Republicans are weaponizing race as a mid-term election tactic. Sad to say, but the word woke is rapidly becoming a pejorative term in the same manner that liberal did decades ago. It is really disgusting watching it happen, without being able to do anything to stop it. Black intellectuals coined the word woke, to recognize people who get racism, at the bone marrow level, so to speak.
Unfortunately, amygdala level wing-nuttery is so ubiquitous in this country, with people whose authoritarian tendencies to close ranks to avoid complicated subjects, that it forecloses rational discussion about any matter they would prefer not to deal with.
In September of 2020, after having spent the summer doing media interviews about my book Blue Bias, I wrote a piece that was published by the LA Progressive that predicted an onslaught of books that would amount to a backlash against the Black Lives Matter Movement. They were a bit slow in coming out at first, but now they are like whack-a-moles, popping up weekly to attack the notion that being woke is being enlightened which is the intent of the originators of the term.
The murder of George Floyd was a moment of awakening but when you look at the anti-woke books on Amazon and read the reviews by wingnuts gleefully piling on, their fervor for dismissing the notion of systemic racism is overwriting any concern they might have had when George Floyd was murdered. Instead, they are enthused by vitriolic nonsense, that is nowhere in the vicinity of understanding the dynamics of racial prejudice, about how human brains deal biologically, with our tribalistic differences.
It is little wonder that the resilience of racism is such that it takes centuries to make anything called progress and that for every few steps forward there will be regressive actions that qualify as backlashes. This is so disappointing but given the psychological makeup of the folks we are dealing with it is clearly inevitable.
In March of this year, we published Evolving in a Dangerous World Made Racism Inevitable as an eBook. We are planning on September 1st to publish a paper edition. I have been dwelling on this subject for more than half a century and I am convinced that I have produced one of the best arguments for addressing implicit bias in print. I hope you will help me spread the word.