I wrote about how the GOP has co-opted the word "woke" to smuggle in pejorative feelings about good ideas. Just as they used "states rights" to make people feel positively about segregation, they now use "woke" to deride of social justice. Journalists need to stop falling for it
"Woke" has a distinct history in African American English. Now it has been appropriated & become a term of blanket derision for social justice. Folks keep repeating GOP criticisms of "wokeness" w/o describing the underlying meaning. They allow the pejorative *feeling* to prevail
This is just another part of a long GOP tradition of using figurative language to obscure underlying meaning & smuggle in either positive or negative connotations. 'States' rights" made segregation positive. 'Wokeness' makes social justice negative. And so on.
Lee Atwater explicitly admitted to using such rhetorical strategies to either advance racism or deride anti-racism. Use abstract language laden w/ feeling, while avoiding all specifics. This is what the GOP is doing w/ "woke." stoehr.substack.com/p/194b8c59-a47…
There is no doubt in my mind that the GOP is able to pull this off b/c "woke" comes from African American English. You don't hear them deriding other movements based on the same metaphor, such as the Enlightenment.

We need to stop falling for this. Journalists need to stop saying, "Ted Cruz Calls out Wokeness" and start being more specific about what "wokeness" actually means. If you replace "wokeness" w/ "anti-racism," it changes the meaning quite a bit, doesn't it?
I wish I had said this. It gets to the heart of it.

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More from @magi_jay

6 May
The media needs to stop this. They should, as mandated by their profession, seek to understand what the GOP means by "critical race theory." They should then specify that the actual opposition is to teaching anti-racism or the history of racism more generally.
There's nothing wrong w/ Critical race theory. But the GOP is now exploiting the disciplinary term to smuggle in the idea that teaching about racism or promoting anti-racism in K-12 is inherently bad. When the media parrots their claims, they're spreading propaganda.
This is similar to how conservatives are using the word "woke." In this case, too, the media is repeating their claims w/out disambiguating them. This serves to subtly undermine anti-racism.

Read 4 tweets
5 May
This is the worst part of the whole intercept-Reality Winner saga. I can't help but think that maybe the organization would have been less lackadaisical about protecting Winner as a source if the information she was providing matched their ideological priors.
If the situation had been different, and Winner were leaking on something that reflected poorly on Obama, I think it would have been "all hands on deck" to protect her as a source. But the intercept didn't do that. And I think it was possibly b/c of bias.
The intercept's mistakes in the Winner case were so simple & stand in stark contrast to the organization's talent pool in terms of encryption, etc. They coughed up the actual document--which included physical folding patterns--& thus revealed Winner's position w/in government.
Read 4 tweets
5 May
My new piece for @AlterNet. The GOP has appropriated the word "woke" and is using the term to smuggle in derision of social justice, especially anti-racism. alternet.org/2021/05/right-…
The GOP has long used abstract terms to create positive or negative emotions for their ideology. They make people feel something that they might not feel if exposed to more precise language. They do this to disguise/soften ugly ideas or deride good ones.
The GOP mainly does this w/ language around Civil rights, but they've also used similar tactics w/ other facets of their ideology. Consider the case of "waterboarding."
Read 9 tweets
4 May
Many people adjusted to the life-altering experience of living thru a pandemic extremely well. The first months were full of confusion & terror. I had difficult convos w/ my parents about living wills. But people adjusted. It might just take a few months for them to adjust back.
It's astonishing what our minds grappled w/. The impending doom & death predicted by models & then the reality playing out. The uncertainty about both our health & the economy, not to mention the initial unknowns about the virus. That so many people adapted is incredible.
If it's odd to you that people can't switch immediately back to normal, I would suggest doing just some basic reading on human psychology. If we have herd immunity in a year & people are still huddled at home, we can chat about it being an issue. For now, it's just normal.
Read 4 tweets
4 May
People need to stop trying to strong-arm the reluctance of some vaccinated liberals about "returning to normal" into a false equivalence w/ the anti-mask culture war.
There are a lot of reasons rationale people might still wear masks, for example. Maybe they don't feel like all the data are in. Maybe they have residual stress/anxiety. Maybe it's just taking them a while to adjust. Etc.
In terms of virtue signaling: who cares? Virtual signaling can be good & is *not the same* as a culture war. One is pro-social & the other is anti-social. Being proud that you drive an electric car is not the same as being proud that you just drenched a person in cigarette smoke.
Read 4 tweets
4 May
I'm so sorry that people who have spent decades fighting against integrated schools while ignoring disparate health outcomes between Black & white Americans are now having to deal w/ a small consequence of living in an unequal society.
Yes, Black families and educational staff have different stakes in the "school opening" conversation b/c they are more likely to be at schools w/ poor ventilation & other faulty infrastructure. They're also more likely to suffer negative health outcomes from COVID.
Read 4 tweets

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