We have been blessed with a new gift from the Left known as “woke.” We’ve all heard about it, but what is it? Oxford Languages defines woke as the state of being “alert to injustice in society, especially racism.” Merriam-Webster says that after the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, “The word woke became entwined with the Black Lives Matter movement; instead of just being a word that signaled awareness of injustice or racial tension, it became a word of action. Activists were woke and called on others to stay woke.”
Actually, woke is right up there with political correctness and cancel culture. All three represent an attack on our values. “While some progressives and liberals view woke as aspirational,” Jennifer Graham says at The Deseret News, “many conservatives view wokeness as a societal evil akin to cancel culture. They frequently use the term ‘woke mob’ to describe collective outrage that results in a loss of professional or social standing because of a person’s beliefs, statements or actions.”
Emily Brewster, an editor at Merriam-Webster, compares woke to political correctness—a method of thought control. Just as PC has become a cudgel, Brewster says, woke has been transformed by Black Lives Matter into an ideological weapon. I agree. Now when you say woke it means you accept the racist ravings of critical race theory, which argues that all whites are racists and all blacks are oppressed. It means you accept the argument that America is a racist nation suffering from “white supremacy” and “systemic racism.” For that reason alone, I concur with Sam Sanders’ suggestion at npr.com that, “It’s time to put woke to sleep.”
A prime indicator of how influential woke has become is to be found in, of all the unlikely places, the CIA. A new recruiting video, “Humans of CIA,” is apparently aimed at boosting diversity at the intelligence agency. The video features a Latina intelligence officer who struts through CIA’s Langley headquarters declaring:
“I am a woman of color. I am a mom. I am a cisgender millennial who has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I am intersectional, but my existence is not a box-checking exercise. I used to struggle with impostor syndrome, but at 36 I refuse to internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be. I can change a diaper in one hand and console a crying toddler with the other. I did not sneak into the CIA. I earned my way in and I earned my way up the ranks," she says, stressing that she is "tired of feeling like I am supposed to apologize for the space I occupy."
“Watch this insane CIA recruitment video & tell me the CIA isn’t a woke swamp creature,” tweeted author Liz Wheeler, “capable & willing to weaponize their power to target their political opponents: conservatives.”
“The CIA managed to temporarily unite the internet in mockery and condemnation,” wrote Dani Di Placido in Forbes Magazine, “after their new social media campaign evolved into an accidental comedic masterpiece. The advert plays like razor-sharp parody,” Di Placido said, “funnier than any SNL skit, a cynical blend of progressive buzzwords that the creators of South Park would likely compose as a throwaway gag.”
“China and Russia are laughing their asses off watching CIA go full woke,” tweeted Donald Trump Jr. “‘Cisgender.’ ‘Intersectional.’ If you think about it, wokeness is the kind of twisted PSYOP a spy agency would invent to destroy a country from the inside out.”
The CIA pushed back against extensive criticism by insisting that the controversial ad has proven to be effective at helping attract candidates to the agency. Larry Pfeiffer, a former CIA chief of staff, tweeted: “I would suggest that if you don’t like it, you are probably not whom the ad is targeting for employment. Strength from diversity.” Republicans in Congress do not agree. Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said that the CIA needs to focus on doing its job instead of pandering to the "divisive rhetoric" of the left. "The CIA needs to be focused on intelligence gathering and recruiting the best and brightest," Blackburn said. "We can’t afford to risk our national security and waste resources to pander to the Left’s divisive rhetoric."
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas wondered if the ad would scare America's foreign adversaries like Kim Jong Un. "If you're a Chinese communist, or an Iranian Mullah, or Kim Jong Un...would this scare you?" Cruz wrote. "We've come a long way from Jason Bourne." On a similar note, Rep. Pat Fallon of Texas suggested that the CIA plans to fight back against the Chinese Communist Party "with misgendered pronouns and microaggressions… We'd better start brushing up on our Mandarin. What an embarrassment."
"Instead of focusing on the real international threats from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, or the crisis he created on the southern border,” said Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, “President Biden is diverting CIA resources to support radical leftists in their woke culture war that is tearing America apart. When will Biden stop dividing America and start unifying and healing our nation as he has repeatedly promised?"
Personally, I don’t like being manipulated. I see woke as a giant manipulation. It disturbs me that an organization like the CIA can get sucked into this manipulation. We better wake up to woke before it tears us apart any further than we are already.