Black Lives Matter

Wesley Yang: Woke Protests Against 'White Supremacism' May Be the New Normal

The Souls of Yellow Folk author says a new "elite consensus" fixated on racial outrage is forming and may destroy our ability to function.


Wesley Yang is the author of the widely praised essay collection The Souls of Yellow Folk and proprietor of one of the liveliest Twitter feeds around. In a wide-ranging conversation with Nick Gillespie, he discusses the cultural impacts of the coronavirus lockdown and protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd; racism against black people, Latinos, Asians, and white ethnic people in American history; and how a totalizing and misguided attack on "white supremacism" came to replace a focus on ending specific racist policies and attitudes in recent years. "Wokeness" and "anti-racism" are forming a new elite consensus, Yang says, that may well undermine traditional American beliefs in a prosperous, innovative, and better future.

NEXT: Revenge of the Coronavirus

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “May destroy our ability to function”? We went from maybe having a useful conversation about police reform to cancel Aunt Jemima, riot, destroy Lincoln statues, and establish autonomous zones in multiple cities. These people are censorious communists and dishonest brokers and should be treated as such.

    1. Yep. It’s a new religion and the Left wants us all on our knees and asking for penance.

      1. It’s not even new. The Soviets used class, the progressives use race. Otherwise, same religion.

        1. That sounds like something a kulak would say!

          1. ● Great article, Mike. I appreciate your work, I am now making over $15k every month just by doing an easy j0b 0nline!OPf I KNOW YOU NOW MAKIG MOR DOLLARS online from $28 k I,TS EASY ONLINE WORKING JOBS.
            go to this SITE for more INFO just copy and paste…… Home Profit System

        2. The Soviets used class, the progressives use race.

          It’s almost like they substituted culture for class in the Marxist construction. But that can’t be true because Reason has assured me that “cultural Marxism” is an alt-right boogaloo conspiracy theory.

          1. Was that before or after they showed that they don’t care about property rights?

          2. Um, where did reason do this?

            1. Don’t Blame Karl Marx for ‘Cultural Marxism’ – Brian Doherty, November 2018

              Ron Paul Slams ‘Cultural Marxism’ with a Quickly Deleted Bigoted Cartoon – Brian Doherty, July 2, 2018

              The Gillette Ad Tells Men Not to Hurt People. Why Is This Offensive? – Robby Soave, January 15, 2019

              And many others as well, but that’s more than sufficient to snap this particular point off in your braindead asshole.

  2. I would argue that “wokeness” — especially as it relates to race — is the best thing to happen for us Koch / Reason libertarians.

    Decades ago, the not-quite-so-woke Democratic Party largely defined itself by opposition to the interests of “the rich.” Today, however, Democrats are rapidly embracing the immigration agenda promoted by billionaires like’s benefactor Charles Koch. How did this happen? Well, Democrats realized that immigrants to the US are often black or brown, and that any form of border enforcement is therefore racist.


    1. >#WokenessIsProBillionaire
      Considering how the Occupy Wall Street movement collapsed because of identity politics, I’d say you are absolutely correct. Who cares about the working class when autistic, African-American trans-woman Muslims who are pre-op are being murdered in American cities?

    2. Yet the black and brown immigrants (I read it was 98% of total immigration today) are coming to the U.S. where they know life is better than where they are coming from. I doubt the majority of these legal immigrants are being herded into the country by angry Marxists hoping to see they topple democracy. The joke will be on the Left when these immigrants, like the millions who came before them, only enhance democracy. The more the Left heats up the culture war against the US the more they are making themselves more vulnerable, but not without leaving behind the usual destruction.

  3. likely there will be punching and outright rejection of “the new normal” … they can all eat a bag.

  4. Stupid “woke” progs overreact to a little Aryan Supremacy. What is wrong with them?

    1. I can give you a great deal on this white supremacist-repelling rock I have for sale.

      1. I’ll take two if you can offer a discount. My poor grandmother got COPD from the constant gassings by those evil white supremacists!

    2. What, do you have a preference for fucking little brown and black children, pedophile?

  5. fixated on racial outrage is forming and may destroy our ability to function.

    May? MAY??!!

