Wokeness has infiltrated every industry, from the military to media to philanthropy. It has succeeded despite a lack of public support. But, according to Hoover Institution senior fellow Victor Davis Hanson, there is a way to stop it.
The word was first printed in a 1962 New York Times essay and traditionally has meant “conscious” and “aware.” The Oxford Dictionary notes that the term originally meant well-informed or up-to-date, but now chiefly means “alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice.”
Hanson told Fox News that wokeness, as we think of it today, has its roots in decades of critical theory coming from universities.
Today, it’s intertwined with cancel culture, critical race theory, and progressive activism – and it’s everywhere you look.
The U.S. military has offered personal development classes focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended the teaching of critical race theory, and other woke curriculum in military academies before the House Armed Services Committee.
The media has similarly come under fire for their activism, with New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones declaring that “all journalism is activism,” and CBS News reporter Kate Smith leaving the network and immediately declaring her advocacy for abortion rights.
School districts have faced public outcry over their teaching of critical race theory, leading many states to go so far as to ban the curriculum.
Even generosity is not immune. Naomi Schaefer Riley noted in an opinion in the Wall Street Journal that “nonprofits big and small have shifted their missions toward combatting “inequity” and “systematic racism,” and according to Elise Westhoff, president of the Philanthropy Roundtable, “donors have faced intimidation and threats of violence simply for supporting causes they believe in.”
Hanson said the push toward wokeness picked up speed during the Obama administration when there was a “separation of race from class” and a movement to lump all non-White ethnicities into one homogenous identity called “diversity.”
But it wasn’t until the last 18 months that wokeness reached a fever pitch.
For opponents of the societal push toward wokeness, Hanson said not all hope is lost – the majority of American’s don’t support it either.
“Whatever aspect that we look at in wokeness, whether it’s gender or race or immigration, transgenderism, it doesn’t have public support,” Hanson said.
Sixty-eight percent of American adults disapprove of the current administration’s handling of the southern border, where an open-door policy has led to a massive influx of illegal immigrants into the country, according to Pew Research.
A Fox News poll further showed that, despite a raging debate in many communities over critical race theory being taught in school, nearly half of voters say they have never heard of it. Only a quarter of Americans are in favor of teaching it to U.S. students.
Another Pew Research study showed 73% of Americans say college admissions should not be based on race.
One thing is clear about the trend that has dominated much of academia, media, and corporate America: it does not stem from overwhelming grassroots support.
Hanson said that is because proponents of woke ideology are now in positions of leadership.
“Unlike the ’60s revolution, which were protesting outside the corporation or outside the New York Times or Hollywood, these people are inside,” said Hanson. “They’ve taken over. So they run Hollywood, they run the NBA, they run the Major League Baseball, they run the NFL, they run Wall Street, they run Silicon Valley, they run the universities, they run the media.”
“They infiltrated these institutions and took them over,” he continued. “So that’s what explains why an agenda that has very little popular support continues to thrive.”
Mainstream media, Hanson noted, has fully bought into this ideology and can’t be counted on to report on it fairly.
Outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post are now “fused with the woke mob,” he said.
“They pick left-wing reporters, so you can’t count on the media to stop the wokeness or to report on its setbacks. They won’t do it.”
The left has succeeded in pushing this ideology into every facet of American life because they are organized, he continued, and opponents need to learn to fight fire with fire.
The Woke Mob And Critical Race Theory (CRT)
A Minnesota fourth-grade student and her mother expressed concern to their local school board after her class was given an “equity survey.” Students were told not to tell their parents about the activity.
Sitting alongside her mother Kelsey, fourth-grader Hayley Yasgar in a Monday interview said that the questions were confusing, and it made her “very nervous and uncomfortable” when the students were told not to tell their parents.
According to a video uploaded by Alphanews, when students didn’t understand some of the survey questions, they were told by a teacher in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District to not repeat the survey questions to their parents.
“The survey asked questions that some students didn’t understand. Even after hearing an explanation from their teacher, some still couldn’t comprehend the survey questions,” The Center Square reported.
The George Floyd incident sparked a nationwide conversation on race and the role of policing. School districts across America are pushing critical race theory on students to attempt to contextualize current events on matters of race.
CRT curriculum has sparked a national conversation about the role of race and racism in school districts across the country. Compared to actual racism, CRT is often a school of thought that generally focuses on how power structures and institutions impact racial minorities.
Kelsey Yasgar said that although parents were “informed that the equity audit was taking place, they were not informed on the date of the activity and not given other details.” She explained further that due to the lack of transparency from the school district and from Equity Alliance Minnesota, the third party that administered the survey, parents were not informed of the questions being asked to the students.
Yasgar was “very upset” when her daughter told her that teachers instructed her not to repeat any of the questions being asked of them.
“I do want to say, though; I believe that this wasn’t a single case that her teacher made this decision. We had been informed that this came down from the administration and Equity Alliance of Minnesota instructed them to make sure the children did not share this information with their parents, and that should pose a great concern in any parents’ eyes,” Hayley said.
Victor David Hanson closed one interview in discussion Wokeness and Critical Race Theory (CRT) with these thoughts:
“[Republicans] are very polite, they don’t cancel people out, they don’t boycott, they don’t get angry and noisy. And I think that has to end,” Hanson said.
The people who oppose woke ideology are “half the country,” he continued. But they aren’t “organized like the left is.”
“So I think they have to use the same methodology to fight back. Otherwise, they’re going to be steamrolled by a minority that doesn’t have popular support, that’s very much better organized and funded.”
Hanson said he could already see the public backlash against wokeism – the most notable examples being school board protests and Eric Adams, a pro-law enforcement candidate, winning the Democratic mayoral primary in New York.
But on a larger scale, he said, it will take a “charismatic, effective candidate who doesn’t polarize people and says, ‘Look, we’re not going to throw away the traditions of the United States because of a bad year or a bankrupt theory.'”
“I think the Republicans are going to have a big midterm election,” Hanson predicted. “That’s what destroyed the Obama administration was the Tea Party pickup of 63 seats in 2010.”
“So, I think it can be stopped because there’s no public support for it.”
It seems like there is hope to stop this insanity. But we all must awaken and understand that good things don’t always “just happen.” Evil dominates the process of instigating “bad things.” Let’s hope Americans will come to life and cancel Cancel Culture, Wokeness, and CRT.
We MUST make this happen!