The Problem Woke ideology has made deep inroads into our culture and permeated nearly every institution. This is because people have been hoodwinked by words, as opposed to the wide-ranging adoption of far-left ideology. Here are two examples regarding the word “Equity”:
Let those with eyes see that the forces that have set us apart would also set us against each other. Thank you Dr. Boghossian for your steadfast refusal to accentuate false differences and exaggerate those that are minor. The program to DIS-able America and make every person dependent on the State will fail. Never before has it been so clearly exposed.
Delighted to welcome your sane voice to Substack, Peter, and I am grateful for your efforts to expose doublethink, academese, and the enemies of reason over the years!
You are another admirable example of someone standing up to the illiberal ethos that has infected academic institutions—like Dr. Julie Ponesse, whom I cited as an example of courageous dissent in my last piece, Letter to a Colluder: Stop Enabling Tyranny (https://margaretannaalice.substack.com/p/letter-to-a-colluder-stop-enabling).
I look forward to your future contributions and am grateful to have you as an ally in the resistance to authoritarianism!
I once made a list of all the woke terms I was aware of: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSYoLH61WHCEuYg1jrgtMa6V_9lT1V9RxJoNoTqjYTT1oOKCcVL9EECe5q3Iw6tmAEoSJRk4qBDcFCC/pub
"Equity and equality are not the same things; in fact, they’re opposites. The former means equal outcomes and the latter equal opportunities."
Peter, 'equality of opportunity' is merely one example of 'equality of outcome' doctrine, it's a subset. In this case, the equal outcomes being aimed at are 'Opportunities'.
As such, 'equal opportunities' is as fraught with anti-reality and danger any other equality of outcome that is aimed at.
Can you please address this in a future article or video?
I. Kendi author of book, “How to be an anti Racist”writes that:
“The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
This is the active discrimination that the woke believe is justified but it will only creat unequal outcomes. But the unequal outcomes will now be negative for whites.
It is simply put—RACISM.
Anyone who had not read F.A.Hayek's "Road to Serfdom", please read it - it described most of the strategies employed by current "progressives" that intelligentsia of Germany and Russia used successfully to destroy existing society resulting in creation of monstrous authoritarian regimes in 1930s. Book is written as a caution in 1942-1944 - it seems it is used as a guide by far left now.
Thank you for your column. May I suggest that you also consider writing about a fascinating trend of some to twist language with new words to replace old ones. My take is that it is a form of adherence to the tribe. Here is Seattle up the road from Portland, there are no more homeless people. Rather we now have "unhoused" and "unsheltered" individuals. And these people are not homeless. Rather they are "people expereincing homelessness".
I understand that there are no more pregnant women. Only pregnant people. This is beyond amazing. There will never be a pregnant man. At least they can say pregnant female. Person insults those with expanding wombs who endure real pregnancy.
And as a person who loves the Spanish language, I am bemused by those people, primarily non Spanish speakers, who use the descriptor Latinx, to neuter a gendered language. Latino means a Latin American origin group of mixed gender or a man. Latina refers to women. Very few in the Latino world use the term Latinx. When I have pointed this out to well-intended non Latinos, they are concerned and confused. They want to adhere to woke code but they also want to be respectful. Such a 1st world problem!
Thank you! This is so important and I am thrilled to see you on substack.
I am SO thankful for voices which have now affirmed what I was feeling when I was first exposed to "White Fragility" by a liberal friend who insisted that I read the book before we could talk more about the division I was feeling and experiencing on her part. I was SO CONFUSED!
As per her request, months earlier, I had downloaded a Kindle "Sample" of the book (since I prefer not to purchase until I KNOW that I want to add it to my library). I had not been able, due to personal family demands, to read the sample as I had told her I would.
For the health of our friendship, I finally made it a point to read the "Introduction, Author's Note and Chapter 1."