  6. Our neocortex evolved to harness the advantages of language and religion, and America was colonized by people who may have been more genetically prone to this than others–because many of them were religious fanatics. People today aren’t as overtly Christian as they were in the past, but religious thinking still scratches those urges in their their neocortex like it always did before–when their ancestors were crusaders, radical protestants, and abolitionists. They’re trying to purge America of sin like the inquisitors of old. Social justice warriors are basically just religious fanatics, and if the sins they’re trying to purge us from are real, that doesn’t change the fact that they’re still religious fanatics.

    In the end, the fanaticism itself will burn out because the standards they’re holding up are unrealistic. After the fanatical Muslim armies overran their enemies, they had to make a law that would prevent people from converting to Islam–because they needed the tax money from non-Muslims. One of the reasons ISIS lost is because once it became clear that no one outside the boundaries of their religious beliefs would survive their rule, everyone they conquered was willing to fight them to death. Point being, sooner or later, reality will assert itself. The abuses of social justice warriors have negative consequences in the real world, and they accumulate over time.

    Reality will assert itself eventually.

    1. Ironically, religion holds the answer. Forgiveness is the only way that ethno-political conflict can be resolved within a nation. I thought that was the trajectory America was headed on when I was a kid, but, like a dog that won’t heal because it worries at the injury, the Marxists won’t let it happen.

      1. Why yes. Religion has always brought different ethnic groups and races together in perpetual harmony.

        Holy shit I can’t believe it.

        1. Can you offer any argument that isn’t a sophomoric generalized trope?

      2. “Forgiveness is the only way that ethno-political conflict can be resolved within a nation.”

        Really? I don’t remember apologizing to the Sioux for anything. Or any of the other Tribes. Nor did I ask for their forgiveness, other than for my disbelief that a little black pot just outside of Los Alamos could cost that much.

        Straight up conquest and integration works really well, and has for all of recorded history. Ask the Etruscans.

        1. ^

          And the Marxists know this

        2. >>I don’t remember apologizing to the Sioux for anything.

          they’re probably still pissed.

    2. In the end, the fanaticism itself will burn out because the standards they’re holding up are unrealistic.

      Either that, or because their WMDs will do everyone in.

    3. “Reality will assert itself eventually.”

      The question is whether or not we get our own Cultural Revolution first. My company is coming extremely close to Maoist struggle sessions. Firings have started. Will it escalate to actual harm?

      1. Yeah. Eventually, Ken is likely to be right. And eventually, the Sun will swell up and destroy all life on this planet. I have a timeframe for the second one.

        1. Nailed it. America will long be destroyed before reality asserts itself. In the meantime, enjoy all this harmony.

  7. Yeah we don’t give a shit about elites consensuses around here so they won’t be undermining anything.

  8. By the way, when is Reason going to do a deep dive on the across-the-board mass account cancellations and TOS changes by Silicon Valley as we head towards the November election?

    1. Yes, I saw that Facebook shut down 160 Boogaloo accounts yesterday. How can you retake the country without Facebook to coordinate the wars?

      1. How can you retake the country without Facebook to coordinate the wars?

        Maybe ask the Antifa terrorists who’ve committed a dozen murders in the last 3 weeks, pedophile.

    2. Multinational corporations don’t fall under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

    3. What, you mean like the 2000 subreddits that were banned in a day for very good reasons that were not at all made up? Totally justified, they were full of hate and violence. Nothing to see here.

  9. Facebook to remove anti-government ‘Boogaloo’ groups
    The social media giant said it removed 220 Boogaloo Facebook groups and 95 Instagram accounts that violated its policies against organized violence.

    1. They made the right move. To many Boomers take an Internet joke seriously and bad things can happen. Are jiggaboo groups still allowed?

      1. Not in Mississippi. They’re the last holdout.

    2. god forbid someone be anti-government….

      1. i can rightfully call myself Electric Boogaloo?

  10. Is it racist, yet, to oppose reparations? How many Americans are willing to write the real checks in the real world and deal with the real inflation associated with making those kinds of payments?

    The social justice warriors may have hit the limit between talk and reality when they disbanded the police in Minneapolis. If there are any negative consequences associated with that or all of Minneapolis starts looking like that failed experiment in Seattle, those consequences will become obvious in the real world.

    There is an election in November. IF IF IF President Trump wins reelection despite the disapproval of the elites, what happens then? That’s a real world consequence, too. Do the social justice warriors go militant? What are the consequences of that if they do?

