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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Tears We Must Not Cry; Atrocities We Must Not Witness; Solutions We Must Not Grasp

 

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Tears We Must Not Cry; Atrocities We Must Not Witness; Solutions We Must Not Grasp
Horrific Crimes Demand Action – Action the Left Forbids

 

Every time I look at Mohammad Anwar's photo, I cry. I've not read his bio on the web. I can't find his bio on the web. The Wikipedia page devoted to Anwar is all of 258 words long. Everything I know about him, I see in his photo. Mohammad Anwar looks his age – 66. He is bald on top with black hair at the sides of his head. He wears heavy, black-framed glasses. He has a prominent nose and a bushy mustache.

 

He is wearing a dignified gray suit, gray shirt, and gray tie. There's just one restrained accent of color: a scarf around his neck sports one red stripe. He's probably overdressing for his job – Uber Eats driver. This is a gentleman who respects himself, and I respect him. This is the kind of guy who doesn't just hold up a family; he holds up a community.

 

It's his eyes that wreck me. In them, I see every immigrant dream. The pride. The self sacrifice. The dignity. This is a guy who would work long hours at a miserable job, who would silently swallow every slight, who would bounce up after every putdown, and do it all so that his kids and grandkids can enjoy a better life. When I look at a photo of Mohammad Anwar, I see my father. I see my mother's immigrant dreams. And I cry.

 

Anwar was a Muslim immigrant from Pakistan. I'm a critic of jihad and gender apartheid. I'm also a resident of a county with a high Muslim population. I have written as many stellar letters of recommendation for Muslim students as I have written articles critical of jihad and gender apartheid. In letter after letter, I have written, "You can rely on her." "He stands out from the rest of the class." "She was never late or absent." "He asked for extra work."

 

In my city, I have witnessed, over the course of a lifetime, Muslim immigrants make every sacrifice, work every job, put their kids into low-status, sometimes even dangerous schools, schools that were the only ones they could access, given their address and income. These parents make sure that their youngsters steer clear of any ugliness or danger around them and keep their eyes on the prize. Their children graduate with degrees that earn them solid employment. I've watched people come to the US with nothing and parent children who become pharmacists, computer technicians, real estate entrepreneurs, who can buy nice houses in good neighborhoods and send their own kids to Ivy League schools.

 

I've watched South Paterson transform. Less garbage on the street. Astounding, multi-story, shiny structures arise amidst Paterson's decay. Former Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale told a reporter, "South Paterson's low crime rate is directly connected with the business acumen of its restaurant owners and grocers. For as long as I've been in law enforcement in this area, it's always been a group that's been very willing to work with us. They care about the businesses and have always worked hard to make sure the area thrives."

 

Capitalism does that to people. Business demands a safe neighborhood. People will not shop where they might be shot. Paterson's Mayor Andre Sayegh, himself a Christian Arab, said, "We're proud of our multiculturalism in Paterson. We're trying to monetize it. We want to leverage the culinary culture that exists here and become even more of a destination for foodies." Sayegh, a reporter noted, greets diners with the words, "God bless you, and America."

 

A recent arrival from Egypt told a reporter, "Here, with any goal, with any dream, I feel I have a chance, and I can pursue my ambitions."

 

South Paterson's revival is all the more remarkable given how different South Paterson is from many neighborhoods in the rest of the city. Along Broadway, aka Martin Luther King Way, I have seen few new businesses succeed, and I've watched many fail. The city plants trees – lindens and sycamores – and these plantings are rapidly vandalized and must be chopped down. One wonders: what would inspire residents to vandalize trees on their own streets? Healthy young men hang out, smoking marijuana, on sidewalks littered with discarded televisions, bedding, and hypodermic needles. Older men, intoxicated in the middle of the day, recline in their own bodily waste. Rosa Parks Boulevard, where 42-year-old James Timmons, 15-year-old Armoni Sexton, 12-year-old Genesis Rincon, and 16-year-old Ragee Clark were all shot dead in separate incidents, is just two miles from South Paterson. That South Paterson is safer than the rest of Paterson is a remarkable phenomenon, worthy of study by anyone concerned with the high death-by-shooting rate among African Americans.

 

That's why I cry over Mohammad Anwar. Though Anwar lived in Virginia, not New Jersey, in him I see a wide-eyed immigrant, like my parents; in him I see a hardworking Muslim immigrant, like my students and my neighbors.

 

And there's another reason I cry. I watched Mohammad Anwar die. I can't link the Twitter video; Twitter removed it. As I write this, the video is viewable here. In the closing moments of the video, a cloud of white fog cloaks an object on the far left of the image. That obscured object is Mohammad Anwar's dying body. After killing him, his killer screeches "My phone is in that car." The car is Anwar's car. On March 23, 2021, Two girls, 13 and 15 years old, wielding a stun gun, stole Anwar's car and drove it a short distance before crashing it. The killer screeching, "My phone! My phone is in there! My phone!" is walking two feet from the body of the man she just killed.

 

Should you watch this video? You should. And you should cry.

 

Anwar was sacrificed in broad daylight, in an inhabited area, in the capital of your country and mine – Washington DC. His killing was not isolated. Shortly afterward, a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old, wielding a knife, committed another carjacking. Two 13-year-olds, using a gun, committed two more.

 

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted that "auto theft is a crime of opportunity." After Twitter users protested, she later deleted her tone-deaf, victim-blaming tweet. Anwar was killed three miles from the White House. Joe Biden has been celebrated as a deeply compassionate president. Jen Psaki, his press secretary, when invited to address Anwar's death and the wider threat of increasing violent crime in Washington, offered a robotic banality. "The president has asked senior levels of his team to be engaged in a broad swath of leaders from the AAPI [Asian American and Pacific Islander] community across the country." Much less eloquent than the eulogy Biden provided at George Floyd's funeral.

 

Reports are that Anwar's girl killers received a deal guaranteeing that they will never serve a day behind bars, and they will be freed of any legal obligations when they reach 21. Compare this to the fate of two white 12-year-old girls who attempted, but failed, to stab another girl to death in 2014. They received sentences of 25 and 65 years.

 

Here's one last reason I cry. I wouldn't have heard about Mohammad Anwar's death if I didn't listen to right-wing talk radio.

