woke

Halting the Energizer Bunny of ‘Wokeness’

4 ½ min

The “woke” crazies never quit.

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen Mr. Potato Head attacked for his gender-bias and the Muppets “put into context” by Disney. Meanwhile, as Intellectual Takeout’s Annie Holmquist reports, the cancel culture mob is busy banning or assaulting other films and books. I believe there is a way to halt this madness, but first, let’s briefly catalog some of the victims of “woke” culture in recent years.

In our great age of communication, we have seen books denounced or removed from school classrooms for their failure to live up to cancel culture’s ever-shifting standards. Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbirdand Mary Travis’s books about Mary Poppins have all come under fire. Some in this mob even find William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer to be reprehensible, deserving of banishment from our schools.

So I’m curious: Where does it stop? Will some of my favorite novelists of the 20th century be cast into the gulag? William Faulkner frequently employed the n-word in his novels and short stories, Ernest Hemingway comes across in his work as a sexist, an anti-Semite, and a racist, and the same goes for F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe.

Will John Kennedy Toole’s hilarious A Confederacy of Dunces bite the dust because of Kennedy’s use of black dialect? Will Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which is credited for helping end slavery in the United States, be executed for its portrayal of the kind and gentle Uncle Tom? One also wonders about Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington, the ex-slave who built Tuskegee University in Alabama from the ground up. Should that autobiography fall under the ax because its author advocated compromise and hard work as a way to improve the lives of his fellow blacks?

And what about earlier writers? Philosophical works by Plato, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius, and Thomas Aquinas are about to be consigned to the wastebasket of history because the authors are “dead white men.” Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has long been one of the leading classic novels by a female author, yet it, too, could be consigned to the junkyard for its depiction of men, women, and marriage. What about dead white painters, dead white sculptors, dead white poets, and dead white musicians? Are they also bound for the furnaces because of their skin pigmentation?

This censorship won’t stop, at least not in the foreseeable future. This mob of neo-Puritans, cultural nannies, bullies, and woke crazies are Energizer Bunnies who just keep on going, never running out of juice, always finding one more politically incorrect piece of the past to throw on the funeral pyre. With little sense or knowledge of history, and no sense of proportion or nuance, they light their torches, snatch up their hatchets, and rush off to attack the latest monster.

So what can we do? Writing and sharing articles like this one may awaken a few people to the dangers the Energizer Mob poses to our culture, but it won’t stop or even slow down the mob itself. What will put them out of business is money.

We need men and women—younger, brighter, and better organized than I—to found and fund a new ACLU: an American Cultural Liberties Union. The organization’s work would be to protect our culture and recruit members from all political persuasions who believe in freedom of speech and who have a balanced view of the past. Members would pay a modest annual fee, and in return this new ACLU would daily act as a guardian when the cancel culture dogs begin barking. Such a group would exist solely for the preservation of Western culture. It would endorse no candidates and take no money from Big Tech or other corporations.

Let’s say that some rabid wokesters go after Disney’s “Cinderella” for its gender-based stereotypes, and Disney decides to lock that film in its vault. The ACLU staffers who read those headlines would check and recheck this story, and then contact Disney to discover whether this news was true. If Disney indeed intended to withdraw the film from its viewing audience, the ACLU staff might then explain that in response to this move the organization plans to inform its 30 million members of Disney’s decision and is asking them to boycott Disney products for six months.

Money talks, baloney (not the usual word here) walks. A majority of Americans believe cancel culture is a threat to freedom, but as Holmquist notes, “The fact is that many of us are afraid of even raising sensitive issues because we’re worried such discussions will devolve into heated arguments or even get us canceled.”

Right now, most of us feel isolated, powerless to make a difference in the war on our culture. But in numbers there is strength, and from that strength comes courage. If even a fraction of Americans gathered under one banner, they might actually win some of these battles and turn the tide of the culture war.

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Image Credit: 

Pixabay

Jeff Minick

Jeff Minick

Jeff Minick lives in Front Royal, Virginia, and may be found online at jeffminick.com. He is the author of two novels, Amanda Bell and Dust on Their Wings, and two works of non-fiction, Learning as I Go and Movies Make the Man.

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East Atlanta
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Publishers are as much to blame for this as anyone. The people that publish Dr. Seuss withdrew the "offending" works with nary a word of reason.
 
 

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RubySwoon
Yep. And Simon & Schuster canceled Senator Tom Cotton's book while it was in production, which is highly unusual. The excuse? He and his manuscript infringed S&S's "morality clause," which is rich, considering the anti-Right vitriol infusing most of its books written by journalists. Penguin Random House, the largest trade pub in the world, will soon release the latest anti-Trump/Republican screed by a leftist Politico writer.
HoosierTechGuy
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As far as owners of copywritten material goes, I like an idea Ben Shapiro offered up a few days ago. Copywrite law was written to allow owners of intellectual property the ability to freely distribute their creative works without the worry of anyone stealing it. If owners of copywritten material want to lock it away in a vault, then copywrite protection should be stripped after, say, eighteen months. After all, if you're no longer interested in distributing it, why protect it?
 
 

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HoosierTechGuy
Corrections: Copyright, instead of "copywrite" Copyright protected, instead of "copywritten" Note to self...don't comment before coffee.
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Frankenheimer
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Conservatives are bad at boycotting companies for more than a few days (for reasons I need not elaborate on here), but all that is needed is a show of online majoritarian forcefulness. We should develop and easy and safe polling site that can show the woke (both activists and their corporate fellow travelers) how large the majority of people is who (a) reject the woke nonsense and (b) are willing to boycott the institution or company.
 
 

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sansme57
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I'm waiting to see when, The Color Purple" will be pulled from the shelves. Almost the entire cast, of book and movie, are blacks ... poor, mistreated blacks. It's even more interesting to note the author is also black (Alice Walker) and the book is based on her own life. Furthermore, some of the loudest of black women in today's America, are main characters in the movie - mainly, Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg. I wonder why Oprah and Whoopi are not screaming to have this removed from history. Although, it wasn't terrible enough for them not to get paid for acting the part, was it! I, personally loved the book and the movie. Alice Walker is one of my favorite authors. I especially liked it because of its colloquial language. This type of writing makes the story seem more real, whether it is, or not.
 
 

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RubySwoon
Oprah and Whoopie are still raking in royalty payments for those films, so no dice on the cancel. For these leftists and others, there's clearly a double standard, which is bigoted and contemptible of course. Rules for thee but not for me . . .
Mike Loop
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The problem is almost all of the media which are effectively "the matrix". Time to pass out red pills
 
 

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