This is the New York Post which offered this morning to cover the most spectacular of a charge waged against the prestigious New York Times. Bari Weiss of the section “opinion”, has handed in his resignation yesterday in protest against the harassment to which she was the victim and the emergence of a new culture “woke” within the editorial team.
Already, last June 5, I pointais in the direction of a controversy about the text of senator Tom Cotton. Members of the staff of the New York Times had threatened to strike because the management authorized the publication of a text that was considered by some a fascist.
We could already feel the tension between the faction more “centrist” and the so-called “woke”. Be “woke”, it is to be more combative to denounce social injustices, more awake. If the goal is noble, the move also entails risks of spray drift.
In 2018, another journalist of the NYT summed up quite well what I think of the excess potential of the trend. Faced with a problem or an injustice, to be “woke” sometimes implies to place the emphasis on the recognition and denunciation of an injustice that the search for solutions. Be “woke”, it is a bit, by extension, be pretentious, because it pretends to, consciously or not, to be the only ones to grasp the magnitude of the problem.
To sum up, it is no longer enough to be progressive, it should be “woke”. Bari Weiss, just as David Brooks, sees his work in a more traditional manner. More progressive than Brooks, but sometimes regarded as conservative within the team, it considers that an editorial must first be evaluated in function of its argument, but also in his quest for resolution of problems, of solutions.
Weiss explained his departure by the pressures “woke” become unbearable. She reminds us that the journal has made use of his services to attract new readers in search of something other than a point of view very progressive or “woke”.
You do not leave a position as prestigious as his on a whim. It is a little of what it confirms here: “Showing up to work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.” Write by having a position of moderation should not be a demonstration of courage.
I have repeatedly mentioned the political polarization in american. This polarization is also reflected in the media, who adopt them as positions more extreme. The phenomenon is found to the right in Fox News, but it is available elsewhere within organizations more or less progressive. The debate that raged in the New York Times is now on the public square.
If to be “woke” is sometimes necessary, I deplore the grip of this logic. I supported the decision of the New York Times, to publish the text of senator Cotton, even if he was defending a case, and an option that I did not share. By refusing, we are getting dangerously close to censorship, and they limited the debate.
If I am writing primarily on the history and political developments in the u.s., I note that some stakeholders in the public debate in Québec were imported by the culture “woke”. Once again, if the intention is noble, the result is disappointing and risky. It denounces, it shines, and it polarizes, but who offers solutions or reconciliation between the parties?
The United States is Québec a great laboratory. By observing the many debates, we can learn or find solutions, but to apply here the grids are designed for a different reality from ours is counter-productive.