One of the biggest stories during the first half of 2019 was that of Jussie Smollett. The gay, black actor who claimed that he was physically beaten in Chicago at 2:00am by two white, MAGA men in subzero degree temperatures. Before his claim was proven false Jussie made country-wide headlines of immediate support and outcry by the media and Hollywood. People who had doubts or wanted evidence were vilified. There was no time to even think about questioning Jussie. As time unfolded, we eventually found that not only was Jussie lying but it was orchestrated by Jussie and two non-white friends.
At the beginning of 2019 Jussie Smollett was the trending topic. In a similar vein, the first two months of 2020 gave us numerous stories of retired NBA player, Dwayne Wade’s 12 year old son now identifying as female. That was a priority of our news outlets, articles, and talk shows.
What would happen if Jussie’s story (before it was proven false) came out today in 2020 instead? In the midst of Coronavirus, how would our country react to such a polarizing story? Would we be so apt to believe it, in its happenstance? Would we be as quick to jump to conclusions of guilt? How much attention would the general public give to the media and celebrities’ outrage while we are all in quarantine? Would we care to be “woke” enough to care?
My case, in the midst of Coronavirus, is that the answer to each of those questions is “No”. Covid-19 has awoken truth in us that has inadvertently suppressed the Wokeness worldview that our politically correct, secular culture has created.
Now think about the past few months of Coronavirus. Have you noticed it? Whether in the controlled corporate media or on social media, the woke subversion of Western discourse has practically disappeared. Stories on intersectionality, cultural appropriation, inclusivity, cancel culture, gender pronouns, microaggressions, toxic masculinity, nonbinary, cis-deadnaming, mansplaining, gender fluidity, and other politically correct buzz terms have pretty much been muted in the face of a real crisis. What happened? Or as the great philosopher, The Joker, once said …“Why so serious?”
The health, sociological, and economic effects of Coronavirus have re-revealed something that the Apostle Paul spoke on in the Bible when advising people to put on the armor of God. In Ephesians 6:11-12, Paul writes, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Additionally, Coronavirus has re-revealed to us that death is the great equalizer of life – Ecclesiastes 9.
Covid-19 has reminded us that the true enemy is Death and the truest enemy is a foreign, spiritual enemy that is not of this world (Hebrews 2:14). Covid-19 has prioritized our battle against true evil – not against people.
Conversely, the Wokeness worldview teaches us that our enemies ARE indeed flesh and blood. It claims that the enemy is the patriarchy. The enemy is bigotry. The enemies are white men. The enemies are people who believe gender is binary. The enemy are Christians who believe what the Bible teaches about sin.
How did we get here?
People are always in search of meaning in their life. We desire a sense of purpose in order to feel as if we belong. We can find this purpose in being a mother, engineer, preacher, artist, dancer, chef, athlete, or in simply being a good friend. With that being said, we should raise a question – How do we find our purpose in a western world where so much is given to us from the day we are born? Well, naturally, we seek out miniature purposes. What do I mean by a “miniature purpose”?
The ultimate purpose in life is to glorify Jesus Christ (1 John 5:11-12; 1 Corinthians 10:31). Anything besides that, whether with good intention or bad intention, is a miniature purpose. Being a mother is great but those kids will grow up and move away. Being an athlete or dancer is good, but your body will eventually grow old. Being an engineer is good, but eventually your designed buildings and roads will become outdated. Miniature purposes can be good but they can never sustain us. This is a problem and we all know this. To fix that problem we keep seeking out more compounding instances of purpose in order to fill a gap that only Jesus can fill. So, for example, my identity and hope may now be found in becoming a good husband, father, athlete, cook, best friend, mentor, traveler, sports fan, and social justice advocate all in one. This search for self-purpose leads people in the western world toward the inclination of Wokeness – sometimes with genuinely, heartfelt intentions by the people.
Have you ever asked yourself, ‘Why is it that most of the world does not care about the ideas of Wokeness?’ For example, people in Japan and Africa do not scream out much against cultural appropriation. The primary answer is because the Wokeness worldview is only able to flourish in societies of prosperity and overabundance. Wokeness calls out several types of evils committed by people and systems of peoples that we need to fight against. This worldview is currently on mute because prosperity is now at a halt due to the Coronavirus. “If we are able to put something “evil” on mute, then how great of an evil was it in the first place? Because, Coronavirus or not, if my nephew is getting bullied in school I WILL never be mute about it.
People derive meaning by manufacturing evils to combat. It is understandable because I would find meaning in stopping a bully from bullying my nephew. That bully is real. It is true that there are bad things that happen in the country. There are some bad men. There are gay people who wrongly get fired. Some of those claims of racism are real. However, if I am proactively seeking out kids who may bully my nephew one day, in order to get them expelled, then that is a different story. Also, what is my definition of bullying? Is it fighting, name-calling, a particular look, misinterpreted playing around, does age matter, or does size matter? It gets very complicated real fast. That said, I hate evil. BUT who is defining evil? By what standard are we doing so? Who/what dictates who is right and who is wrong? Some Americans consider America evil. The same thing happens in the United Kingdom. Some people consider the teachings of Christianity evil. Again, I ask, by what standard are these claims being made?
Woke culture brings people meaning by fighting these evils. Many people are drawn to woke advocacy because it brings [added] meaning to their life. This tendency has hit its head at the onset of Covid-19 as this virus has brought about more pressing problems than the quasi-changing gender of Dwayne Wade’s son. When people do not have real problems to occupy themselves, they will create (or exaggerate) them.
Our varying views on the legitimacy of Wokeness is not the topic of concern here. If the Covid-19 crisis continues much longer it will not only cripple families who suffered from deaths, it will also hurt exponentially more families who suffer from the crippling economic results for years to come. This will cause the public to continue to care less about the woke worldview of the 2010s as they have to focus more on their own well-being. As life and quality of life is more at stake, people will naturally see more clearly who the true Enemy is and how only Jesus can fill our gap of life purpose and sustain us through all of life’s circumstances.