As a scribbler, I am interested in semantics but I confess I needed to look up one particular word that crops up time and again in the daily newspapers. That word is ‘woke,’ which according to my dictionary means ‘alert to injustice in society, especially racism.’
I sounds very noble but so far as I can judge, woke culture seems to have overtaken and replaced political correctness. It is a kind of thought police cult whose devotees have given themselves the right to be offended to their core by anything they disagree with. Which is just about everything.
Every time a woke spokesman (or more likely woman) says anything, it appears to be a wail of complaint because whatever they heard or read was either based on common sense or a traditional view. I was brought up to show tolerance for views different to my own and to try and understand the reasoning behind such views. Yet it seems that in woke culture a non-woke viewpoint is a source of almost hysterical denunciation.
And what is then expected is self-abasement, apology and retraction. The woke mindset seems to have invaded and taken over British universities too and the slightest variation merits ‘de-platforming’ – meaning that particular speakers have to be barred from addressing the assembled luvvies. Bring back national service for God’s sake. If any of these fragile snowflakes had listened to a drill sergeant on parade, I think they’d have died of ruddy shock!
And almost as bad as the woke brigade are the so-called liberals. They are anything but liberal damnit! Take for instance the rancorous impeachment process in America, which is led by so called Democrats Shumer, Schiff and Jerry Nadler. They represent a party that seems to me responsible for so many of that nation’s problems, but they do not like Trump and sound almost rabid in their denunciation of the man. Yet like him or not, he was fairly elected by the American people so surely deserves to be accepted as such.
After all, when Barack Obama somewhat surprisingly came to power millions of conservative American voters were concerned. The man was not even Christian in a deeply Christian country, but these folk didn’t react the way the current lot have reacted and are reacting to Trump. They buried their concerns and gave their support to a duly elected president which was as it should be.
While political opposition from his Republican opponents continued, it was conducted in a respectful and well-mannered way. Yet with the equally surprising election of Trump, a similar display of common decency and acceptance of defeat has been utterly absent from the liberal political leadership and the far too powerful American media. In response to his winning the presidency, he has been hounded, harassed and viciously vilified – and is still being vilified. In my long lifetime I have never heard any American or Western politician being so harshly and relentlessly attacked by his political opponents as has Donald Trump.
But it all rather mirrors what the liberal elite think of African history. Even today, a number of people seem horrified that I look on myself as African. I am the wrong colour to make that claim according to these so called ‘liberals.’ And let’s face it, the decolonisation process that swept through Africa a few decades ago was motivated by the liberal politicians of Western democracies who came to dominate the political landscape after WWII. They successfully promoted the idea that all whites in Africa were racist oppressors and all blacks were innocent victims.
And to bolster that view, Chaka Zulu, a psychotic mass-murderer who terrorised an entire sub-region has been universally lionised while Cecil Rhodes, who as far as I know never killed anyone, who built roads, railways, bridges, hospitals, schools, universities and supplied the funding for the most prestigious scholarship of the modern era, is remembered as a heartless, avaricious, monster.
The same applies to two relatively recent leaders of my own country. Ian Smith, who was a good and honest man will go down in liberal history books as a racist tyrant while his successor, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, personally responsible for ruining a country and killing many thousands of innocent people will be remembered as a long serving black ‘leader.’
On the back of this and many other big lies, one of the greatest man-made catastrophes of all time has unfolded in sub-Saharan Africa. It has cost and continues to cost millions of lives in wars and endemic continental violence. It has flattened entire economies and left hundreds of millions of people trapped in a deepening poverty spiral. Cruel despots have amassed fortunes and continue to be accepted around the world as leaders while their people struggle to survive.
Yet despite all this, no member of the liberal establishment has ever had the courage to stand up and admit that they got it wrong. As with the woke brigade, if you don’t agree with them, you are just wrong.
Across the liberal spectrum there seems to exist an inability to accept any form of defeat, but more importantly there is also a frightening refusal to accept and acknowledge that they may have done something wrong and take responsibility for their actions. So the chances of finding solutions borne out of constructive discourse to world problems are frighteningly absent unless the rest of us fight back.