Woke and Wokeness | New NY 23rd

“Woke” has quickly become the most ubiquitous weapon word in American politics. Republicans use the term as a pejorative term to describe Democratic or progressive policies in general. Increasingly, everything Republicans don’t like gets described as woke, and wokeness has become the scapegoat for any bad news, including the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.Gil Duran and George Lakoff | FrameLab

Gil Duran and George Lakoff published two articles on woke in politics: Part 1, Get Woke about Woke, and Part 2, Redpilled, QAnon, Anti-Vaccine: Conservative versions of ‘woke’.

In Part 1, the authors write:

In this edition of the FrameLab newsletter, we examine how the Republicans have used woke — a term stolen from African American vernacular — to control the political discourse. Woke provides a great example of how the framing wars usually play out in American politics. Republicans frame an issue, choosing specific words or language. Then everyone else falls into the trap by accepting the frame without giving much thought to the underlying strategy. 

They note:

So, the war on woke is simply a continuation of the long conflict between the two main moral systems in American politics: strict father (conservative) morality vs. nurturant (progressive) morality.

In Part 2, we read:

While Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are busy decrying “woke” politics (and labeling all Democratic policies as woke), they are also busily embracing their own versions of woke. The Republican Party fully embraces radical politics — as long as those radical politics reflect its own moral beliefs.

Part 2 concludes:

Woke, with its vague smear of all Democratic policies (in the tradition of other conservative attack terms like communist, socialist, globalist, cosmopolitan and politically correct) should be avoided anyone who does not plan to vote for DeSantis or Trump in 2024.

Reframe to focus on the real threat: Republican extremism and radicalism. The behaviors of certain elements on the progressive side often deserve critique. Their tactics, however, cannot be equated to the rising attitude of violence on the conservative side.

The fact that we see so much focus on wokeness is a testament to the Republicans’ ability to frame the debate. Through the creative appropriation of language and constant repetition, they excel at getting their message out and imposing their moral worldview on everyone else.

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