For the first time in my life, I found myself feeling physically ill over something I was reading. Robin DiAngelo's certainty that all whites are racist but just don't know it, left me incredulous. 😳 I found myself thinking (which I even felt bad about), "This can't be real!? This MUST be an Academic attempting to make her mark in the world of Academia!" (My sincere apologies to those authentic Academics who do their work in good faith.) I honestly could not believe that anyone would attempt to pass this off as an " honest search for Truth".
In subsequent discussions with my friend of 50 years, I actually said to her that I felt there was a "highjacking" of common language, repurposed for their exclusive perspectives with the expectation that Society fall in line with the redefining of words which I THOUGHT I once understood!
Something felt so definitively WRONG about what was going on, I literally felt it throughout my body.
Despite my sincere attempts to kindly agree to disagree (which we had done OFTEN throughout our lifelong friendship), all with sincere love, it was apparent that (via her distancing with little explanation) she no longer valued the friendship we had built. Ultimately, it was me, through sincere and earnest prayer and contemplation, that (although the thought had never occurred to me) released her from any obligation to our friendship. It was a heartbreak that I did not see coming, but this was the unexpected answer to my prayers. It took me time to work through the hurt, but neither of us deserved putting any further work into an insincere friendship.
Thanks to two friends, independently of one another, also with differing political leanings, who directed me to BRAVER ANGELS (braverangels.org), I found a group of people, both Liberal and Conservative working to bring about CIVIL and RESPECTFUL Conversations of CURIOSITY to learn more (without intent to "change minds") about the "others' " experiences and perspectives.
I have found kindness, openness and respect from and for those who view the "how" of getting our very similar goals met very differently from one another. My priority of Respect and Love for all human beings (regardless of whether entirely "likable" or whether we agree or not) has found a comfortable home with Braver Angels.
If you need a safe place to talk across the aisle to satiate your curiosity without fear of negative repercussions , please join us at braverangels.org. I believe we are 10,000 strong now and doing some very valuable work for our children, grandchildren and the wellbeing of our whole Nation. Check out our ZOOM Debates, Public Forums and Workshops! I think you will be glad you did.
This is a brilliant idea and initiative. The coherence and clarity of our everyday language has been destroyed by the contrived infatuation of the left, university administrators, and "chief diversity officers" with neologisms and redefinitions of commonly understood words. But we have to face the fact that the current leaders of colleges and universities have not been selected for their scholarship or disdain of cant, cliche, and deliberate deception.
Perhaps when Peter finishes this project, a next step would be to put out, with allies, a new "style manual" for "centrists" or "classical liberals" like the style manual the AP puts out for left-leaning journalists. As allies, get on board major academic and scientific societies and organizations, other organizations representing the private sector including newspaper publishers, chambers of commerce, trade unions, corporations, etc. Probably would be a multi-stage process -- and one opposed by only the radical left -- but would be well worth the effort. Among our most powerful allies could be all those middle school and high school English teachers whose efforts will be incessantly opposed every day by the mass media -- print, TV, radio -- and school and university administrators. Still, every Goliath needs to be regarded as a make-work project for a David.
Seems like an important tool you should make use of in your exploration of these issues is the notion of an "essentially contested concept."
Please release as text for those who'd prefer not to look at videos.
MLK said that racism is not bad because it is perpetrated by whites. It is bad because it is evil.
That is not correct that equity = equal outcome and equality= equal opportunity. I wish people would stop repeating this. The woke are NOT wanting equal outcomes. They want want active discrimination in pursuit of *unequal* outcomes. You are naively falling for and spreading their rhetoric by spreading this idea that equity means wanting equal outcomes. That is not the case!
While I agree with you in a general sense, you need to mount a proper philosophical defense against the wokeness, otherwise the arguments will go in circles and they will eventually prevail. Until we reach that point in our criticism we are essentially bringing a knife to a gunfight. The only answer is to emphasize their nihilism (destruction for the sake of destruction) while at the same time demonstrating a firm commitment to individualism that Ayn Rand described in her philosophy of Objectivism.