This piece by the liberal NYT columnist Tom Edsall is the most hopeful thing I’ve read in a while. In it, he details how so many left-wing activist organizations are tearing each other apart internally over wokeness …
Race — one bad assumption:
The best quote is from Steven Pinker, who says that the entire crisis is built on the woke Left’s belief that progress comes from Good defeating Evil (as opposed to problem-solving), and its false assumption about equality: that the only reason for unequal results is bigotry. Pinker calls this “an algorithm for infinite recrimination because of an iron law of social science: nothing ever mirrors the demographic statistics of a nation.” …
I once worked in a professional environment in which a BIPOC was given a plum job far above their experience, and who failed spectacularly. Everyone in the office was expected to avert their eyes from the humiliating disaster of this person’s professional flame-out. Plus, the rest of us had to take on extra work — this person’s work — to give this person “the chance to succeed.” Most of the people I worked with were liberals, but they had earned their positions by hard work and experience, and did not appreciate being compelled to do not only their own work, but somebody else’s, in service to a false philosophy of egalitarianism. When the BIPOC employee eventually burned out, I felt bad for this person, who was young, because they might have succeeded in time, by working themself through the ranks, like everybody else, if the (all-white) upper management hadn’t insisted that only a BIPOC should be hired for that job, and this person was promoted far beyond their ability to do the job — only because of the color of their skin.
This particular issue caused a lot of internal grumbling on the team, eventually among the white liberals, who eventually could not ignore the evidence of their own eyes. But this appointment was part of a broader push within the organization to elevate BIPOCs and other minorities, regardless of the quality of their work. I remember arguing with someone in the office (a white person) who supported this move, and who said, in all sincerity, that “diversity is a component of quality.” No it’s not! A crap piece of writing does not somehow become good because the person who wrote it is a BIPOC, gay, or female. But this is the corrupt principle behind the “decolonizing” of college courses and libraries.
Did someone say colonization?
Ideologues are good with words and excuses:
George Orwell, in Animal Farm, understood well the dynamic at work in these situations. When reality fails to conform to ideological principles, then the ideologue has to find a scapegoat to blame:
If a window was broken or a drain was blocked up, someone was certain to say that Snowball had come in the night and done it, and when the key of the store-shed was lost, the whole farm was convinced that Snowball had thrown it down the well. Curiously enough, they went on believing this even after the mislaid key was found under a sack of meal.
“White supremacy,” “whiteness,” and “institutional racism” are the Snowballs of soft totalitarianism. …
But what if it matters?
Wokeness has captured the US military. What happens when our soldiers, sailors, and airmen, Balkanized from the top, turn tribal, and then on each other? We would be facing an existential question for our nation. …
In Live Not By Lies, I quote (not by name) a physician in a major American hospital who told me that the hospital administration had ordered all the staff to give anybody who showed up wanting cross-sex hormones or surgical intervention what they wanted, no questions asked. This, even if it violated the physicians’ best judgment about what was good for that particular patient. Moreover, the doctor told me that the Human Resources department at the hospital monitored the social media feeds of all the doctors, to make sure none of them tweeted, Facebooked, or Instagrammed anything problematic. This is how far these crazies are willing to go to impose their ideology.
hat-tip Stephen Neil