America's woke Left lectures the rest of the population almost daily that racism is evil, and that they are the ones fighting it. Yet, their ugly and racist reactions to Senator Tim Scott's (R-SC) speech demonstrate that the woke Left is no different from the very racists they condemn. The woke Left judges people and treats others differently based on the color of their skin, with particular hatred reserved for minorities who don't embrace the woke ideology. The only difference between the skinheads and the woke Left is that the woke Left hides its racism under cover of nice-sounding words such as "fact-finding," "equity," "social justice" and, of course, "anti-racism."
The woke Left's racism is not a phenomenon that exists only on social media. It has permeated throughout our society, from the government to health care to large corporations and schools. It is becoming a systemic problem in America.
Woke racism has influenced how governments at both the federal and the state/local levels have structured COVID-19 aid programs to Americans. For instance, as soon as Joe Biden became the U.S. president, he announced that his administration would restructure the COVID-related small business loan program by prioritizing businesses owned by minority and female Americans. A month later, Democrats in Congress wrote a special clause in the "American Rescue Plan," a federal COVID-19 relief package, instructing the secretary of agriculture to provide debt relief to farmers based not on concrete needs but on the color of recipients' skin.
At the local level, Democratic Oakland, California Mayor Libby Schaaf, announced last month that the city would hand out a monthly guaranteed payment to its Black and Indigenous families and other people of color ("BIPOC," as it is commonly referred to). But poor whites who live below the poverty line are not eligible. Mayor Schaaf is a member of the National Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, and she hopes to eventually export her city's race-based basic income program throughout the nation. (Incidentally, Oakland is hardly a model of success in poverty reduction: The city has seen its poverty rate and homeless population increase after spending millions on various anti-poverty programs for decades.)
Woke racism has also influenced essential health care decisions. Some woke "health experts" argued that "social justice concern," alongside "science," should help drive the CDC's decisions about how to prioritize COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The CDC created a "social vulnerability index" to help guide distribution. The index de-emphasized the elderly even though they are the most vulnerable segment and have suffered the highest fatality rate over the course of the pandemic. According to The New York Times, woke "experts" openly spoke about how letting the older populations who are also whiter die helps "level the playing field." An infectious disease expert at Harvard even argued that teachers weren't essential workers because "they are often very white." For anyone ever wondering how a death panel of government-run health care might operate in practice, these woke experts' normalization of racism should send chills down the spine.
Given the growing wokeness of America's big corporations, no one should be surprised to learn that American workers are indoctrinated with woke racism disguised as mandatory diversity training. For example, employees at Coca-Cola were required to take a diversity training course that suggested they be "less white" and "less oppressive." The company pulled the training after an internal whistleblower exposed it, but there's no doubt many American workers are still subject to similar training throughout corporate America.
Woke racism even now affects adoptions by discouraging white families from adopting black children. Naomi Schaefer Riley, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, concludes that such an approach "meant that a lot of Black children languished in foster care rather than finding permanent homes" because "there are many more Black children in foster care than there are Black families volunteering to take them in."
Of course, woke racism is most evident in our education system. Some colleges have racially segregated dorms and organize separate graduation ceremonies for students of different races and identities. But the most harmful effects of woke racism come in the form of teaching.
Children as young as the third grade are indoctrinated with critical race theory (CRT), which claims a person's skin color will determine his/her future. CRT designates all white people as oppressors who "hold power and stay in power," while holding that all people of color are oppressed. The only exception is Asians, because CRT treats Asians as "white-adjacent" due to Asian Americans' overall economic success and educational attainment. Such crude and divisive teaching purposefully instills "guilt" and shame among white students. It also engenders hopelessness and victimhood among minority students, leading them to believe that little can be done to improve their lives on their own merit (because merit is also a "white privilege"). Despite the harm CRT presents, the Biden administration's Department of Education has signaled that it will attempt to foist CRT on all public schools in America.
While actively pushing CRT in classrooms, woke educators and administrators also willfully dumb down education in the name of fighting racism and achieving equity. Math, science and proper English grammar are regarded as racist. The Oregon Department of Education encourages teachers to teach "ethnomathematics" (learning how different cultures use math) because "white supremacy manifests itself in a focus on finding the right answer and demanding students to show their work." For the woke Left, anyone who insists that "2+2=4" is a white supremacist. This ridiculous idea that objective math is racist is gaining traction in some of the largest school districts in the nation.
The Virginia Department of Education was planning to eliminate all accelerated math options before 11th grade, and only retracted its plan after public backlash. But the California Department of Education is moving full-speed ahead to eliminate calculus from high school curricula and cancel all gifted programs for high-achieving students. The movement is driven by the woke Left's crass belief that Asian students are over-represented in those programs, based on statistics such as this: "In California in 2004-2014, 32 percent of Asian American students were in gifted programs, compared with 8 percent of White students, 4 percent of Black students and 3 percent of Latinx students." Canceling gifted programs to prevent Asian kids' domination is the kind of anti-Asian bigotry that the woke Left doesn't want to admit.
Keep in mind such eliminations won't affect affluent families, because they can afford to hire after-school tutors to make sure their kids learn actual knowledge that will prepare them for future success. But poor minority children will suffer because they are denied the opportunity to learn the knowledge they need to land promising careers and embark upon paths of upward economic mobility. Rather than bringing equity in education, the woke Left's education policies will perpetuate racial disparities in educational attainment and financial outcome in our society.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines racism as policies and practices that "result in and support an unfair advantage to some people and unfair or harmful treatment of others based on race." By this definition, what the woke Left practices is racism. It seems that everything the woke Left does, regardless of its rhetoric, will result in unfair advantage for some and harm for others based solely on race. Since the woke Left controls our government, big corporations, mainstream media, health care and education, woke racism has become a systemic problem that keeps America racially divided and unequal. For America to achieve genuine racial healing and equality of opportunity for all, we must confront woke racism the same way we confront old-school racism.
Helen Raleigh, CFA, is an American entrepreneur, writer and speaker. Helen is the author of Backlash: How China's Aggression Has Backfired and Confucius Never Said. Follow her on Twitter: @HRaleighspeaks and visit her website: www.helenraleighspeaks.com.
The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.