 

On March 29, six days after Anwar died, I turned on the radio. A talk show host made a brief reference to a horrific carjacking in Washington, DC. My first thought was, "Huh?" I skim headlines at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Google News several times a day. I tune to National Public Radio at least ten times a day. I had heard nothing about a "horrific carjacking." I felt disoriented. If there was a horrific carjacking, surely I would have heard of it.

 

Instantaneously, this flashed through my mind: "I have not heard of this carjacking because the identity of the perpetrators is taboo knowledge." That thought chilled me, and I realized that I had taken one step toward living in the society described by George Orwell. I once lived in the Soviet Empire and I remember trying to decode what was really going on from the state news sources. I now had to apply that skill to a country where the First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press.

 

I performed a Google search and found no mention of Anwar in the Times. Another search turned up no coverage at National Public Radio, even though its headquarters are in Washington, DC. The Washington Post did run a couple of articles.

 

Contrast this with the wall-to-wall coverage that National Public Radio offers crimes committed by white assailants against non-white victims. The death of George Floyd and the trial of Derek Chauvin has been the most frequent lead story on NPR for months now. NPR has devoted thousands of stories to Chauvin, as has the New York Times and the Washington Post. "Yes," leftists will say. "Since Chauvin was a police officer, this saturation coverage is warranted." That assertion is simply not true. Compare the minimal coverage when a black police officer, for example, Mohammed Noor, shoots an innocent white woman, Justine Ruszczyk, or the minimal coverage of a 2020 shooting of a white man by a black officer in Chicago,

 

"But, wait," you may be thinking. "The left likes Muslims. They will mourn Mohammad Anwar." You're wrong. The left doesn't like Muslims. The left doesn't like anybody. In place of God, the left worships its narrative; in place of humanity, the left sacralizes hate honed to destroy. Human beings and objective facts are equally immaterial. Anything that can be twisted to serve the narrative is favored. Anything that violates the narrative is sacrificed. The left once favored working class whites; the left once favored Jews. Both have been abandoned because their utility to the revolution is past. Leftists favored African Americans, but when Juan Williams said the presence of Muslims on airplanes makes him nervous, the left dropped Williams. The left more recently shafted African American Teen Vogue editor Alexi McCammond. Leftists abandon Muslims as easily as any other identity group they temporarily champion. Always, always, it is service to the narrative that matters, not compassion, not justice, not human life.

 

The narrative? America is a white supremacist wasteland that destroys "black bodies" as Ta-Nehisi Coates puts it. All white Americans are racists forever and ever amen, argues Robin DiAngelo. Americans are all white supremacists who merely "pretend" to mourn Anwar in order to hurt black people, insists New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali. We need a Marxist revolution to bring on Utopia. Any death that does not serve that narrative must be tossed down the memory hole. In place of whatever it is in a human being that transcends, that feels for a stranger, that is capable of compassion, leftists have only reptilian strategizing. Every tear they shed for George Floyd is a bullet in their arsenal. They will cry over fake hate crime victims like Jussie Smollett, Althea Bernstein, and Nathan Phillips. An honorable man like Mohammad Anwar is a pebble in the shoe that must be shaken out and discarded. Black suffering that does not serve the leftist narrative must also be ignored and erased. Witness the minimal coverage offered the killing of heroic black Officer David Dorn. This is true even for Wajahat Ali, hired as a Muslim voice on the New York Times' editorial page. Ali would rather smear America and Americans than mourn a tragically killed Muslim immigrant.

 

I donated to the Anwar family's GoFundMe. I thought that that donation would help me to forget, but his eyes haunted me. I wanted to know if anyone else was feeling the grief I was. I went to Twitter. And, there, I discovered something horrific. Twitter users drew a parallel between Anwar's death and the death of another immigrant in my home state of New Jersey.

 

Mehmood Ansari, just like Anwar, was a 66-year-old immigrant from Pakistan. "The 66-year-old father worked hard, morning and night, and was 'always smiling,' says his son Asif Ansari." "He worked every single day, open and close," reported the son. Ansari viewed America as "the land of opportunity." On April 1, 2021, reports NJ.com, "Mehmood collapsed and died shortly after being robbed by a knife-wielding 12-year-old boy during a confrontation with multiple juveniles who were rampaging through the store … his son said he believes Ansari died from the shock of the incident." A 14-year-old girl was also involved in the crime. "He was killed by hatred, by the lack of the protection from the local city," said Habib Rehman.

 

The few news sources that covered Ansari's death do not identify the suspects by race, but a YouTube video shows African American children screaming obscenities and attempting to resist arrest. Comments further suggest that Atlantic City merchants have been plagued by shoplifting, harassment, and other crimes for some time, with no response from local government. "All Lives Matters," (sic) reads one sign at a small protest Pakistani merchants staged after Ansari's death.

 

A Google search reveals that Ansari's shocking death has received scant news coverage. The only reason I know of this death in my own state is that I'd gone to Twitter to check on tweets about Mohammad Anwar.

 

And then I was horrified again. On April 6, I was absent-mindedly scrolling through Facebook when I read that on March 31, 2021, a Hasidic family, visiting from Belgium, were slashed, in broad daylight, on camera, in Manhattan's Battery Park. A man stabbed the husband, wife, and their 13-month-old baby. The victims were treated for their wounds and released. I listen to National Public Radio affiliate WNYC every day, throughout the day. I heard nothing of this attack, and Google shows no WNYC coverage. Google searches found no coverage in the New York Times. A Facebook friend who lives in Israel had heard of the attack before I did.

 

Facebook friends informed me of other crimes. In January, 19-year-old Antoine Watson, on camera, killed 84-year-old Thai grandfather Vicha Ratanapakdee. In March, 38-year-old Brandon Elliot violently assaulted 65-year-old Filipina immigrant Vilma Kari, as she walked to church in Manhattan. Doormen observed the assault but rather than attempting to intervene, they closed the door on her. They did, later, summon police. Kari's GoFundMe is here.

 

Also in March, an Asian man was beaten and choked until he was unconscious on New York's J-train. Those few American news sources that reported this story cut off the video because of its disturbing content. China's People's Daily has no such compunctions. They posted the video on Twitter, here.

