At this point few will deny that there is a massive failure to communicate between the minions of the woke Left and those who have managed to maintain their equilibrium in a world gone off the rails. At least some substantial portion of that failure stems from the fact that too many of us hear woke Left terminology and take it literally, ascribing to it traditional definitions of the sort that might still be found in dusty dictionaries or that are tacitly shared by all involved in dinner-table conversations in ordinary American households.
Thus, for example, when we hear the accusation of “racism” cast about recklessly every which way, we might feel bewildered or even exasperated if we approach the matter from the standpoint of the word’s customary meaning. To clear this and other similar misunderstandings up, I have endeavored to offer below a necessarily partial compilation of woke terms and what they really mean when voiced by those on the other side of our growing political divide.
Please understand: as this is a work of cultural anthropology presenting a snapshot of the inner workings of an anti-culture that routinely purges its own most cherished creeds and their adherents, all definitions adduced here are necessarily provisional and may change drastically, even by the time you are done reading these words.
Please note, also, that in order to steer clear of even the appearance of Western imperialist hegemony, I have studiously avoided alphabetical order and presented the terms below in a sequence informed solely by the opaque workings of pure intuition and indiscriminate whim.
- [archaic and rarely used in this sense today] the harboring, exhibition or embodiment in practices of ungrounded views or beliefs that some racial groups are inferior or superior to others in various ways
- a generalized term of derision commonly used in a manner similar to how terms such as “jerk” or “scoundrel” might have been employed in earlier epochs
- a label deployed in order to ostracize or as a prelude to a ritualized ostracism, roughly analogous to “witch” during the Salem witch trials
- a rallying cry used to muster support for Democratic Party candidates or policies, especially for candidates or policies that stand against the interests of poor and working class Americans; also, the central tenet of contemporary Democratic Party politics that is most often deployed ironically, that is, to refer to anything and everything as “racism” or “racist” in order to institute “corrective” practices or policies that are, in reality, far closer to the traditional notion of “racism” than the practices or policies that they seek to correct; see also anti-racism
- a fail-safe retort that may be strategically deployed to stifle disagreement or shut down debate, especially when it is a debate one is losing
- a label for the emotion of BIPOC individuals when their feelings are hurt
- a word news media companies with a shrinking audience, such as CNN or the New York Times, can and should throw around frequently and indiscriminately to drum up controversy and create fleeting spikes in viewership and/or readership to stave off their inevitable sell-offs and bankruptcies
- a false charge to be publicly leveled at in-laws (ideally, during softball interviews with Oprah) by wealthy, privileged, status-seeking, profiteering, half-BIPOC C-list actresses who marry into the British royal family but find themselves, due to their thoroughgoing narcissism, unable to get along with others, whether their own family or their new in-laws, especially when said actresses become upset and disenchanted with the whole “royal” thing upon discovering that her husband likely will never become King.
systemic/institutional/structural racism: all used interchangeably, these are terms that—lacking any precise denotation or any real basis in facts and evidence—expand like a noxious vapor to fill whatever space they are in and then are used when a race-hustler eager to cry “racism” cannot find any actual racism of the traditional (racism, definition 1) sort.
oppression: the word one uses for the thing that happens when, for instance, the failure to study for a test results in not doing very well on it, such that it becomes necessary to blame the system or the white man for one’s failure; see, generally, “life.”
- a term most commonly used by wealthy white limousine liberals feeling guilty about having been born into wealth to cleanse themselves of their class-based guilt by reimagining it as a race issue and then palming it off, in that guise, onto poor and working-class white moderates and conservatives
- a term used by all manner of lazy underachievers to avoid recognizing their own failures and squandered opportunities and to project their resentment of those who worked hard to succeed; see also Nietzschean “ressentiment.”
white fragility: a concept invented by the race-hustling profiteer Robin DiAngelo to shift blame back to white people when her $20,000-a-pop antiracism and/or diversity workshops fail to persuade them that they are responsible for all the world’s manifold ills.
straight white males/dead white males: those who are bad or just not cool and, as such, presumptively in need of cancellation unless—assuming they are straight white males and not dead white males—they can grovel and signal their virtue sufficiently to become full-fledged allies to BIPOC and/or LGBTQN+ individuals.
