Policy Issues / Budget

Woke: Key Definitions and Concepts

The taxpayer-funded woke federal bureaucracy is a threat to the American way of life. The political and media elite have a vested interest in downplaying or obfuscating the theories undergirding wokeness. Typically, they will define woke and its various iterations in the most benign and uncontroversial way or outright deny that woke ideology actually exists. That is why it is critical to clearly define what woke means and why it is a threat.

Key Definitions: 

Woke: An ideology that believes American society is fundamentally oppressive on the basis of race and identity. It is an effort to divide Americans on the basis of race, gender, and sexual preference in order to achieve equality of outcome, by discriminating in favor of the perceived oppressed groups. 

Critical Race Theory (CRT): An applied theory teaching that America and its key institutions are systemically and irredeemably racist against people of color. CRT teaches that every social structure (including churches, businesses, and family units) contains elements of racism and that most, if not all, white Americans are racist. CRT further states that this racism is a permanent feature of American life. Additionally, CRT claims that such things as merit, standards, testing, grading, and objectivity are skewed. 

Equity: A forced equality of outcomes and a rejection of equality of opportunity. Equity contradicts the basic constitutional promise of equality under the law and instead requires identity-based prioritization (oppressed) or discrimination (oppressor) in hiring, distribution of benefits, services, government contracts, and any aspect of society where opportunity, resources, and power can be redistributed. 

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI): The name for the institutional bureaucracy and internal policies that enforce the woke agenda within government, business, and education. DEI is a significant tool for furthering the woke agenda to remake American society. Diversity is measured against the Left’s intersectional framework. Equity requires equal outcomes but only for the favored segment of the intersectional framework. Inclusion is for only those espousing the woke worldview.  

Intersectionality: A type of identity politics that combines traits and characteristics (race, sexual preference, etc.) to form hierarchical identities that enhance the perception of one being more oppressed than other groups. It incentivizes competition between groups to determine who is the most oppressed. This mindset leads to an “Oppression Olympics” to discover new offenses and disadvantages.

Anti-Racism: A framework that promotes and supports a form of systemic racism with the purpose of forcing equal outcomes (equity). Anti-racism is meant to justify racial discrimination so long as it is pursued in the name of achieving equity for the perceived oppressed groups in our society. Ibram X. Kendi in How to Be an Antiracist: “If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist…The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” Anti-racism is meant to justify racial and sexual discrimination so long as it is pursued in the name of achieving equity for the perceived oppressed groups in our society.

Culturally Responsive: A concept that rejects conformity to a shared American culture, preventing Americans (and in the context of schooling, children) from uniting as one people. It undermines and vilifies American culture and society while promoting and elevating other cultures. As one example, NYU’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, in guidance for how re-open schools after the pandemic, calls for reimagining schools and learning environments that are “erotic” where “learning itself, is pleasure.” It calls into question homework (“making homework a thing of the past”), grading, “back to school nights,” and disciplinary suspensions. It re-focuses class time on the “current geo-sociopolitical climate,” encourages affinity groups based on race, gender, and sexual orientation, further dividing the student population, and envisions students being surveyed during the summer to determine what they want to learn when they return. The guidance “eliminate[s] failure as an option.”

Social Emotional Learning (SEL): The vehicle through which critical theories are injected into the K-12 education system through the “whole child framework.” As such, SEL is used to teach kids how to interpret the people around them, how to think about society, and then intentionally how to behave socially according to a woke worldview.  As one example from the same NYU Center, “SEL work in the classroom allows for validation of emotions and feelings… students were able to engage in a lesson analyzing the many moods experienced by activists historically and currently and the need for them to utilize feelings such as anger, oppression, and rage towards designing a strategy for change. The many moods an activist may experience from pain, to sorrow, to fury and at the same time, a feeling of joy and a calling shows a clear example of how all feelings are valid and have purpose.” 

Climate Justice: A concept that justifies discriminatory policies and wealth redistribution in the name of correcting environmental injustices. It increasingly informs the climate change policies of the Left and the policies of government agencies that oversee climate policy. It also increasingly utilizes aspects of equity and anti-racism justifications.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG): A financial tool that is meant to punish non-woke companies by depriving them of the ability to access loans and capital. The goal of ESG is to make social justice part of the overall “credit score” earned by a person or corporation. Only companies or individuals with high scores that operate according to woke principles are then able to get loans or capital.

Gender Ideology: It holds that gender is independent of biological sex and biological sex can be altered to “fit” one’s subjective sense of gender. Its goal is to attack, subvert, and obliterate traditional sexual morality, including the nuclear family.