Be Aware Of Performative Wokeness

Be Aware Of Performative Wokeness

You may be familiar with the old Hollywood joke: What is an associate producer credit? It’s what you give your assistant instead of a raise. It comes to mind with this news of the NFL’s latest act of performative wokeness. “According to reports last week, the NFL will play ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ commonly referred to as the black national anthem, before every game this year.”

What do you think the NFL cares more about? Pre-game music? Or non-guaranteed contracts for its majority-black workforce?

This is the playbook: When rich white people are actually threatened with something they care about — money, slots at elite schools — they don’t fight like hell. It brings too much attention. Instead they seek a performative act, something that looks compassionate so as to distract the woke idiots from the real problems that lie beneath.

Getting rid of entrance exams and the SAT because it hurts black kids? No, it hurts rich white kids because Asians crush them. Keeping the schools closed for kids’ safety? Getting rid of the national anthem? Gen. Mark Milley’s temper tantrum so no one notices we don’t win wars anymore? Look around, and you’ll see one example after another. The whole of white wokeness, every ounce of elite white lefty support, is a misdirection play.

What they want to see is rednecks reacting to this with quasi-racist anger. What they don’t want is someone to calmly and coolly expose their racial cynicism and economic self-interest. And it’s really important. Insofar as conservatives rise to the bait, they’re really playing into the hands of these elites.

There are people who really believe this stuff, of course. But the rich white people really giving it cultural currency are doing it for their own cynical, capitalistic, greedy reasons. Wokeness has zero to do with the right or wrong side of history. It’s a smokescreen.

They don’t care about poor people of color or refugees — look at what they just did to Cubans and Haitians. The whole thing is a scam. And that’s why we need leaders who will see through that and push back at the soft underbelly of the thing.

Under the hood, every part of woke ideology that gets cultural traction — open borders, entrance exam reform, Juneteenth, indoctrination in public schools — either serves the economic interests of rich white progressives or doesn’t touch them. The stuff that would threaten it — reparations, single-payer health care, etc. — somehow always seems to fall along the wayside. Look over there at the shiny object, while Sheldon Whitehouse’s club stays as white as the driven snow.

Isn’t it funny how that works?

Ben Domenech is the publisher of The Federalist. Sign up for a free trial of his daily newsletter, The Transom.
Related Posts