With freshmen three-quarters of the way through their first year at Cal, they’ve started to experience some changes. By this point in the year, most freshmen no longer use lanyards, have picked the favorite of their two roommates (It’s obviously Karen, fuck Angela), and have started to genuinely think that Birkenstocks are cute. However, there is another, even larger change that most freshmen have gone through: they’re… pretty #woke now.
“Yeah, so like I’m halfway through Anthro 3AC right now, and it’s been really eye-opening” stated first-year Political Economy student Chelsea Andrews. “Seriously, it’s so crazy. Did you know that America… is racist?”
Why yes, Chelsea, we did know. But, Chelsea is not the only freshman realizing this. All over campus, freshmen are realizing that society is a friggin mess. However, as combating “the institutionalized inequality of American society” is rather hard, most freshmen have found an alternative way to feel better. They have just decided to ooze white guilt.
Make no mistake, there is value in learning about the inequalities of society, and actively working to oppose these in an effort to create a more equitable future. That being said, that’s not really what’s happening. Rather than engaging in actual socio-political change, which is both time consuming and often so, so, so fucking disheartening, these freshmen are instead engaging in what can best be described as performative nonsense that does little other than absolve themselves from guilt.
Chelsea, unfortunately, is doing just that. “Yeah, I’ve been super politically actively lately. I have been retweeting a lot of very socially conscious threads, I’ve considered skimming The New Jim Crow, and I even changed my cover photo to a picture of Rihanna with the caption ‘nothing but respect for my president.’ Ugh, Kween.”
Other signifiers of this performative white guilt include placing socially conscious buttons on Fjallraven bags, posting woke quotes on Instagram stories, and being just a little into Donald Glover’s Atlanta. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a very good show, but some people are just a little too into it.
“Seriously, I don’t know how more people aren’t outraged by stuff lately. Like back home in Encinitas, no one’s aware. It’s like… read a book, you know? Anyway, have you seen Atlanta? It’s, soooooooo good.”
If you’ve been reading this and are worried that you too may just be performatively woke, don’t worry, there’s still time to change. You don’t have to be stuck doing some pretend woke nonsense, like writing socially conscious satire for some bullshit student publication. Like, what benefit is there from that?