Woke

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For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance;  Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 
1 Corinthians 15:3

This word burst on the cultural scene in the past couple of years. My wife recently asked me what it meant and it occurred to me that she is not alone. It does not mean that you just “woke” up. Instead, it is actually a term of African American origin to indicate an awareness of social and racial

It sounds innocuous, until you dig under the covers, and find it is much more.

It hit the scene in the 1962 in an article by William Melvin Kelley in the New York Times titled “If You’re Woke You Dig It.” The word then began to be used on Twitter where #StayWoke became a hashtag in 2012. The sense of the word is that you have to have a healthy paranoia over social justice issues.

Amanda Hess then wrote in the New York Times Magazine that the word had been “culturally appropriated” (i.e., “stolen”) by whites who attempt to get “points for consciousness”. 

It has broadened out to include woke capitalism where there is a push for public corporations to include racial and social justice messages and include non-shareholder “stakeholders” in its governance. 

Companies are requiring training for anti-racist bias, Unconscious Bias, and diversity training. School systems have adopted the BLM curriculum which is less about racism than indoctrinating students with a narrative that America is bad because it permitted slavery.

Why write about being woke?  Well, it’s become a form of “religion” to the progressives and includes a corporate embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement (not the slogan but the movement). The movement, at its core, is Marxist. Just read their website. I cannot make this up.

It is an ideology which has quickly spread due, in part, to protests around the country. Racial justice has two rules according to Barton Swaim. The first is that racial equity requires huge government expansions of welfare and civil-rights law.

The second rule is that the government has a duty to “monitor business and social practices of citizens” through various agencies or commissions which are to detect any discrimination. Sounds like an Orwellian 1984 to me.

A corollary is that “more money for public schools is always in the best interest of minority children.” No matter that the public schools have poor results and have failed. That’s an inconvenient fact.

If you oppose these views, you will be subject to the cancel culture and labeled a racist.  No matter whether you are racist or not. It is an ideology for many progressives who abandoned Christianity in a post-Christian world.  

As Tom Kuiper said, “the religion of Wokeness is not harmonious with Christianity.”  It starts with the premise of “white privilege” which is deemed immoral and cannot be eradicated.  

There is no redemption from “privilege” no matter how hard one tries. A handful of politicians recently kneeled at the US Capitol to acknowledge their privilege and make it a form of punishment.   

The real aim is to get rid of white privilege, which actually means wealth. The oppressors (whites) are deemed wealthy because of their privilege.

Marxism holds that wealth must be transferred from the oppressor to the oppressed. Some call this reparations which is seen as one way to address the “racial wealth gap”. Being woke requires Socialism to accomplish its goals.

Kuiper notes that few religions punish people for disagreeing with them. You can oppose a religion, but not being Woke. You must embrace Woke or you will be labeled racist and “shamed, fired from [your] job, or derided publicly” according to Kuiper. 

Being woke means that one sees the world through the single lens of social justice and equality (the latter being equality of outcome, not opportunity).

At its essence, it defies the rule of law – in effect, the ends justifies the means. Our rule of law has a presumption of innocence. Being woke means that there is a presumption of guilt, particularly if you are white.

This latter observation – guilty until proven innocent – requires immediate action for any perceived racial incident between white and black, particularly if it involves the police. But it is selective: BLM does not advocate anything about black on black violence or murders which are rampant in major cities like Chicago.

That’s not mentioned in their ideology, as if it doesn’t happen or it doesn’t matter. BLM is also silent on abortions which disproportionately affect minorities which was the aim of Margaret Sanger when she founded Planned Parenthood.

BLM also is opposed to the concept of the nuclear family – father, mother and children – a cornerstone of Western Civilization and our culture today.

Stepping back, our Christian view is that we are all sinners – regardless of our color, and in fact, in spite of it. Unlike being woke, we have redemption through Jesus who atoned for our sins on the cross. There is no atonement in the Woke world. It has gained popularity by many who haven’t thought through its implications.

Our challenge is that this popular ideology is encroaching on our western culture in ways not imagined, and we need to be very aware of what it really means.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:   Your next generation mentee is likely to favor being woke based on many studies.  It is a topic that needs discussion, and you may be the only person able to do that in his or her life.

FURTHER READING:

When the Market Meets Morality – WSJ

How are Public Schools Really Doing – Washington Post

The Left’s Worshipping of Wokeness will Dwarf Other Faiths – Kuiper

Three Key Concepts that Woke “Anti-Racists” Believe – Daily Signal

The New Religion of the Woke Left is a Faith Without Atonement  – Federalist

BLM Curriculum in Schools is Turning Kids into Little Marxists – Federalist

MUSIC:  Come Ye Sinners – Vertical Church

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