Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Acclaimed linguist and award-winning writer John McWhorter argues that an illiberal neoracism, disguised as antiracism, is hurting Black communities and weakening the American social fabric.
Americans of good will on both the left and the right are secretly asking themselves the same question: How has the conversation on race in America gone so crazy? We’re told to read books and listen to music by people of color but that wearing certain clothes is “appropriation”. We hear that being White automatically gives you privilege and that being Black makes you a victim. We want to speak up but fear we’ll be seen as unwoke, or worse, labeled a racist. According to John McWhorter, the problem is that a well-meaning but pernicious form of antiracism has become, not a progressive ideology, but a religion - and one that’s illogical, unreachable, and unintentionally neoracist.
In Woke Racism, McWhorter reveals the workings of this new religion, from the original sin of “White privilege” and the weaponization of cancel culture to ban heretics, to the evangelical fervor of the “woke mob”. He shows how this religion that claims to “dismantle racist structures” is actually harming his fellow Black Americans by infantilizing Black people, setting Black students up for failure, and passing policies that disproportionately damage Black communities. The new religion might be called “antiracism”, but it features a racial essentialism that’s barely distinguishable from racist arguments of the past.
Fortunately for Black America, and for all of us, it’s not too late to push back against woke racism. McWhorter shares scripts and encouragement with those trying to deprogram friends and family. And most importantly, he offers a road map to justice that actually will help, not hurt, Black America.
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|Listening Length||5 hours and 17 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 26, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #642 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#3 in Conservatism & Liberalism
#6 in Racism & Discrimination Studies
#12 in Political Conservatism & Liberalism
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Top reviews from the United States
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I’ve also been reading widely about wokeism for my own purposes, and this is the best single source I’ve found. I’d read some excerpts he’d released in advance and knew he interpreted Wokeism as a religion cast it in a strictly negative light.
This worried me because I felt it would limit his audience unnecessarily. However, by the time I finished that chapter, I was convinced by the sheer number of parallel features that the approach was justified. The analogies with well-known religious features clarified his points and make them memorable. I do think he might have noted that the parallels were only with the least helpful parts of religion.
The religious analogy has become quite popular, but be assured that McWhorter takes it deeper than anyone else. Still, the most helpful part for me did not arrive until p. 120 — the Elite’s mistake regarding outcomes and opportunities. (The Elite is his ironic name for the woke.)
As he explains the mistake “if we don’t trace the problems to racism, then the only other possibility must be that black people are inherently deficient somehow.” Since the latter is false, all racial discrepancies are thought to be due to current racism. This is ridiculous because past racism can produce cultural problems that persist for decades after the racism is gone. This is a devastating mistake that has become ubiquitous — for example, it is absolutely central to Ibram Kendi’s Antiracism.
I knew in theory, about the persistence of cultural problems, but McWhorter finally provided me with the concrete explanations I had been seeking, along with references I can now consult.
I’m sure that everyone who reads the book will find their own gems that suit their needs as there are many to be found. He also includes useful recommendations about how to limit the problems caused by woke racism, a problem that is starting to tear apart American culture. Read this book and tell your friends.
At long last! A black progressive who's willing to call out every scrap of pernicious nonsense being parroted by so many in the name of anti-racism. He calls out the fact that this "Third Wave Antiracism" is actually racism of the most chilling kind: patronizing and infantilizing black people, telling us what we must think and believe, and perpetuating a culture of shame. He eviscerates CRT and exposes it for the lying, manipulative ideological warfare that it is. McWhorter's assertions are backed by plenty of recent evidence. He's a bit snarky, but that actually was refreshing: you can tell the guy is really bothered by all of this, and he really CARES about dismantling the current Cultural Revolution-esque zeitgeist of lies, hatred, and public shaming of anyone who dares to disagree.
The book is entertainingly and breezily written, full of clarity and logic and passion.
I feel like the lights just came on and the windows have been opened.
Bravo, Mr McWhorter, for taking a stand and helping others feel like they can do so as well!
STANDING UP IS HARD YOU KNOW THAT COMPLETELY.
Like all irrational creeds, political, religious or philosophical, Woke-ness divides the world into true believers and heretics, preaching “truths” that, its advocates insist, only the unconverted, uninitiated, unbelieving will deny. Unfortunately, because this brand of fascism has been conflated with a real evil, racism, it has not merely gotten its teeth into our liberal institutions, but has terrorized critics into silence. Thomas Jefferson becomes no more than a slaveholder; ditto Washington; American history is reduced (falsely) to a successful effort to enslave Africans; the progress of the last 70 years is dismissed as a delusion. (Tellingly, few of the practitioners of Wokeness were alive in the 1970s, let alone in the workplace, where African-Americans were marginalized and women invisible.)
McWhorter, a linguistics professor at Columbia University (my alma mater) takes on these zealots, and it’s about time someone with credibility - McWhorter is African-American- did so. Employers and university administrators won’t do it; McWhorter catalogues innocent people who were fired, because a bully or bullies reacted to an innocuous comment, or criticism of BLM or Wokeness, by proclaiming victimhood and declaring themselves “unsafe.” As McWhorter writes, these claims are lies, masking what is actually the persecution of those who do not fall into line.
I have been an advocate of progressive issues all my life. I’ve participated in civil disobedience, campaigned for POC who ran for elective office, taught college courses that focused on texts written by women, African-Americans, and Latinx authors. I do not agree with McWhorter on some issues, including the need for and value of affirmative action programs. On the issue of left fascism - he calls it an evangelical religion, I call it the Taliban and Khmer Rouge - I do not merely agree, I believe that this fact-based, passionate, right-on-the-mark book should be read by every school administrator, corporate executive, political official and frightened sane person in the nation.
Well-done, Professor - and about time.
Top reviews from other countries
You don't need a creational foundation to create a religion, it's a type of belief structure that John will walk you through. We aren't insane, and this fabulous panacea will be our bible that we connect ourselves with to push back against the Elect. The author is a bona fide intellectual, and his work clarified my disordered thoughts about this topic into an organized format.
Reviewed in France on October 31, 2021