Who's Behind Listverse?
Jamie founded Listverse due to an insatiable desire to share fascinating, obscure, and bizarre facts. He has been a guest speaker on numerous national radio and television stations and is a five time published author.More About Us
Top 10 Cases Of Wokeness Run Amok
Recently, renowned US Democratic Party strategist James Carville decided that, so far as Wokeness is concerned, silence is violence: “Wokeness is a problem and everyone knows it,” the mastermind behind Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential election said. “It’s hard to talk to anybody today… who doesn’t say this. But they don’t want to say it out loud.”
So let’s do that. Here are ten examples of Wokeness run amok. Please check your privilege before reading.
10 Whites Need Not Apply: Racist Mayor Lori Lightfoot
“[Chicago is] a city that has almost three-quarters people of color,” Chicago Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. “I believe that the City Hall press corps needs to reflect the diversity of our city.”
Fair enough. A mayoral press corps in major cities like Chicago is often a stepping stone to higher profile gigs. More diversity at experience-building lower-level positions means more diversity at the upper echelons of journalism in ensuing years.
But what Lightfoot said next exemplified one of Wokeness’ major problems: it often blows past reasonable social justice reform into flat-out exclusionist policies. Lightfoot stated that she would only give one-on-one interviews to journalists of color.
So basically, Lightfoot wants to help journalists of color get more seats at the table… by removing the white reporters from the table entirely. It’s mind-boggling how a major city mayor doesn’t understand that officially discriminating against someone based on skin color is not only un-American (and, considering her role as a government employee, arguably illegal), but is also the textbook definition of racism.
Fortunately, many journalists of color saw this for the overreach it was. “I am a Latino reporter whose interview request was granted,” tweeted Chicago Tribune City Hall reporter Gregory Pratt. “However, I asked the mayor’s office to lift its condition on others and when they said no, we respectfully canceled.”
Pratt continued: “Politicians don’t get to choose who covers them.” Lightfoot has since been sued by a white reporter.
9 Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Transgender vs. Women Athletes
Let’s start this entry with a clear statement: discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation is not only amoral but wholly illogical. Someone’s choice of partners or their gender should have zero bearing on professional aspirations, civil liberties or right to pursue happy, fulfilling lives. In the eyes of the law, every person should be considered completely equal.
But sometimes ideals don’t fit neatly into real life. And one place where that comes into play is sports.
It is a simple biological fact that men are, typically, stronger, taller and faster than women. There’s a reason school and professional sports are segregated by sex: because, at their respective peak physical potentials, men are more athletic than women. That isn’t sexist; it’s biology.
When gender lines are blurred, though, social justice and science can be incompatible. If a female “transitions” to a male and plays men’s sports, so be it – because, athletically speaking, that person is punching above his weight class.
The opposite, however, presents a competitive imbalance to THE REST OF THE COMPETITION, and is therefore highly problematic. When someone born male competes in women’s sports, the result is patently unfair to female athletes. That’s just common sense, folks.
So why the uproar over government officials stating so? For example, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is taking heat for a bill that says transgender females (meaning males who either transitioned to, or simply “identify” with, being female) cannot compete in women’s or girl’s school sports. Critics are even calling it “hate-driven”.
Again, Woke overreach. Claiming that equality literally entails creating an uneven playing field is nonsensical and counterproductive toward equality for all under the law.
8 Take My Wine… Please.
Stealing is wrong, right? But at Oberlin College in Ohio, even a straightforward act like theft takes a backseat to historical racial injustice.
In November 2016, a Black student entered a popular local bakery named Gibson’s – the sort of family-owned, college town small business whose lifeblood is the local university. Soon, the bakery owner and his son, who are white, noticed the student had two bottles of wine under his shirt. The son chased him outside, where he got into an altercation with two other Black students. The police arrested all three students, who later pleaded guilty to misdemeanors.
Nope. Oberlin students went on a Woke rampage. They blasted the bakery for “a history of racial profiling and racial discrimination,” engaged in mass protests outside the bakery, and launched a boycott against a family that had done business amiably with the college for decades. Zealous administrators enabled this misplaced rage by buying pizza and winter clothes for protesters spending long hours chanting anti-racism speech at a small business owner who dared to disallow theft.
“It had taken generations to build this reputation for us,” said bakery owner David Gibson. “And in just one day, we lost it.” Overnight, Gibson’s Bakery’s revenue dropped 50% for the unforgivable act of confronting a shoplifter.