    Didn’t the Weather Underground just lead to Nixon and Reagan?

    Fanaticism is not the new normal, and much of this is attributable to what’s happening in the economy. People join whatever opposition cause there is to join when the economy goes bad, and the economy has never gone so badly so quickly. When the economy comes back, the social justice warriors may find that their cause doesn’t resonate with employed youth and minorities like it did when they unemployed.

    1. If Trump wins, I imagine the center left will find their spine and send the woke mobs back into their holes. This is mostly a war on the center left. And the center left is rolling over because it thinks doing so is necessary to get back in power. If Trump wins, they will realize that the woke mob is what is keeping them out of power and put an end to it.

      1. How? By banning them from The Party? By throwing fake Molotovs at them?

        1. “How? By banning them from The Party? By throwing fake Molotovs at them?”

          The Party’s financiers will stop paying for the demonstrators’: food, transportation, lodging, salaries, lawyers, lodging, and other expenses. The Party will stop pressuring cops/DAs and city councils to treat the demonstrators with indifference. Make rioting something with serious consequences, and no one to bail them out, or fight in court to keep them out of prison, and a lot of the demonstrators will think of other things they should be doing instead.

          1. Bingo Jay. That is exactly what they will do.

            1. Let me get this straight… you think the left is going to be reasonable rather than doubling down on a tactic that didn’t work? You must live in a different reality from me.

      2. The center left is rolling over because leftism has passed the point of reality, and they share in the psychosis

      3. “If Trump wins, I imagine the center left will find their spine and send the woke mobs back into their holes.”

        If Trump wins, it will probably be a reaction to the radicalization of the Democratic party, that’s for sure.

        They don’t seem to have learned anything from when they lost in 2016. They’re still blaming it on the Russians, Comey, Facebook, sexism, or even Hillary Clinton. They’ll blame anything and everything but themselves and their contempt for average Americans in the rust belt.

        If Trump wins again in November, maybe they’ll put the blame at the feet of the social justice warriors, but I don’t know . . . The Democratic party leadership appears to be far out of touch with their won centrist voters. The latest direct evidence of that was when Elizabeth Warren came in third in Massachusetts for the Democratic party nomination. The reason she lost so badly was because she ran the most social justice campaign of all of them–even accusing Bernie Sanders of sexism. Joe Biden won in Massachusetts because he was the least of the social justice warriors.

        For the Democratic party leadership, this was a travesty. Nancy Pelosi is a centrist compared to the donors and the party machines. I’m not sure they can stop being social justice warriors any more than they can stop breathing. Losing a big election might wake them up, but they’d need a Bill Clinton type unifyer, maybe from the South, to rally behind come 2024. I can’t imagine Cuomo or Newsome bringing the South or the Midwest back onboard. The shit they’ve done in their home states is so loopy, the rest of the country might not even consider them.

        1. They don’t seem to have learned anything from when they lost in 2016. They’re still blaming it on the Russians, Comey, Facebook, sexism, or even Hillary Clinton. They’ll blame anything and everything but themselves and their contempt for average Americans in the rust belt.

          Hillary Clinton does deserve her share of the blame.

          But what about the adults in the room when the Russia-blaming was being proposed. Did they think most Democratic voters care about a bunch of silly memes posted on Facebook?

    2. Is it racist, yet, to oppose reparations? How many Americans are willing to write the real checks in the real world and deal with the real inflation associated with making those kinds of payments?

      So lets do some simple math on reparations for Slavery. Now, to calculate reparations we assume slavery never happened at all and all the African americans are still in Africa. The median income in Sub-saharan African is under $5k/year. Lets call if $5k for ease of calculations. Now, the average African American income is $30k/year. So reparations amount to $5k-$30k=$-25k/year.

      1. I’m not going to comment on what your wrote other than to point out that for most centrist Americans, making the kinds of payments that the reparations people are talking about isn’t a serious consideration–regardless of whether it should be. They aren’t willing to seriously consider the costs of legit reparations any more than they’re wiling to actually pay the costs of transitioning to a carbon free economy by 2035. These are things people like to talk about, and they use such issues to beat up their political opponents. If they actually implemented that policy, it would be dismantled after subsequent elections–much like ObamaCare was dismantled.

