A lot of you who follow me and support my work do so because you’re concerned about the excesses of progressivism. Why are you concerned and when did you realise this wasn’t “just a few students on university campuses”?
Many small things I could list, but the most personally salient one was when answering the "what are you majoring in?" question -- on the bus and in the general community, not just on campus -- with "Mathematics" started getting me asked for my pronouns. Men do not own mathematics and the embrace of rigid sex stereotypes in the name of being pro-trans is regressive in the extreme.
Probably the most important of the bigger events was when 1,000 public health officials signed a letter advocating for mass gatherings during a respiratory pandemic because racism is such a public health threat--while businesses were shuttered by the force of law, families couldn't hold funerals, women wore masks while giving birth, and an elderly woman I know died alone. (She died alone from a hospital room where she could hear a protest in the park next to the hospital, but her family couldn't be with her as she died.)
I, an American woman, couldn't go downtown in the summer of 2020 without a male escort because it was so dangerous. Then the 2020 election came around, the personally repugnant candidate wanting to bring out the National Guard to restore order and the other candidate's VP raising money to get the rioters out of jail.
We are so fucked.
I'm a social worker. In 2016, I was providing field instruction for a social work student. She was on a student committee to do policy/advocacy work. She, like me, ticks the white box on those race checklists. At a meeting, one of the other students ("of color") launched a rant about white women. She said they can't be trusted, they rape our boys, they're a bunch of cunts. In the US, that word gets a really strong reaction. The faculty advisor did not raise an eyebrow. My student came to me and described what happened, and that she was going to resign from this little committee. I was shocked that this could go on and not create any response from the college. As I listened, I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as I realized I was in no position to defend my student. As a white woman, any attempt of intervening would be reduced to an accusation of "privilege" and white fragility. I felt truly powerless. Within a matter of a few months, I caught Benjamin Boyce's first video covering the "Evergreen Spring" at The Evergreen State College. The event with this student was my "red pill" moment. When Trump was elected, I was stunned and inspired to curiosity to get at how that happened. Slowly, I began to witness the manner in which my entire vocation had fallen under a spell. I got on a committee at the college to discuss field (internship) instruction. I think I got silently expelled when I wrote a letter of support for Dr. Peter Boghossian. Since then, I watched the ideology spread like Kudzu through my friend group and my community. The metaphor for me is ... do you remember those grey patterns that were all the rage over ten years ago where if you stared at it long enough an image appears? It is so strange to be able to see the image and not be able to help others to see it. They have to come to it on their own. Also: see sleeping beauty. The entire kingdom has fallen asleep.
I attended George Washington University in D.C. from 2008-2014, a school known for its political science program and proximity to D.C. politics. Even then, there were signs of cognitive fragility and the framework of ”your views are harmful“ amidst many of my friends and classmates. People who grew up within one political and class bubble and assumed that everyone educated and good-hearted felt the same way they did. Ironically, it was always those from large, liberal cities of California or the northeast, ones that consider themselves multicultural and progressive, that were the most dismissive of intellectual diversity.
I grew up with parents from different worlds that vote opposite, but never seemed to care much as they built a life together. So the idea of a political purity test was foreign to me, until I arrived at college and met peers that built their entire social circle around those they knew agreed with them.
I told someone at an L.A. party in 2015 that Joe Rogan is one of the most influential people in modern media. They laughed at me. I pointed out that his audience size and average YouTube views per video were larger than any major news network’s, and that his guests and discussion topics spanned a wide range of fields and expertise. They said he was just a cage fight guy and changed the subject.
I’ve had hundreds of conversations with people only interested in political and social discussions as a means to confirm their emotional safe spaces and preconceptions, as opposed to engaging in a meaningful and robust exchange of perspectives.
In my experience, the deciding factor between those that are obsessed with “woke” mindsets and worldviews, and those that aren’t, is whether they’ve lived in multiple states/differently sized cities, or only ever lived in one state/one type of city size. There really is no substitute for travel and real-world exposure.
At the height of the pandemic here in California I was working at my local food pantry, distributing groceries (literally running bags of food out to masked people of all ages and races sitting in their cars who otherwise would not eat that week) and during a lull several of us were having a rest on our outside benches. One of my co-workers looked at our group and said (without a trace of irony) "So, this is exactly what white privilege looks like." (yes, this particular shift of volunteers were all of Caucasian descent....and so?). I felt at that moment the world tilt on its axis from the sheer irrelevance of that attitude.
For me the start of this was actually Corbynism in late 2015/early 2016; I was involved in the labour party and could see the problem; people were just finding simple answers to questions and trying to then "shut down" any one who disagreed with them, there was no respect for the norms of debate. It was just gradual from that point. I made the switch from thinking the danger is from the right to the danger being from the left, even though I thought of myself as being on 'the left'.
Another thing was reading Jon Haidt and Greg Lukiankoffs book 'the coddling of the american mind', it must have been in 2018, it is a brilliant book, but I could see that they were wrong about one thing; they had the idea that cancel culture on university campuses was setting students up for failure in the 'real world', I could see that actually they would go and roll cancel culture out in to the real world, and that is what happened a couple of years later.
