As a teacher in front of a class I saw my students as their fellow students did not see them. The pale girl with thin hair looked as if a stiff wind might shred her. If others noticed her at all, they wrote her off as “shy.” In fact cancer had monopolized thirty percent of this teen’s time on planet earth. She was taking college classes on the off chance that she might survive long enough to have a career. A middle-aged German immigrant performed better than her peers. This apparent superhuman hid vulnerabilities. In addition to school, she had work, and daily visits to her hospitalized son after his nearly fatal accident. The very handsome Circassian lad assured me that his parents would kill him if they knew he was gay and did not believe in Allah. There was the smiling, effervescent baker who had to rise at three a.m. Without parents or scholarships, she was paying her own way and lived in rock bottom poverty. All these students were white.
I grew up poor; my mother lost three babies; four of my siblings died young. One of my childhood friends was so malnourished and neglected that doctors tell him his life span will be shortened. Three of his grandparents died in the Gulag. One escaped. My friend now lives in a comfortable suburb. How? William Saroyan described my friend’s trajectory.
“Work. Work all my life. All my life, work.
From small boy to old man, work.
In old country, work. In new country, work.
In New York. Pittsburgh. Detroit. Chicago. Imperial Valley. San Francisco.
Work. No beg. Work.”
A getaway for him is, if he can squeeze it in, an hour’s walk in a wooded area. He has so many dreams but work eats up the limited time he has left. He’s a white man.
When I was a nurse’s aide, I had to catheterize a beautiful, young athlete who looked like Michelangelo’s David. His final act in a functioning body was to dive into water. Some kink in the physics of that dive paralyzed him from the neck down. He was a white man. In Nepal I helped nuns from the Sisters of Charity collect the elderly from the streets where their families dropped them off to die. We washed countless lice and fleas out of their clothing with cold water from a pump in the courtyard.
Humans are social animals and evolution has equipped us with compassion. Decent people like you and me want to address suffering so we donate to charitable organizations, we volunteer, we visit nursing homes, we lend an ear and a shoulder, we pray. Morally retarded people do something else with suffering.
At the end of the semester, often, my superiors would encourage me to assign a passing grade to a young, black male who had under-performed. I was never asked to misrepresent grades for a black female, or for a black student from the Caribbean or Africa. These foreign-born students worked hard and earned A and B grades. My superiors never asked me to record a passing grade for a failing white student. “Black men have suffered so much in this country,” department heads and deans would repeat. “We have to overcome generations of injustice. Give him a passing grade.” I would think of the other students surrounding this student, the girl with cancer, or the Circassian youth. Their suffering was never a commodity. They just had to deal.
In The Content of Our Character, Shelby Steele describes the commodification of suffering in the men’s room of a fancy hotel in the 1960s. A black man harangued a white businessman into giving the black men’s room attendant a twenty-dollar tip, a large sum back then. The black man did this by reminding the white businessmen how much black people have suffered. As one reader summarized this event, “For twenty dollars he traded his pain.”
Jussie Smollett attempted this economic exchange. Smollett’s was just one of many hate crime hoaxes. Chicago reportedly spent $130,000 investigating Smollett’s hoax. Hate crime hoaxes are not victimless crimes. They cost money; they cost human lives. Seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes was shot to death on December 30, 2018. Her mother falsely claimed Jazmine’s killer was a white man. She gave a description matching someone named Robert Paul Cantrell. Cantrell was harassed online; he and his family received death threats. Cantrell committed suicide. In fact, Barnes’ killers were two black men.
Hasan Minhaj gained celebrity, awards, and an interview with Barack Obama by telling stories about being victimized by white supremacist and Islamophobic Americans. Terrorist Americans, Minhaj alleged, attempted to poison his family with a white powder suggestive of anthrax. His little daughter had to be hospitalized. An evil white “Karen” rejected Minhaj as a prom date because he is “brown.”
On September 15, 2023, The New Yorker published Clare Malone’s expose of Minhaj. Minhaj’s stories of his victimization were lies. Kat Rosenfield wrote in Unherd, “Minhaj’s popularity centered on his suffering … white liberal audiences treated him as a sort of mascot for the oppressed, while the culturati lauded him for speaking truth to power.” Minhaj provided enough information about his prom date “Karen” for his fans to dox and harass her. She had naively thought that Minhaj was her friend. The prom story was bogus. Minhaj shrugged off the pain he caused his friend.
