Who woke up – Sargasso

Who woke up - Sargasso

Review – Inequality, deprivation, discrimination and humiliation have been central drivers of liberation movements for centuries. It’s all really about strength. The oppressed and the disadvantaged compete for the authority of the oppressor. You must share power, at least, or give it up entirely in favor of those who have been humiliated for centuries, too small to share in all the riches of the earth. Since the last century we know socialists, feminists, anti-colonial movements, movements for equal civil rights and gay liberation. In the new century, a comprehensive social justice movement emerged from the Anglo-Saxon world, advocating sharp and principled positions to alert all forms of social injustice at the same time.


Sociologist Walter Wayans wrote in his book that you can’t really call it a movement From what did he wake up. There is no such thing as an organization with leaders, no common program or even a common ideology. Judging from the available literature and expressions in the media, Waynes describes the culture of wakefulness as chaotic with many ironies. Yet he tries graciously, sometimes cynically, but above all decisively, to seize the background and ideas of those new liberation movements that call “the Awakes, the wretched people of the land…”e Trying to give the meaning of the century. And as far as I’m concerned, it definitely worked. Anyone who has followed the expressions of wake culture from a distance and tired of the superficiality and polarization of debate will receive the necessary explanation from Weyns to be able to make a position.

“Wake up..” Today is definitely a radical sound. Advocates of “awakened faith” do not accept compromise. In the Black Lives Matter Movement movement, it is more in line with the radical ideas of Stokely Carmichael than with the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King. This radicalization is conveyed to the BLM on all battlefields against all injustice against any minority group. A multicolored struggle that focuses on the “white man,” “not because of white skin or masculinity itself,” Wens writes, “but because of his destructive power.” He makes the comparison to a post: many colors collide with white. “The white man’s authority can only be broken by the formation of a grand alliance.” [van] aline [die] They suffered from the narrow-mindedness and imperial lust for power of the white man (…) Racism, sexism, cruelty to animals and homophobia are very different things, and there is always the danger that the victim group will only lick their wounds, or worse: that groups turn victims to each other. It is of no use to anyone but the white man who has long experience in dividing and ruling. For although there are all kinds of groups on the oppressed side of the social balance of power, there is always the same group on the strong side: the upright white man.

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The Awakening movement primarily uses cultural tools to make that straight white man sing a little less: language, art, and history. Culture hides a force that must be broken. Power relations are socially constructed and produced from generation to generation (Michel Foucault). That is why a new consciousness must be worked on, the “white man” and whoever has absorbed his power must be detoxified, as it were, and re-educated. The shame of the disadvantaged must be dissolved, first in anger, then into pride. This leads us to a remedial, moral movement, a “bourgeois movement”, according to the British left-wing critic Andrew Doyle, without any concern for classic class antagonisms, but still standing. The grievances arising from this will be dealt with in the new 21e The Century movement against injustice has not received much attention. “Yellow jackets were not the victims of whiteness,” Wens writes. Economic inequality appears to be less important than psychological injury: feelings of humiliation and inferiority are the catalysts for the uprising. It is true that little attention has been paid to these aspects of inequality within the old labor movement. But now in the new movement against injustice, the opposite appears to be happening.


Language is crucial to re-educating the “white man”. Language is the tool for the social construction of reality. How can you change the world? By speaking in a different way. Thus every language is ‘performative’, and all words have a direct consequence of your actions. Even when I describe something, I don’t just specify what it is. The description is also my performance. After all, I’m choosing to say it this way and not another way. In fact, I make the truth I’m talking about. So you have to be careful with your words, because there is a great risk that you contribute to a reality in which inequality, deprivation and humiliation are maintained. In this way, language can also reproduce – or undermine – social structures such as power relations. It is clear that with this vision the attack can be launched on freedom of expression that was fought so hard in past centuries and is still under pressure. But that is the way to go, this is how Weyns interprets the Diversity and Inclusion Act for Dutch cultural institutions. “For centuries, the straight white man has been the center from which people talk, write, color, compose, perform, create, work, and watch.” Then he concludes: “Then, in the name of social justice, language must be turned from the inside out, cleaned up, and reformed when necessary.” It might have been a little exaggerated, but still. As far as I’m concerned, the misunderstanding lies in the impatience that the wake-up movement displays regarding the pace at which social and cultural changes, people’s mental adaptations, and changes in language use can occur. Do polarized political relations in the United States, the source of the awakening, perhaps play a role here? Not all “common sense” can be dismissed as evidence of “white supremacy”. And by critically responding to an alert, much more can be achieved than a delete button or “cancel” controversial speakers.

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Waynes sees the effects of postmodernism in both the use of language and the appreciation of science by awake authors. Like the French philosopher Lyotard, who sees knowledge and truth as the result of a linguistic game. All knowledge is relative and interests. Objectivity and universality of knowledge are shared with privacy and subjectivity. Truth is identity binding. Certain groups have also been suppressed in their knowledge and method of gathering knowledge by the mainstream of Western, white, and heterosexual scientific practices. Wiens notes with some surprise the principles of awakened mathematics, stripped of white influences. On the other hand, decolonization is justified in history. Decolonization may have been a reality under constitutional law, but economically, culturally and especially psychologically, there is still a long way to go. And also and especially by the former colonists, in whose heads they remained the rulers of the world. In this way, decolonization became a project for the future rather than a page from the past.

from what woke up It is an insightful book about the transformation that the struggle for the liberation of oppressed groups took at the beginning of this century. It is also a well written and easy to read book. Walter Wayans is critical and mocks some of the ridiculous consequences of waking-up thinking with plenty of sarcasm. Ultimately, however, he takes the fight against inequality and unjust social relations very seriously. And you can’t say that about all the critics who woke up.

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