 

American media and academia insist that white people are uniquely violent and dangerous. White people's speech, alone, does harm. After news broke that BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors had purchased several homes worth millions of dollars, BLM tweeted that any criticism of these purchases constitutes white supremacist terrorism against black people. Teachers and government and corporate employees are required to sign on to this set of beliefs or are threatened with loss of their jobs. See Jodi Shaw, Aaron Kindsvatter, Paul Rossi, Bari Weiss, Coca-Cola telling workers to "be less white," and the Smithsonian Institution's lessons on whiteness.

 

That all whites are responsible for any crime a white person commits against a non-white person was expressed clearly on National Public Radio on April 13. "I don't have anything to prove, but you do as white people" said activist Demetria Hester. "You failed because he [a black person] is dead."

 

When whites commit violent crimes against non-whites, the story becomes international news for years at a time, and assailant and victim names become part of daily vocabulary: witness 57 million Google results for "George Floyd."

 

Some crimes are unquestionably inspired by white supremacy. The Neo-Nazi ideology that inspired the killer who carried out the June 17, 2015 Charleston church shooting certainly deserved and received attention, and anything in American culture that fed into similar killers' twisted minds must be rooted out and rejected.

 

When African Americans, including children, commit shocking, violent crimes against the elderly, against women, against Jews, against harmless working class immigrants, these stories are not given the same coverage. In something so simple as vocabulary choice, these stories are suppressed.

 

Michelle Malkin, herself a person of color, cites statistics suggesting that Anwar's death was no outlier. "Federal Bureau of Justice statistics data show that of nearly 600,000 violent interracial victimizations involving Blacks and Whites, Black suspects committed 537,204 interracial felonies (not including homicides), or 90%, and Whites committed 56,394 of them, or less than 10% … Black perpetrators are also overrepresented among all perpetrators of hate crimes — by 50% — according to the most recent Justice Department data from 2017. Whites are underrepresented by 24%." Malkin further argues that rather than take on the issue of hate crimes committed by African Americans, district attorneys go soft on African American assailants.

 

We all know that if any of the above-described assaults had been committed by whites, the media would report the story, not just more widely and deeply, but choosing entirely different words. "A man assaulted a woman in Manhattan" would become "A white man assaulted an Asian woman in Manhattan." The assailant's identity as white would be emphasized.  

 

Here's another thing we are not saying about these crimes, but that we must regain the ability to say. These crimes are not normal. It is not normal for a 12-year-old boy to cause the death of a community elder. It is not normal for a 13-year-old girl to pull a weapon on a man, kill him, and then care only about retrieval of her cell phone. It is not normal for a big, beefy, adult man to kick a much older woman to the ground and continue to assault her. It is not normal for anyone to stab a baby. We must be shocked by these crimes. There is something very wrong here. We must fix it.

 

After the Charleston church shooting, media probed the killer's ideology and upbringing. This is as it should be. After the above-listed crimes, there is no comparable analysis. In fact, comparable analysis is demonized. One must not talk about any aspect of contemporary African American culture that might contribute to criminality. In this, the media betrays African Americans themselves. As hard as it is for us to comprehend, the assailants in the above-described crimes are themselves victims. Mentioning their status as victims in no way diminishes their culpability, or the gravity of the wrongs they have committed. Yes, the assailants are victimizers. But they are also victims. It is impossible to watch the videos linked above and not see assailants who have been failed by everyone around them.

 

You, me, and everyone else is like these assailants in this: we all have violent impulses. Normal people have been socialized to resist our inner demons. What of these assailants? Where are their parents? Where are their churches? Where are their schools? Where are their teachers? One possible reply: they have all been so cowed by the fear of being called "racist" that they declined to say to these assailants at key points in their lives, "What you are doing is wrong. You are hurting others. You can't do that. You must choose another path. I will show you the right way. If you do not follow, you will continue to go wrong, and you will be rejected by society."

 

Another possible answer: at every step in the assailants' lives, someone decided that they would be held to a lesser standard. You punched the kid next to you in class? Okay, no punishment. You shoplifted? Not a big deal. We won't address that. You vandalized public property? It's just a property crime. We'll let it slide. "It takes a village to raise a child." It takes a nation to fail children because holding them to standards might be deemed "racist."

 

Why aren't the New York Times or NPR or The Washington Post asking these questions? Media are not just failing America at large. They are failing African Americans specifically. African Americans are disproportionately represented as both the perpetrators and the victims of violent crimes. African Americans must fear being mugged, assaulted, raped, and killed in a way that white people don't have to fear being victimized.

 

White children commit horrific crimes, too: The Slenderman Stabbers, the Sandy Hook and Columbine Shooters. When white kids do bad things, we put them under a magnifying glass. Media is flooded with front page stories of analysis by psychologists, sociologists, and clergy. We ask if the root cause of the kid's crime was violent video games or Asperger's syndrome, bullying or pharmaceuticals, social media or Satan himself. I read so much about the Sandy Hook shooter that I know that he habitually removed clothing tags because he couldn't handle their touch. That shooter's father, Peter Lanza, actually met with parents of Sandy Hook victims. He also said he wished his son had never been born. Susan Klebold, mother of a Columbine shooter, wrote a gut-wrenching memoir putting herself under analysis. What did she do wrong to raise such a son? She said, "There is a piece of me that I will never forgive not being the mother that Dylan needed me to be." She donated all proceeds from her book to mental health and suicide prevention.

 

We need to ask similar questions about violent crimes committed by African Americans. One possible focus: the impact of father absence. We know that African Americans have high single-parent family rates and high poverty rates. See a recent chart from The American Enterprise Institute's Mark J. Perry. Thomas Sowell argues that poverty among married African Americans is much lower than the poverty rate of African Americans in single-parent households. "The poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits in every year since 1994." Statistics suggest that single parenthood hurts blacks economically and marriage helps. Does single parenthood affect crime?

