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A “Woke” Dictionary: A Guide to How The Left Uses “Racist,” “Racism,” and “Equity” to Divide Americans

Posted on Friday, May 14, 2021
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AMAC Exclusive by Joshua Charles

racistWith the radical left rapidly redefining the commonly understood meaning of words from “infrastructure” to “citizen,” it can be hard to keep up with the dizzying array of lingo, jargon, and dogma that is needed to understand what the heck Democrats are talking about these days.

It is getting to the point where conservatives need a new dictionary to translate the left’s “woke” talkback into plain English.

To help AMAC readers navigate this brave new world with confidence, we will be bringing you occasional updates on what common words now mean when used by leftists.

The first three entries in the “woke” dictionary? “Racist,” “Racism,” and “Equity.” These words are everywhere in our modern political discourse. But they don’t mean what they used to–at least not to those on the left. Understanding what these terms mean to the “woke” is key to understanding their rhetoric and ideas. `

Racist:

Ibram X. Kendi is an often-interviewed professor who is widely considered to be one of the “scholarly” voices behind “Woke” ideas about race, “systemic racism,” and “Critical Race Theory.” His bestselling 2019 book, How to be an Antiracist, reveals a great deal about modern leftism.

At the beginning of that book, he provides the following definition of “racist”:

One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea.

At first glance, it may seem that even some conservatives could sign up for most of this definition.  But one detail to notice is that one can now be deemed a “racist” for inaction as well as action. It’s not just about how you view others and what you believe in your heart–it’s about what you do, and even what you don’t do–a radical redefinition of how Americans have traditionally defined “racists”. This suggests that one can be “racist” without having any bigoted thoughts or ideas whatsoever—and sure enough, that’s what people like Kendi assert. Anyone who does not actively espouse their radical political agenda can now be termed a racist.

Racism:

From this definition of “racist,” Kendi goes on to provide this definition of “racism”:

Racism is a marriage of racist policies and racist ideas that produces and normalizes racial inequities. [Emphasis added]

The first thing to notice about this definition is that, just as in the case above, “racism” is no longer the internal bigotry of an individual but is itself connected to certain policies, which Kendi claims are behind what he calls “racial inequities.” We’ll get to his concept of inequity in a moment because it is the central concept of the entire “Antiracist” movement. Kendi himself sheds a great deal of light on what he means by “racism” in this remarkable statement:

The most threatening racist movement is not the alt right’s unlikely drive for a White ethnostate but the regular American’s drive for a “race-neutral” one. The construct of race neutrality actually feeds White nationalist victimhood by positing the notion that any policy protecting or advancing non-White Americans toward equity is “reverse discrimination.”

In other words, Kendi believes that being “race-neutral” is itself an example of “racism.” This shows that the word “racism” no longer means what it did in the past. It doesn’t just mean the racial bigotry, animus, and discrimination that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe to be truly awful and indeed sinful. It’s a new definition of “racism” that is fundamentally linked to a concept Kendi and others call “equity.”

So what exactly do they mean by the word “equity”?

Equity:

“Woke” ideology depends on this all-important idea of “equity,” so it is important to understand what they mean by it.

Kendi provides the following definition of “racial inequity”—with examples—in How to Be an Antiracist:

Racial inequity is when two or more racial groups are not standing on approximately equal footing. Here’s an example of racial inequity: 71 percent of White families lived in owner-occupied homes in 2014, compared to 45 percent of Latinx families and 41 percent of Black families. Racial equity is when two or more racial groups are standing on a relatively equal footing. An example of racial equity would be if there were relatively equitable percentages of all three racial groups living in owner-occupied homes in the forties, seventies, or, better, nineties. [Emphasis added]

In other words, “equity” is not equality understood in the traditional sense of equality of opportunity–it now means equality of result. Kendi claims any result in which racial groups are not “relatively equal” statistically speaking is by nature an example of racist “inequity.” His and every “antiracist’s” task is to ensure that all racial groups are perfectly equal in every statistical measure. Anything less is “racial inequity.”

