The rainbow fabric of woke is now fraying.
Editor’s Note – This essay was originally published at American Greatness on June 22, 2023.
Wokeness was envisioned as a new reboot of the coalition of the oppressed. Those purportedly victimized by traditional America would find “intersectional” solidarity in their victimhood owing to the supposed sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other alleged American sins, past and present.
The so-called white male heterosexual victimizing class was collectively to be held responsible for their sinful triad of white “rage,” “supremacy,” and “privilege.” Class considerations became passé. The Duchess of Sussex, and the billionaires Oprah Winfrey and LeBron James, shared grievances against all whites, whether they hailed from Martha’s Vineyard or impoverished East Palestine, Ohio.
A bicoastal elite would draft the woke agenda and the oppressed would follow as ordered. That top-down blueprint would embrace massive multibillion-dollar reparations to blacks. In lockstep, all victims would rally around a Green New Deal that mandated high energy costs to discourage consumption of fossil fuels.
The new transgender canon mandated three sexes. Sex is socially rather than biologically determined. And there is a large, oppressed, and transgender population: this presents the next great civil rights struggle for America. Historical wokeism lodged a list of grievances against the supposedly flawed American past. Indicting the dead required statues to be toppled. Names had to be changed. Histories were to be rewritten. Even the foundational date of America was to be reconsidered and altered.
Yet, the rainbow fabric of woke is now fraying—and for a variety of reasons.
For one thing, woke took off after the perfect storm of the COVID pandemic, the devastating lockdown, the 120 days of violent rioting and looting following the death of George Floyd, and years of endemic Trump Derangement Syndrome. Most of those catalysts are waning. Temporarily unhinged Americans are slowly reviving. Millions of the comatose are waking up to normality—and don’t recognize their own country.
Two, woke is retrogressive, reactionary, and anti-civilizational. Decriminalizing the legal code, defunding the police, failing to apply norms to the homeless population, and destroying meritocracy have all hollowed out our major cities. San Francisco was a far cleaner, safer, and kinder city 20, 40, or 80 years ago than it is today. A woke FBI, Pentagon, or airline industry becomes a matter of life and death.
Three, in modern America, class is now a far more accurate metric of oppression than race or gender. It is one thing to restrict fossil fuel development if you are in the upper one percent income bracket, quite another if you commute 50 miles a day in a used car. If there are to be reparations, why include Eric Holder or Al Sharpton, but not indigent Hispanics, Asians, and poor whites? The multimillionaire, and prep-school and Ivy-League educated Barack Obama may castigate the unwoke Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) for his absence of victimhood. But from which of his three enclaves does Obama do so—the Kalorama mansion, the Martha’s Vineyard estate, or the restricted-access beachfront retreat in Hawaii?
Four, religions also trump race. Hispanic-American Catholics and Middle-Eastern-American Muslims have more in common with so-called white Christians than they do with an atheist, or agnostic woke elite who pushes the lie that the anti-religion Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a mere charity group. Muslim-American communities in Michigan do not want children seeing drag queen shows or the pride flag flying with equal status to the American flag. The Catholic Hispanic community of Los Angeles has little tolerance for lurid anti-Christian motifs that preview a Los Angeles Dodgers game.
Five, wokeism is cannibalistic. Even the children of woke architects with perfect SAT scores and 4.0 grade point averages are being rejected on the basis of their race at their coveted Ivy League schools. Neither the mansions of Beverly Hills nor estates of Presidio Heights qualify as sanctuaries from violent criminals, who are now exempted by the anointed from legal consequences.
The wokest of Hollywood celebs will soon lose movie roles and be disqualified for film awards on the basis of their race. Even the most left-wing of movie directors do not want to be ordered by Soviet-style commissars to hire their crews, actors, and writers on the basis of race.
Six, wokeism is a dangerous diversion of American resources. The United States may have sponsored gender studies programs, flown pride flags, and bragged of George Floyd murals in Kabul. But meanwhile its military suffered the most humiliating defeat in a half-century, as it skedaddled from Afghanistan, leaving behind billions of dollars in deadly arms for terrorists. Our elite work to ban plentiful natural gas, subsidize transgendered activism abroad, and lecture on sexual identities in the military. China’s elite builds dozens of coal and nuclear plants, and doubles the size of its navy, while preparing to absorb Taiwan.
Americans are rejecting wokeism because they finally are realizing that if they do not, they will not have a civilization left.