 

Walter Mischel's Stanford Marshmallow Experiment suggests that children who grow up without the presence of their biological father in the home are less able to delay gratification. Research suggests that an inability to delay gratification is correlated with criminal activity. Other research suggests that children growing up in father-absent homes are less likely to master impulse control. A lack of impulse control is widely associated with criminality. Father absence in general is associated with criminality. "The more opportunities a child has to interact with his or her biological father, the less likely he or she is to commit a crime or have contact with the juvenile justice system," reported one study.

 

Another possible focus for inquiry: societal attitudes towards anti-social behavior. Black conservatives like Shelby Steele, Jason Riley, Jason D. Hill, Larry Elder, Candace Owens, Thomas Sowell, Walter E. Williams, John McWhorter, Glenn Loury, and many others have said clearly that holding blacks to a lesser standard has hurt, not helped, blacks.

 

Rather than providing media coverage of black conservatives, rather than assigning them on syllabi and in "race training" professional workshops, leftists demonize black conservatives. University of Vermont Professor Aaron Kindsvatter resisted leftist race training on his campus. As was required by his school, he did teach his students the work of leftist Ibram X Kendi. He also taught his students the work of black conservatives Shelby Steele, Coleman Hughes, and John McWhorter. His university's response was a turning point for Kindsvatter. Teaching Steele, Hughes, and McWhorter, he learned, was "inconsistent with the program, department, and university values." Even discussing these black conservatives' work was a "harmful practice … inconsistent with university policy of diversity, equity, and inclusion." "I was slowly being boxed into a corner. I came out and said, 'I'm not going to pretend any more.'"

 

Similarly, Paul Rossi, a teacher at Grace Church High School in Manhattan, in the face of an onslaught of aggressive Critical Race Theory indoctrination, attempted to assign the work of black conservative Glenn Loury. Rossi writes, "Juniors and seniors in my Art of Persuasion class … sought to engage with a wider range of political viewpoints … I thought of assigning Glenn Loury … my administration put the kibosh on my proposal." The school's administration is majority white. 

 

Leftist silencing of non-conforming blacks is as pervasive on social media as it is in institutions. Terence K. Williams, an African American "actor, comedian, and commentator," had the audacity to express outrage at the killing of Mohammad Anwar. Williams has, of course, been denounced as the ultimate Uncle Tom. One tweet calls Williams a "boy" and a dancing coon.

 

Jason Whitlock, an African American sportscaster, was blocked from using Twitter after he posted a factual, restrained tweet mentioning that BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, a self-described "trained Marxist," had purchased several homes worth millions of dollars, one in a neighborhood that is one percent black.

 

In 2020, Candace Owens tweeted a video addressing the response to George Floyd's death. Owens made clear that she condemned Floyd's death and that she believed that Derek Chauvin should be in jail. She also said, though, that black people do not benefit by turning criminals into heroes. She asked how Aracely Henriquez, who alleged that Floyd assaulted her, would feel knowing that Joe Biden would attend Floyd's funeral. Owens was criticized by celebrities like Meghan Markle, Piers Morgan, and Dave Chappelle.

 

In 2020 Shelby Steele and his son Eli Steele released "What Killed Michael Brown." This documentary that interrogates the narrative that Michael Brown was killed by white supremacy. Amazon rejected the documentary from its streaming services, but relented under pressure.

 

An African American woman who calls herself "Honestly Speaking" released a brief, searing YouTube video on December 2, 2014. She criticized the response to the August, 2014, shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. "Mike Brown started the trail that lead to his death. Just because he's black does not change that he committed a crime and the cops were called … We know d--- well that if Mike Brown were in our hood Mike Brown would have f---ed one of y'all N------ up. And y'all woulda went and shot him. So spare me your f---ing bleeding heart bulls---!" For this, she was denounced as an "Uncle Tom."

 

Yes, there are many African Americans who are not parroting leftist narratives. These African Americans are attacked, insulted, denounced. They are not on primetime news shows. They are not on school syllabi. Much of the time, those silencing and erasing them are leftist whites.

 

I donated to Mohammad Anwar's GoFundMe at least partly for selfish reasons. I wanted to exorcise grief. I'm writing this essay for his killers. I see my immigrant people in Anwar's eyes. I see myself in his killers. I was a 13-year-old girl once. I went to Catholic school and all the stories you've heard are true. When we stepped out of line, the nuns did beat us with rulers. I had immigrant, Slavic parents who never hugged me, never complimented me, and were free with the belt and the fist. They told me that the world owed me nothing. They taught me to work for what I wanted, to respect my elders, to say "excuse me," "please," and "thank you." My mother cleaned houses for the rich and my father carried their bags. They communicated to me no envy for what the rich have that was unattainable to us. My mother drilled into me that we made our lives matter with our dignity, decency, and hard work. It never entered my mind that because we were poor we couldn't be good people. I am grateful I had those hard parents and not the parents of the two girls who killed Mohammad Anwar.

 

My religion teaches me that all human lives are redeemable but redemption requires confession, repentance, and reparation. There is no force in powerful media, academia, the courts or most churches to call for Mohammad Anwar's killers to repent. It wasn't conservative America who betrayed those girls. It wasn't conservative America who fashioned those children into killers. It was the left. The left, that "puts the kibosh" on inconvenient truth. The left, that divides us, exploits us, and pits us against each other for its own gain. The left, that has no natural feeling and is incapable of grief at the horrific waste of human life inscribed in the above-listed crimes. The left, that has rejected a God that loves both Anwar and those two girls, but hates sin. The left, that dehumanizes African Americans by applying to blacks, and only to blacks, a lesser standard, in the assumption that black people can't manage to be quite as human as other races. The voices, the truths, the lessons, and the tough love that can save the children growing up now in neighborhoods where trees are vandalized and youth abdicate their manhood in exchange for drugs and hanging out – those salvific truths are not coming from the left. Those truths are coming from black conservatives.

 

Danusha Goska is the author of God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery

Friday, April 9, 2021

Woke Economics, Psychology, Mythology, and Etiquette. I Decline an Invitation to Profit from Woke Feminism

 

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Woke Economics, Psychology, Mythology, and Etiquette
 I Decline an Invitation to Profit from Woke Feminism

 

The rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem is Woke. Gallup reported on March 29, 2021 that for the first time Americans with no affiliation to any house of worship outnumber those who are so affiliated. When Gallup first measured church membership in 1937, it was 73%. It remained near 70% for six decades.