This idea of “equity” as essential equality of result or outcome was confirmed by no less than then-Senator Kamala Harris just days before the 2020 election when, in a video, she said the following:

So, there’s a big difference between equality and equity. Equality suggests, “Oh, everyone should get the same amount.” The problem with that: Not everybody’s starting out from the same place. So, if we’re all getting the same amount, but you started out back there, and I started out over here, we could get the same amount, but you’re still going to be that far back behind me. It’s about giving people the resources and the support they need so that everyone can be on equal footing and then compete on equal footing. Equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place. [Emphasis added]

While Vice President Harris pays lip service to equality of opportunity, by the end, she shows us what she really means: “we all end up at the same place.”

Thus the true nature of this ideology is revealed: so long as they control the levers of power, they will not stop until “we all end up at the same place.”

It’s no coincidence that the left’s redefinition of such commonly understood words always ends up requiring more power for them. Indeed, that’s the whole point. If these ideas sound a lot like communism to you, well, you wouldn’t be wrong.

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Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
3 years ago

they expect us to all “end up in the same place” all right EQUALLY MISERABLE!

PaulE
PaulE
3 years ago

The more Americans just continue to sit idly by and allow these leftists a free reign to spread this filth to an ever more ignorant society, the worse things will become. That has been the reality for every country that has experienced this kind of leftist subversion for over a hundred years now. Time is rapidly running out for the United States to prevent itself from becoming another failed, bankrupt socialist Utopia. Yet it seems the so-called “silent majority” is also content to remain largely apathetic as well.

Jenny Sanderlin
Jenny Sanderlin
3 years ago

These redefinitions are not understood by most Americans. Most are not racist and want other racial groups to succeed. In fact, the US has more diversity than any other country. Anyone can obtain the “American Dream” if they work for it. WORK for it! Most millionaires/billionaires worked for their money or their family left it to them. The top 2% already pay the majority of the taxes! What equity will mean is take from the rich and give to the poor. We already do that!Democracy means equality of opportunity, not outcome. The US is NOT a systemically racist country. In 2019, 14 unarmed black men were killed by a white policeman.What ever their motivation, the mainstream media and the Democrat Party lie. We know why Black Lives Matter, the worldwide organization, lies. They want Marxism and power.For good unbiased reporting read The Epoch Times and The Heritage Foundation. Conservative, yes, liars, no. They advocate for the Constitution and trading values. The “silent majority” had better come out of it’s indifference or we may go the way of Venezuela, a once successful capitalist country.

Gary
Gary
3 years ago

Gee I want 3 House’s like Commrad Obama and his bank account he has to be equal from Uncle Commrad Joe. This way I will be equal to to them

Clelie Bourne
Clelie Bourne
3 years ago

Kendi’s definition makes no grammatical sense. Using to adverb form of the word to define the noun form is nonsensical and not helpful. Therefore Kendi can insist racist means whatever he wants it to mean. The nonsensical leftists are being led around by the nose and believing whatever they’re told.

Vilas Gamble
Vilas Gamble
3 years ago

The problem with equity is that there is no way government can raise groups from a lower level to reach those in what they deem as the upper level so what they will have to do is to bring the upper level down so as to meet at the place where the lower is. It is called redistribution of wealth.

Vilas Gamble
Vilas Gamble
3 years ago

Question, what is the definition of woke? I must have missed something along the way. To me it means I was sleeping and then I woke up.

Jimmy Depp
Jimmy Depp
3 years ago

If you’ve become ‘woke’ then you are a living breathing DOPE!

