‘The frightening development of the waking culture’ – Politics

Our culture of tolerance is gradually giving way to a moralizing finger, says entrepreneur Daniëlle Van Wesenbeeck.

I looked up the meaning of ‘woke up’. My gut feeling is that we are leaning in the wrong direction. That our freedom of thought is curtailed by a development of extreme moralizing thinking that leads to polarization. The moralizing finger points at us with every statement and step because we forgot to mention a group of people, because we read writers born in the wrong age, or because we still find too much in the textbooks of first grade Jan, Piet and Marie use.

Wake means greater awareness in society. It comes from English awake, to be awake. Eventually it developed into ‘combatant, a clenched fist’. In 2008, African-American singer Erykah Badu wrote the song Master teacher with the chorus’ I stay awake† Since then, it has been a term in African American culture as a counter-reaction to racist behavior. Gradually, it expanded into a universal term for social awareness and political vigilance.

It is important that people become aware of things that are not acceptable. It is important that they get their voice heard. Only the awake culture gradually develops in the direction of the pursuit of moral purity. Now that we are finally freed from the original Catholic sin, it seems that we are once again accused of all possible sinful behavior. This ranges from Zwarte Piet to the obligatory attention to anything that might offend anyone. An example: On the Dutch railways, ‘ladies and gentlemen’ was replaced by ‘dear passengers’. That way, no one will be forgotten.

The frightening development of the waking culture.

I no longer find it normal for my children, young people on social media, to be attacked if they dare to claim that someone’s sexual preferences may be less pronounced. Their position is that they do not shout from the rooftops what their preferences are. I then explain to them that if no one is aware that there is anyone other than the majority, then we will never notice it. At the time, I was impressed with the suffragettes, the movement that fought for women’s rights. If they had not taken up that fight, women’s suffrage would probably never have been achieved. That is a good example. But that does not mean that women should be intolerant of men. Then one arrives at an os-them culture with acidification as a result, while we need each other just as much.

I have always had great respect for tolerance. Everyone can be themselves and let’s not judge each other too much. Understanding goes a long way. But it will be a different story if a group of minorities no longer apply tolerance themselves and come out aggressive if you do not clap along. He who asks for tolerance can also be tolerant. Anyone who dares to read writers who are men, white and born in the wrong period, is quickly put in the racist camp, while that need not be the case. We need to look at the content without immediately dividing people into groups.

Moral purity is becoming the new norm and it is a dangerous development. Our culture of tolerance is gradually making room for a moralizing finger. It’s scary to say the least. I want my children to grow up in a tolerant society with a focus on minorities, without the pendulum swinging in the wrong direction. I want my children to grow up in a world of diversity, that they see different thinking, people of a different color and culture as an enrichment. But they do not have to preach the moralizing cleansing. That’s not how society works.

I looked up the meaning of ‘woke up’. My gut feeling is that we are leaning in the wrong direction. That our freedom of thought is curtailed by a development of extreme moralizing thinking that leads to polarization. The moralizing finger points at us with every statement and step because we forgot to mention a group of people, because we read writers born in the wrong age, or because we still find too much in the textbooks of first grade Jan, Piet and Marie use. Wake means greater awareness in society. It comes from the English awake, to be awake. Eventually it developed into ‘combatant, a clenched fist’. In 2008, African-American singer Erykah Badu wrote the song Master Teacher with the chorus ‘I stay wake’. Since then, it has been an expression in African American culture as a counter-reaction to racist behavior. Gradually, it expanded into a universal term for social awareness and political vigilance. It is important that people become aware of things that are not acceptable. It is important that they get their voice heard. Only the awake culture gradually develops in the direction of the pursuit of moral purity. Now that we are finally freed from the original Catholic sin, it seems that we are once again accused of all possible sinful behavior. This ranges from Zwarte Piet to the obligatory attention to anything that might offend anyone. An example: On the Dutch railways, ‘ladies and gentlemen’ was replaced by ‘dear passengers’. That way, no one will be forgotten. I no longer find it normal for my children, young people on social media, to be attacked if they dare to claim that someone’s sexual preferences may be less pronounced. Their position is that they do not shout from the rooftops what their preferences are. I then explain to them that if no one is aware that there is anyone other than the majority, then we will never notice it. At the time, I was impressed with the suffragettes, the movement that fought for women’s rights. If they had not taken up that fight, women’s suffrage would probably never have been achieved. That is a good example. But that does not mean that women should be intolerant of men. Then one arrives at an os-them culture with acidification as a result, while we need each other just as much. I have always had great respect for tolerance. Everyone can be themselves and let’s not judge each other too much. Understanding goes a long way. But it will be a different story if a group of minorities no longer apply tolerance themselves and come out aggressive if you do not clap along. He who asks for tolerance can also be tolerant. Anyone who dares to read writers who are men, white and born in the wrong period, is quickly put in the racist camp, while that need not be the case. We need to look at the content without immediately dividing people into groups. Moral purity is becoming the new norm and it is a dangerous development. Our culture of tolerance is gradually making room for a moralizing finger. It’s scary to say the least. I want my children to grow up in a tolerant society with a focus on minorities, without the pendulum swinging in the wrong direction. I want my children to grow up in a world of diversity, that they see different thinking, people of a different color and culture as an enrichment. But they do not have to preach the moralizing cleansing. That’s not how society works.

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