 

In place of America's founding value system, Woke offers a new mythology, economics, ethics, etiquette, and a new psychology. Woke informs the macrocosm, in the spending of millions of taxpayer dollars, and it informs the microcosm, in how one receives "likes" for a Facebook post.

 

A post recently came through my feed inviting me and all women to claim privilege and power. If I declared myself a victim of "the patriarchy," which I hoped to "smash," I could forgo normal demands to be nice and polite. I could insist that my pain has priority over others' pain. I could look askance at all men, and verbally abuse any non-participating women, as potential threats. Though I am a feminist, I strive to comply with a Christianity-informed ethics, etiquette, and, indeed, psychology, so I declined this invitation, as I describe, below. 

 

Woke is an ethical and economic mythology that demands money and power. The Woke anthem lyric is "Gimme." Black Lives Matter admits to receiving $90 million in donations in 2020. Michael Erik Dyson says that whites should pay for black people's massages. Evanston, Illinois, is using taxpayer dollars to provide reparations to black residents, whether they are descendants of slaves or recent black immigrants to the US from Africa or the Caribbean. President Biden's American Rescue Plan allocates $5 billion to black farmers, that is, half of the money to go to all farmers. Biden directed that other funds go directly to Asian Americans.

 

The recipients of funds are deemed worthy because their ancestors suffered. No one denies slavery, Jim Crow, the mistreatment of Chinese railroad workers, or anti-Asian immigration laws. That the taxpayers providing these millions of dollars in reparations are the appropriate parties to pay these funds, or that these funds actually settle any score, is questionable.

 

Tens of millions of Americans are not descendants of slave-owners, or are themselves recent immigrants or children of recent immigrants, and did not benefit from slavery or Jim Crow. Seventeen million white Americans live below the poverty line. That is a larger number than Black, Hispanic, Asian- or Native Americans living below the poverty line. Many white Americans descend from people who have suffered. Whites were lynched, including Italians; Slavs were worked under harsh conditions and were shot dead when they protested those conditions; Jews faced discrimination in education, accommodation, club membership, and housing. Poor WASPs from Appalachia have faced a variety of forms of discrimination.

 

Woke commodifies black suffering. White suffering is delegitimized via the concept of "white privilege." White privilege was invented by a rich, white liberal woman, Peggy McIntosh. The impact of the doctrine of white privilege is to convince other rich, white liberals that poor whites do not deserve compassion or respect.

 

White poverty is waved away with a magic wand. Dorothy A. Brown holds the Asa Griggs Candler professorship of law at Emory University, where a "typical" professor salary is $204,037. Brown holds an endowed chair, and of course earns more. Brown, as an African American, denounces any concept of American meritocracy as false, contradicting the simple reality of her own quite evident financial and professional success.

 

Brown's 2021 book, "The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans--and How We Can Fix It," insists that US tax law is white supremacist and focused on impoverishing black people. In fact, Brown does not really talk about race. She's talking about how tax laws can adversely affect working class and poor people in comparison to rich people. In Brown's economics, and indeed in Woke economics, all rich people are white and only white people are rich, and all black people are poor and the only poor people are black. Suffering, as a commodity worthy of reparation, is the exclusive property of people of color.

 

Woke doesn't demand only money. Woke demands social capital, including a carte blanche for anti-social behavior. Rioting and looting are okay because Woke. See Baltimore's mayor saying that she gave protesters "space to destroy." NPR promoted a book justifying looting. BLM leader Hawk Newsome promised "We will burn down this system." Nikole Hannah-Jones proudly claimed the "1619 riots" moniker.

 

Not just riots, arson, and looting, but one-on-one anti-social behavior is condoned, if the abuser is classified as a member of a suffering tribe and the abused person is classified as an oppressive recipient of privilege. Witness a November, 2015 encounter between Jerelyn Luther, a young, black, female Yale senior and Dr. Nicholas Christakis. Christakis holds both an MD from Harvard and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He has an adopted sister who is black, and an adopted brother who is Chinese. Christakis has published award-winning, bestselling, popular and scholarly books on health, evolution, and society. Christakis was, at the time, a gray-haired, white, male Yale house master. His crime? He stood up for freedom of expression, a foundational value of Western Civilization. Immediately before Luther screeched at Christakis to "Be quiet!" Christakis had the audacity to say, "Other people have rights, too. Not just you." Christakis and his wife said that Yale students should not be punished for wearing Halloween costumes.

 

Jerelyn Luther abused Christakis because she opposes freedom of expression. Luther supported a proposal that campus authority censor Halloween costumes and punish transgressors. In the video recording of their encounter, Luther screams obscenities and other abuse at Christakis. "You are disgusting," she shrieks. The older, more accomplished man sheepishly submits to his public scourging, as he must, under Woke values. His wife Erika, also an accomplished scholar, was forced to quit teaching at Yale. These Woke ethics re-enact the Maoist struggle session.  

 

Luther opposed students wearing Halloween costumes that imitate national costumes. Such costumes are a Woke sin labeled "cultural appropriation." Ironically, Luther was herself appropriating someone else's costume. Luther was pretending to be a member of the oppressed. She is not. Luther is from Fairfield. Fairfield lies along Connecticut's Gold Coast. Money magazine ranks Fairfield "the best place to live in Connecticut." Luther's family home was appraised at $760,000. Luther's unhinged abuse of a scholar did not harm her upward career trajectory. In 2020, after graduating from Yale, she was a Public Interest / Public Service Fellow at Columbia Law. These realities do not matter. What matters is Woke mythology: Luther is black; Luther has suffered; Luther's suffering grants her the right to regulate Halloween costumes and publicly abuse and humiliate an older white man of greater accomplishment.

 

Woke condemns being "nice" and "polite." Niceness and politeness were invented by white men to support patriarchy and white supremacy. Robin DiAngelo points out that "niceness" is merely a fa├žade white supremacists have developed to camouflage their evil. To be "nice" is actually to be "violent" and white supremacist, reports the group "Women of Color and Allies." Women "need to embrace the discomfort, the edges and the messiness of overturning that which has kept us in the number two slot of the power and privilege pyramid for over 500 years … niceness destroys people of color." Niceness and politeness belong in the same museum with whips and chains.