Hoaxes hurt black people. Ibram X. Kendi, born Henry Rogers, achieved fame with the bestselling How to Be an Antiracist. Kendi argued that everything whites do vis-à-vis blacks is racist. For example, SCOTUS justice Amy Coney Barrett adopted black Haitian children not out of love, but because she is racist. Kendi wrote, “White colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.”
Kendi received a reported $45 million from donors. In September, 2023, reports emerged that Kendi squandered that money. That money could have benefitted poor black people had it gone to employment preparedness or programs encouraging healthy families.
In September, 2023, New Jersey senator Robert Menendez was alleged to have stacks of cash and gold bars in his home, the product of bribes in exchange for influence and secret US government information. Senator Menendez played the suffering card. “Those behind this smear campaign simply cannot accept that a first generation Latin American from humble beginnings could rise to be a U.S. senator.”
The Good Samaritan story is groundbreaking. Previous religious worldviews often dictated an identity-based approach to compassion. One must feel compassion for one’s own group members. Jesus depicted a Samaritan, a member of a hated group, traveling on the road to Jericho and extending compassion to a person regardless of that person’s rival ethnic identity. Christians must take from that story that human suffering warrants a compassionate response, regardless of the identity of the person who is suffering.
In contrast to the Good Samaritan ethic, Woke commodifies suffering into a religious totem that is the exclusive property of an elite caste. The Woke deny recognition of suffering and the extension of compassion to those they deem members of an unholy caste. Terms like “white fragility,” “white privilege,” and “white performance” were invented expressly to amputate compassion, to erect barriers against the profane whites polluting the sacred totem, suffering, with their tainted whiteness.
A tenet of Woke dogma is “white tears.” “White tears” is a process whereby evil whites victimize black people by suffering. White people, in Woke, are not allowed to suffer. Suffering is a commodity whites are denied. When whites cry, the Woke condemn those tears as an act of “racist” “violence.”
See the scholarly article, “White Tears, White Rage: Victimhood And (As) Violence In Mainstream Feminism,” or the National Public Radio broadcast “When The ‘White Tears’ Just Keep Coming,” or The Root piece “White Tears, Explained, For White People Who Don’t Get It,” or the “official website of the United States government” announcement for the event “Ruby Hamad Presents White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color,” or the Guardian article “How White Women Use Strategic Tears To Silence Women Of Colour,” or the scholarly article “Stop Your Sobbing: White Fragility, Slippery Empathy, and Historical Consciousness,” or the academic conference proceedings, “White Tears in the Classroom,” or the law journal article, “From Lynching to Central Park Karen: How White Women Weaponize White Womanhood,” or the “international movement” manifesto, “Dear White Women: Why We Need To Stop Crying When POC Call Us Out,” or the academic event “From White Tears to Social Transformation: Antiracism Beyond Guilt,” or any of numerous YouTube videos such as “Entitled White Women’s Tears.”
I know four white women who have been raped by black men. I met these women over the course of forty years, in two different countries. They didn’t know each other. The one thing all these victims have in common is that they never pressed charges, and they spoke of the assaults to few other people. They knew that a white woman saying that she had been raped by a black man would herself face condemnation. I met these women in left-wing settings: academia and Peace Corps. In these leftist settings, there was hesitation to extend compassion to a white victim. I did hear variations of, “Well, blacks have suffered so much. And whites have had it so easy.” In other words, she deserved it, and he had a right to it.
Suffering, the Woke Eucharist, is distributed as the Woke see fit. Those whose narrative can be used to undermine Western Civilization receive the sacrament of suffering. Those whose narrative cannot be used to undermine Western Civilization are denied. Whose narrative best serves the undermining of society varies with context. Islam is more powerful of a lever for toppling civilization than black skin. In a contest between a black and a Muslim, Woke will side with the Muslim. The Left used women to undermine masculinity and men. Now the Left abandons women and champions men who pretend to be women. There will never be any ultimate victory because Utopia, Woke’s goal, perpetually recedes. The Woke are locked into an obscene scripture that celebrates eternal, sadistic, warfare. Woke rituals require endless human sacrifice for Two Minutes Hate. Woke’s only climax is the shriek released when the latest scapegoat is reduced to roadkill.
