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Opinion | Woke Me When It’s Over

George Orwell warned in “1984” of a world in which “the past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” At the Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith was obliged to rewrite what had been said about sweets — chocolate, not cookies — to hide the fact of ever-dwindling rations.

What Bon Appétit — which saw its editor depart last year after a 16-year-old Halloween photo of him trying to look like a Puerto Rican stereotype resurfaced on the internet — is doing with its recipe archive may seem like a farce. But it’s a telling one. If a major media company like Condé Nast can choose to erase and rewrite its food archives for the sake of current Woke sensibilities, why stop there?

In the summer of 2008, The New Yorker ran cover art of Barack and Michelle Obama giving each other a fist bump in the Oval Office. He was dressed in Middle Eastern garb. She had a machine gun slung over her shoulder and wore her hair in a big Afro. A portrait of Osama bin Laden hung over the mantel, and an American flag was burning in the fire. Even by the comparatively liberal standards of 2008, the cover was considered egregious.

At the time, The New Yorker’s editor, David Remnick, defended the art by saying that it was satirical. But in the humorless world of Woke, the satire is never funny, the statute of limitations never expires, Remnick’s intentions are irrelevant and his judgments inherently biased. If Condé Nast is serious about “repairing” its archives for the sake of rectifying past sins, there’s no good reason not to erase that cover, too.

What comes next? In January, Jason Kilborn, a law professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was placed on indefinite administrative leave, barred from campus and kicked off his committee assignments after students protested that he had included “n____” and “b_____” as part of his semester exam on civil procedure.

No, he didn’t use the slurs themselves. He just wrote the first letter followed by a line. It still didn’t spare him.

“The visual of the N-word on Professor Kilborn’s exam was mental terrorism,” claimed a petition from the Black Law Students Association.

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