Flat White

What’s woke this week?

4 September 2020

3:52 PM

4 September 2020

3:52 PM

Wokus pocus! The social justice conjurers of critical race theory and inclusiveness were staging some impressive illusions last week. With a wave of their wands looting, rioting and setting fires became ‘peaceful protests’, and not only that, but totally defensible. Warning people about the dangers of obesity, already magically transformed into ‘fat-phobia’, was then ‘proven’ to be ‘racist’ before our very eyes. And a British company pulled a virtue-signalling train out of its high-handed hat with surprising results. Ladies and gentlemen, this week’s stories from the world of woke.   

Refuting looting 

A CNN correspondent last week reported live from the Kenosha riots standing in front of a large fire lit by protesters. The banner that ran under this image read, “FIERY BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTS AFTER POLICE SHOOTING.” The irony was not lost on some viewers and commentators who took to Twitter with some mocking first-class memes 

In the aftermath of this NPR conducted an interview with the author of ‘In Defense of Looting’, one Vicky Osterweil. Just for context Vicky, at the time of writing the book was Willie OsterweilOsterweil’s wusband’ Sophie Lewis is the ‘feminist thinker’ who earlier this year published ‘Full Surrogacy Now’, a treatise on abolishing the family. Both of them are ‘radicals’ from privileged middle-class backgrounds. So you get the driftHere’s Osterweil in full offwiththefairies flight: 

It attacks the idea of property, and it attacks the idea that in order for someone to have a roof over their head or have a meal ticket, they have to work for a boss, in order to buy things that people just like them somewhere else in the world had to make under the same conditions. It points to the way in which that’s unjust. And the reason that the world is organized that way, obviously, is for the profit of the people who own the stores and the factories. So you get to the heart of that property relation, and demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free.  

The socialist utopia: free stuff for everyone. Oh, goodie! 

A business being attacked in the community is ultimately about attacking like modes of oppression that exist in the community.

But in terms of potential crimes that people can commit against the state, it’s basically nonviolent. You’re mass shoplifting. Most stores are insured; it’s just hurting insurance companies on some level. It’s just money. It’s just property. It’s not actually hurting any people.   

Tell that to the innocent owners of destroyed businesses and a town left to pick up the pieces from fiery but largely peaceful protests  

You say fat-shaming, I say black-shaming

CBSN Originals last week aired a ‘documentary’ about the racial origins of fat-shaming. It started out featuring a range of ‘body positivity’ activists with the usual arguments for loving the skin you’re in, alongside medical and fitness professionals pointing out the dangers of obesity: diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and worse outcomes from COVID infection. But things got way more interesting with the introduction of a black sociology professor.  


Dr Sabrina Strings from the University of California, Irvine, has researched the fear of fatness due to the stigmatization of weight in the Western world. And her findings are fairly predictable. White people, specifically racist Christian white people, are to blame. Who would have ever thought otherwise? 

Here are some bald assertions dressed up as sociology scholarship: 

What they wanted to do was show that they were both morally upright and racially proper, in the way in which they ate and how they maintained their figures,” said Strings. “And so, they were very clear that to be of the elite race and to be a Christian peoples means that you need to show what they would call temperance in the face of food — or restraint is the way we might think of today — because if you did not show temperance, that was evidence that you were one of the savages, and also, that you were un-Christian.

We cannot deny the fact that fat-phobia is rooted in anti-Blackness. That’s simply an historical reality,” she said. “Today, when people talk about it, they often claim that they don’t intend to be anti-Black … they don’t intend all of these negative associations, and yet they exist already, so whenever people start trafficking in fat-phobia, they are inherently picking up on these historical forms of oppression.

Health risks, be damned. It’s all about oppression, just like everything else. 

Pride on the line

You’d think the mission of a train operator was pretty simple: getting passengers safely and efficiently from one destination to another. But this is 2020 so that is clearly not going to cut it 

Not content with just their mission statement claptrap like ‘reimagining railways for a new generation’ last week the UK’s Avanti West Coast took ‘Pride’ for a ridethey launched a new train decorated in the colours of the Progress flag and, for its maiden voyage, staffed by LGBTQ+ crew. How brave. 

Their website helpfully explains the ‘Progress’ flag because you’re just not trying if you can’t find a way to join the dots between racism and homophobia et al: 

The “Progress” variation adds a chevron along the hoist that features black, brown, light blue, pink, and white stripes to bring those communities (marginalised people of colour, trans individuals, and those living with HIV/AIDS and those who have been lost) to the forefront.  This flag has formed the basis of our visual identity.    

If that’s not vacuous virtue-signalling then I don’t know what is. 

And it seems that many within the LGBTQ+ agree. Reaction was swift (it’s Twitter after all) and not quite what their PR panjandrum was expecting, I’m sure. Comments were generally in the vein of : 

Most gay people cringe at this nonsense… could you imagine if it was a white only crew? Please stop the identity politics! #Trains #AllTrainsMatter.

and :

They’re treating us as if we’re freaks that need everyone to throw rainbows at us and tell us how special we are just to get a bloody train.

Maybe that’s because they’ve been forcing their ‘special’ status on the rest of us for a while now. Just saying. But I digress. I think that in a backroom somewhere someone has probably quietly shelved drawings for BLM and Extinction Rebellion iterations.  

I just know you’ll want to enter the competition to name the trainSuggestions, anyone? 

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.


Show comments
Close