Are we finally ‘Waking Up From Woke’?

Simon Letch
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It’s time the left pushed back against woke. Afraid of being branded a racist, misogynist or transphobe, the left has been browbeaten into silence by woke activists, even though the left enabled the modern movements for black rights, gay rights and feminism.

Left politics are about capitalism’s structural inequalities – corporate power, state capture, exploitation, consumerism and the brutalisation of everyday life for those at the bottom. It was committed to ending discrimination against marginalised groups before woke came along. But it knows that succeeding would still leave a society based on material inequality and power disparities

Woke is neither progressive nor left when it reduces politics to individual self-expression and identity. And woke politics is anti-democratic when its call-out tactics and cancel culture create a punitive and exclusionary environment. Fear of being publicly shamed, bullied, cancelled or even fired is stifling sincere dialogue, not least among academics.

Bigots should be called out, but anathemising those with a progressive but different view is divisive and unfair. Opinions that are annoying, upsetting or infuriating are not necessarily intolerant or harmful, let alone “hateful”. They are an everyday part of living in a democratic society.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!