The woke revolution isn’t the fault of dumb “snowflakes”, says Bari Weiss in Commentary magazine. It’s a backlash against “major changes” in American life: the loss of religion; the collapse of American industry; crushing student debt; successive financial crises and the pandemic. Our social fabric has been torn apart; the American dream has become almost a joke as inequality grows ever greater. In 1949 Arthur Koestler wrote of his love affair with communism: “I became converted because I was ripe for it and lived in a disintegrating society thrusting for faith.” The same could be said of this new revolutionary faith, which has 62% of Americans afraid to voice their true opinions.
The seeds of wokeism are planted in schools. Third-graders in California were asked to rate themselves in terms of their power and privilege, while maths has been deemed racist in Oregon. For children deemed “oppressed”, it instils a deeply pessimistic view of the world, encouraging them to see malice in everything around them. They are “denied the dignity of equal standards and expectations”. For children deemed “privileged”, it creates a hostile environment where they are too intimidated to participate. We’re living in a world where “you are guilty for the sins of your fathers” – and it’s no good for anyone.