Luckily, this story has a semi-happy ending. As reported by CBS News, Gibson sued the college for defamation and won a settlement exceeding $30 million.
7 Cop Out
And the award for Worst Slogan in the History of American Politics goes to…
… Defund the Police (polite applause, orchestra music).
There’s a lot to unpack here. First, police officers in the US need to seriously stop shooting and killing people – and people of color in particular. Thankfully, the most egregious recent example of police brutality, former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, was convicted of murder for the disgusting killing of George Floyd. Good riddance.
Do we need police reform? Yup. But we also need police, period.
Regardless, the Wokerati decided that a widespread effort to deprive police departments of sufficient resources was the way to go. After all, they were speaking on behalf of historically oppressed minoriti…
… oh wait, only 19% of Black Americans want less police presence.
Instead of helping Democrats – the party most likely to implement significant law enforcement reforms – Defund the Police De-won the 2020 election. House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a highly influential Black legislator whose endorsement of Joe Biden during the primaries propelled him to the nomination, says the stupid slogan cost the party House and Senate seats. Bad ideas are bad politics, and Defund the Police exemplified that.
Typical of Wokeness run amok, Defund the Police was a phrase echoed by economically comfortable, largely white latte liberals who presumed to speak for a key segment of their political coalition.
6 Insane Individualism: The Enabling of Demi Lovato
Author’s note: This one hits home. As an alcoholic with nearly a decade of sobriety, I know full well that unilaterally labeling someone an alcoholic or drug addict typically isn’t justified. As far as addiction goes, normally the only person I can slap that tag on with 100% certainty is myself.
But there are exceptions. When someone’s obvious self-denial has outsized potential to adversely push others down a dangerous, delusional path, speaking up is not only justified but responsible. And Demi Lovato is Exhibit A.
By her own admission, the pop star has struggled mightily with hard drugs. In fact, despite being just 28 years old, she’s had three strokes, a heart attack and has nearly perished several times during relapses. But flying in the face of experiential evidence, Lovato still drinks and smokes pot. Officially, the term is “California sober,” a phrase that makes one wonder whether California vegans eat steak regularly.
If you think that’s ridiculous… well, consider yourself un-Woke. High on You-Do-Youism, liberal media outlets like Salon.com were quick to justify Lovato’s choices, despite that a) her personal history strongly suggests that she shouldn’t be imbibing inebriating substances, and b) Lovato’s status as a pop star means her dumb decisions can influence countless fans – mostly young, impressionable ones.
Lovato’s kid-glove treatment exemplifies the Woke credo of individualism uber alles – even at the expense of both other people and common sense.
5 Bye Bye Bye to Reason: Justin Timberlake’s Pathetic Apology
In 2016, Jesse Williams of TV’s Grey’s Anatomy won a humanitarian award from Black Entertainment Television. During his acceptance speech, he discussed the usurpation of Black culture by so-called opportunists: “Whiteness uses and abuses us,” Williams said, “burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil.”
On Twitter, Justin Timberlake voiced his admiration for the speech…
… and was then bombarded with accusations of cultural appropriation for his success as an R&B/pop singer, which critics deemed a traditional Black music genre.
Instead of ignoring the Twitterati, Timberlake caved to the purity police: “I apologize to anyone that felt I was out of turn,” he tweeted. “I have nothing but LOVE FOR YOU AND ALL OF US.”
While it’s undeniable that certain aspects of Black culture have been hijacked by white entertainers – all-white jazz bands, 1950s crooners stealing credit for Black-written songs, etc. – by 2016 Justin Timberlake had performed alongside some of the day’s most prominent Black artists, including Janet Jackson and Jay-Z.
That should have spoken for itself – but instead, Timberlake cowed before the social media mob. Treating Woke trolls like anything but the miniscule minority they are makes celebrities like Timberlake look desperate and inauthentic.
4 Emotional Support Peacock…
… are three words that don’t belong in the same sentence, let alone on a plane.
You can tell a lot about a society by the type of things they allow on commercial airliners. Specifically, you can tell how much it values individual comfort over the wellbeing of fellow citizens.
And until quite recently, we lived in a society that allowed anxious passengers to board cramped, crowded airplanes with exotic, intimidating and even dangerous animals. Apparently one passenger’s mental health has the right to threaten everyone else’s physical health.
Monkeys, finches, ducks… one fragile fool even tried to get a miniature horse onto an airplane. Another tried to bring not one but SEVEN snakes on board. In Australia, someone went full-stereotype with an emotional support kangaroo. Crikey.
