In a Monday article, Washington Post Magazine contributing columnist Damon Young claimed that the terms "woke" and "CRT" are actually racist euphemisms and dog whistles which discriminate against African Americans. 

Young argued that these coded words are being weaponized by conservative activists to gin up fear of "the decentering of Whiteness in America" and inspire backlash against minority communities.

After providing a brief recounting of all the racist, anti-African American dog whistles over the years, Young claimed the latest two entries were "CRT," as in "Critical Race Theory," and "Woke."

Starting with CRT, Young said, The newest addition to this glossary is CRT. You have Black teachers, Black administrators or Black school board members? That’s CRT. Black authors in your curriculum? CRT. You happen to teach a version of American history that doesn’t capitulate to the concept of American exceptionalism? CRT."


critical race theory sign

Residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, have helped make critical race theory a national conversation in 2021.  (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

Though as Fox News Digital reported, CRT describes school curricula that fixates on "how power structures and institutions impact racial minorities." In recent years, conservatives and other Americans have accused such lesson plans as amplifying racial differences in the classroom. Though Young wrote that conservatives are turning it into a bogeyman. 

He wrote, "Soon, CRT will be given sentience. It’ll be blamed for sham robberies, phantom murders and the NCAA’s transfer portal. Cops will stop and frisk CRT, and will plant guns on it when the search is clean. Parents will take their children out of schools, fearing that CRT will ask their daughters to the prom."

And although parents are looking to combat school lesson plans that might inflame racial tensions, Young argued they’re really attacking CRT as a way to attack Black people. "Absurd as this might seem, there’s an insidious intentionality behind it."

Young specifically referenced The Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo, an anti-CRT activist, for preying on "White parents’" fears. He wrote, "The White anxiety about this obscure legal terminology was mostly invented and exacerbated by Christopher Rufo, a conservative activist who (rightly) thought that creating a CRT boogeyman was an effective way to galvanize White parents by putting a name to their fear of the decentering of Whiteness in America."


The woke movement afflicting America

Washington Post Magazine contributing columnist Damon Young argued that "woke" is a term used by White Americans to target Black people. 

Then Young went after the term "woke," writing, "Then there’s ‘woke’ — a word I’d argue has undergone more shifts in connotation than any other word in the 21st century." 

He recounted a bit of the word’s history, saying, "When I was in college, in the late ’90s and early aughts, it was used exclusively by Black people to describe the Black people so socially conscious that it bordered on parody. Unfortunately, one of us left the gate open and said it in mixed company, and it eventually entered the mainstream as a synonym for political correctness."

Young mentioned the current meaning of "woke," writing, "Today, ‘woke’ is mostly used by the right to signify the presence of Black people (or women) where they didn’t expect them to be."

He continued, "To them, the world is one big birthday cake, with a surprise crouched inside of it, ready to burst, and they’re expecting Kenny Chesney but they get Pusha T."

The Washington Post logo

A Washington Post Magazine contributing columnist claimed that "CRT" and "woke" are terms used to target and harass Black Americans.  (Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

He provided more cultural references to convey the term’s new meaning as some markedly anti-Black attitude. He wrote, "It’s a bumbling linguistic jitterbug, where a historically Black place like Harlem wouldn’t be considered woke, but a politician from Harlem automatically would be. The NFL is 60 percent Black? Not woke. An NFL team hires a Black coach? Wokeness gone wild. A Black Little Mermaid? They took all the water out of the sea and replaced it with liquid, um, woke-ter."