Flat White

What’s woke this week?

4 March 2021

5:49 PM

4 March 2021

5:49 PM

The woke Stasi’s notsosecret police have been out in force recently: a bit of psychological harassment here, a bit of agitprop there, virtue signaling everywhere. Their censorious and punitive tendencies have hihyperdrive recently around the world in stories that range from the nonsensical to the ridiculous.     

Non-binary whinery

A non-binary darling of the international literary set was recently selected to translate into Dutch the poems of Amanda Gorman, the first national youth poet laureate of the USA (and newest darling of the international literary set). A slam dunk PR success you might thinkWrong. 

The publishers of Gorman’s debut collection of poetry obviously didn’t get the memo. In the Critical Race Theory, post-George Floyd world it’s ALL about race. ‘They/their’ pronouns might be cute but ‘gender non-conforming’ people have slipped a little way down the victimhood totem poleThe knives were out for Marieke Lucas Rijneveld the moment the decision was announced.  

The chief critic of the choice was Janice Deul, a ‘black Dutch fashion and culture activist and lifestyle journalist’ (wouldn’t you know it?), who opined: 

An incomprehensible choice, in my view and that of many others who expressed their pain, frustration, anger and disappointment via social media. Isn’t it – to say the least – a missed opportunity to [have hired] Marieke Lucas Rijneveld for this job? They are white, nonbinary, have no experience in this field, but according to Meulenhoff are still the ‘dream translator’?  

Well, maybe, just maybe, Rijneveld is fluent in Dutch and English, which ought to be the prime consideration for a translator, right? Or maybe she embodies the woke youth zeitgeist the publishers were going for. Nup! It needs to be another young black skinny female poetbut this one has to be Dutch. Cancel that, the Dutch part is probably optional. Language is just an oppressive social construct after all. 

The real kicker to the story is that: 

Gorman, who is 22, had selected the 29-year-old herself, as a fellow young writer who had also come to fame early.  

So Gorman didn’t get the memo, either. Whoops! The black activists who lauded her selection as youth poet laurete and her performance at President Biden’ inauguration are probably just a teeny bit annoyed with her. She’d better watch out or ‘house negro’ allegations, like the one recently pinned on mixed race conservative commentator Calvin Robinson, might be heading her way.  

Snow job 

That erstwhile venerable institution turned bastion of wokeness, the BBC, has been at its hectoring best againIn case it had escaped your notice skiing is… well, I don’t quite know how to put this without offending someone white. Must be all that snow or something.  

No, not according to the Beeb. It’s racism. Naturally. 

Their Ski Sunday show is a BBC institution, covering the skiing World Cup circuit. Presenters Ed Leigh and former Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott are holed up for the season in the Swiss ski resort of Laax. COVID means they can’t travel so there they are, poor dears, trapped in one of the world’ most beautiful places reporting on ski races they won’t actually be seeing in real time. Sounds like a gig they could have managed from the BBC London studios. 

In between bouts of schnappssipping around a roaring fireplace and a few bracing runs down the mountain Leigh and Alcott did some woke warbling  about the unbearable whiteness of skiing: 


Cortina may be one of only a handful of places to host the Alpine World Cup Championships but it’s similar to every resort in Europe and across North America in one respect, the fact that almost everyone in these beautiful places is white.


When you’re in the majority you fit in so why would you question it? It’s only by looking at this through a different lens you start to realise that these environments perhaps aren’t as equal, as accessible, or as welcoming as we’d like to think. 

Oh, the shame! 

It’s those pitchforks and ‘blacks go home!’ signs that are the dead giveaway, right? Oh, but wait. 

Wanted: enterprising grifter who can make snow black. 

The Bachelor Big Brother

We’re not announcing a new reality TV show (though the idea of reality mash-ups hasn’t been explored as it should be – Farmer Wants to Be Married at First Sight could be a winner). Echoes of the original Big Brother from Orwell’s 1984 were evident in the recent controversy on the US version of The Bachelor. 

But surely they survive on controversy, you say. Well yes, and this year’s is a classic. First the kind of people who trawl through the social media accounts of ‘personalities’ in the hunt for transgressions of the new woke order, did just that with contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, and boy, did they hit pay dirt.  

No, Kirkconnell is not an axe murderer or people smuggler. This is much worse. Her crime was to attend an antebellum-themed party (think the good ol’ South before the American Civil War ruined it all) dressed as a Native American. Unspeakable, I know. And this in the year of the series’ first ever black Bachelor. 

Host Chris Harrison attempted to defend Kirkconnell, asking people to cut her some slack, but his reaction was also labelled racist and he was forced to apologise and relinquish his hosting gig.  

But we’ve saved the best until last. It was always a stretch to think that Bachelor contestant would be interested in anything more than their 15 minutes of fame, and Kirkconnell delivered confirmation in woke-worthy grovelling style in her follow-up Instagram posts: 

If you are in my comments or defending me anywhere, telling people that I did nothing wrong, that there’s nothing to be hurt about, there’s nothing to be angry about or offended about, please stop. That’s not our place to tell people what they can and can’t be offended about…


[M]oving forward i [sic]will utilize my platform to amplify voices that are extremely knowledgeable in these subjects. please [sic] go to my story for IG handles, links to explain my offenses…

And the shades of Big Brother?  

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

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