Bewildered by the Balderdash

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John Ivison provides a provocative interview on “Woke language champions are tone-deaf” (first 6 minutes of the interview above). It is in response to “Words and Phrases you may want to think twice about using” – an article by the CBC who tend to impose their elitist opinions on ordinary Canadians who unfortunately must endure the “privilege” they condescend to offer their audience who are taxed to pay for it unlike any other news agency in the nation.

For more see journalist Tara Henley on why she recently resigned from the CBC after working there since 2013: “Why I resigned from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.”)

Jesse Kline wrote in reaction to the CBC article,

In an age in which many on the left seem to be constantly trying to outdo one another in their endless quest to find racism and offence in even the most mundane aspects of society and language, I often think the world would be a much better place if people simply had the chutzpah to say, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

All this is in the theme of “when you’re not woke enough“, as a growing number of thinkers, professors, and even some journalists are beginning to push back. They join the “ordinary” person who, no doubt, is bewildered by the balderdash that is being passed off as correct speech (or as “newspeak” [new speak] coined by George Orwell in his dystopian classic, “1984”). Jonathan Kay illustrates this in “How woke can you go?“:

Words are getting banned so fast, in fact, that some of us don’t even have time to learn the new ones before they’re relegated to history’s racist dustbin. On December 11, Shree Paradkar, the Toronto Star ’s “Race and Gender Columnist,” dedicated a whole column to the revelation that she is “saying bye-bye to ‘BIPOC,’” an acronym that entered common progressive parlance just a few years ago, and which many ordinary Canadians don’t yet use or even understand. Paradkar complained that “as with POC or person of colour, BIPOC got swallowed up, quickly lost nuance, and got spat out as a racial identifier to say ‘not white.’

To listen to an interview with Newsweek opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon go to “Bad News: How Woke Media is Undermining Democracy.”

Academics begin to Respond

Colombia University Professor of Linguistics, John McWhorter wrote, “Woke Racism: How a New Religion has Betrayed Black America.” Washington Post book reviewer Elie Mystal criticizes:

“McWhorter’s central thesis is that being woke — by which he seems to mean acknowledging the ongoing fact of bigotry, systemic racism and the resulting forms of oppression — is a religion. Not “like” a religion — McWhorter refuses to hedge this contention with simile. No, McWhorter argues that people who advocate for anti-racism policies, racial sensitivity training and (of course) “critical race theory” are all part of a religious movement with its own clergy. (Ibram X. Kendi, Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates have all been ordained, apparently.) He argues that this religion’s “Elect” has taken over the country and “rule[s] by inflicting terror” on those who dare to speak against it.”

See McWhorter’s PBS interview here:

Troubling Trends of the Intellect

Recently former Canadian Ambassador Derek H. Burney wrote about the troubling trends in Canadian Academia: “The irrational, woke left stifles health care and is ruining higher eduction“:

The ‘scholarship’ now dominated by woke and cancel cultures is producing a new generation of biased and misinformed young people, making them less open to hard truths about history and experience. Instead of teaching students how to think in a fearless pursuit of truth, faculties are more intent on teaching what to think and, more ominously, what to avoid. The warped impact this will have on future leaders of our country is troubling.

To listen to an interview with McGill University scientist Patanjali Kambhampati go to “Professor fighting to stop woke warriors from destroying science.” It is laughably sad that Dr. Kambhampati’s research proposals weren’t considered “diverse” enough for research grants governed by the new thought police.

Or read the critique by Peter Boghossian, assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University who resigned in late 2020. In his resignation letter, he wrote that the university had been changed from “a bastion of free inquiry into a Social Justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender and victimhood and whose only outputs were grievance and division”. (For more see interview on the Rubin Report re: Hoax exposes Social Justice in academia).

Admittedly, I can go on referring to the accumulating evidence that demonstrates something is seriously wrong.  Though I am looking for stories to the contrary (as in the rare DeBerry’s post below), I confess it feels like confirmation bias every time I see another story about this troubling trend in academia.


For an opposing view on the larger topic of “wokeness”, read Jarvis DeBerry’s opinion piece, ““Woke” has been weaponized to label those fighting oppression the oppressors“.


When You’re not Woke Enough

The balderdash as correct speech may not be a laughing matter, nevertheless some comedians can find the silliness of serious situations and help us laugh at them – like the infamous Ricky Gervais who said recently:

I want to live long enough to see the younger generation not be woke enough for the next generation. It’s going to happen. Don’t they realise that, it’s like, they’re next. That’s what’s funny.


For more of More Enigma than Dogma, see “In the Absence of Enigma: Dogma.”

Addendum:

On the day I published this post, the story broke about notable Jordan Peterson resigning his full professorship at U of T.

The reason for the resignation is that ‘the appalling ideology of diversity, inclusion is demolishing education and business.