Robert Goidel
Robert Goidel
3 years ago

Where this term came from in our English language is a puzzle to me. Sadly, the Left has latched onto this term to evoke the emotions of people who feel downtrodden and in a sense forgotten. There is little inclusion in our society nowadays. Too many people are on their phones and when I have had the time to speak to anyone their attention is not on my conversation with them as they are hypnotized, transfixed on their screen. This is the decline in personal communication between people or even strangers. Not Good at all

Joe S.
Joe S.
3 years ago

Sounds to me like Kendi’s cure for Racial Inequity is Socialism

Veteran
Veteran
3 years ago

We don’t need a dictionary to understand that their concepts of “political correctness” (in whose eyes correct?), and “wokeness” is nothing but Orwell’s “1984” Newspeak in new cuts, and more varieties of shades of gray – not quite so subliminal propaganda and self-censorship enforced by the one party, one opinion state – not even the thoughts are supposed to be free in Biden’s Dystopia with which he wants to replace our Constitutional Republic.

Kathryn Y. Works
Kathryn Y. Works
3 years ago

Excellent information! Thank you!

Mary
Mary
3 years ago

They make me want to get off of their planet. They are lunatics in power. So racism is not racist or is it? I do not care. Now they are driving me insane. If they do that to us, you bet children will never know truth, what gender they are, and will also be insane. Either they are crazy or I am.

Rik
Rik
3 years ago

I’m “woke” since I really do believe that America IS a systematically racist country! … ONLY, it’s “White” people that are NOW being “Discriminated” Against!

John Karkalis
John Karkalis
3 years ago

It’s enough to make one gag!
Clearly a perversion of language.
The new arbiters of “social justice” and “equality”make civil and friendly discourse an anxiety raising exercise. For example, is it safe to say “Good Morning” or “Have a nice day!” to a stranger? According to the gospel of “Woke” maybe not. There could be racist, sexist, anti LGBTQ bias implications.
WOW!
I am old enough to remember when the word “gay” was innocent of anyone’s orientation. Now? Just say, “We had a gay time at the wedding”.
Watch heads turn.
Was it a wedding between two men? two women? a man and his favourite daffodil?
Where will it end.
Sorry, good members of AMAC.
I can’t wish you a nice day.
The rules of “Woke”, you understand.

David Spade
David Spade
3 years ago

I would challenge anyone to an immediate debate if they referred to me as a racist to my face.
I might use the old fashioned words like, “idiot, stupid, uninformed, mentally-challenged” and other words not fit to print here. Words with “changed meanings” are simply someone’s imagination running wild. Who gives them the right to invent words’ meanings? When someone with an ax to grind confronts me any many millions of others with insults relative to traditional words, then I would submit that they are at best mentally challenged, and at worst Marxist Democrats.

George Washington's Admirer
George Washington's Admirer
3 years ago

‘Advanced Woke Dictionary’ may some day include: ‘Regression Therapy’ for espousing ‘racial inequality’ in a past life, ‘signs and symptoms’ of racial inequality in your pet; (and how to
eradicate it), ‘signs and symptoms’ of pancakes that take on a ‘racial tone’; and how to placate yourself when, the top Marxist has: five mansions, a private plane, and an airport; (when you have a simple, ‘lower middle class’ home.) Could get ridiculously complicated!

Ed J
Ed J
3 years ago

The mass hysteria and intellectually dysfunctional notion that comprises the so-called “woke” mindset, along with mis-definitions and mis-applications of the words “racist,” “racism” and “equity” in our society, leads parts of our society down a categorically wrong and very dangerous path. The idea that equality means everyone has a comparable share of “everything” is just plain idiotic (actually stupid). This concept of so-called “equality” has NEVER existed in any society on earth, starting with the Garden of Eden and on down to the present time.
 
Are there sections of our society that are disadvantaged on some levels or in some areas of life? Of course there are! However, our nation is not founded on the socialist principle that everyone is equal at the finish line, but instead provided with equal opportunity at the starting line!  It’s up to each individual to expend the effort necessary to become educated, learn a trade or profession, work diligently to become a contributing member of society and a good citizen, and overall to become part of the solution and not part of the problem.
 