diversity, equity, and inclusion: a phrase serving as a pre- or post-hoc rationalization for the institution of race-based quotas in admissions, casting, hiring, and promotion when race-neutral policies fail to yield race-proportionate outcomes due to, for example, Asian kids, frequently operating in fear of their parents’ threats to disown them, utilizing a devious ancient Eastern technique known as “hard work” to outperform other racial groups on tests serving as gateways to various desirable social outcomes.
reparations: an idea—erected upon the well-accepted moral foundation that sons should pay for the sins of their fathers or, as the case may be, great-great-great-great-great grandfathers or else that the sins of some white people centuries ago may be shifted onto all those within our borders who happen to share the same general skin pigmentation—that ignores the billions or trillions of dollars in government benefits entailing a massive net wealth transfer from whites to blacks that occurred as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s still ongoing “Great Society” programs and that posits, instead, that black people (unlike all the manifold waves of newcomers to these shores who suffered every flavor of oppression and discrimination but wound up overcoming these obstacles and succeeding in America) are perpetual infants and/or ne’er-do-wells in need of white handouts to achieve any similar level of success.
#BLM: a quasi-Marxist movement organized around the empirically discredited premise that cops kill unarmed blacks in disproportionate numbers. Serves as an excuse to curse, scream, shout, riot, vandalize, hoot, loot, and abscond with Gucci handbags while facing no charges or dropped charges from spineless district attorneys and fawning coverage from reporters instructed by their corporate media overlords to refer to any such disruptions to law and order as “peaceful protests” or, at worst, i.e., when cops and law-abiding citizens have been killed in the unrest, as “largely peaceful protests.”
f— the police: a woke synonym for “hey, how’s it goin’?” “not bad; and how are things with you?” and “have a good one!” that those in the know say to each other upon greeting and parting.
- [archaic and no longer in use] an extremist system of beliefs and practices—championed by neo-Nazis and guys in white robes and hoods with burning crosses—that holds that white people should play exclusive or predominant roles in our society and culture.
- a system of rule consisting of the union of democracy, capitalism, and meritocracy that cruelly fails to guarantee government benefits and unearned leadership roles in all walks of life to BIPOC.
antiracism: a devious and aggressive species of anti-white racism thinly veiled as an antidote to the racist poison it itself is, ironically, hard at work spreading throughout society.
anti-white racism: does not exist; please note that use of this term may constitute hate speech.
marginalized and vulnerable: a stock phrase used to depict as hapless victims social predators typically located very high up on the ladder of intersectionality.
underrepresented groups: a description of what happens when the belief that all members of all minority groups should be represented in every walk of life in a proportion at least equal to their percentage of the population and that all variations in interest and industriousness should not matter turns out not to correspond with reality.
speech: often used in conjunction with the white supremacist word “free,” speech is an antiquated value held in high regard primarily by certain categories of currently or soon-to-be-dead white males that elevates above the lives of BIPOC and LGBTQN+ persons the right of said white males to mouth off as they see fit.
- anything that the Southern Poverty Law Center labels “hate speech”
- speech by conservatives
- a term lacking any determinate meaning but useful as a label in silencing ideas that challenge prevailing orthodoxies and in getting people cancelled and de-platformed.
the N-word: an abbreviation for the harm-inducing word “no,” when said to a BIPOC individual.
violence: see speech.
debate: see violence.
cancel culture: does not exist; please note that use of this term may constitute hate speech.
intersectionality: the isolation of a select few dimensions—race, gender, sexuality, disability, obesity, etc.—from the among the infinite variety of respects in which human beings differ in order to use those dimensions to construct a pecking order in which whoever can claim the greatest number of favored polarities among such binaries can reign supreme, so that, for instance, applying intersectional principles, in the land of the blind, the blind, deaf, and (extremely) dumb man is king.
harm: a type of infinitesimally slight trauma to the most brittle among BIPOC and LGBTQN+ individuals that may be claimed to be inflicted by speech.
microaggressions: a term invented in order to allow intersectionally favored individuals to ascend still further up the ladder of oppression by substituting imagined slights for real ones when, as now, such real ones are no longer readily available.
- a type of ideology that can be presented as unquestioned truth and that may be invented or spun to support a liberal narrative but that is equivalent to violence when it supports harmful doctrines, such as the existence of two biological sexes or the proven lack of any racial disproportion in unjustified police shootings
- a term that may be employed as a blunt bludgeoning tool to force conservative, poor and working-class individuals to fall in line with doctrines or protocols sought to be forced upon them by societal elites
- whatever Dr. Anthony Fauci happens to say today (please note that any directly contradictory statements he may have made in the days or weeks preceding any of his current pronouncements were 100 percent proven and verified science at the time they were made but are no longer science and should be immediately forgotten and disregarded).
