You’d be forgiven for thinking that us guys at Weird World Wire are not all that “woke,” but you’d actually be quite mistaken. By the very definition of the word, we are the wokest of the woke.
Here is the definition of woke: “alert to injustice in society, especially racism.”
We abhor injustice in society, particularly racism, but we also seem to have some Jedi powers lacking in the youth of today. Whether we like it or not the fact of the matter is that you cannot judge the people of the past on the morals of today. Wokeness has always been like the pendulum of its day. For example, someone progressive in the 1800s would be considered conservative today. Abraham Lincoln, for example (one of the latest woke villains), ended slavery. That being said, he did not advocate for trans people to have their own private bathrooms. Does this make him a CIS Male homophobe that was part of the tyrannical patriarchal regime? We’d lean towards saying he was fairly advanced for his time woke-wise and managed to end the evil that was slavery. You following so far?
The irony is that human rights, freedoms and indeed wokeness are part of our “evolution” as a people. Ironic because evolution seems to be one of the few things the left in America agree on.
Thus in honor of July 4th, we’ve decided to highlight five great Americans that whilst really woke for their time would fail the elephant pant test today.
The perfect example of the “where does it stop line.” The first President of the United States, it could be argued, was a terrorist (the US was legally part of the United Kingdom), a dictator (not all Americans had suffrage) and worst of all, he was a slave owner.
Why Was Washington Woke?
No one doubts that slavery was of course awful, but the fact of the matter was that slaves were simply a part of life then. People were racist, but then we evolved as people. George Washington led America to freedom and independence against one of the biggest Empires that have ever existed, the British. At the time, the concept of a republic with a president voted in was an extremely alien concept. The USA was far from democracy by today’s standards but was also the most democratic country in the world for its time.
At some point, the woke brigade will undoubtedly go after Mr. Washington, we can but hope they take in a little context before they do.
We have previously written about why Abraham Lincoln was a dictator, which you can read about here. In short, Mr. Lincoln broke the constitution many times, led a country without universal suffrage and arguably started an illegal war that had his forces commit war crimes. Now for context.
Why was Abraham Lincoln woke?
OK, so in actual fact, Mr. Lincoln was initially OK to let slavery continue in the south, and it might be argued that he didn’t care as much as we might like to pretend he did about the slaves. There is also the undoubted racist things (by today’s standards) that we know that he said, but there’s also the main point. Abraham Lincoln had the brass balls to go to war with half of his own country to preserve the Union and thus ended slavery. By the standards of the 1860s, our boy Lincoln was woke as fuck.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
FDR was the longest-serving American President, and one might argue a bit of a dictator. Aside from 4 consecutive terms as President of the United States, he arguably put the most socialist scheme into place in America (the New Deal) and led the country during World War 2 (when America finally decided to join). He might not have been the one to order the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it was him who set the wheels in motion. He also famously put hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans in internment camps. Is he, therefore, a racist mass-murderer?
What made Franklin D. Roosevelt woke?
Here’s a guy that rescued a nation on its knees by standing up to big business and introducing the rather socialist New Deal. He loses points for sitting out the war for so long, but when America eventually joined, they were instrumental in defeating Germany and Japan’s fascist forces. Also, whilst he put Japanese-Americans into internment camps, this should be contrasted with Japanese and Germans who put people into DEATH camps. Internment camps might be bad by 2020 standards, but by the standards of 1941 were basically holiday camps. FDR was super woke.
President Harry S. Truman
Let us start with the negatives, shall we? This is the guy who dropped two nuclear bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as help bring in the Cold War and McCarthyism that was to follow. Rightly, or wrongly this cat had the deaths of many a person on his hands whilst simultaneously doing zero to help with segregation in the US.
Was Truman Woke?
No matter what the context dropping nuclear bombs is always going to be controversial, but it also took big stone balls. It is estimated that by dropping the bombs and avoiding having to invade the Japanese islands, Truman probably saved the lives of 5 million + people. Nukes might be the opposite of everything that is wokeness, but a core tenet of wokeness is fighting racism and injustice. The modern narrative might be that white people invented racism, but if you look at the Japanese, they were pretty damned racist and unjust.
President Barrack Hussein Obama
Lets hit the negatives, shall we. Obama was the one who initiated the first Muslim ban (Trump merely refined it), drone strikes became the norm, and he dropped more bombs than his predecessor. For the full eight years of the Obama presidency, America was at war with countless civilians around the world dying. Despite mass shootings in America, no amount of gun control was ever introduced, and even his signature “Obamacare” program ended up a fiasco.
Was Obama Woke?
Here’s where this one gets a bit interesting as when it comes to being woke, you have to judge a person by the era they live in, and the Obamas era is now. Obama gets points for being the first black American President, including all the barriers he helped to bring down, but was he woke? Did the racial landscape improve for African-Americans under his watch? Not really. Did he do anything to fight the many injustices in America and beyond during his tenure? No, he really didn’t. Was Obama better than Trump? Obama was certainly less of a sexist, racist ass-hat than Premier Trump, but being less of a twat than someone else also doesn’t make you a good guy.
Happy July 4th Y’all, and remember before you start ripping down statues that history needs to be remembered with a big healthy dose of context!