In Virginia, Republican governor Glenn Youngkin, who campaigned on an anti-woke, anti-CRT agenda, signed an executive order banning critical race theory and “divisive concepts” in public education and has spent time advancing his position “against DEI programs.” According to Education Week, at least forty-four states “introduced bills or taken other steps that would restrict teaching critical race theory or limit how teachers” discuss race, racism, and history. They developed a map highlighting the systemic nature of conservative efforts to ban or limit discussions about racial inequality.
The anti-civil rights movement is an ongoing effort by conservatives to silence productive conversations about race, racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and there hasn’t been enough attention on the systemic nature of their attack. This isn’t a case of one angry White parent at a school board meeting demanding that teachers remove Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye from the curriculum; this is a wide-sweeping attack by conservatives throughout the country who want to deprive future generations of the opportunity to learn about Black history, and Black experiences, who want to pretend as if racism does not exist, and who intentionally prioritize the comfort of White students, at the expense of Black students. The anti-civil rights movement is exceedingly harmful because it attempts to legalize systemic racism.
Elon Musk has 143.7 million followers on Twitter, which he owns, and his tweets, boosted by the site’s algorithm, individually rack up millions—often tens of millions—of impressions. With his amplification of assorted conspiracy theories, his echoing of alt-right talking points, his simplistic attacks on wokeness, and his out-in-the-open stanning for MAGA Republicans, he spreads conservative propaganda a greater distance than Carlson did on Fox.
And Musk is more dangerous than Carlson. Or any other right-wing shouting-head. Yet his mega-wealth and success as a carmaker and rocket builder might distract from the threat he poses. After all, he’s a jet-setting tech celebrity whose excessive tweeting can be dismissed as an eccentricity. But his constant insertion of poison into the national discourse—at super-scale—should not be overlooked. In fact, it now defines Musk. It is a feature, not a bug.
The anti-woke crusade is rooted in fear and ignorance, a mnemonic placeholder for the bigoted things most people wouldn’t dare say aloud. Black Americans have been using the term “woke” since the 1940s to describe a state of awareness toward racist policies and worldviews that negatively impact the Black community. However, many White people now use the term as a derogative slur, a cowardly way of spilling the beans while denying any beans were spilled.
What will grow in the place of “woke” if principles like diversity, equity, and inclusion are pulled out of the white rose garden by their roots? We’ll be left with a society where diversity will be viewed as problematic, where companies and schools no longer attempt to provide equitable opportunities to their employees and students, and where exclusionary tactics replace inclusion.
We know what anti-woke really means The anti-woke cruscade is rooted in fear and ignorance, a mnemonic placeholder for the bigoted things most people wouldn’t dare say aloud. Black Americans have been using the term “woke” since the 1940s to describe a state of awareness toward racist policies and…