Opinion: “Anti-Woke” Is “Pro-Oppression”

Walter Rhein

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Here’s the thing I don’t understand about the whole “woke” debate. Why is anyone bothered by it? There are so many people and politicians in the United States who seem to act like “woke” is a bad thing.

The truth is that “woke” stands for “anti-racism.”

The truth is that “woke” stands for “anti-authoritarianism.”

So, if you’re against “woke” you must be pro-oppression. That’s the way that words work. Seriously, stop and think about it for a moment.

In the name of “fighting against woke,” there are politicians in the United States making appalling power grabs. They’re banning books from school shelves.

When politicians are allowed to strip schools of books, it never ends well. You could read about that in a history book. Well, not in some states. Do you see? That’s why authoritarians ban books. They don’t want you to read history and recognize the consequences of what they’re doing.

They want you uneducated so that you’re easy to control.

Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say the governor of some states decided to go on a crusade against heterosexual marriages. For those of you who don’t have any level of education, heterosexual means a union between a man and a woman.

This scenario would represent a case of the government forcing men to marry other men, and women to marry other women, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Obviously, many people look at this scenario and think, “Well, we’d never give the government the power to decide who citizens must marry.”

But you’re wrong! All these “anti-woke” campaigns are written with such ambiguous language that the government can use that power to do whatever it wants.

If the government can step in and tell same-sex couples they can’t be married, then that government also has access to the power to deny marriage to traditional couples.

The weird part is that it’s exactly the people who run around warning us about the government that is working to give our government this kind of power.

If you feel it’s important to protect your right to marry whomever you want, then it’s your obligation to defend that right for all people. The second you start trying to create exceptions for yourself, you’re playing into the hands of authoritarians.

“Well, I’m giving them the power to use against people I don’t like. They’ll never use that power against me.”

Think again.

Why can’t Americans simply agree that racism is wrong? Every country in the world has an issue with racism just like every country in the world has an issue with crime. Christians say that “everyone is a sinner.” Why do they recoil at the statement that “everyone is a racist?”

If people want to deny the existence of racism, then they should say that. Why do they feel the need to hide this sentiment by saying they’re “anti-woke?”

The next time you’re tempted to say you’re anti-woke, I challenge you to tell the truth. Go on, say that you’re anti-black, anti-homosexual, or anti-freedom. Don’t hide behind poorly defined authoritarian catchphrases. Say what you really mean. Say that you want to give the government the power to come into the bedrooms of consensual adults and lecture them about what behavior is appropriate.

There was a time when all Americans would have embraced the concept of being “woke.” The citizens of this nation used to know that united we stand. It’s in the name of our country. We’re supposed to be looking out for each other. We’re supposed to be “woke.”

Anyone who is anti-woke is simply anti-human. Go on, call yourself that. Define the word. Let the world know what you believe in.

As for me, I’d rather stand up and defend the rights and privileges of my fellow human beings.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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