Question: What do you call a balding, overweight bully who attacks black women? Answer: Piers Morgan. Following his vicious attacks on Meghan Markle and Naomi Osaka, Morgan has decided to lay into the gymnast Simone Biles who has withdrawn from her Olympic final to focus on her mental health. Here is Morgan’s tweet:
“I’m writing a column about Simone Biles. Brace yourself, weak woke Twitter – you’re not going to like it.”
Let’s begin by looking at the Oxford Dictionary definition of ‘woke’: “Well-informed, up-to-date. Alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice”. I’m happy to align my thoughts and very being with that definition. So, being ‘woke’ is clearly a good thing. But wait: Morgan describes those of us who are ‘woke’, that is well-informed, up-to-date. Alert to social discrimination and injustice’ as weak. How so?
Old white men have weaponised the term, employing it as a sort of updated version of politically correct, itself an utterly meaningless form of words. Roger Daltrey, the lead singer of the remnants of the 1960s popular beat combo outfit The Who attacked “woke culture” because he is “living in fear” that he will upset someone. Noel Gallagher described Prince Harry, who served two terms in Afghannistan, as “a fucking woke snowflake” for “dissing his family”, something Gallagher has never done, particularly with regard to his brother Liam. The former actor and terrible singer Laurence ‘Loozza’ Fox uses the term on a nearly hourly basis and we all know about Piers Morgan. These unpleasant mainly older white men have tried to alter the meaning of woke. All they have done is to show how ill-informed, backward and ignorant they all are to racial or social discrimination and injustice.
And what a cheek Morgan has. When confronted with his own bigotry by the GMB weather presenter, the scourge of wokeness suckily waddled off the set. Piers Morgan: the biggest snowflake of them all.
Morgan declares that “weak woke Twitter” won’t like his column in the Mail about Simone Biles. Well, that’s probably true. Whatever you think about Morgan, love him or hate him, you have to admit he is not the world’s most gifted writer. He chooses what he considers to be an easy, weak, woke target and punches angrily down, the hallmark of bullies everywhere. And make what you will of Morgan’s habitual attacks of black women. Is it purely coincidence, or do his prejudices run deeper?
When considering attacks on our ‘woke’ culture, I always think first about the person who is angered by it and why. Why is Daltrey “living in fear”? Is he worried he might say something horrendously racist, sexist, homophobic or just plain bigoted which will upset someone? In which case, what does that say about him and his belief system? I always find that people who make racist, sexist, homophobic and just plain bigoted comments are, generally speaking, racist, sexist, homophobic bigots.
In any event, if Morgan thinks us woke snowflakes are not going to like his forthcoming Hate Mail column about Simone Biles, he is probably right but only in the sense that many of us will be saying something along the lines of, “Oh, here we go again: that twat Morgan is trying to be controversial again to shore up his support with the noisy, angry minority who revel in Britain’s culture wars, which are being driven by populist politicians and third rate journalists.”
I don’t think ‘wokeness’ in the traditional sense is a bad thing. On the contrary, I support the definition provided by the comedian Mitch Benn, who says this: “Wokeness is largely a word for being a good person used dismissively by bad people because good people make bad people uncomfortable.”
No good person would attack someone for suffering from cancer so why should they attack someone else suffering from mental health issues? That, to me, tells you all you need to know about Morgan and the phoney culture wars he happily embraces. He makes a good living out of hate. In many ways, I pity him for that. I’d rather live my far more modest life with love and hope.