Focusing On Woke Means You’re Asleep

These are not Democrats rioting on January 6.

Over the weekend, the Paper of Record The New York Times ran another breathless opinion piece about a great threat to America.

Not a piece talking about the out-of-control far-right Supreme Court, nor a piece lamenting the attempts in red states to take away rights.

No, this was about the REAL THREAT TO AMERICA: Wokism. In this case, how criticizing a transphobic book is the same as Texas book banning laws. The Times really outdid themselves.

The opinion piece is written by Pamela Paul, who is the ex-wife of Equally Obtuse New York Times Columnist Bret Stephens. Paul’s crusade focuses on how the Woke Left is as much a threat to the country as the right. In other words, wanting people to treat trans folks with dignity is the same as violently trying to overturn the election.

A lot of this really does have roots in the transphobia which seems to be on the rise lately. The Harper’s Letter was in part published due to transphobia, given several prominent transphobics signed it. In fact, the centerpiece of Paul’s most recent column is about a book titled “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters” by Abigail Shirer.

Shirer is an obviously obsessed transphobe (see her list of stories for the New York Post) and is also deeply disingenuous with a history of misstatements about trans people. Being deeply disingenuous is key to being a true Centrist Pundit, specifically because they are defending some very unsavory opinions and the far right is obviously, to any unbiased observer, much more dangerous to democracy than anyone on the left. This makes it very difficult for them to be upfront about what they really think.

An example of this is the destruction of Roe v. Wade. You might think that would be a wakeup call to these pundits that the right is a far bigger problem, but instead, Paul used her New York Times platform to both-side it. Using, of course, transphobia.

Claiming that The Real Problem right now is “wokeness” is absolute madness, with everything else going on. In my personal experience, those who howl about wokism cannot even define it, and instead, start sounding like a Fox News viewer. Woke can be made to define just about anything. Wokism originated in the Black community to mean being aware of the injustices inherent in the system and work to change them.

But now, people apply wokism to anything from wanting people to have equal healthcare to women’s rights to teaching a non-sanitized version of American history. Woke seems to equal helping and defending marginalized people. These are pretty much good things that make our society live up to its ideals but it is also rather threatening to a certain type of person.

There are many more alarming things going on right now. A wife of a Supreme Court justice is an open insurrectionist. The Secret Service hid vital evidence during the January 6 insurrection. Red state legislatures are banning hundreds of books (and no, Pamela Paul, this is not the same as choosing to not have a book in your library that is attacking a specific marginalized group). The Paper of Record itself ran a piece about how violent the Republican Party has become.

There is just no equal to all this from the left, and at this point, both-siding this stuff is no longer unbiased journalism, but actively assisting the dismantling of democracy. So, are we really going to aid the slide into authoritarian rule just because some of us feel uncomfortable about trans people?

Now, if you are a moderate/centrist reading this, I am asking…no, BEGGING…you to not do the usual thing and complain that anyone who dares criticize your views is trying to cancel you, and then run off and pout about how you are not allowed to have an opinion. Please think about what you are saying. If there is a hurricane bearing down on your house, it makes zero sense to say “yeah but the leaking pipe upstairs is as great a threat so we need to fix that before we evacuate.” That is what you are doing, and again, begging you to please realize what is really going on right now. The country is in a lot of trouble not because @progressivegirl2441 posted something mean to Andrew Sullivan on Twitter. But because of the Republican Party.

The last work goes to Sharon Van Etten.