Darrow Miller and Friends

To Be Nice, One Must Be Woke!

To be woke is to be nice. If a person is not woke, by definition, he cannot be nice. I finally get that.

Two years ago, I posted an article about Black Lives Matter in which I argued that of course black lives matter, because all lives matter; we are all made in the image of God. I argued that the lives of black youth, many of whom are violently murdered by other black youth, matter. In a follow-up post I argued that black babies are slaughtered before they are born, in numbers disproportionate to the ratio of blacks in the US, and those black lives matter, too.

Shortly after these posts appeared, I began to receive some pushback.  I was told that challenging Black Lives Matter, or talking about black-on-black crime, was not helpful. I was also told that the crying need at this moment was to shine a spotlight on the structural racism and injustice endemic in American society, and particularly the police and criminal-justice systems (a notion, by the way, not supported by the data, but in postmodern culture facts are unimportant.)

hot woke not niceThis led to some face-to-face conversations and a great deal of reflection. I had a real desire to understand the assumptions that motivated people to challenge these blog posts. In the course of these discussions I was never openly accused of being a racist, but I came away with the distinct impression that I was viewed as someone with an unconscious bias and indeed racism against blacks and other minorities, and that I should be more sensitive to their plight. This did not sit well with me. I do not believe that any fair-minded observer would consider me a racist.

Woke equals nice

This response launched two years of reflection and writing, seeking to understand why some would see me as racist. If I really were racist, I certainly wanted to own up to it. Was I truly being insensitive? Was I not nice?

I compiled a stack of articles 4-5 inches thick under the heading “Nice.” Our office team discussed this matter a great deal, and I developed a set of lectures and blog posts exploring this issue. My good friend and coworker Scott Allen wrote a series of posts on the concept of narratives, as well as another series he dubbed the Toxic New Religion.

All this reflection led me finally to understand what might be driving those that challenged my posts on Black Lives Matter: If I refuse to accept this basic postmodern framework, I can never be seen as a nice person to those that hold these presuppositions.

I very much want to continue the dialogue, but I expect I will never be nice by this definition, because I am not woke to the postmodern ideology and agenda which undergirds the arguments raised against me. Not being woke means not being nice!

  • Darrow Miller


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  1. Susanne Frerichs

    September 30, 2018 - 2:51 pm

    So it is.. As usual, you hit the nail on the head. The question remains, how do we effectively dialogue with those of a completely different wordview within our own nation!!!! With whom we supposedly share so much in common? We could take lessons from missiology and international politics, but the emotional fervor I see in the differing ideologies, makes dialogue almost impossible it would seem. Huge challenges for American society….and we are starting to see it in Mexico as well. Greetings.

    • admin

      October 2, 2018 - 7:54 pm

      Susanne, thank you for your thoughtful response. What we are witnessing in Mexico and the USA is largely happening globally. We do need to engage.
      The current two part series on postmoderns, beginning here: https://darrowmillerandfriends.com/2018/10/01/postmoderns-children-pro-slavery-liberals/, shows how a young Abraham Lincoln dealt with a similar issue in his day. There are important lessons for us to learn in our generation.
      Then there is the blog on creating spaces of intellectual hospitality: https://darrowmillerandfriends.com/2015/12/10/15993/. These are certainly not definitive blogs. But they are a starting point for answering your important question of how we are to engage.


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