Daily Prompt 2/21/23

If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

I would ban the word wokeism from our vocabulary. Not woke, like how it was used prior to the right-wing politicans co-opting it to mean things they don’t like. But this weird, nebulous, almost undefinable term that politicians keep throwing around. It’s always tied to things like “we are becoming too PC!” and “CRT is destroying this country!”

What?

I’ve had kids in public school since 2008. 15 years now, I have been watching what they are learning and what they are talking about and I promise you that CRT has not been a part of their education EVER. There is no “wokeism” going on like some of these politicians would have you believe. There’s no great agenda to make your kid trans, gay, purple, or a bleeding heart liberal.

The word is just stupid.

Now woke, in the pre-right wing political rallying call world, simply means “aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues” according to the dictionary. Why would that be a bad thing? Everyone knows racist people exist and I’m guessing everyone even know actual, real racist people out in the world. So why is being aware of any of that a bad thing?

In trying to research how “wokeism” is defined, I stumbled across this page and it kinda blew my mind. In reading it, it seems like people are connecting everything they don’t want to see, hear, or read about discrimination to CRT. The definitely of CRT on this page is not as I understand it to have been originally designed, which was for law students only. There’s some kind of strange description of other terms too.

I really like Jordan Klepper and how he talks to right wing people. He just asks questions and gets them to explain themselves. Then he points out the disconnect between what they say and what they think they believe. It’s definitely comedy, but in that sad commentary on how stupid we are all becoming in this country.

I want to understand why people are so upset by discussing various levels of privilege. Why does it upset rich-born white male politicians to discuss what privilege is and how “the system” has always worked in their favor? Why do they feel like they are somehow losing something? Having privilege doesn’t mean you are a bad person or somehow didn’t work for what you have accomplished. No one is suggesting that at all. But if you are born into a family where your mother can afford to stay home and your father graduated from Harvard, your chances of getting into Harvard are much higher than a really smart Black girl from Alabama with a single mother. The connections your family has before you can even talk will open doors for you before you can even climb out of your crib. Of course you have to do your own work in college (with SOME exceptions) and law school, and win elections to be an actual politician. So no, having privilege doesn’t mean you didn’t work hard. It just means that doors were already open for you before you were aware. And no one is trying to hold you accountable for THAT. Simply acknowledging that those doors were open for you and that everyone should have the same set of open doors is all anyone wants!!

5 responses to “Daily Prompt 2/21/23”

  1. Hi Zander,

    I am very fond of your opinion on the word “wokeism” in this post! Before arriving at your post, most of the articles and editorials I had confronted just described everyone on the right wing as the enemies of humanity. That is absolutely against the ideology of the liberals; it is as if their “freedom of speech” is only applicable to left-wing opinions!

    I suppose what you wrote here reflects the situation in the US or the whole of North America? I am living in England, so the situation here and in Europe might be vastly different from in the US. “Woke” or “wokeism” here are used to criticise the far-left intellectuals and activists who blame the West for all problems on this planet, and who believe everything in our society must be offensive to certain minorities. But politics in the UK and Europe (excl. Hungary and Poland) are not as conservative as that in the US, I guess–anyway, I haven’t seen a politician banning or punishing LGBTQ groups like many US state governors are doing.

    On this topic, I personally reckon that the culture from California and conveyed by Hollywood are making people believe minorities such as LGBTQ+ must be given privileges to show “equality” and “inclusivity”; someone can get an important opportunity just because he or she is a minority instead of his or her ability. I hope our politicians and media lords can give us a balance: we mustn’t hate or discriminate against anyone because of his or her identity, sexuality or race, but we mustn’t promote “woke” culture and “woke” politics and give minorities privileges because it is against “equality” and “inclusivity”.

    Again, thank you very much for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome!