Felix Dzerzhinsky, who founded the Soviet secret police, dictated that identity, not objective behavior, determined who was guilty and who was innocent; who deserved compassion and who deserved genocide. In this, Dzerzhinsky was Woke and the Woke are Dzerzhinsky’s spawn. “We are not fighting against single individuals,” Dzerzhinsky wrote in 1918. “We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class.” In any trial, “it is not necessary … to look for evidence … The first question which you should ask him is what class does he belong to.” Identity “will determine the fate of the accused.” Dzerzhinsky was a former Polish Catholic nobleman determined to exterminate Christianity and nobility. Just so, today, Woke whites prattle about “white tears.”
We best address historical wrong by getting back to the concept that all men are created equal. We best live up to this ethical challenge by recognizing suffering in no matter what skin color it comes packaged. We take care of real victims. We rehabilitate real victimizers by demanding from them the very behavior we demand from our best selves. We can’t heal every wound; only God can. Real morality acknowledges that Utopia is not possible. But if we come across a victim in our path, as the Samaritan did on the road to Jericho, and we can help that person, we do. We respond to the victim’s wounds. We do not hesitate and calculate how helping a victim of a given identity will advance a political narrative.
On May 25, 2020, Amy Cooper, head of Franklin Templeton’s insurance investments, allowed her dog Henry, a cocker spaniel, to run off leash in Central Park’s Ramble. Christian Cooper, a black birdwatcher, became angry. Dogs or any other animals running through the Ramble menace migrating birds. May is peak migration season. Cooper told AC to leash her dog. AC addressed Cooper as “sir” and said that the dog, relegated to apartment living, needed exercise. Because of COVID, dog runs were closed.
Cooper threatened AC, saying, “Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.” Cooper attempted to lure away AC’s dog with dog treats; he did this regularly with other dogs. On social media, he said he was using “the dog treats I carry for just for [sic] such intransigence.” The word “intransigence” speaks volumes. Cooper was a muscular vigilante telling a slightly built, chronically ill woman what to do. She damn well better obey, or he would assert his privilege and force her to.
AC, in the city for medical treatment her chronic illness demands, a survivor of sexual assault, alone in a wooded area, became visibly frightened. Christian Cooper is a muscle-bound man. He is a self-described “gym rat.” “I’m not a small guy” Cooper had boasted of himself just days before his encounter with AC. Amy Cooper said, “I’m calling the cops … I’m gonna tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.” That sentence ended AC’s life as she knew it. Christian Cooper filmed the statement; posted the video on social media; the video went viral. Amy Cooper was immediately doxed. A mob gathered outside her apartment. Franklin Templeton fired her the next day. She received so many threats she went into hiding.
Woke harnesses misogyny to render white women so vile that they require a special slur: “Karen.” “White Women Use Themselves as Instruments of Terror,” blared a New York Times headline two days after the Central Park incident. “There are too many noosed necks, charred bodies and drowned souls for them to deny knowing precisely what they are doing.” Woke insisted that when a frightened, alone, slightly built woman in a wooded area was confronted by a muscular man who insisted on following her, filming her, luring away her dog and threatening her, and she said she was going to call the police, her end goal was nothing less than a lynching. Trevor Noah, with the rest of the mob, crafted an infallible narrative that stripped Amy Cooper of any human decency and flooded her mind and body with presumed hatred. Amy Cooper, Trevor Noah insisted, “blatantly knew how to use the power of her whiteness to threaten the life of another man and his blackness.”
The reaction to Christian Cooper’s video proves the very premise of the reaction wrong. The mob insisted that Amy Cooper is both omnipotent and subhuman because she is white. She “weaponized her white tears” to destroy Christian Cooper. In fact it is Amy Cooper the mob descended upon. Christian Cooper was apotheosized into an international celebrity scheduled to ride out the rest of his life on a magic carpet of money, fame, and worship. He is the Woke Christ who never needed to bother with any time on a cross. Amy Cooper’s female whiteness received that bloodthirsty, Pagan thumbs-down. The gladiatorial audience much preferred Christian Cooper’s male blackness.