 

In reality, of course, it is not oppressed women who can forgo niceness and politeness. When I was cleaning houses, and when my mother before me was cleaning houses, for rich, liberal women, neither my mother before me nor I ever dared to be anything but deferential to these women.

 

Only the truly privileged can appropriate the victim costume, forgo niceness and politeness, and rage at, and destroy, their alleged "oppressors." At Smith College the annual cost for students is $78,000. In July, 2018, Student Oumou Kanoute falsely accused low-wage Smith workers of racism. She doxed the accused on social media. One cafeteria worker was so stressed she had to be hospitalized.

 

Jodi Shaw, a low-level Smith administrative worker in the department of residence life, questioned the subsequent campus-wide "anti-bias" indoctrination. Paid facilitators ordered Shaw to talk about what it was like to be a white child. When Shaw nicely and politely declined to perform, the facilitator denounced Shaw in front of her peers as acting out a white supremacist tactic. Shaw – nicely and politely – described this so-called "anti-bias training" as a public humiliation that wouldn't be fit for dogs. Shaw squirmed under the heel of a college with a two billion dollar endowment. Shaw was put on leave, placed under investigation, and she now no longer works at Smith. Shaw now airs her grievances – nicely and politely – on YouTube.

 

In his 1998 book, "The Content of Our Character," Shelby Steele recounts a devastating anecdote. Steele and his friend are in a hotel men's room. There, Steele's friend bullies a white man into giving the elderly men's room attendant a twenty-dollar tip. Steele's friend depicts the elderly men's room attendant in the most pathetic way possible. "He made a display of his own racial pain and anger." Steele's friend acts "against all that was honorable in him." The white man is deeply moved, and he acknowledges what everyone knows, "Your people got a raw deal." The white man, who had initially left a dollar tip, now gives the men's room attendant twenty dollars. "A sum that was generous by one count and cheap by another." That is, twenty dollars is a lot to leave a men's room attendant, but there is no way that twenty dollars, or any amount, can ever erase the agony felt by enslaved persons.

 

After dropping that large tip, no doubt feeling uplifted by his own largesse, the white man leaves. But Steele, his friend, and the men's room attendant all feel so debased that "my friend and I could not look at the old man, nor could we look at each other … It was not an encounter of people, but of historical grudges and guilts … The encounter had all the elements of a paradigm that has been at the heart of racial policy-making in America since the sixties."

 

Participation in Woke economics, ethics, etiquette, psychology and mythology are rampant among social media posters. Posters display themselves as victims of systemic oppression. Because of this systemic oppression, they suffer. Because they are suffering, they deserve benefits. They deserve the right to forgo normal niceness and politeness.  

 

Would I feel better if I could claim all the endowments granted those who adopt victim identity? Would it pleasure me to carry as my trophy, even if only metaphorically, the decapitated head of masculinity? Would raging and name-taking feel like rewards to me?

 

No. I don't want reparation dollars. I also do not want to be rendered so powerful by the tide of grievance that I am freed from any expectation to be nice or polite. That was brought home to me forcefully when a Facebook post crossed into my feed in March, 2021.

 

On March 20, a woman who calls herself "Right Brained Mom" posted about running last summer. This post received over five thousand likes, almost two thousand comments, and 1.5 thousand shares. The post was shared to a page called "Scary Mommy," where it received sixty thousand positive reactions, almost ten thousand comments, and ten thousand shares.

 

The post is accompanied by a selfie. RBM stares at the camera, with eyes that are large and yet squinting. Her lips are tightly compressed. She looks as if she is taking names for a lifetime of slights. The selfie calls to mind Nurse Ratched and Madame Defarge.

 

RBM was running along a wooded road. A "lonely old guy" "yelled and waved at me from his porch."

 

RBM asked him why.

 

He responded, "You run by my house all the time and you never say 'hello' or even wave."

 

"Oh. I'm sorry. Well, hello then," she said.

 

RBM said that this encounter made her "furious."

 

"What do I owe this man who is a complete stranger to me? If he's lonely, is it up to me to entertain him? … He believed that his needs were more important than mine … How many times have I been violated? Too f---ing many … Women do not exist to please men." "I'm going to keep on smashing."

 

In a subsequent post, RBM compared men to poisonous mushrooms. By analogy, if you wave at a neighbor who happens to be male, you could die. She illustrated this post with a photo of wood carved in the shape of mushrooms. In another post, RBM invoked Ted Bundy. Men could rape you, kill you, and desecrate your corpse, as did Ted Bundy.

 

Interspersed with these posts are ads for RBM's goods and services, that is, ads for homemade wooden toys and coaching in "online creative workshops."

 

"I wish we were friends because I think you are amazing and I truly admire everything about this. F--- the patriarchy!" read one typical enthusiastic reply.

 

"I'm a woman and you do not speak for me," I said. "Your victim stance in unwarranted," I said. "You bash all men," I said.

 

In response, my polite post was met with feminist respect and sisterhood. That was a joke.

 

A series of posts unleashed holy hell. "Danusha is a Trump-loving racist troll," one posted. I had not mentioned either Trump or race. No matter; "racist" and "Trump-lover" are the go-to insults of the Woke. Several ordered me to "Shut up." One poster compared men to venomous snakes. "I don't know of a single woman who has never been victimized by the patriarchy," said another.  

 

When I was young and stupid, I hitchhiked, alone, coast to coast, in the United States. I also traveled, alone, in Africa, Asia, and Europe. I had some ugly encounters: threats, manhandling, and coming close to death a couple of times. But the more common experience was very different.

 

An eighteen-wheeler driver, a black man, pulled a handgun on me. He said, "See this? It's a gun. It's loaded. A lot of truckers travel with loaded guns. You are alone with me in this truck cab. I could hurt you, dump your body, no one would ever know. You shouldn't be hitchhiking. Please stop." And he put the gun away, and drove me to my destination.

 

A truck caravan of Muslim Arab smugglers, who spoke no English, drove me hundreds of miles at night through uninhabited rain forest, across an African country under siege. I was alone. They could have done anything. Not a single one laid a finger on me, or even looked at me in a disconcerting way.

