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Confronting the Snake Oil of Woke Ideology


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Real Clear Politics

Woke ideology is proof that the world has gone Mad – as in Mad Magazine. What passes as penetrating insight on the left is just a newfangled version of the old fill-in-the-blanks word game Mad Libs. Try to guess what the Princeton University students are talking about here:

  • We aim to decolonize our practice of ____, even as ____ remains an imperialist, colonialist, and white supremacist art form. (Answer: ballet)

How would you complete this statement from Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?


  • ____ are extremists who don’t believe in science. ____ are often misogynists, also often racists. (Answer: the unvaccinated)

For extra credit, take a crack at this doozy crafted by an American feminist author named Carol J. Adams who was invited to speak at Oxford University last November:

  • ____ is a racist belief. ____ requires our complicity in a new colonialism. These events especially affect girls and young women. Your ____ comes with a dose of misogyny. (Answer: eating meat)

If you didn’t guess right, don’t fret: There are no wrong answers in Woke Mad Libs. Pick a subject, any subject – from health, highways and fashion, to movies, mathematics, biotechnology and, of course, America itself – they all work just as well.

For the hammer that is woke ideology, everything is a nail forged by racism, misogyny, transphobia and systems of oppression. In this collectivist mindset, no idea, institution or person has its own particular history. Nothing has emerged or evolved because of specific and complex circumstances that require close study to unravel and address. Everything and everyone that exists – you, me and even burritos – are just the expression of the inexorable forces of racism and patriarchy. If you’re skeptical, that’s your patriarchal racism at work.


All of this is, of course, absurd – just out and out, head-slapping simple-mindedness. The claim that the rich history and complex desires of people, institutions and ideas can be understood through fill-in-the-blanks analysis is a modern version of snake oil.:snip:


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