America Is Fast Becoming a Woke Theocracy | Opinion

Wokeism is fast becoming the new state religion.

Should it overtake our government, in making identity politics paramount it will unmake any semblance of a unifying American identity.

In so doing, it will serve as the ultimate tool of cynical, radically leftist power-grabbers, who will be dividing and conquering under the guise of a fraudulent virtue, justice and morality.

The Woke's core views have been bubbling up from elite classrooms to the commanding heights of society for decades. The idea that America is a deplorable, irredeemable nation, marked by and rooted in racism, sexism, imperialism and the like, is not new. Nor is the idea that racism, and its manifestations, beginning with slavery, and then pervading every other part of our "system," drives all disparities in society—disparities that must be "fixed" with reverse racism.

What is different is that now such views have been legitimated by the authorities and mainstreamed in our culture. If you dare to challenge them, you are liable to end up excommunicated from American life—canceled. After all, dissenting from the Woke orthodoxy makes you a racist.

Consider some of the signs that indicate the fast-accelerating ascent of Wokeism.

In New York City, at the same time Mayor Bill de Blasio was preventing Jews and Christians from freely exercising their religions—including peaceably assembling—he permitted adherents of Wokeism to assemble en masse in protesting, rioting and looting with impunity. The Woke enjoyed First Amendment rights foreclosed to the faithful.

Mayor de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the relevant health authorities had argued the coronavirus-driven draconian shutdown of New York City, and the rest of the state, was necessary to save lives. If so, by permitting the Woke to flood the streets, were not New York officials conceding that public health was not really the number one priority? Were they not suggesting that they were willing to let people get sick and die because the right to practice Wokeism was absolute, sacrosanct and preeminent—this, incidentally, after instructing citizens to take to the streets in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year in February, coronavirus be damned, in context of a broader campaign against purported coronavirus-related anti-Chinese discrimination? Were they not affirming that Wokeism mattered more than the lives of the Woke—and everyone else?

Certainly, this view would seem to have been reinforced, as, in the face of the Woke, New York reduced police funding, and policing itself, which coincided with a dramatic rise in violent crime.

State sponsorship of Wokeism continues to this day.

In apparently prioritizing Wokeism over public health, New York was not alone. California barred people from singing in churches at the same time that the Woke were permitted to protest freely. Now the state is shutting down again amid rising coronavirus cases.

In one Oregon county, health officials mandated that citizens wear masks when unable to socially distance, but exempted "People of color who have heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment due to wearing face coverings in public."

In St. Louis, menacing protesters by the dozens were able to threaten a couple, the McCloskeys, at their home, without consequence. The police did not rush to the McCloskeys' aid. In fact, after the husband and wife were recorded brandishing firearms to deter those descending on their home, authorities left them not only defenseless, but threatened to disarm them and throw them in jail.

Did it not appear again as if privileging the Woke was now the highest responsibility of government, over and above protecting our natural rights, including those to life, liberty and property—all of which the Woke threatened?

While the "summer of love" may be over in Seattle, with CHOP/CHAZ—the ultimate symbol of government acquiescence to Wokeism—no more, its ideals persist. Seattle recently held a training session for white municipal employees—to be clear, a government training session for those of a specific race—called "Interrupted Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness." Meanwhile, Washington's state phase-in plan for public schools calls for giving priority to "students furthest from educational justice first," specifically including "students of color"—that is, on the basis of race.

Kentucky's governor promised a plan to provide health insurance "to cover 100 percent of our individuals in our Black and African-American communities." No word yet on what that means for other communities, or the ramifications of the broader idea that governments ought to work to confer goods and services on individuals explicitly by race.

Black Lives Matter protester
Black Lives Matter protester outside Seattle's former "autonomous zone" JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images

Wokeism is not merely a part of state and local governments. It is also a part of the federal government.

As the Discovery Institute's Christopher Rufo reported, in June, the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion covering numerous federal financial agencies—including, among others, the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Securities and Exchange Commission—jointly co-sponsored a diversity training event aimed at engendering "allyship amid the George Floyd tragedy" among white agency employees. During the session, officials were instructed to watch videos claiming that "virtually all white people...contribute to racism," told it was "imperative" that "[w]hite[s] invest in race-based growth and development on topics such as systemic racism...unconscious bias...and contemporary ideology, such as anti-racism, intersectionality, [w]hite privilege and [w]hite fragility," and directed to advocate for such views in a sub-section entitled, "Don't perpetuate white silence." Your tax dollars paid for this training, lining the pockets of a private sector "social justice activist."

Wokeism is not limited to the financial authorities. It has also crept into the U.S. defense apparatus. Recently, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reportedly noted in a town hall and weekly email to employees that a colleague had recommended Dr. Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility—the Woke's bible on "anti-racism"—because, according to a spokesman, he "thought it might be of interest to members of the DIA workforce seeking to learn about the perspectives the book highlights." It is not clear how this recommendation serves the DIA's mission to "provide intelligence on foreign militaries to prevent and decisively win wars."

Federal employees are being invited to act on their Wokeism. In spite of the fact that Black Lives Matter (BLM) —a group led by two avowed Marxists and a Marxist sympathizer—advocates for specific political ends, with co-founder Patrisse Cullors stating point-blank that "our goal is to get Trump out [of office]," the U.S. Office of Special Counsel has deemed that federal employees may legally support BLM while on the job.

The federal government also effectively sponsors Wokeism through the cultural institutions it backs—that is, the cultural institutions we again fund with our tax dollars. It was recently unearthed by my friend Ryan Williams—president of the Claremont Institute, where I am a Fellow, who recently graced this digital space—that the National Museum of African American History & Culture has a section of its website entitled, "Talking About Race." One infographic there illustrates that values such as self-reliance, hard work and future orientation, institutions such as the nuclear family and a justice system based on English common law that enshrines private property rights, and practices such as using proper English and being polite are aspects of "white dominant culture"—a culture "where nonwhite persons are seen as inferior or abnormal." Only after facing a backlash did the museum decide to pull down the infographic. But the site's "Talking About Race" section remains, replete with similar materials, including, for example, an embedded video entitled, "Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin DiAngelo."

The moral panic our country is in portends poorly.

What will happen to an America in which Dr. DiAngelo's White Fragility becomes the state's sacred scroll; an America where Wokeism pervades everything, its followers are granted special rights and privileges, and our social fabric is torn asunder in pursuit of retributive justice?

We will get what the Woke desire: The dismantling of our system through the undermining of the principles of our Declaration of Independence—a system that will be replaced by one in which total power resides in a Social Justice Warrior state.

We will get a theocracy of the Woke.

Ben Weingarten is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, fellow at the Claremont Institute and senior contributor to The Federalist. He is the author of American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party (Bombardier, 2020). Ben is the founder and CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and production company. Subscribe to his newsletter at, and follow him on Twitter @bhweingarten.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

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