In August, 2021, Bari Weiss, Megan Phelps-Roper, and Kmele Foster told truths about the incident that Woke media buried. This was courage; this was Samaritan-grade compassion. As Phelps-Roper asks, “What personal benefit can come to anyone who publicly tries to understand or empathize with a person so widely hated?”
Foster interviewed Amy Cooper. AC sounds entirely human, if nerdy and nervous. She moved to New York City from twenty-first-century Canada – not from an antebellum plantation – to make her fortune. She got involved in animal rescue and devoted her free time to taking shelter dogs for walks. She adopted Henry and her life began to revolve around the dog. Henry got training as a therapy dog, especially for work with Autistic people. AC also mentioned that she is chronically ill and that she requires frequent hospital visits. She took Henry to the Ramble in order to avoid other people and possibly a COVID infection.
Amy Cooper spoke of having been sexually assaulted as a teenager; that should surprise no one. “Over half of women … have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. One in 4 women … have experienced completed or attempted rape,” reports the CDC. I asked a male friend, “Would you ever behave toward a woman in an isolated, wooded setting, the way he behaved toward AC?” “Hell no,” was the response. Mature men know that women face challenges that men don’t, and mature men behave accordingly. Christian Cooper rejects mature masculinity. Christian Cooper insists on monopolizing victim status. He refuses to recognize that a white person can also have been a victim, and that he needs to tread carefully around others’ suffering.
Since she was “alone in a wooded area with a man who was threatening to do something that she would not like,” Foster said, “this history” of sexual assault came back to her. AC said, further, that she was trying to leash her dog, and yet Christian Cooper continued to film her, in spite of her request that he stop. Once he began filming, AC alleges, Christian Cooper switched from a domineering male yell to a meek falsetto. In short, for his own camera, he began to play victim. “Suddenly out of him comes this voice from a man who was very dominant toward me, almost this victimized voice almost as if he is terrified of me.” she says. “Once the camera comes out, Christian’s whole demeanor changes,” Foster says. “He goes from angry to meek.”
Both Megan Phelps-Roper and a Reddit user cut to the heart of the matter. No matter what had happened in the Central Park that day, even if identities and behaviors had been traded, the white woman would be the villainous victimizer, and the black man would emerge as the latest Woke Christ.
What if, Phelps-Roper asked, the actions had been reversed? What if Amy Cooper “had been a birdwatcher who accosted” Christian Cooper? What if Christian Cooper had been a black male “running his dog off-leash, if she had confronted him for breaking the park rules, if she had tried to lure his dog away from him with ‘dog treats I carry for just such intransigence.’ Wouldn’t she still be the Karen?” It wasn’t Amy Cooper’s behavior that the Woke mob wanted to torture her for. It was her skin color and her sex.
A Reddit post outlines how Woke distributes compassion on the basis of identity. “If the races were reversed,” if Amy Cooper had been “a black woman walking her dog, and he a white man – He 100% would have been made into a villain, a racist and misogynist who accosted a woman of color for the crime of walking while black, and she would have been an innocent victim. A poor black woman and animal lover just trying to survive the pandemic.” The white man would be excoriated as “an elitist bird watcher trying to exclude POC from public spaces, to protect an esoteric hobby of the rich and privileged.”
Woke hatred for Amy Cooper’s white skin and female body is explicitly expressed in the threats she receives. At about the one-hour-four-second mark in the Honestly podcast addressing this incident, Amy Cooper reads one of the thousands of threats that she began to receive immediately after Christian Cooper published his selective video. The threat she reads is over-the-top and sadistic. AC contacted her parents and told them to deny that they knew her. She said this to protect them.
Amy Cooper was still in hiding at the time of the interview with Kmele Foster. She is afraid to talk her dog for a walk. She is afraid to enter woods. She is afraid of shopping in grocery stores. She thinks, at times, that her only escape is suicide. She thinks she might move to a distant country. AC says she would like to talk to Christian Cooper “one-on-one as two adult human beings.” Her legal team has reached out and Christian Cooper has not responded. What would she like to open the conversation with? “You scared me.”
Kmele Foster investigated Christian Cooper’s documented behavior before the incident. Cooper had been actively pushing for more police in the park. He wanted the police there to ticket those walking dogs off leash. The idea that Amy Cooper was the one assuming that the police were on her side is absurd. In any case, the New York City police force is majority minority.
