Hey, so do you guys remember Damon Young? He’s the Washington Post columnist who wrote a whole piece bragging about the time he and his wife decided to “disappear” their young daughter’s white doll. Because there’s nothing more harmful to a black child than a white doll.

Well, he’s just come out with another piece revolving around race, and it’s as excellent as you’d expect:

According to Young, “woke” is just one of bazillions of entries in the Big Book of “Coded Language”:

Then there’s “woke” — a word I’d argue has undergone more shifts in connotation than any other word in the 21st century. When I was in college, in the late ’90s and early aughts, it was used exclusively by Black people to describe the Black people so socially conscious that it bordered on parody. Unfortunately, one of us left the gate open and said it in mixed company, and it eventually entered the mainstream as a synonym for political correctness. As I wrote four years ago in a New York Times essay about it, “You were woke if you recycled, or maybe just retweeted an infographic on the virtues of recycling.”
It expanded again during the Obama presidency, when it was used most frequently to articulate a specific type of White progressive performance. (Think Bradley Whitford’s character in “Get Out” saying he would’ve voted for Obama a third time.) It was around then that the right finally caught wind of it, since they are 20 to 60 years behind everything, and it became their umbrella for literally anything that even hinted at possessing a sliver of social consciousness. My favorite is how the NFL — the same National Football League that makes each game feel like Flag Day — is now too woke for some conservative sensibilities.
Today, “woke” is mostly used by the right to signify the presence of Black people (or women) where they didn’t expect them to be. To them, the world is one big birthday cake, with a surprise crouched inside of it, ready to burst, and they’re expecting Kenny Chesney but they get Pusha T. It’s a bumbling linguistic jitterbug, where a historically Black place like Harlem wouldn’t be considered woke, but a politician from Harlem automatically would be. The NFL is 60 percent Black? Not woke. An NFL team hires a Black coach? Wokeness gone wild. A Black Little Mermaid? They took all the water out of the sea and replaced it with liquid, um, woke-ter. Fantasy franchise spin-offs “House of Dragon” and “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” are now “woke,” because apparently elves, hobbits and fire-breathing dragons are more believable than Black people in Middle-earth.

Damon sounds like he’d be a riot at parties, no?

Seriously, there are stupid takes, and then there are stupid takes. And then there’s Damon Young’s take.

Right? We’re actually embarrassed for Damon.

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Related:

Dan Rather’s claim that MLK Jr. would be ‘stigmatized as ‘woke’ these days goes down in flames

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