 

I fell asleep on top of a strange man on a night train in Burma. I woke up and felt utterly embarrassed. The man was gracious. I had hundreds of dollars in my money belt. He could have done anything. He was just … Nice. Polite.

 

A rickshaw driver in Agra, India, where I had gone to see the Taj Mahal, refused to accept any payment, in spite of my every attempt to pay him. He told me I was different from other tourists and he enjoyed talking to me. This young man's limbs were almost as thin as the spokes on the rickshaw's wheels. Rickshaw drivers in Agra make between one and three dollars a day. 

 

Given my vulnerability, it astounds me that so many men, at so many levels of society, on four continents, exercised the same quality: chivalry. Men – "complete strangers to me" – were protective. Completely strange men bought me food. Completely strange men carried my bags. Completely strange men haggled with ticket salesmen on my behalf. Completely strange men went out of their way to smooth the path of an unknown woman they knew they'd never see again.

 

RBM says that she thought that the old guy on the porch might be calling out to her to warn her about a bear. Six years ago, I was walking along a wooded road. My sister had died the day before. Antoinette had given me earrings in the shape of a bear, and I was wearing them. Suddenly, a black bear appeared. The bear walked beside me, at my speed, for quite a while. I took it as a sign, but I was also aware that just seven months earlier, a Rutgers student had been killed by a bear not far from where I was hiking. A monster pick-up truck, with huge tires and shiny gear, pulled up beside me. The driver was "a complete stranger to me."

 

"There's a bear over there. Do you want a ride?"

 

"Yes, please," I said, and I got into his very macho truck.

 

He owed me nothing. He gave me something, anyway. Niceness. Politeness. Chivalry.

 

About the elderly neighbor who waved to her, RBM asked, "If he's lonely, is it up to me to entertain him? If he's sad, is it on me to make him happy?"

 

RBM runs. I walk. I am frequently stopped. Women and men pull their cars over and say, "I've been watching you for years. How many miles a day do you walk? Is it a religious vow? Are you trying to lose weight, or do you just enjoy it?"

 

No, I don't want to provide personal information to strangers, but I also want to be nice and polite. After I respond, as often as not, the person who has pulled over says, "You inspire me. I see you walking in every weather and it makes me want to exercise. Thank you." Without my realizing it, I inspired these folk, and their telling me that inspires me.

 

Twenty years ago, I used to pass a man I called "The Old Gardener." He was a "lonely old guy" who tended a garden in the inhospitable terrain along the railroad track I used to follow to campus. "That's a beautiful garden you've got there," I once said. "That's a beautiful body you've got there," he replied. I was taken aback. We never spoke again. But then, one spring, his sprouting onions went untended. The Old Gardener had been gathered in the ultimate harvest. I cried. This "complete stranger's" tenacity had inspired me.

 

RBM was "furious" because "a lonely old guy" stole from her the peace she gets from running alone. I understand. At Garret Mountain, one of my favorite spots to walk, where I seek the peace that comes from not talking to anyone, I repeatedly encountered a "lonely old guy." He would talk to me as if we knew each other, and I felt awkward. He didn't hear well, and he seemed to forget some things he said just after saying them. I felt obligated to be nice and polite. But it was challenging, and, I have to admit, some days I altered my route to avoid him.

 

One day this "lonely old guy" mentioned walking the entirety of the Appalachian Trail.

 

Oh my gosh, I thought. Oh my gosh.

 

When I was 14 years old, I was becoming a serious birder. I had gone to a hawk watch, that is, a ridge where birders gather to observe migrating raptors. There was a local celebrity present that day. This strapping specimen could pick out and identify raptors hundreds of feet in the air, raptors I could barely see. I knew of this man because articles about his exploits appeared in the local paper. He was a combat veteran, with a trim, muscular build. High school friends tell me that back in the day, I talked a lot about how this man had inspired me in my bird watching and in my urge to travel the world. In all the decades since, whenever I see a raptor high overhead that I am trying to identify, I think of those inspirational moments at the hawk watch. Yes, this man, my childhood hero, had walked the entire Appalachia Trail.

 

Now it was 2020, and I suddenly realized that the "lonely old guy" I kept running into was that very man who had once inspired me so much with his knowledge, his daring, and his physical fitness. Life had handed me a golden opportunity to express my gratitude. All I had to do was just spend a few moments, a few days a week, talking to him about birds and hiking. I had done so, but grudgingly. I felt ashamed.

 

Foot travelers need something a lot more primal than inspiration: a toilet. I live in a poor and dangerous city. Rather than chain stores, I pass tiny mom-and-pops operating on a shoestring and sorely pressed by homeless men and heroin addicts. Even so, no espresso bar of elderly Italians clinging to the old neighborhood, no newly opened shop staffed by one Muslim woman in a hijab, has ever refused me the use of the restroom. What do these "complete strangers" owe me? Nothing. Their niceness and politeness are the kind that helps hold society together, and keeps dog-eat-dog chaos at bay.

 

To redeem my suffering coupon to the Woke banquet, I must declare that men oppress me. But the idea that men are like mushrooms, and if you wave at an old man sitting on a porch you might be raped and dismembered, is not accurate. I know because I eat wild mushrooms. An intelligent, prepared woodswoman can distinguish between different species, and dine with confidence. Destroying angels, that is Amanita bisporigera, are deadly poisonous. All Calvatia gigantea, or giant puffballs, are edible when young.

 

And therein lies the problem for Woke. Preparing girls for the world requires stating truths that are anathema. These taboo truths include the following. Women and men are different. Women and men must comport themselves differently. Women need to learn to differentiate between bad men and decent men. Going to a frat party where there will be heavy drinking entails risk. Sexual continence offers benefits. Committed marriage to a loving partner offers satisfactions.

 

To the Woke, a man can be a woman and a woman can be a man. Teaching different behaviors to girls and to boys is sexist. Training young women to navigate the world cautiously is "victim blaming." Instead, all men must be demonized and emasculated.

 

RBM concluded her post, "Women do not exist to please men." That is objectively false. Women do exist to please men, and men exist to please women. The first time God uses the words "not good" to describe something He created, He uses it to describe human isolation. "It is not good for man to be alone." As feminist theologian Phyllis Trible has pointed out, until the creation of Eve, Adam is merely a "sexless earth creature" who takes on his full identity only after Eve's appearance defines him as a man.