AC was condemned for perceiving a harmless black man as threatening. In fact, as Kmele Foster revealed, Christian Cooper himself reported that he’d been having violent, physical altercations with dog walkers in Central Park. Foster also revealed that Jerome Lockett, a black man, reported that Cooper had “aggressively” threatened him. Lockett said that AC “may have genuinely been afraid for her life … two fellow dog owners have had similar situations with this man, but don’t feel comfortable coming forward because they’re white. They think they’ll be seen as some ‘Karen.'” Christian Cooper, Lockett insisted, “IS threatening with his body language and screaming … this man is a dick.”
On June 13, 2023, Random House released Better Living through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World by Christian Cooper. Notes has received rhapsodic reviews: “wondrous and captivating … joyous” “uplifting and inspiring,” “tender, honest, funny, wise, poignant, piercing,” “lyrical, lush,” “funny, brave, kind, eagle-eyed.”
Notes would not have been published had Woke Christ figure Christian Cooper not been martyred by a “Karen.” The book does not hang together. When focused on his love of birds, Cooper writes beautifully, if with an antique formality. Spock, from Star Trek, is his role model. That comes across in his stilted prose. A portion of the book is a family memoir. A portion records various “hook-ups.” A portion is about his adoption of superheroes as a replacement for Christianity, for which he expresses contempt. The final portion of the book revisits Christian Cooper’s clash with Amy Cooper in Central Park. This portion is vicious, unhinged, and honed to twist the knife into a woman who can’t fight back and whose life he has already destroyed.
The book makes clear, in spite of the author’s intentions, that Christian Cooper has lived a charmed life. Cooper grew up on Long Island. His school teacher parents were married and they loved him. His “chocolate-brown-skinned, beautiful and charming” mother was a “model wife with a fierce belief” that her son was “destined for greatness.” His great grandfather was a dentist. His maternal grandmother was a home-owning neuroscience nurse who had traveled to China, Hawaii and Egypt. This grandmother treated young Christian as her “golden boy.” The two of them attended Broadway plays together. The Cooper parents and children attended movies together as a family.
Cooper père was a science nerd and he took his family in a camper van on “cross country” expeditions to events like a total solar eclipse. They traveled around the US and to Canada’s Banff National Park. In Yellowstone their cocker spaniel had a close encounter with a bear. In his retirement, Cooper’s father took up piloting gliders. His parents allowed him to dig a trench in the back yard and run a hose in the trench in order to attract birds. I mentioned this to a childhood friend, who, like me, grew up working class with less indulgent parents. He said, “If I tried that, my body would be at the bottom of that trench.”
Surrounding adults mentored young Christian; prominent birders took him under their wing. These mentors were white. He had a “racially mixed bag” of friends. One, as a child, made his own movie – not something the oppressed masses generally achieve. His friends included him; one summer he was invited to four weddings. His commute to school took him past a working farm. Cooper graduated from Harvard. While at Harvard he made white friends he is in touch with decades later. He received money to travel and has traveled throughout Central and South America, The Caribbean, Iceland, Europe, Africa, Nepal, Hawaii, Canada, from Banff to Nova Scotia, the Galapagos and other destinations most people only dream of. He got lost in the Australian outback and a white family took him in and treated him as an honored guest.
A Harvard friend got Cooper a job in magazines. Eventually, Cooper got his dream job, working at Marvel comics. As a physically fit, healthy, and attractive man, he has an active sex life. One lover was a “hard bodied and haughty” kept man in Argentina. This man’s sugar daddy allowed him to have his own affairs on the side. With him, young Cooper socialized with Richard Gere and Mick and Bianca Jagger. Cooper trekked to the Everest area in Nepal with his lover Scott. Scott is white. While on that trek, he proposed to Scott, and they later married, and then divorced. I got no sense of Scott or of the relationship. I don’t know if Cooper’s identifying with Spock, the unemotional Vulcan, is responsible for his superficial and unengaging accounts of his relationships. Conversely, Cooper was able to pen vivid accounts of his relationships with his natal family members.