Most of those whining about and embracing the “woke” mindset can best be characterized as “professional victims” and who have a misguided and overblown sense of entitlement (it comes down to envy on so many levels). These “woke” folks fail to understand that they are personally responsible for their own fate. In the final analysis, they cannot offload this responsibility to “everybody else.” If the “woke” folks are unwilling or uninterested in taking responsibility for their own lives, then they need to understand that where they end up in life was a deliberate “choice” that THEY made along the way.
 
A good example of someone who “gets it” is Dr. Ben Carson, a black man who became a neurosurgeon and who was appointed by President Trump to a Cabinet position. Dr. Carson should be a shining example and idol to all these “woke” folks that personal effort and hard work will pay big dividends throughout life.

The Rebel
The Rebel
3 years ago

How do you educate those who do not want to be educated as well as those who are too dumb to be educated ???

The current system is a socialist brain-washing process !!

Phil Hammersley
Phil Hammersley
3 years ago

This all started years ago when the “common he” was dropped and the “progressives” forced “they” as a singular pronoun! Now many words’ definitions have been bastardized! “Gender,” “tolerance,” “racism,” etc.

John
John
3 years ago

Equal opportunity is required. Equity is not posible. Equity means that everyone would have to put out the same level of effort and achieve accomplishments having the same value to others. Competition is a core attribute of humanity that results in progress. I have always taught my children that if you want what most others do not have you must be willing to do what most others will not do.

“From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs” stifles progress and retards higher standards of living for everyone.

Old Silk
Old Silk
3 years ago

Equity: If you make $25 an hour you would then get $15 an hour, regardless of your education or experience or both.
Equality: You have the same opportunity as I to get where you want to be.

DMM
DMM
3 years ago

Communists All

JohnH
JohnH
3 years ago

Three words I am very tired of this year: Woke, CriticalRaceTheory(CRT) & Jim Crow. WOKE is the dumbest cuz it does not make any sense. And Jim Crow is being thrown out by POTUS and others without ever explaining what they.mean. Where did word Jim Crow come from?

John
John
3 years ago

This guy, ‘Kendi’ has a major problem. From my point of view and being as politically correct as a corkscrew is straight, when I have something to say I simply spit it out [so-to-speak]. Another form of expression practiced as often as possible is referred to as, ‘Blunt Honesty’.

As for these woke folk, there is a good chance any of them and myself would never get along in a conversation.

A few years ago a friend from Brooklyn was in NH and I being from Manhattan were having what we referred to as a fun talk. Some bystanders had the look of horror upon their faces as after we separated and went our separate ways, one of them approached me and asked if we were going to kill each other. So it goes to be the nature of the beast. We both from NYC thought of it as a friendly conversation.

In conclusion, these of the woke mind set are a new fadd sort of like the Beatnik’s of the late 50’s or the Yuppie scum of the 80’s.

Eamonn Thomas Smyth
Eamonn Thomas Smyth
3 years ago

So if s black activist call a white person racist are they not being racist themselves. As for equity I always thoght that was how much money you had.Most of these left wing activist are either barking up the wrong tree or just plain mad.

M. Beaumont
M. Beaumont
3 years ago

The way I see it, according to the above definitions of racism and equality the NBA and NFL should be labeled as racist since the vast number of their players are of one race. Therefore for every African American drafted to these sports, there needs to be a person of another race drafted as well. Also since black Americans constitute about 13% of the US population it seems these sports organizations are severely racist.

Dave
Dave
3 years ago

I’ve read a book that mentions ‘Newspeak’ and what they are doing is bringing that book to life.

Aui FG
Aui FG
3 years ago

I am a Cuban exile from back in 1961. To help everyone get perspective, the Castro regime tried to make everyone “equal” in a number of ways. Note that Fidel Castro did not admit being a “Marxist Leninist” until December 2nd, 1961.. Before that date, however (on August 5, 1961), the Cuban government changed the Cuban peso to a new currency. One of the first steps to financial “equity” came after that. We could only exchange old currency to the new currency at a rate of $200 pesos per family unit with a limit of $10,000 per family unit (if the money was in a bank). Then the government prohibited all private economic activity as well as foreign investments. Since then, in Cuba there have been many different forms of currency to use. This even applies to exchange money received from family in the U.S.A., etc. I am not familiar with all the details now (since I left years ago) but in a communist system, the changes are not for the benefit of the people. I can say this based on communications with family members still in Cuba.
Just with that action there was “equity” among everyone (of course, except the ruling class). .