- when used with the prefix “anti-,” a term that may be used to conflate Trump supporters or Fauci denialists with flat-earthers and otherwise to demonize and ostracize those with whom one does not agree on matters with respect to which elites and industry interests have arrived at an inviolate consensus.
lived experience: an idea—originally derived from a few stray sentences in the Hungarian Marxist György Lukács’ 1923 book, History and Class Consciousness, but refined and perfected in the hysterical ravings of weeping women on “Oprah”—that, facts be damned, everyone is entitled to her or his truth, but some are entitled to more truth than others; also see generally “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
facts/evidence/empirical findings: see generally violence.
logic/rationality/common sense: see generally violence.
cultural appropriation: an inside joke and trolling campaign perpetrated by the woke Left against the rest of society by trafficking in the notion, so obviously regressive and stupid as to be taken seriously not even by its most ardent proponents, that the mainstream culture of the majority must, like the culture of Nazi Germany, remain true to and pure in its racial heritage and origins and may under no circumstances adapt and incorporate aspects of the culture of the multifarious minorities living within the nation’s borders, while those minority cultures must likewise remain entirely separate and unadulterated by one another.
BIPOC: an umbrella term aspiring to lump together individuals whose experience has nothing in common and including both some of the most successful, highest-earning groups in America, e.g., Asians, and some of the least successful, lowest-earning groups in America, e.g., American blacks (to be distinguished from blacks from Africa or the Caribbean, who are generally far more successful than American blacks but who are also lumped together into the same broad category), and aiming to herd these groups and individuals into the same big Democratic Party tent by convincing them all—notwithstanding the fact that, for instance, the recent spate of anti-Asian attacks is largely a specific instance of black-on-Asian crime—that they all share the common experience of being victims of racism and white supremacy.
LGBTQN+: an ever-expanding category of cool or good people that routinely adds to its ranks by repeatedly normalizing beliefs and behaviors formerly considered grotesque, perverse or even sick, bullying the majority of society into grudgingly accepting such beliefs and behaviors and then, once they have succeeded, immediately moving the goalposts by bringing still more outlandish deviations into the fold.
heteronormativity: a horrific system of oppression in which it is held, following the science, that the typical default setting of human beings and human societies is to mate with those of the opposite sex.
patriarchy: an evil and oppressive type of society—typically defined by traditional gender roles, stable marriages, two-parent families, well-adjusted children, high employment, economic prosperity, low levels of crime and child poverty and high general life satisfaction—that must be dismantled at all costs in order to avoid rampant sexual assault and harm to LGBTQN+ persons.
sexual assault: a broad term, spanning the gamut between violent rape and a bad date, the use of which immediately earns status for its user.
#MeToo: a movement that capitalizes upon the human penchant for copycat behavior, especially in the pursuit of status, and that makes sexual assault victimization into a fun game anyone can play, as long as they abide by the myriad arcane and arbitrary rules being made up on the fly that strictly govern how the game may be played at any given moment.
#BelieveAllWomen: a commandment to immediately believe all politically liberal women when they accuse all politically conservative men of anything, however facially implausible or unsupported by evidence.
mother: an oppressive and outdated term for one’s birthing parent; note that the use of this term may cause immense harm.
father: an oppressive and outdated term for a contributor of sperm and child support payments that, in pre-woke societies, sometimes also served as a second parent while routinely committing acts of quasi-consensual sexual assault against the birthing parent and instilling Freudian anxieties in children cruelly expected to grow up, mature and vacate the familial home after the age of majority.
political correctness: does not exist.
America: a deeply, irremediably and uniquely evil nation founded in 1619, when the first slave ship arrived on these shores, built on slavery, racism, patriarchy and heteronormativity and that will never be cleansed of these sins until all positions of power and influence are occupied by BIPOC LGBTQN+ individuals, the sole subject taught in schools is diversity, equity, and inclusion, reparations are paid annually and eternally, all borders are opened and all illegal immigrants are sent personalized thank-you-for-coming notes and accorded universal basic income and a full panoply of social benefits beyond those available to American citizens.
Okay, peace, stay woke . . . and f— the police, y’all.