      I once found an old essay I wrote in high school in the 90s, when the US was working through “Don’t ask, don’t tell” for LGBTQ+ serving in the US military. It was so cringeworthy to read the words I wrote as an uneducated, uninformed child. I kept referring to “gays wanting special rights and privileges.” Looking back, I am still not sure what special rights and privileges I was referring to. I think there’s a huge difference between special rights and privileges and just wanting to live your life openly without fear of violence and hate. I guess at the end of the day, the most visible and loudest people get the attention, criticism, and vitriol.

      The biggest issue I see, especially with DeSantis in Florida, is standing on his platform of “parental rights” when it comes to Covid vaccinations, masks, etc., but then wanting to ban gender affirming care and punishing parents who seek this care for their children. Personally, I don’t think it’s anyone business what decision a child, their parents, and their doctors arrive at for any part of their care. And that applies to everything from trans care to rejecting any and all vaccinations. My personal opinion on trans care for minors is muddy. On one hand, I completely understand the experience of living in a body that does not fit you at all. I have lived through the suicidal thoughts, the self-harm, the deep depression, all of it. But at the same time, knowing how kids may be going through phases and things could change, what’s the right answer? I can understand the concern for kids receiving life altering and possibly damaging care, but where is the concern and support for low-income families, abusive families, the high number of children in foster care? Realistically, the number of trans kids is tiny compared to the children stuck in poverty and/or abusive homes. So let’s worry about all the kids collectively and not target any one group because it’s politically hot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Most teenage kids experience this kind of suicidal thoughts and depression, I guess. Again, thanks to the Hollywood products portraying “cool kids” as heroes and “ordinary kids” as subs…If a kid was born trans, then it can be suicidally and vitally depressing as they are suffering a “fault” which was not caused by them. Before our medical technology is not up to the next level, their best hope is mental care.

        The world should find a balance between Florida and California, or in the narrative in Europe, a balance between Viktor Orban’s Hungary + PiS’s Poland + Putin’s Russia vs Spain + Netherlands + Sweden (the politics in Europe is not as polarised as that in the US at the moment though). The “woke” activists are the “Vocal Minority”, not necessarily those genuinely disadvantaged due to suppressive policies. These activists blame everything as “institutional suppressive” because many want jobs and resources purely with the help of their “minority identities”. These might be the “privileges” they want.

        But those who need special treatment are frequently ignored or damaged by the “woke” activists. A typical story for this point was an incident about a new pedestrian lane in North London in 2021. The activists lobbied the council to paint the LGBTQ rainbow on a pedestrian lane. Later the association of disabled people lobbied the city council to remove the rainbow pedestrian lane as its colour confused some patients with colour deficiency problems…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How strange to paint the pedestrian lane with a rainbow! One of my sons is color blind, so that would be incredibly confusing for him. What is this weird lane of red, orange, yellow, and grey? Blue and green both just look grey to him, so it wouldn’t make sense.

        I always wanted jobs and resources based on my own merit. I didn’t want anything handed to me just because of some factor that has nothing to do with my abilities and talents. Weirdly, my younger brother always felt like I got more respect and recognition with our extended family on both sides because I was the first grandchild. He resented me a bit and our grandparents a ton because of it. I hated even thinking that I was getting that attention just because of birth order. But from his perspective, it was totally true and I can definitely see how it looked to him.

        I think the only way to really award jobs and resources fairly is to remove all demographic data, and anything that can be connected to demographic data (like Historically Black Colleges and Universities), so instead of listing your college name, only your degree and experience is listed. it would be very interesting to see who was hired when there are no identifiers.

        Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I enjoy good conversation from all perspectives!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks for your detailed replies! As the US is a distant place and society for me, I might have more thoughts after my first travel to the US and Canada in the future!

        Your younger brother was a bit jealous of you, probably. Some statistics have shown that the firstborn child is likelier to be a “pretty” kid. So, reasonable!

        I am always resentful of any campaign promoting “inclusivity”. In most cases, these organisations promote “exclusivity” in practice. A black friend of mine hates BLM quite a lot. In his own words: “I want people to forget I am black. I want people to know I am an engineer from England. That’s all.”

        Liked by 1 person

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