from the introduction to Woke Racism by John McWhorter

I write this viscerally driven by the fact that the ideology in question is one under which white people calling themselves our saviors make black people look like the dumbest, weakest, most self-indulgent human beings in the history of our species, and teach black people to revel in that status and cherish it as making us special. I am especially dismayed at the idea of this indoctrination infecting my daughters’ sense of self. I can’t always be with them, and this anti-humanist ideology may seep into their school curriculum. I shudder at the thought: teachers with eyes shining at the prospect of showing their antiracism by filling my daughters’ heads with performance art instructing them that they are poster children rather than individuals. Ta-Nehisi Coates, in Between the World and Me, wanted to teach his son that America is set against him; I want to teach my kids the reality of their lives in the twenty-first, rather than the early to mid-twentieth, century. Lord forbid my daughters internalize a pathetic—yes, absolutely pathetic in all of the resonances of that word—sense that what makes them interesting is what other people think of them, or don’t.

McWhorter, John. Woke Racism (p. xiv). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.


Being Black is part of their identity because of their minority status and history in a way that being White offers no comparison.  There is nothing to forge a cohesive identity like a common threat, but the problem with the infatuation with race and identity is that it is dehumanizing because it ignores all other other qualities of an individual and it subverts the incredible progress causing us to forego study of how we moved from Jim Crow to a Black president within a generation.

We are all the same because we are all different. Condoleeza Rice summarized it brilliantly, “Black people are not perpetual victims and White people are not perpetually guilty”.