The logic that leads to peacocks on planes (by the way, peacocks are exceptionally aggressive animals and it’s amazing many zoos let them wander around freely) is classic slippery slope Wokeness. Start with a commonly accepted support animal – a well-behaved dog – and apply selfish, ultra-individualist thinking to it that places personal preference over community.
That’s how we get to “But I love lobsters more!” – and yes, someone brought an oh-so-cuddly crustacean aboard a plane, too.
3 Not Getting the Part
When “The Vagina Monologues” debuted off-Broadway in 1996, it was deemed a revelation in feminist theater. Written by Eve Ensler, the show explores such hot-button topics as nonconsensual sexual experiences, body image, genital mutilation, vaginal care, menstruation and even sex work through the eyes of women of varying ages, races and sexualities.
The show was so influential that cable giant HBO produced a television version. In 1998, Ensler used proceeds to co-launch V-Day, a non-profit movement that has since raised over $100 million for groups working to end violence against women.
Pretty uplifting stuff, right? Everything was going swimmingly for TVM… until one brave college theater department decided that it was – wait for it – offensive to “women without vaginas.”
That’s right. The all-women Mount Holyoke College cancelled its production because it was unfair to certain transgender people. “At its core,” the school stated, “the show offers an extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman.” One dissenting student raged against the decision, angered that “female-validating talk about vaginas is now forbidden.”
It is unclear whether Mount Holyoke’s playhouse also will be removing its lighting equipment, since not everyone has eyesight, either. Regardless, hopefully when the “Anus Monologues” (Analogues?) come to Mount Holyoke, it will enjoy a warmer reception because, much like opinions, every Uber-Woke person certainly has one of those.
2 Classic Nonsense
For centuries, it’s been common knowledge that students concentrating on the Classics – the great literary works of ancient Rome and Greece – should concurrently study Latin, Greek, or both. Among other advantages, reading Classic literature in its native tongue helps mitigate misinterpretations, and avoids arbitrary bias that can come from reading secondhand translations.
But alas, even Socrates and Plato can’t escape the campus inclusivity police. In May, ivy leaguer Princeton University officially removed Latin and Greek language requirements for Classics Studies majors. One alumnus likened the move to an Engineering major not taking math or physics courses.
Princeton’s Classics Department said the decision is part of efforts to enhance inclusiveness and equity in the curriculum. In the same statement, it also challenged the conventionally accepted exceptionalism of ancient Greece and Rome:
“Once devoted to the appreciation of Greece and Rome as exemplary cultures… classicists now study a broad range of synchronic and diachronic relationships and pay close attention to exclusions,” they explained.
If that sounds like a scholarly way of calling Greeks and Romans the “Karens” of their eras… well, that’s because it is. Per the statement, departmental changes also will take into account how Greek and Roman cultures “have been instrumentalized, and have been complicit, in various forms of exclusion, including slavery, segregation, white supremacy, Manifest Destiny, and cultural genocide.”
I mean really… can’t a brother quote Cicero or Ovid anymore without the haters hatin’?
1 A Fossil Fuel Facepalm
When conservatives try to co-opt the dishonest or euphemistic language of the left, the result can be an eyeroll-inducing embarrassment.
In April, a Republican Louisiana state representative named Danny McCormick decided he’d had about enough of green energy making inroads at the expense of more patriotically polluting oil and gas… so he introduced a bill to make Louisiana a “Fossil Fuel Sanctuary State.”
In the US, a “sanctuary state” (or city) is one that doesn’t make concerted efforts to expose, prosecute or deport illegal aliens. Such self-proclaimed zones are frequently condemned by conservatives, who often threaten to withhold local funding to encourage stricter stances concerning illegal immigrants.
McCormick – who literally lives in a town called Oil City – introduced the bill to prevent enforcement of any federal law or regulation that could harm the oil and gas industries. Defying both settled science and plain-as-day conflicts of interest, the state legislator has been in the oil and gas industry for more than four decades, and proposed the measure to push back on restrictions enacted by President Joe Biden to address this itty-bitty problem called catastrophic climate change.
Among other actions, Biden has suspended new oil and gas leases on federal land and water, including in the Gulf of Mexico, which Louisiana borders. McCormick’s attempt at providing “sanctuary” to one of the world’s most lucrative industries drew mockery from both sides of the political aisle, and was withdrawn without a vote.