“Wokeness has robbed many of compassion and replaced it with moral superiority”
”I think wokeness has robbed many people of compassion and replaced it with moral superiority.
Compassion and empathy is paramount to any social movement, and so, any form of progress.
Once you have compassion and empathy, you can often see that you have a lot more in common with people than you do apart, and it’s the system under which we live in that forcefully tries to group us on our differences.
What is radical is kindness. What is radical is understanding.
That’s the one thing they don’t want us to do: is to understand each other.
Arguing with each other isn’t actually radical at all: it’s very conformist actually.
I do think that wokeness does from the risk sometimes in reducing very complex issues. Wokeness tends to be quite reactionary, instead of responsive. And so, when you react, you go off emotions, and you go off of anger, resentment, humiliation…
And that doesn’t necessarily leave much space for nuance. And nuance is important, in order to understand the interconnectedness of the issues.
A lot of us are seeing people who remind us of our former selves and we’re attacking that. It’s hard for me so completely condemn someone as ”problematic”, because of behaviour that I don’t agree with.
I only know what I know and have the insight that I have because I have made a lot of mistakes.
And I interrogate those mistakes.
And I’m not necessarily looking for moral purity, but I’m looking for people who are committed to wanting to be better.
There’s a big element of shaming people.
I look at Twitter, and I look at a lot of the online spaces, and conversations, and it’s just a digital version of the school canteen. People are choosing ”who they’re gonna sit with”, and ”who can’t sit with us”, and ”who can speak on this, and who can’t speak on this”…
And this is completely not the goal of any social justice movement.
I think that we’re doing now is seeing people for their groups: white men, gay women, black women… We are talking about what we are rather than who we are.
If someone is talking about race, and a white person intercepts and are met with, maybe, defense, or are met with a slur of some form… That is going to reinforce what they believe of that black person. And that black person is going to cement further their belief about what they think about white people.
We’re just confirming previous biases. And I think it can just be a place where it can quite easily make people feel as if they are not smart enough.
Identity politics exist because everyone wants to feel like they matter.
But sometimes, identity politics can run the risk of playing what they call: ”the oppression Olympics”, ”who has it worse off”, and ”who suffered most”, and ”if you have privilege, that means your life has been inherently good” ─ which is very oversimplified notions of anyone’s existence ─ which are not true.
I think if people were honest about their feelings, as opposed to their political opinions, we would see that we have more in common than we do apart.
Once that is achieved, then we can focus on our common oppressions.
Because although we are all different ─ we are black women, we are white men, we are gay people, we are lesbians, we are trans ─ underneath the anger, the depression, the stress, the race conversations, and the gender issues, is that we feel a great big void.
Labels are helpful in helping us understand each other, in finding communities.
But I think at some stage, we should be able to do away with labels.
A man and a woman takes many forms; a black person takes many forms; whiteness takes many forms…
And there is no one way to do it.
One thing that wokeness has done is to arm me with a community of people who care about what I care about.
However, I always want to be accountable.
For me to outsource all of my issues to sole white supremacy is to give it too much power. For me, to outsource all of my issues, as a woman, to men, is a little bit too disempowered for me.
Just as much as women are oppressed by patriarchy, men are oppressed by patriarchy
and I can’t not see that.
I’m always skeptical that I don’t want what I’m saying to come across as those Generation X baby boomers who are talking about “wokeness” in a very critical way, because they are sad that they no longer have their time when they can say things with impunity, where they could be racist and make homophobic jokes. That’s not it.
I’m just asking for us to be more honest with ourselves.
To think about why these issues are happening and to not be so reactionary.
To be responsive and to be critical.
You know, maybe, in wokeness 2.0, which is the second stage of the anger; in this new stage, the focus is a lot more inward.
Once you understand yourself, it’s very easy to understand everyone else. So easy !
Because we’re actually not that different.
We’re actually, painfully, quite ordinary.
How our ordinariness, and our traumas, and our pain, manifest is very different.
But the root cause is to why we act in the ways that we act often is security.
We want belonging. We want acceptance, fundamental things to a human.
If we are more understanding of, at least, ourselves; you know, it’s so hard to judge other people. ”