Jack Thomas
Jack Thomas
3 years ago

You hear the following phrases and declarations from the Left all the time —
o “America is systemically racist.”
o “African-Americans are being targeted by police.”
o “We need to level the playing field for all citizens and new immigrants.”

On and on . . . ad nauseum. The litany of accusations by the Left against their own country is simply stunning in today’s “Woke” climate.

But this is nothing new. The Democratic Party and its supporters have been using the same tactics
of “class warfare” and racism for decades, often to their own advantage.

What they don’t tell you and what they conveniently ignore is that “Equality” has a whole different meaning to the Left. Likewise with its view of “Equity.” If America was is so racist, why are so many people of color from other nations trying to get in? Indeed, why is it that so many people of color are not lining up to get out of America?

Try digesting that for awhile and any rational person would have to conclude that the message of the Left is plainly one big LIE designed to divide Americans rather than unite us.

Sweet Sarah
Sweet Sarah
3 years ago

Weren’t we taught in school that you aren’t supposed to use the word you are trying to define in the definition? Certainly would make more sense to me.

Brenda Bluntdespi
Brenda Bluntdespi
3 years ago

Miss the days when one did not have to worry about what to say, how to say, when to say, if should say. Also, not having be concerned about feelings.

james carlyle
james carlyle
3 years ago

The logic of Kendi and Harris matches that of all ideologies-it only supports their claims, not the truth.

John
John
3 years ago

Equity is not about making any group better. It is about bringing everyone done to the lowest common denominator, and making us dependent upon the government for the small favors our elite rulers deem to reward us. Sounds a lot like the former USSR, and several current countries. North Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela, et al. The common thread – Communism…

jimbo
jimbo
3 years ago

let’s just all give one another a life time participation trophy…now that would be true equity………nuff said jimbo

robb
robb
3 years ago

kendi seems a bit on the angry side…..I’m wondering who the real racist is here…….hmmm

Judy
Judy
3 years ago

Every bit of this is just hooey because the Left’s analogies of anything critical never applies to them. This guy that wrote all this garbage is deluded and looking to capitalize on ‘Capitalism’, which the Left is trying to destroy. Just wanting to make money on his book also knowing the sheep will swallow it whole.

Judy
Judy
3 years ago

AMAC what’s this awaiting approval on my comment about??

EMS
EMS
3 years ago

The frightening part about this is that it is being taught in our schools. It is at every grade level and until we put our foot down and stop this it will only get worse. We will lose our children and grandchildren to the indoctrination of the Left forever!

Jesse F Tiede
Jesse F Tiede
3 years ago

So, I guess if we are to subscribe to these new “Woke” terms, white men need to stop getting married, and just start making babies with every woman they see, whether or not the women want to make babies! They should never pay child support which, to be fair, a whole lot of white men already don’t pay, or under pay! Alimony? What’s that? We also need to stop speaking English, but, most young white people, male and female already don’t speak English! They speak a mixture of bull crap and foul mouth, all the while thinking they so fly! The way I see it, whites are already acting Black, and Blacks are already acting white, so, wut up, Homie?

Kim
Kim
3 years ago

I recently had an illuminating conversation with a neighbor. For the purpose of clarity, I’m white and politically conservative, and she’s of mixed race and is liberal. We’ve always been on friendly terms.

After talking about tomatoes, she turned the conversation to the crime and viciousness running rampant in our cities and towns. And then, of course, Trump’s name came up, and a whole litany of “proof” of his racism, of the “systemic racism” in his administration, of his stealing money from us, and of his chumminess with Russia, who, by the way, paid for his campaign to become president. She also didn’t grasp the concept of private schools as an alternative to the declining quality of public education. Totally clueless.

