Our Views: Israel, Hamas and the next chapter of racism in America


The "woke" movement is different than many Americans thought. Woke has evolved from a notion of heightened awareness about societal biases into something more divisive. Woke has turned 180 degrees from the unifying vision of continual progress toward a colorblind society back to a race-based one. Now, we see clearly every day the woke movement defends the action of Hamas because they are acting against “colonial” (code for “white”) Israeli oppression.  Their signs “from the river to the sea” means genocide of the Jewish people in Israel and turning over that country to the Palestinians.

Initially, being "woke" was associated with an increased consciousness of racial biases, a commendable objective aimed at fostering inclusivity and dismantling systemic injustices. However, the genuine hardliners of the woke movement now are shown clearly resembling a distorted mirror image of the very prejudices they oppose.

The KKK claimed that people of color were bad and inferior. All but a tiny fraction of Americans reject that view because it is false, but also because racial prejudice ignores the individual. Lumping people into groups and declaring some good and some bad based on historical interpretation rejects the premise that all of us are individuals. None of us are the sum of what our ancestors did or thought. We have the freedom to change our life’s path and change our views and actions. Racial prejudice violates the most central American idea that we are created equal with equal rights under the law. The American ideal has focused on the goal of equality of opportunity. Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream was that his “four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

But woke ideology locks people into categories by race, from which the individual cannot escape. The hard edge woke view is that white people are born and live as privileged oppressors and all people of color are the oppressed. That thinking is racism. Woke ideology flips the good people and the bad people upside down from the KKK’s playbook, but the racism is just as plain in both views. And the evil of that racist view comes into plain view in the Middle East today. Hamas attacks, murders, beheads and rapes the people of Israel and takes hostage people at a music concert. The woke protests against Israel on campuses began immediately — even as Hamas missiles continued to land and before Israel responded. 

The woke view is that those actions are justified and even righteous. And when the missile attacks continue to this day to be launched on Israel, the woke protesters call for Israel to stop their effort to root out Hamas.

Jewish people have found themselves on the wrong side of devastating racist stereotyping now twice in the last century. Hitler murdered more than 6 million Jews for being non-Aryan, not white. Today’s college campus protesters chant “from the river to the sea,” meaning genocide for Jews. 

Why? Because the woke view is that Jews are white and undeserving of a homeland. So, in the woke view, if the people of color, Palestinians, attack Jews, it is justified.

Besides being racist, the woke view is also fed by ignorance of history. Jews have been in Israel for 4,000 years. The UN approved the modern state of Israel more than 70 years ago. The woke protesters don’t know this and, according to research, less than a third of American youth even know about Hitler and the Jewish Holocaust. 

Sen. John Braun is right to push bipartisan legislation in Olympia to require this terrible part of history to be taught in public schools.   

The woke protesters are cheering in favor of a Hamas-dominated society that is sexist, anti-diversity, anti-LGBTQ and opposed to Israel, which is a liberal society. Hamas targets LGBTQ Palestinians. The Hamas charter states that Palestinian women’s role is to produce men. In Israel, women have the vote and equal rights. Israel is pro-LGBTQ. While Israel stands for values promoting inclusivity and equality, the society dominated by Hamas is the exact opposite.

So, the woke opposition to Israel is definitely not based on which side promotes diversity, equity and inclusion. The woke support for Hamas and opposition to Israel and to Jews is race-based.  It is racist.

America’s history on race is long, with many chapters of wrong. We have not yet achieved the colorblind society that has been the goal, though the trend and our direction has been consistently moving in the right direction since the Civil War. We still have a long way to go. But the dream of Dr. King’s will never be achieved by promoting this new woke racism.