Loek Jurgen Atema
28 January 2021
(This is a bit rough in language. I’m a bit pissed off. Sorry.)
Dear Liberal & Progressive Friends,
What the fk do you think we just won? America? No. We won nothing. We inherited the most divided period of time in our history save for full out revolution – and that seems very close. We inherited an economy that is teetering on 1920’s level of collapse. We inherited an electorate in which 40% believe “The Hand Maiden’s Tale” is a good start. We inherited democracy in full collapse. We won nothing; #45 lost. That’s a huge difference. The next fascist is not likely to be a mentally ill freak-show. If we don’t wake the fk up and put our efforts in the right places, the next one will have the skills to actually destroy democracy; and that person is being groomed today.
I am at my fking wits end with this g.d. wokeness. You want to know why we can’t WIN elections even though we represent more than half the country? Because we sound like a bunch of self-righteous whiney dicks. Because we pick at scabs and ignore the mortal wounds. Because we fight the stupid battles thinking our footing is strong while our arrogance erodes its base. Let me give you all a bit of advice. If someone is kind at heart and decent – fk their politics; it doesn’t define them. Sit down and have a beer with them; make common cause with them. And when they speak ‘inelegantly’ don’t ‘educate’ their language on LGBTQ, white male privilege, misogyny or any of our ‘issues’. Shut up and listen. Listen not to change minds but to truly hear them. Be OK with being uncomfortable. Get off your woke pedestal and put your feet in their shoes just for a fking second. But some of us choose not to do that. We look for holes in their language, in their actions, and jump down their throats. We fail to discern the difference between the inherent makeup of the individual and the culture they grew up in. Good people say and do stupid sht. They are still good people. I wrestle with my own biases, with trying to recall what is the difference between trans/queer/gay; between sexual identity, sexual orientation and gender identity; is ‘bitch’ ok or not? ‘All black guys look alike’ is not far from my truth; and that is super uncomfortable for me to say out loud. Yet those of you who know me would not identify me as being a racist or a misogynist. I’m not a sht head; but the arc of my life put a lot of sht in my head I have to wrestle with. That is my journey and unless I invited you in, stay the fk out of my lane. That’s where most of America is living.
But we don’t give folks that space; the space to be both decent and wrong. So what motivation would they have to engage with us at all?
Do you honestly think we can engage most of America with our wokeism; with our hyper-intellectual liberalism? They are not going to listen. Worse, we’re going to push them into the very darkest places in our country. Into the arms of our destruction. Our intelligence is our ignorance.
America has come a long way in making a more perfect union. But this wokeism is cutting the wedges. Wedges that fascism will use to cleave decent folks away from us. I kid you not, the American experiment is what made all this progress possible. If we don’t stop being arrogant intellectual aholes we are going to lose all the structures that make any progressive agenda possible. Yes, of course there are just plain fk-wads out there. Folks who intentionally use cruel words, do horrid deeds, with full knowledge of the harm they do; and honestly, fck them. But most Americans are not that. They are like me, trying to understand a rapidly changing world in a culture that has not caught up. It is culture that changes most peoples language and that is a slow process not helped by us smacking them upside the head with our intellectual blather. You want to do some good, my liberal/progressive friends? Find out what makes folks not like you scared. Listen with your full self and keep your mouth shut. Then show them you actually care about issues that impact them, that you are actually a decent person not trying to change their minds. Talk about what makes you scared – share your personal story honestly; even the ugly bits. Acknowledge your own sins and “isms”, ‘cause we’ve all got them. Stop thinking you own some sort of righteous truth that they should submit to. This is not the time for intellectual masturbation. We are at war with authoritarianism and fascism. Wokeism is a wedge they will use to make us look like righteous narrow-minded aholes – and they wont be far from the truth. We cannot succeed that way. Before you speak, know your audience. Otherwise, shut the fck up with the wokeism and listen. That is how we will learn. How we will keep ourselves from devolving into stupid.
(I am responding threads of wokeism on my social media feed. I was not personally attacked.)
Loek Jurgen Atema