Unpacking Woke Extremism and Understanding its Origins

English, like any other actively used language, is always evolving. Words which were once used regularly are constantly being relegated to history books, and this cycle shall continue as long societies evolve. The term “woke” is no exception. Its origins are rooted in African-American Vernacular English, meaning to stay “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination”. It came into prominence in the 1930s, when millions of people were subject to persecution and violence simply because of the color of their skin, but was first used by Jamaican social activist Marcus Garvey in 1923.

One hundred years on and the term has morphed into something which practically contradicts its original meaning. In the 21st century, “woke” has been adopted by extremist groups intent on enforcing their beliefs on others by any means necessary. Extremist views typically found in the margins of society, given that they are “extreme” and not “moderate,” are often yelled loudly and proudly by the smallest of groups. While this is not inherently a bad thing, Martin Luther King and his contemporaries being a prime example, it is of utmost importance to not allow falsehoods to be spread without resistance given by the truth. As the saying goes, “the truth shall set you free.”

One of the major issues with extremism that humanity has seen before, woke extremism being no different, is its determination to snuff out the free exchange of ideas. The woke movement attempts to “cancel” anything which it sees as a threat to its existence, forcing those who disagree, and even those who are amiably questioning their dogma, into silence.

Which leaves no wonder as to why the woke target political figures and other detractors with a large audience. When one’s career is largely built on political debate and public commentary, it’s easy to see why a detractor would be heavily targeted to be “canceled.” Especially those whose job is to seek truth on current topics in the public square, including woke ideology.

Of one of the many reoccurring habits of extremists in modern human societies is the inexplicable predilection to undertake campaigns of force in order to silence or “convince” others. Take for example the famed author of the Harry Potter series of books, J.K. Rowling. For years, Rowling has been attacked for her advocacy of women’s rights for what woke extremists see as a threat to their idea of transgender rights. So angered by her staunch belief that human females deserve their own spaces that some firms are so frightened of woke extremists that journalists have been blocked from asking questions about her at promotional events for the franchise she created.

When engaged in public discourse, instead of arguing for the point they want to convince others of, woke extremists seek blind acceptance from others by any means necessary. By doing this they create a very hostile environment which, for many, is deeply unsettling and runs contrary to peaceful behavior.

Woke extremists should by no means be barred from sharing their views, quite the contrary. They should be allowed and have been allowed to share their thoughts freely. However, their hostile behavior must not be tolerated. As was learned from Europe in the 1900’s, to tolerate those who are intolerable leads only to calamity. Woke extremism must be rigorously and intellectually challenged lest the we share the same fate as those unwilling to fight extremism who came before.

Through respectfully and constantly rebuffing the twisted words of the disturbed, those who are not woke can hopefully show extremists that while they are entitled to have their views, it is not permissible to become violent when others do not share the same ideological dogma. As long as truth prevails, we shall be free.

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