So, yes, Christian Cooper has lead a charmed life. Throughout every portion of the book, though, Cooper repeatedly reminds the reader that he, Christian Cooper, is a constantly suffering victim. Focus on race appears to have been a constant in his childhood home. As per Kendi, even black success was somehow proof of white racism. During one family dinner, “someone at the table” referred to SCOTUS justice Clarence Thomas as “the silent, pliant cushion beneath Scalia’s ass upholstered in rich brown but stuffed with substanceless white fluff for its master’s maximum comfort and support.”
The Cooper family passed on “enduring, specific” “family lore” about a grandmother “we knew little about” except they all thought that she might have been white. And evil. This “theorized” “Karen” grandmother had four children with Cooper’s black grandfather. This “Karen,” he alleges, abandoned her children, including Cooper’s father, who was then an infant, and called her own children by the n-word. The Coopers taught each other “hate” and “disgust” for this ghostly “persona non grata” who was so bad she must have been white. And none of them ever met her, or knew if she really was white or not.
Years later, thanks to a long lost relative, Cooper heard a different story. His black grandfather was an “abusive monster” who “kicked” the grandmother out and denied her contact with her children. His grandmother exhibited lifelong sadness about the loss of her children. After he discovered this, Cooper refused to share the information with his father, who went to his grave hating his own mother as a “Karen.”
In addition to suffering because he is black, Cooper is a victim because he is gay, and he is a victim because he is a “nerd.” “I struggled with being a queer kid in an unwelcoming world, and it simultaneously compounded my black outsider status while setting my complete and utter nerdiness in concrete.”
Cooper’s proclamations of his own victimhood reach a histrionic, masochistic nadir when Cooper depicts himself to prey. The Eleanora’s falcon is a predator that eats insects. When breeding, Eleanora’s falcons will catch small songbirds, tear off their flight feathers, and imprison the crippled birds in crevices in rocks. Later, the falcon feeds the songbird to its young. Christian Cooper insists that he is like those trapped songbirds, waiting to be consumed by falcon chicks’ ravenous gullets. “Imagine being trapped like that, meant to be free but instead rendered a helpless, hapless victim until your merciless end. Been there. Done that.”
Cooper’s parents send him to a woodworking class. Many would be grateful for such loving parents and such opportunities, for blessings few enjoy. Cooper says he faced a “Sophie’s choice” as to whether he’d use his skills to build a bird feeder, supposedly a non-masculine project. “Sophie’s choice” is a reference to a fictional Polish woman being given the all-too-frequent choice, under Nazi occupation, of which child to save and which to doom. Cooper has never faced such a choice and his metaphor is self-dramatizing and grotesquely insensitive.
His life was defined by “sad particulars.” “No one had a clue of the despair I felt inside … terribly alone and constantly afraid … buried alive … locked inside a coffin under six feet of earth, in utter darkness, slowly suffocating … I pounded on the lid for someone to let me out but no one could hear my screams … friends and family walked over my grave.” Cooper lived with “centuries of systemic oppression.” He personally lived out “the horrors of slavery and being constitutionally deemed three-fifths of a person … lynchings, segregation, economic disparity and outright and implicit bias” he is “disadvantaged in life.” He was “trying to survive in a world that hates” him.
Cooper invented an alter ego, Dr. Ramus, the opposite of Uncle Remus. In poems, Cooper described Ramus committing sadistic acts, including “dancing with glee on the rotting corpse of dead bunny … blood and brains leak from his head.” In another poem, he describes mass murdering high school students, including “the blonde, the jock, the brain … we’re gonna watch them die.” These poems were a reflection, he insists, of “my own grim experience” because “the universe” wants him to “live short and suffer … my heart was breaking.” “I was a broken-winged thing stuffed inside a dark place where I wouldn’t survive much longer … I was a broken blackbird.” America is “a country rife with prejudice.”
After graduating from Harvard, he decided against law school, because as “someone who’s black and openly queer” America would not allow him to practice law. Apparently neither Cooper nor his editors at Random House has ever heard of Roy Cohn, Thurgood Marshall, Johnnie Cochrane, or Bayard Rustin, who was black and openly gay, and not a lawyer, but who helped change laws for the better for blacks and for gays. “I’d spent my whole life being told that as a Black person I was not quite as worthy as a white person.” Because of “pervasive bias” even Star Trek is racist. After having sex with a white “hook-up” in Australia, Cooper says to the man, “Your people f—ed mine for so long I figured I’d return the compliment.”
