THE VIEW FROM HERE - Wokeism started life in an honorable fashion signifying that people out of power have a different, and usually more accurate understanding, of the behaviors of those in power. The term Woke was generally applied to Blacks when individual Black persons were not treated as individuals based upon facts, but rather they faced injustice due to their race.
In 1971, the phrase Woke was used by American playwright Barry Beckham in “Garvey Lives!,” where he wrote: “I been sleeping all my life. And now that Mr. Garvey done woke me up, I’m gon’ stay woke. And I’m gon’ help him wake up other black folk.” Jan 22, 2021, Independent What is the history of the word ‘woke’ and its modern uses?, by Kate Ng.
After the August 9, 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo, “Woke” was kidnapped by Dem Identity Politics and turned upside down into its opposite. After Nancy Pelosi’s Identity Politics took over, Woke became a mandatory belief that white racism was the cause of all of society’s ills and the only solution was for the minorities to seize control as soon as they became the majority of the voters. Long before Michael Brown, Dem Identity Politics had been threatening the Alt Right with Replacement by the minorities. Pelosi’s Identity Politics pre-dated the 2011 French publication of Renaud Camus’ Grand Remplacement which said European whites were to be replaced by non-Whites primarily Muslims. While the theory is idiotic, Pelosi found it politically expedient. The paranoid right which is prone to violence is easily manipulated by conspiracy theories. In Pelosi’s game plan, the Dems’ threatening to replace the Alt Right would result in Alt Right violence, e.g., Dylann Roof who murdered nine Black churchgoers on June 17, 2015, Payton Gendron who murdered ten people at a Black Buffalo supermarket in 2022. Dems Identity Politics offers all minorities protection from the violent Alt Right, and thereby the Dems build a voting coalition so that the Dems may seize enough political power to vanquish the GOP.
The Civic Evil of Identity Politics
The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were irreconcilably opposed to Group Rights. Thus, the nation was based on individual inalienable rights including Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness where the role of government was to “secure these rights” (Declaration) within the context of the “general welfare” (Constitution Preamble). Three types of Group Rights threatened the new nation. (1) The British Peerage, but that died when George Washington rejected becoming King, (2) religion and (3) slavery.
Religion posed the most immediate threat to individual inalienable rights in that religious identity had brought over a millennium of war to Europe, first with the Crusades starting in 1066. After Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses in 1517, Europe suffered endless wars between Catholics and Protestants while, murdering as many Jews as possible along the way. The US Constitution’s prototype way to keep Group Rights out of the government was the Separation of Church and State, which excluded all religions. The deal is this: the state will let your group believe and do as it wishes, except break criminal laws and your group may not impose its beliefs on the government.
In the late 1700's, slavery was seen as a evil, but its abolition was not yet feasible. Thus, both the Declaration and the US Constitution lay the ground work for its demise. Both documents had signed slavery’s death warrant, but first, one Union had to be formed. The Founding Fathers knew what Abraham Lincoln stated a few decades later, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That maxim applies today and explains the dire threat which Woke Identity Politics holds for America.
Domestic Treason – An Unfortunate Omission from the Constitution
The US Constitution provided some bases for impeachment of judicial officers and the President. In retrospect, they should have included advocacy of Group Rights as Domestic Treason. The idea that one group of people may assert its ascriptive status as the basis to seize special rights for themselves or impose liabilities on others is a lethal threat to the nation.
Any law which enshrined group rights should have been struck down as unconstitutional imposition of Group Rights. Any judge who failed to do so should have been impeached for Domestic Treason. The Constitution does not so provide and hence Group Rights repeatedly polarizes the nation. In 1857, The Dred Scott Decision 60 U.S. 393 denied that Blacks had inalienable rights, thereby guaranteeing the Civil War. When Sen. Stephen Douglas sought re-election against the challenger Abraham Lincoln, he championed the Group Rights of Whites to own slaves and Lincoln insisted that inalienable rights belonged to each individual. Sen. Douglas was re-elected, proving that the populace favors inalienable rights for itself, but not for others.
In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), the US Supreme Court denied that Blacks had the inalienable individual right of Liberty, but rather they had the Group Right of Equality of Outcome. As Justice Harlan’s dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson 163 U.S. 537 (1896) showed, all the Brown court needed to write was “Because segregation interferes with an individual’s rights based upon one’s race, it is an inherently unconstitutional interference with the inalienable rights of both races.”
The most recent Supreme Court denial of inalienable rights is Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, No. 19-1392, 597 U.S. ___, where women have no inalienable right to control their own bodies, but rather their rights are dependent upon the voters of each state. Justice Alito basically revived The Dred Scott decision and applied it to women. Alito was able to engage in “domestic treason” due to Identity Politics where rights attach to the ascriptive group and not to the individual. The other pernicious concept which made Dobbs possible was the falsehood that we are a Democracy where the will of the people expressed at the ballot box is the law of the land, rather than a Republic where the rule of law supersedes the will of the people.
Tyranny of the Woke
The US has been turned into the episode of the Twilight Zone where everyone lives in fear of displeasing a tyrannical child. In It’s A Good Life (episode 8, 1961) no one dares to think any thought which displeases the monster woke child who will make them disappear. Los Angeles still suffers from this sort of Wokeism where people can be accused of anti-Black racism and be banished from public life, while everyone is too afraid to admit that nothing anti-Black was in fact said.
Furthermore, everyone is afraid to ask, “who spread this vicious lie by releasing the audio tape of the three councilmembers?” Mayor Karen Bass certainly does not want the tape’s origin known. Everyone knows where it was made and we’ve heard that someone named Martinez released the tape to Reddit. But, virtually everyone including the LAPD fears the monster Wokeism by identifying the leakers and their political motives. Likewise, no one may question why Jason Reedy, who was videotaped assaulting and battering councilmember Kevin de Leon, has not been arrested. Rather, Reedy attends the city council, bolding telling the woker lie that Kevin de Leon attacked him.
Worse yet, Wokeism promotes the hideous lie that Blacks, who once were most famous for overcoming, are helpless and hapless victims of racism. Oct 6, 2021 The Self-Imposed Infantilization of Black People, by Steve QJ. As long as the Woke tyranny promotes the falsehood that white racism is the cause of all our ills, we will fail to recognize that we live in a predatory society where wealth is constantly flowing upwards from the average citizen to the 1%. Woke Identity Politics pits Americans against each other so that we fight existential battles against each other.
As Lincoln said, “a Nation divided cannot long stand.” That applies to leftist Wokeism and to the Alt Right.
(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. You may email him at [email protected]. The opinions expressed by Mr. Abrams are not necessarily those of CityWatchLA.com.)