 

You're an atheist? Great. Women are the only mammals to have permanent breasts. Other mammals' teats recede when they are not nursing young. Evolutionary biologists theorize – do we really need scientists to tell us this? – that women have breasts exactly in order to attract men. Evolution has fashioned men, similarly, to please women. Men's deep voices, for example, are the result of women's choices in mates, argues one scientist. In countless ways, our bodies and our behavior are designed exactly to please the opposite sex. Woke rebels against God and Darwin.

 

And how evolution – or God – has made women is not just about sexual attraction. It's about the maintenance of human society and civilization. In moments of stress, where men practice "fight or flight," women practice "tend or befriend." Of about 6,500 species of mammals, menopause is unique only to humans and a handful of aquatic mammals. The "grandmother hypothesis" proposes that post-menopausal women's penchant for nurturing even children not their own has helped advance human civilization. For most women – no, not all but yes for most – strengths will lie in something like niceness and politeness. Evolution has fashioned us this way, and our being fashioned this way serves the wider human society from which we benefit. 

 

Men's greater aggression is also harnessed to serve the wider society. "Women do not exist to please men." Next time there is a draft, some young man should say, "I do not exist to fight and possibly die to defend the freedom of a woman who is a complete stranger."

 

Here's a thought experiment. RBM posts that "a lonely BLACK guy" waved to her, and she interpreted the lonely black guy's wave as a "violation" that made her "furious." Yeah, we all know that that post would have been received far differently. RBM is an actress performing the Woke script of demonizing white men.

 

At Yale, Jerelyn Luther pretended to be oppressed, when in fact she had the power to humiliate a Yale professor and contribute to getting another fired. Dorothy Brown insists that there is no meritocracy in America, and that black people are economically doomed, even as she occupies an endowed chair and publishes well-reviewed, bestselling books. Woke is just so much dinner theater.

 

Similarly, the "Smash the patriarchy!" posts on RBM's page are performance art. I clicked on the names of RBM's fans who attacked me. Every single one I clicked on was a pretty blonde, natural or from the bottle. Every single one depicted herself living a traditional bourgeois life, pursuing stereotypical feminine pursuits. There's nothing wrong with that, but this is hardly a crack team of Ninja Amazons sacrificing all to smash the patriarchy. Rather, these women are participants in it. They ganged up on me as a "racist Trump supporter." In another era, these same blondes would be mocking me because my poodle skirt was not poofy enough. Woke is another fad; the Woke another vicious clique rejecting thought and enforcing uniformity.

 

The woman who told me to "Shut up" is a pretty blonde, with a new baby, a nice house in the Midwest, and a large husband who wears flannel shirts. Another pretty blonde posted a photo of a youthful ballerina, possibly her daughter. Teach your daughter to be an anorexic dying swan. That will smash the patriarchy! Another pretty blonde posted an ad for "sensuous and supportive" lingerie underneath a recipe for chicken mushroom casserole. So, after a tough day of breaking the back of the patriarchy on Facebook, you cook up a casserole that is "always a hit at parties and church potlucks!" "My husband said it was definitely a keeper to make it again!"  

 

One of the patriarchy-smashers who bitched at me (yes that unpleasant word is necessary and exact) had a unique, aristocratic, multi-syllable, hyphenated last name. I googled it. It appears that the woman letting me know I am not Woke is related to a family of Prussian war heroes, stretching back a hundred years, right up to World War II, and including a Nazi Wehrmacht officer who served on the Eastern Front. My father's family were Polish peasants. Her ancestors colonized, oppressed, and massacred my ancestors. Now that's peak Woke.  

 

I don't strive for niceness and politeness because I've never been victimized, any more than Black Conservatives like Shelby Steele have never suffered the scourge of white racism. No one has ever lived in a perfect world.

 

When appropriate, I can tell my rape story (it didn't happen while I was hitchhiking, btw). I can tell of the bosses who sexually harassed me. Two of them were hardcore leftists who made my work life miserable while I was working in hard-left institutions. I choose not to dwell on these events.

 

I make this choice because of my religion, which tells me to love. It tells me how: "Love … is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." "Vengeance is mine says the Lord." Both Jews and Christians cite this verse. The concept of Heaven and Hell assures me that those unrepentant folk who hurt me will get their comeuppance. I don't have to "even the score." My religion tells me that God loves me in my humble state. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled." Someday, I will know peace in place of any wounds. My religion tells me that God dwells within, and God loves, even the people who hurt me. Proverbs 15:1 teaches, "A soft word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." I have seen, in real life, people of faith turn a belligerent, even threatening person into one amenable to reason. And they have done it with "soft words." In short, persons informed by the Judeo-Christian tradition bring a attitude to citizenship that can facilitate the smooth functioning of society.

 

Not just the Judeo-Christian tradition advises us against keeping a little black book listing the names of those who hurt us. Dwelling on the negative and presenting oneself as a victim damages the psyche, say psychologists. "Repeating in your mind negative experiences in the past, replaying conversations that you had, dwelling on the 'injuries' and 'injustices' that you have suffered" makes one "more likely to get depressed and stay depressed," according to Susan Nolen-Hoeksema at Yale University.

 

On April 5, RBM posted that "nothing makes sense anymore." "Some people choose to only hear the lovely bits" of song lyrics. She hears, she says, lyrics that feel like "a punch to the gut." "There was also a time when I was quite pleasant." But now "I'm walking around looking as though I'm always smelling a bad smell." She seeks, she says, something that "can lift my spirits and improve my mood."

 

Woke demands constantly scanning for "microaggressions." Woke prods believers to regard everyone they meet with the cold, condemning eye of a Stasi agent. Woke consigns entire populations to the irredeemable. Woke demonizes the courtesy that holds society together. Woke rewards volcanic eruptions of unhinged rage. Woke incentivizes thinking of oneself as a suffering victim who must lash out. Woke destroys the health and careers of its victims and the psyche of its practitioners. Woke will drive individuals and society mad.

 

Danusha Goska is the author of God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery

At Front Page Magazine here