When Cooper whined about ice inside his lodge window in Nepal, I thought of the dying Nepalis the Sisters of Charity collected from the streets. Cooper is surrounded, in Nepal, by human suffering, but it’s the ice inside his own window that he sees. Christian Cooper does not describe himself doing anything significant to alleviate anyone else’s suffering. He does not mention any significant gratitude to anyone. I know that I enjoy what I do enjoy thanks to American servicemen and women, to the Founding Fathers, to police. All of these people are flawed and many agitated against people like me. Catholic immigrants, too, were lynched, discriminated against, and witnessed burning crosses. I know this not just from images like this one, but from horrendous family history. Still I am grateful. Gratitude helps keep me sane. Turning gratitude into a sin is another way Woke harms those it claims it champions.
Central Park is a racist park, Cooper informs his reader. “The park’s very existence was contingent upon Black suffering.” In Cooper’s Central Park account, Cooper equates himself to Philando Castille, Amadou Diallo, and Eric Garner. In Cooper’s selective history, there is no Justine Ruszczyk, Channon Gail Christian, Christina Spicuzza, Christine Englehardt, Tessa Majors, Ee Lee, Victoria “Tori” Smith, Kitty Genovese, Christine Summers, Michelle Alyssa Go, Kristal Bayron-Nieves, or Mari McElyea. Christian Cooper’s doctored history never mentions Andreas Probst, Lawrence Herr, Josef Neumann, 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee, or eight-year-old Jackson Sparks. Christian Cooper is one with Emmett Till and Philando Castile. White women, that is, “Karens,” are one with the plantation owner’s wife. Cooper’s take on corporate identity is highly convenient for him. Philando Castile is in his history books; the black men who murdered the above listed white, Hispanic, Asian, and Jewish men and women are not. Missing from Christian Cooper’s history: the black teens who raped and murdered Ee Lee in a public park in daylight while nine others videotaped the assault and shared it via Facebook. “I love raping C—k b—–s,” they said. One attacker said he didn’t care about his victim because “she is not someone he knows personally.” In Woke scripture, Christian Cooper can say, “I refuse to be the next Philando Castile.” No “Karen” can say “I refuse to be the next Kitty Genovese or Ee Lee.”
Cooper blames Amy Cooper, Canadian, for “brown skinned bodies swung from trees.” “We” – a pronoun that includes Christian Cooper – “we lie shattered by a hail of police bullets … Tulsa, Rosewood, and Emmett Till.” Amy Cooper is, in Christian Cooper’s telling, “that bloody, blunt object, the White Damsel in Distress Threatened by the Black Menace.” Amy Cooper “tried to club me into compliance with her wish.” Christian Cooper falsely alleges that this frightened woman “speaks in a triumphal tone … her intent was to use the long history of fear of the Black Man … to intimidate me into submission … They [white Americans] are going to shoot us [black Americans] dead no matter what we do.” When Amy Cooper appeared afraid, she was in “performative mode.” That it was Amy Cooper’s life that effectively ended that day was all her own fault. “She brought about her own downfall.”
The night of October 25, 1980, art student Mo Lea was walking to a Leeds, West Yorkshire bus stop after having had a few beers with friends. She had heard of a “ripper;” she knew that women needed to be cautious. Even so, as she walked alone across a dark and deserted campus, when a man following her called to her in a “friendly” voice, she turned and walked toward the man. She “made excuses” for not recognizing him. The man was Peter Sutcliffe, who is known to have killed or attempted to kill twenty women in five years. A constant feature of accounts of women harmed by men is that male assailants rely on women’s fear of appearing rude or unpleasant. Mo wanted to be “nice” so, though she was alone at night and knew of a ripper, she walked toward a serial killer who knocked her unconscious and repeatedly struck her prostrate form with a weapon. Passersby interrupted the attack.
We don’t see the pain of Amy Cooper, sexual assault survivor, for the same reason that my superiors disregarded the pain of the girl with cancer, for the same reason that the Woke would dismiss my friend who survived a Dickensian childhood only to embark on an adulthood of endless hard work as merely a “privileged white male.” Woke is a religion that distorts how we perceive suffering, and how we distribute compassion.
Danusha Goska is the author of God Through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery.