Memo in light of recent events, for the immediate attention of all political and media leaders aligned with the Woke Revolution, which is to say, just about all of them:
Mass shootings like those that just took place in Atlanta and Boulder are a tragedy, of course. But they are also one of the best propaganda tools for the contemporary Woke Movement to advance the agenda, if framed and discussed properly. As you know, the Woke Revolution believes that no crisis (i.e. opportunity for propagandizing) should ever pass without harnessing it to our agenda. The following guidelines, produced by experts in Woke Thought and Activism, delineate the best way to talk about mass shootings:
When information on specifics is limited, the best practice is to blame easy access to guns, pledging to curtail that access. Use the opportunity to blast the National Rifle Association and other groups that advocate for Second Amendment rights.
Give editorial space to ideologues masquerading as scholars who can frame the American constitutional right to gun ownership as a “public health crisis.”
SUMMARY: When in doubt, it’s always the guns. The Woke Revolution believes there are too many guns (in the hands of citizens, that is—members of the cultural elite will of course need armed guards to keep themselves safe) and citizen disarmament is a righteous and undisputable goal.
When basic demographic information is known about the suspect, rigorously adhere to the following guidelines:
If the suspect is a white male, especially if any information can be found on his social media accounts to indicate he is not fully devoted to the Woke Agenda, describe him as part of a general white and male supremacist terror threat. No further corroboration of this charge is ever needed.
Confidently talk about a neat, strong causal connection between “right wing” culture and rhetoric and the suspect’s murderous acts. No argument to show causality is needed. In fact, any effort at careful demonstration of this complex point will just confuse and bore Woke and Woke-sympathetic readers and listeners, so just aggressively claim it, without argument, over and over and over.
If the suspect is not a white male, but a member of any privileged minority victim group (e.g., black/BLM, Muslim, LGBTQ, Antifa), avoid making note of these demographic facts. Especially avoid any discussion of this if the suspect’s name suggests his demographic status (e.g., ethnicity or race, religious affiliation, immigration status).
If there is any evidence that the suspect displayed characteristics that can be described as “mental illness,” focus determinedly on this.
Rely on allies in major media firms to eliminate or limit access to information that might show the suspect’s connection to privileged minority groups and/or Woke Ideas, making it possible for citizens to independently verify information we give them. The suspect’s minority victim status can only ever be invoked in one way: as an explanation and justification for his acts.
Emphasize the structural oppression which forced the suspect to become violent, and then advocate for stringent restrictions on public expression of white supremacist values and beliefs.
In no case is it permissible to suggest a causal theory for the suspect’s actions that parallels the logic outlined above for white suspects. It can never be the case that Woke Culture and Rhetoric about how horrible a society America is for everyone who is not a straight white male contributed to the resentment of the suspect and thereby to his murderous acts. The best practice is to continue to claim that “no information about motives is available at this time,” no matter how much such information there might be.
SUMMARY: White male suspect = hate crime and clear causal effect of right-wing rhetoric. Non-white male, approved victim population suspect = motive unknown, perhaps mental illness, provoked by oppression, “America is a hateful white supremacist country,” rhetorical background irrelevant.
Please attend to the guidelines outlined in this document at all times. The eyes of the Woke Revolution are upon you.
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Flickr-Lorie Shaull, CC BY-SA 2.0
Alexander Riley is a professor of sociology at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.