IPA Today

A Year Of Woke Madness

Written by
3 January 2022
Originally appeared in The Daily Telegraph

Emboldened by Covid lockdowns, in 2021 the woke took their cancellation games to a whole new level

You have to hand it to the woke activists.

While the majority of Australians struggled through a second year of acute disruption to their lives, the more militant-minded members of Western societies occupied their time by seeking out people, places and things that they deemed offensive.

And then cancelling them.

And, the interesting thing is that the minute anyone complained about it or put it in the context of the “culture wars”, they were gaslit by the very people doing it.

They told us repeatedly that the ‘culture wars’ were simply a figment of our imaginations or a conservative dog whistle, and that really there was nothing at all to see here.

But there was a great deal to see.

So much in fact that it’s impossible to review 2021 without concluding that there has been a concerted effort on behalf of the progressive left to attack every ­aspect of our culture.

Let’s start in Melbourne. At the beginning of the year, Dan Andrews cancelled Australia Day without consulting the community, and under the cover of Covid-19.

And although he well and truly canned the parade, he still let Melbourne City Council hold an Invasion Day Dawn Service on January 26.

Still in Melbourne, Moreland City Council voted to cancel the name Moreland because it was named after a Jamaican sugar ­plantation which had used slaves.

This kind of pointless virtue signalling does absolutely nothing to help anyone. In fact, the current ratepayers will be worse off because it’s going to cost the council somewhere around $500,000 to come up with a new name.

In NSW, Lake Macquarie City Council asked residents if they should change the name of Coon Island, a small, nondescript uninhabited island on the lake.

Although 67 per cent of the local ratepayers said no, the council ignored them and did it anyway.

In the meantime, Coon cheese was cancelled for being racist and ­renamed Cheer, which is presumably what the woke brigade did when they found out about the rebranding.

At a federal level, we also saw the Department of Health attempt to cancel women.

Back in June, the department issued a guide for pregnant women and Covid-19 vaccines called “COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy”.

In the second version issued in ­August, the title was changed to “COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy”.

This deliberate obfuscation of the English language is designed to change our thinking, or at least our perceptions of reality – the motive being that if you stop using the word “women”, then women will cease to exist.

And while we are on the topic of the English language, a group of ­English teachers got together at the Australian Association for the Teaching of English conference and decided that English needed to be cancelled.

One particular address caught the attention of the mainstream media because the upshot of the talk given by a former schoolteacher and current assistant dean (Indigenous) in education at the University of Melbourne was that English, being the language of the colonisers, needed to be changed to something a little less oppressive such as “Language Arts”, or “Languages, Literacy and Communications”.

In 2021, Dr Seuss Enterprises decided that it didn’t like the way that Asians had been depicted in several books by the great children’s author, and so six Dr Seuss books, written and illustrated in the middle of the last century, were thrown on the bonfire of the woke.

When questioned, the self-­ proclaimed arbiters of right and wrong disingenuously claimed that it was not really a cancellation but simply a “product recall”.

Our favourite Belgian boy reporter, Tintin, did not survive the year intact.

The publishing company Little Brown Books for Young Readers decided to can its publication plans for Tintin In The Congo which was criticised as racist in its depiction of ­Africans.

Over at Warner Bros, cartoon skunk Pepe Le Pew has been scrubbed out of the picture on the grounds that he’s a sex pest who never takes no for an answer. The only one who might be happy about this particular cancellation is Penelope Pussycat.

While these last examples might be considered amusing, the underlying message of the cancellers is a serious one.

There is there is a very real and immediate attack on our culture.

And by culture, I don’t just mean cartoons and cheese, but the very ­essence of what it is to be Australian.

Our culture defines how we think about ourselves, how we treat each other, how we operate in a community, what we stand for, what our values are and what it means to be Australian.

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Bella d'Abrera

Dr Bella d'Abrera is the Director, Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs

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