Dispatches From the Culture Wars - November 9, 2021

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What is Woke Washing?

By Laura Pitcher
Teen Vogue

Ethically problematic companies use social movements to increase sales without addressing how their business is complicit. In the fashion industry, woke-washing can look like Kendall Jenner’s controversial Pepsi commercial, co-opting protest movements and not treating the issue of police brutality in the U.S. with the weight it deserves. 

Woke Racism

By Sean Illing

For John McWhorter, antiracism functions more like a religion than an ideology or a political project. And its adherents are obsessed with “performing” virtue, not for the sake of societal change but because of the sense of purpose it offers them.

Texas’s Book Ban List

By Danika Ellis
Book Riot

With the increase of book bans and challenges recently, Texas Republican State Representative Matt Krause appears to want to preemptively remove any books that could be challenged for causing “discomfort.”

The Politics of “Jewface

By Rebecca Pierce
Jewish Currents

Sarah Silverman has come out against the casting of non-Jews in Jewish roles—a stance with a fraught racial history bound up with the legacy of blackface.


How Students Do It By Jack Armstrong, The State News

Lessons from 1971 By Nilanjana Roy, Financial Times

Affirmative Action and the War on CRT

By Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
LA Progressive

The legislative entrenchment of affirmative action will be spun by conservatives as “reverse racism” that hampers the educational advancement of white children. 

India Walton Was Robbed

C.M. Lewis and Tyler Walicek

Byron Brown, drawing upon the kind of connections that come with two decades in the mayoralty, was able to gather powerful allies and amass momentum to overcome the socialist Democratic nominee, ensuring the continuation of punishing neoliberal austerity in a city marred by yawning racial and class inequalities.

Demisexuality Comes Out

By Jessica Klein
BBC News 

Some people need to feel an emotional bond before developing attraction. Many people don't accept this as a sexual orientation — but demisexuals say that’s misguided.

Dystopian Dorm

By Whitney Kimball

It will warehouse up to 4,500 students, 94 percent of whom will sleep in pods equipped with what appears to be artificial sunlight panels and bunks wedged into the wall, spending their formative years winding through eight-bedroom containers. Like rats. 

Rebecca Solnit on the Politics of Pleasure

By Helen Rosner
The New Yorker

“Sometimes the people who try to only care about the great noble goal make themselves miserable, and then go on to make everyone else miserable, and don’t really accomplish a great deal, necessarily.” 

Source URL: https://portside.org/2021-11-09/dispatches-culture-wars-november-9-2021