        And this is my point about the fanaticism of the social justice warriors. People were willing to entertain crap like ObamaCare back then because it was in the aftermath of a big economic collapse and millions of people were losing their jobs and their homes to foreclosure. When the economic crisis abates, the inertia behind the rage evaporates, and the centrists in the Democratic party start to reassert themselves. ObamaCare meant I’d be paying higher premiums and getting less and worse healthcare?! We didn’t want that.

        When people are scared, they jump behind any opposition they can find. Most of them will be ashamed of themselves afterwards–like someone who got drunk at a party and ran around with a lampshade on his head.

        There were people on the left who thought the Weather Underground was cool in the 1970s. There were people called “Yuppies” (as opposed to the “Yippies”), who thought getting rich was cool in 1984. A lot of them were the same people.

        Steve Jobs being the kind of guy that would drop acid or travel to India to be enlightened only to grow up and become a force in the corporate world wasn’t unusual. Hipster millennials moving to the lily-white suburbs once they have children, like their white flight parents and grandparents did, was a big trend, too–long before COVID-19.

        This has all happened before, and it will all happen again. Fanaticism isn’t the new normal. Fanaticism is a deviation from the norm. When reality sets in, things change back. Right now, fanaticism is finding a ready audience. That will change and radically so if they actually implement policies that will have a negative impact on our standard of living. If crime goes up in Minneapolis, they will bring the police back or Minneapolis will go the way of Detroit.

        They can’t implement policies with negative consequences and escape either changing the policies back or suffering the negative consequences. There’s this thing called reality, and it tends to reassert itself.

        1. I however think it is good to call them on it, much like certain groups threatening to move to Canada if Trump got elected. Here’s your plane ticket and a guaranteed $5k for every year you are alive (already worked the calculations elsewhere). Enjoy your stay. It is hard enough to build an uneasy consensus without the showboating and a perpetual victimhood. Probably cheaper too.

          And after all this, there will be calls to rebuild the burntout husks of cities left in their wake. Not this time. Everyone is tapped out after this Corona ordeal, and there is simply nothing left to give but well-wishes and lying in the bed you’ve made.

        2. “Most of them will be ashamed of themselves afterwards”

          You’re expecting some contrition? I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a single radical leftist who showed an iota of remorse ever.

      2. You have to run the full calculus, Billy.

        Africans enslaved Europeans for 700 years.
        Europeans enslaved Africans for 400 years.

        Thus, Africans are still on the hook for about 300 years.

        Europeans would prefer to have that in American money.

  11. Where’s Yellow Lives Matter on this?

    1. They’re all at math camp for the summer.

  12. These woke SJW will be no more than a ripple in history books. They are unfunctional; they are not capable of dealing with reality in any fashion. They turn on each other for the slightest deviation from the current fad, and because fads, especially theirs, change so quickly and capriciously, they all fall victim to their own future prejudices.

    The rest of the world goes on its way and pays them no heed. These people are eating each other to death. In a few years, Hollywood will be making fun of them in movies, and they will have their own Jeopardy answers.

  13. All I know is for all the talk of white supremacy there sure are a lot of uppity Negroes running their mouths. Seems like people would be scared to say anything for fear of being lynched if the oogie-boogie man were all that scary. And the same goes for all these other oppressed people that won’t shut the fuck up for two goddamn seconds about how oppressed they are. Who’s doing all the damn oppressing if we’re all oppressed these days?

  14. What we need to is to force the woke morons to DEFINE the words they use. If they oppose “white supremacy”, make them decide what IS white supremacy. Because what the activists believe is WAY more than many think (hint: It ain’t the KKK. It’s stuff like science and reason). Don’t allow them to just jabber talking points…demand definitions and examples.

  15. I think this overstates the impact. People who are now protesting don’t produce anything anyway. This is a slightly different type of theater than their normal lunacy.

  16. Let’s be clear: the Marxist uprising right now isn’t the real story. It’s a deliberate distraction from the totalitarian covid measures, and a justification to ramp up the censorship.
    The government asserted totalitarian authority to control a mild fucking flu.
    Millions of people’s lives have been destroyed.
    The “elites” have been getting their asses kicked in every contest the last 5 years.
    They’re apparently rather desperate to put it to a decision before they lose any more power.
    Their formula is creating public health crisis + racial tensions × censorship.
    If we concede any more to them, all is lost

    1. Well formulated. I think you hit the nail on the head. This is all coming straight from the top in a highly coordinated manner.

