Watch Conservative author mocked for being ‘completely speechless’ when asked to define ‘woke’ – Latest News

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Watch Conservative author mocked for being ‘completely speechless’ when asked to define ‘woke’ – Latest News

Conservative author Bethany Mandel was widely mocked after she appeared on the Rising morning show broadcast by The Hill and was seemingly unable to define “wokeness” – the slogan some on the right have used as a cudgel against liberals.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says frequently to the cheers of crowds that his state is where “woke goes to die” and a number of conservatives recently blamed wokeness for the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

On Sunday, Dan Slott, a comic book writer with a substantial following on Twitter, wrote on the platform, “this is getting silly. Dear News Shows, any time a politician says the word ‘woke’, ask them to define what they mean. The Far Right is starting to use ‘woke’ in the all purpose way that Smurfs say ‘smurf’”.

“The Right didn’t invent the term,” one Twitter user responded.

“No. They’ve just misused it, rebranded it, and won’t stop saying it– even when it clearly doesn’t mean what they want it to mean – or, worse, when they don’t care what it means at all, as long as it’s a good boogieman to scare their base with,” Mr Slott said.

Ms Mandel, a conservative columnist and author appeared on the Rising online show to promote her book Stolen Youth, which criticises the supposed influences of progressives on children.

“We hope that parents of all political stripes will pick up the book,” Ms Mandel said. “This is sort of a woke reimagining that is very, very, very far-Left.”

“Only seven per cent of Americans consider themselves very liberal,” she added. “And probably fewer of them consider themselves to be woke.”

Host Briahna Joy Gray asked Ms Mandel what she meant by “woke”.

“It’s come up a couple times and I want to make sure we’re on the same page,” the host said.

“So, I mean, woke is sort of the idea that … this is going to be one of those moments that goes viral,” Ms Mandel said. “Woke is something that is very hard to define and [in the book] we have spent an entire chapter defining it.”

“It is the sort of understanding that we need to totally reimagine and reduce society in order to create hierarchies of oppression,” she added. “Sorry, it is hard to explain in a 15-second sound bite.”

In a TikTok video, writer Kaitlin Bird defined woke as the “awareness of systemic inequalities. It is an understanding of the ways in which our society is organized to deny people rights and perpetuate injustice”.

The clip of Ms Mandel did indeed go viral with more than 6 million views.

When reached by The Independent, Ms Mandel pointed to posts she made on Twitter following her appearance on Rising.

“So, everybody’s seen my viral brain fart from ‘Rising’ this morning. I can see why it went viral, of course,” she said. “Just before we went on air, Briahna Joy Gray was on a hot mic. I heard her demeaning parenting in general in colorful and nasty terms, stating parents only have kids in order to perpetuate their own narcissism. Robby responded, ‘There are some good ones and some bad ones.’”

“As a mom of six, including a newborn, this threw me off just a bit. Not an excuse, just a reality. I’m human!” she added.

“As for wokeness, here’s an actual definition: A radical belief system suggesting that our institutions are built around discrimination, and claiming that all disparity is a result of that discrimination. It seeks a radical redefinition of society in which equality of group result is the endpoint, enforced by an angry mob,” she concluded.

Writer for The Atlantic Jemele Hill tweeted: “This is why I tell journalism students that open-ended questions are better than questions that sound tough. When conservatives first hijacked ‘woke,’ every journalist should have asked them to define it. Cause these meltdowns would have happened a lot.”

“Oh my God. This Republican talking head was just left completely speechless when asked what ‘woke’ actually means,” podcast host Brian Tyler Cohen wrote.

“WOW. Funniest thing I’ve seen all day! This MAGA grifter’s brain literally short circuited when she was asked to define woke. She couldn’t. Maybe we should help her by reading her book… and LEAVING A REVIEW,” the progressive account with almost a million followers Call to Activism wrote.

Davidson public policy professor Issac Bailey wrote, “woke was a positive term used by folks (mostly black) who wanted to be aware of things larger and more important than themselves and their own experiences but is clearly just a slur when used by Bethany Mandel and others. There’s no reason to pretend otherwise”.

New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait responded after Ms Mandel was mocked by Twitter users: “I find the pile on about this clip kind of gross. She may be wrong, but she’s not an idiot. She just froze up on TV. It happens.”

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