Star Parker: Cancel Culture and Wokeness Will Destroy Our Country

The enabling tool of what we call “cancel culture” or “wokeness” is language.

People are put in categories to which names are assigned, and this supposedly captures who they are and what should be done with them politically.

Unfortunately, the whole business of racial identification and categorization is not about advancing the quality of the human condition and human dignity but about progressive politics.

The left puts people in racial categories as instruments toward their political agenda.

In 1977, the Federal Interagency Committee on Education produced a five-race classification for the American population: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black, White and Hispanic.

These categories, over time, continued to undergo changes and refinements.

The Hispanic category emerged in the 1970s, and the legislation described this group as “Americans who identify themselves as being of Spanish-speaking background and trace their origin or descent from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central and South America, and other Spanish-speaking countries.” So, an American with roots in Spain and an American with roots in Peru wind up in the same category because their country of origin was Spanish-speaking.

Hispanic is neither race nor ethnicity. It is a category of political design, including individuals from 20-plus countries, with no commonality other than the language their grandparents spoke.

In the 2020 census, there are 19 different possibilities for self-categorization.

In both the white and Black categories, filers are now asked to respond to additional questions regarding their country of origin.

The strangest part of the emergence of this movement as a political force is that it constitutes everything that supposedly is undesirable that we want to eliminate. Racism.

Is it any less racism if I conclude who a person is and what they are about based on whether they are white or Black?

Yet, here we are with a good part of our nation mobilized, adopting the disease that we all thought we were trying to eliminate as its cure.

Last weekend, I came across a beautiful short video of the great Nobel laureate in physics, Richard Feynman, talking about knowledge.

Feynman began his legendary career working on the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bomb, and finished as a member of the commission that investigated the cause of the fatal explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986.

The video starts with the headline “Names Don’t Constitute Knowledge.”

Feynman recalls walking through a park with his father and his father telling him the names of different birds in different languages. In the end, notes Feynman, you know what different people around the world call the same bird, but you know absolutely nothing about the bird.

Consider what Feynman tells us in his observation that “names don’t constitute knowledge.”

If we look in the Bible in the Book of Genesis, it says, “God had formed out of the ground every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call each one; and whatever the man called each living creature, that remained its name. And the man assigned names to all the cattle and to the birds of the sky.”

Man does not create reality. He just names it.

Politics is the opposite. Rather than naming a reality that precedes him, of which he is a part, the progressive political man pretends to create reality with his language and names.

America was founded to be a free nation under God. Our government was not designed to replace God, but to be subservient to God.

The so-called enlightened theory of wokeness will reduce America to a weak, balkanized country where everyone is at his neighbor’s throat, rather than unique individuals cooperating in unity to produce greatness.

Speech must be free — not politically canceled — and used in the pursuit of truth.



Star Parker is the founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and author of “Necessary Noise: How Donald Trump Inflames the Culture War and Why This is Good News for America.” She hosts a weekly show called “Cure America with Star Parker.”

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  1. It’s surely ironic that during the pandemic, so many White Americans are complaining about restrictions and loss of “personal freedom.”

  2. I read the whole piece yet you didn’t bother to actually provide any example of how “cancel culture” or “wokeness” has caused any problems. Language is shared so we can communicate. Is it work to describe discrimination based on skin color and calling it racist such as chattle slavery from the 1800’s? If you can’t use the word racism what would you call it?

    • I believe you missed Star’s point. Since the Civil War we have been trying to stop defining people by their race, and see them as individuals – and now the “woke” types want to go back defining people primarily by race and ignoring their individual qualities! They also want special privileges based on race – which is wrong no matter which race it is.

      • By that definition, MLK is woke? Are people not supposed to be able to describe their race anymore? The cat is already out of the bag, the only way is forward and brings everyone up to speed. If people will discriminate against you based on your background, you have to be able to describe it. Black people didn’t create the N word and use it to subjugate anyone for hundreds of years, how are they going to get people to treat them equally without describing the issue?

      • When a kid, I remember seeing those “Blacks Want Special Rights” signs during Civil Rights Movement. It was worth the fight. Many of those opposing CRT and Black studies still want to determine what Black kids can and cannot learn.

      • Can you answer me this then, if someone discriminates against you and people you know based on an immutable factor over time, are you allowed to describe what makes you different than those people who would choose to discriminate against you? If yes then you have just categorized yourself based what the method that other people have already pigeonholed you. “Woke” people didn’t invent the categories they are just recognizing them because they are already being used against them. Until the people who can do the discriminating stop discriminating, then the people who have been discriminated against will need to keep using those categories to describe what is happening. Black people did not invent the “N word.” I’m sure you know who did though.

        • The Immutable factor here is your Racist hatred of People that don’t look or act like You!
          But keep coming to BCN and reading Conservative views and you will learn to be a Contributing Member of the Human Race.

          • Oh wow, you saying people are racist because they recognize others racism, that’s so smart. You are going to need to do better than that.

  3. If people call someone racist for their actions or want to boycott you, that is freedom of speech. You trying to shut them up by calling it “cancel culture” goes against the principles of freedom of speech. Your article is very weak and should be expanded upon if you want to convince anyone.