I could barely get a word in anywhere, even when I gently demanded to be able to point out the record low unemployment rates among minorities due to eased tax and regulation policies (Trump did that.) My attempt to state the facts was futile, and she kept going back to systemic racism. The examples she spoke of, where she herself was subjected to the pain of racism (and I’m empathetic, of course) were then blamed on me, and how I was responsible for systemic racism, how it was the fault of “white supremacy” for “keeping blacks down”.

At each insult, I came back, shook my head, and said firmly “I didn’t do that, You can’t possibly blame me!”. “Well, no” she said. This went on and on, and each time I disavowed my participation in racism. She failed to discern the difference between the relatively few incidents of overt racism of today and the widespread acceptance of segregation and vile behaviors of the past. And there’s Kendi’s “racism by inaction”, because I’m white.

I used to think “progressives” had blinders on, but it’s become very clear that they are, instead, truly blind. It sounds as though the progressives won’t be satisfied until everyone drives the same car, has the same balance in their checking accounts, and declares mutiny on all the CEO’s in this country. I mentioned socialism, to which my neighbor responded that Social Security was socialism (democrats did that). “Exactly”, I said.

It must cause her great anguish, seeing the little Trump” sticker on my truck. I, therefore, must be racist…

Jerry Glenn
Jerry Glenn
3 years ago

As used by leftists, “racist” means “someone I don’t like and with whom I disagree but whose arguments I am unable to counter rationally,”. Nazi and fascist (carelessly or ignorantly used synonymously) mean “someone I REALLY don’t like and with whom I disagree but whose arguments I am unable to counter rationally.”

Tom
Tom
3 years ago

Latinx families??? It is ironic and slightly disturbing for the author to use “woke” pronouns to describe the distortion of meaning in the “woke” language. Latino is the proper word, not because some right wingers said so but because the Spanish language demands a gender designation and the “O” at the end of Latino indicates male specifically and both sexes generally. It’s like the word human, male sounding but the word describes both sexes. Lets work to be more human or even humane would be a great goal.

Gary
Gary
3 years ago

Certain thinks like Honesty, Trust, Integrity have to be earned and can not be given by demanding then. the same it true of equality, You can not get by demanding it, you have to show that you are worthy of it.

aluminum head
aluminum head
3 years ago

We all need to be prepared for the coming internal conflict. Houses for sale, in my semi-rural area, are sold after serious bidding wars. Seniors are getting out of the hot spot metro areas. To hell w/ those areas.

Chris
Chris
3 years ago

Even a sixth-grader knows you can’t define a word by using the same word. Kendi is so intellectually shallow he should be an embarrassment to people who embrace his philosophy. Worthy discourse includes facts and data, not dogma.

fools
fools
3 years ago

The democrats use this phoney narrative to destroy America. Republicans on the whole are the least rascist. With socialism we will all be dirt poor standing in line for toilet paper and white bread!!! But that is only if we conservatives are not killed by the wicked elites on the left(Soros, Gates, Obama, Biden, Hillary, Zuckerberg, Dorsey, etc.)

Rich
Rich
3 years ago

So sick of this racism garbage. In what is one of the greatest countries in the world the opportunity for ANYONE to succeed are without limit. Why do we think that people storming our shores want in here? Unfortunately due to the Dem/Socialist agenda that “dream” is coming to an end. Anyone that calls me a racist without knowing me personally is themselves a racist. Just more propaganda from the socialist/Marxist camp.

Kent
Kent
3 years ago

The median household income is $61,000 approx. Kamala Harris expects “we all end up at the same place” financially. Do you think LeBron James would work for $61,000/year?

Tish
Tish
3 years ago

Pretty much, the only racists I know are black ~ they hate jews, whites, asians and each other, so I don’t feel real bad staying away from their bs.

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