefitting the working class generally, create race-based plans that favor some races and ethnicities over other races and ethnicities, what amounts to a racial spoils system, they must depend on the myth that there are no white people in this country who could use scholarships, that there are no downscale white communities that could use capital infusion, and so on. It’s a myth experience debunks.

In 2016, Bernie Sanders said, “When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto. You don’t know what it’s like to be poor.” I hear others making points along this line. You might not see such claims as immediately and profoundly wrong if you don’t study demographics the way I do. I’m a professional sociologist, I have to keep up with such things. The fact is that more than two-thirds of poor Americans are white. Put another way, there are more than twice as many poor white people as there are poor people of all other races combined.

The elites know this, and that’s why the white privilege argument is drilled into our heads, why we are told that no matter how down on his luck a white man may be, all whites are privileged. They say this of course to downplay the suffering of the majority of working class workers in order to pit them against non-white minorities who are in reality their comrades. It’s an old divide and rule tactic.

The latest target of progressives is the white woman. Julie Kohler of Democracy Alliance, a white woman, appeared on MSNBC to say that “white women have taken an active role in the maintenance of white supremacy.” “[W]hite women,” she says, “weaponize their identities against, especially, black men.” There’s a lot of other nonsense in what Kohler say, which you can see for yourself, if you care to.

The truth is that progressives weaponize race to wage class war on behalf of corporate power. They weaponize racism to marginalize working people in order to blunt criticism of woke ideology and corporate power. Elites mean to confuse class consciousness and stifle class struggle by sowing racial and ethnic division and waging racial and cultural warfare. Their vision weaves together a coalition of minorities they claim are oppressed and wield their grievances, even when minorities don’t claim them, even when they resist them, as a battering ram against the proletariat. They push for open borders, while decrying assimilation as racist, then, to enlarge their coalition, claim the newcomers are victims of a pervasive white supremacy. There could be no other reason for borders but racism. Since whites are the majority, whites are necessarily the subjects of attack. The tactic marginalizes workers by undermining their moral authority, portraying them as backwards ignorant rubes, as racists and xenophobes. The deplorables.

Biden means to throughly institutionalize the progressive racism, as Bloomberg points out, “putting racial disparities high on the agenda as he assembles his administration” (see Biden Fills Economic Posts With Experts on Systemic Racism). “revious administrations haven’t made race scholarship such a clear priority,” Bloomberg tells its readers. “Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are emphasizing diversity as they prepare to assume power next year. Women comprise more than 50% of the new administration’s landing teams, according to the transition team, and more than 40% of advisers are from groups that are historically underrepresented in the federal government, like racial minorities, people with disabilities and those who identify as LGBTQ.”

Bloomberg quotes Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, co-founder of the Sadie Collective, a nonprofit working to get more Black women in economics. “Having these individuals who are representative of their community in the actual room where they can voice their perspective and have their perspective actually translate to policy—it matters more than you think.” Bloomberg paraphrases her hopefulness: “Next, she said, she will watch to see whether progressive-leaning advisers can drive policy change.” What makes “these individuals” “representative of their community”? Their racial identities. In other words, moral entrepreneurs pressing to speak for others on the basis of superficial phenotypic traits.

But ever larger proportions of Asian, black, and Hispanic workers are seeing through the ruse. They see how they’re being used by progressives for the sake of a racial politics that has disadvantaged and endangered them. They see the high crime rates and social disorganization in their communities. They see their businesses failing, looted and burned. They see their personal development assumed to result from tokenism and not from creativity, initiative, and sacrifice. To be sure, not everybody knows they’re being used; but when the scales fall from enough eyes, movements emerge.

John McWhorter’s latest in The Atlantic carries the subtitle, “Trump’s nonwhite support suggests a gulf between how the ‘woke’ left processes racism and how many people in the real world do.” He explains: “The former assumes that racism is a wedge issue, and the most cardinal of human sins; the latter are far less doctrinaire.”

“To psychologically healthy individuals,” McWhorter elaborates, “the fact that Trump wouldn’t want to be their friend may seem an abstraction, as they will never meet him, have fulfilling lives that have nothing to do with him, and are quite sure that they are as good as him anyway. To these people, Trump’s policies, or even just some of them, or even just the cut of his jib, may seem more important than what Trump would say about them in private—or public.”

He then chastises the woke among us: “This outlook arguably represents a more sophisticated sensibility than the pitchfork attitude of many on racism. Think of those who since the 1980s have rejected the Great Books canon because the authors were white and almost always racist. Ahead of the curve? Maybe. Or one could see this condemnation of people for being unable to see beyond their time as simplistic and even anti-intellectual. Many, in fact, do.”

McWhorter recently appeared on the Glenn Loury show featuring Shelby Steele. Steele was on promoting his documentary, “What Killed Michael Brown?” McWhorter puts the question to Shelby. Watch the conversation below:

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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