  17. 2020 in a nutshell.

    Hamilton is bold and innovative for casting black actors to play roles of actual real white people from history, and all critiques of this artistic choice can only come from a source of deep sick racism.

    It’s immoral and clearly exhibit A of wrongthink to have white voice actors for imaginary non-white animated characters.

    1. “Hamilton is bold and innovative for casting black actors to play roles of actual real white people from history”

      Remember when Hollywood cast Jews to play the parts of real white people? Those were the days.

      1. Eli Wallach played a Mexican.

  18. Black lives matter unless you are black and live in a black neighborhood.
    Then your life doesn’t mean shit to the black thugs who enjoy killing other black people for the joy of it.
    But the good news is, a lot of these violent black criminals who murder other blacks can make a ton of money blaming whitey for all their ills when they extort multi-million corporations from them as a sign these companies are not racist.
    Who says crime doesn’t pay?

    1. Why do you keep repeating this argument when it clearly doesn’t work. It’s true but who cares. The other side wants it more than you want it. Too many boomers from second tier state schools and sat on their asses because hey libtards college ends eventually real world is coming- not realizing that places like my Alma mater Princeton decide what the rules of the real world are.

    2. “Who says crime doesn’t pay?”

      Being white pays more. It wouldn’t work otherwise.

  19. The way the neo-Orwellians are taking over, before long they will expect whites to walk through the streets self-flagellating. “All lives matter’ is racist but ‘black lives matter is not.’ White people owe reparations for slavery even though no one alive in this country actually ever owned a slave and no black American alive in this country ever was a slave. Rioters are Called ‘protesters’ and people trying to stop the mobs from burning their homes and businesses are ‘armed vigilantes.’ Nostradamus has nothing on Orwell.

    1. “The way the neo-Orwellians are taking over, before long they will expect whites to walk through the streets self-flagellating.”

      2045 is the year census takers predict that ‘non hispanic whites’ will become a minority of voters. There are already more deaths than births among these non hispanic whites and more seniors than children. A little more fucking, Jeff Mason, and a little less whinging could turn things around.

      1. 2045 is the year census takers predict that ‘non hispanic whites’

        This time.

        We’ve had this date changed again and again.

        It’s always pushed back.


        Because “hispanic whites”, “asians”, and “blacks” slowly morph into “non-hispanic whites”

        1. What’s wrong with Hispanic Whites anyway that they get demoted to the same level as Blacks and Asians?

  20. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a speaker state such a litany of facts, and still manage to tell us almost nothing.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking listening to him ramble on. Why say a concise thought in a few words when you can say an extremely long sentence using as many big words as you can think of?

  21. Getting paid every month easily more than $15k just by doing simple job online. Last month i have exactly received $16839 from this online job just by giving this 2 hrs a day online.

  22. It seemed absurd when they labeled white people as committing “microaggressions” years ago. But now the MSM and academia (where blackish and white radicals cut their teeth) are upping it by flat-out calling us “white supremacists,” including the odd “woke” narrative that white people are sending each other secret hand signals known only to white supremacists. They insist these secrets codes date back to decades of right wing extremism and white America has an uncanny knowledge of KKK history although most of us can’t even write a single sentence on the history of anything. What will the say of us next, and who will they incite into violence as a result? The prospect scares the hell out of me.

  23. Making Every month more than $13,000 by doing very simple Online job from home.i m doing this job in my part time i have earned and received $13572 last month .I am now a good Online earner and earns enough cash for my needs. Every person can get this Online job pop over here this site…,,
    This One⟶⟶⟶⟶ Gocash9

    please add a” .com “and open a web page

  24. ●Earning money online is very easy nowdays. Eanrs every month online more than $17k by doing very easy home based job in part time. Last month i have made $19754 from this job just in my spare time which is only 2 hrs a day. Very easy work to do and earning from this are awesome. Everybody can get this right now and start earning cash online.. Click For Full Details.

  25. Where do the republicans appear as the voice of reason and prosperity against the far left progs? Nowhere.

  26. Worst interview ever.

Please to post comments