So, I was worried about the left, and the 'woke' since about 2015, and all my fears have gradually been justified by what has happened.
My peak woke moment was March 2022: After NCAA and UPenn allowed "Lia" Thomas (biological male swimmer) to compete against biological females. Before that date, I was content to self censor and stay out of the fray. After that date, I could no longer accept the lies that the Woke (media, academia, US government departments, etc) expect us to proclaim as Truth.
The start of the moment goes further back before it had a name.
During the LA riots of 1992, as a reaction to the Rodney King verdict clearing four white police officers, I watched images of Reginald Denny getting pulled from his truck, kicked repeatedly, an oxygen tank broken over his head, a hammer to his scull then a brick thrown point blank at his head. At the same time, I was working in a high-rise and watched plumes of smoke and fire going up all over South LA. News reports covered many in the black community saying the four arrested for the crime were scapegoats for the white establishment and the jurors had to consider the possibility of another riot if they returned a verdict opposite of what the community was demanding. Because of threats and pressure from the community heard from the deliberation room, their verdicts in 1993 to acquit the harsher charges were arguably contrary to law (which could be said for the four white officers too) then just two years later there was OJ.
BLM, riding on the coattails of history, did not only get the community to back them but athletes, celebrities, corporations and politicians. Though wokeism has been brewing for decades, the defund the police movement, the exploitative nature of the BLM movement and Kamala Harris bailing out criminals is the defining peak moment that I realized we hit rock bottom not to mention when the electorate voted in a DA who is pro-criminal and anti-victim. I see the aftermath every day in my neighborhood where complaints on the local neighborhood website are posted about break-ins, car thefts, theft and harassment by homeless, etc. with no police presence or reports taken. It has changed everything about our community, our safety, our trust in law enforcement of all levels and our freedom.
My university story: In grad school I took a literary in criticism and research seminar where video productions of Shakespeare's plays made an appearance. They were all English productions. In one student's response she kept referring to the black male lead as African American to which I responded, he's not "African American." The mix of expressions from the entire class were between credulous and as if I had lost my mind. What do you mean? I was asked and I repeated with a lilt he's not African American hoping at least one, higher-educated graduate student would catch on. None did. I looked to the professor, who was a Londoner, and shrugged my shoulders at the wokeness gone array and he was the only one who, with a nod of his head, understood that a black English actor could not possibly be "African American." The point is, we are churning out rote robots and not critically thinking humans.
To echo Molly Math Nerd: "We are so fucked."
My bf thinks I peaked over the backlash to JKR’s support of single sex space, but that’s just when I became vocal. I peaked when I joined an “Indivisible” group after the 2016 election. I hoped we would try to bring our community back together but found my “comrades” were only interested in owning the “deplorables”. If these wretched Trump voters suffered, so much the better! It made me sick.
I was in the Army for 30 years and was not really aware of WOKEISM at the time even though I intensely studied world affairs. Once I retired in 2012 I went to University to complete my degree and Masters, I became aware of Critical Theory and must admit I was almost seduced by its cousin epistemology of Constructivism before I came to my senses. At the time Critical Theory made little sense to me and I ignored it for the most part.
However, just before Covid in 2020 I became interested in Critical Theory because of what was happening in New Zealand with Jacinda and her Government. They have been implementing the very policies that are found in WOKE literature, using the same language and terms. In reading Gramsci I began to understand what I saw at University, and how this filtered through to society to corrupt it and to weaken us. I came to realize that what I was reading was very similar to what I was reading in the 1980s, during the later part of the Cold War from Soviet writers about how to subvert the West.
In 2021 He Puapua was released under a Official Information request, which became Government policy in April of this year. It proposed to divide New Zealand assets and power equally between Maori (16.7% of population) and the rest. The document dripped of WOKEISM and used Critical Theory language and terms throughout. This is called Co-governance but will in reality lead to a Rangatira (Tribal Elite Chieftain Class) dictatorship. To do this (page 79) democracy and rights were to be prorogued until Equity had been achieved and that Maori were to decide which rights these were to be. I came to realise that if He Puapua was implemented it would lead either to New Zealand becoming the Zimbabwe of the Pacific, or civil war, or both. This is an attempt to remake a Western Society in the image of the Critical Theorists.
The issue is, and this is for all those in Kiwiland who read this, the election in 2023 is the final speed bump. If these turkeys win the election in 2023 then it will be the last free and fair election we ever have. Willie Jackson (Minister of Maori Development), who has held implementation of He Puapua in abeyance until after the election, knows that if he were to implement it before November next year then Labour is toast. Therefore it is the duty of every New Zealander to fight against Labour and make sure it does not occupy the Treasury Benches for at least a generation.
Without wishing to be crude, when I was informed that women could have penises, but that they had a different 'mouthfeel' to 'male penises' - specifically, that they were 'softer' and 'more feminine'.
That's when I knew something had gone very badly wrong.