The New York Times featured a story on November 1st entitled “BIPOC or POC? Equity or Equality? The Debate Over Language on the Left.” The article quoted Cathy Albisa, vice president of institutional and sectoral change at the racial justice nonprofit Race Forward, as she tried to explain the far left’s obsession with radically transforming language to accommodate their radical social justice agenda. “You can’t change what you can’t name,” Albisa said
The leftists’ strategy to bring about radical change is to create an issue such as systemic racism or transphobia, divide the world into oppressors and oppressed around that issue, and engage in disruptive protests until their demands are met.
Weaponizing language is part and parcel of this strategy. It’s all about controlling the narrative to move the country to the far left.
The National Review has an apt name for this attack on traditional language – “Wokespeak.” Leftists are not content with using Wokespeak as their own jargon to communicate with each other. The social justice warriors insist on making Wokespeak the dominant vocabulary of their brave new world. Certain words that we have grown up with and use on a regular basis are no longer acceptable, they argue, because such words help keep the supremacist cis-white- heteropatriarchy in power.
The radical left has already succeeded in guilting corporate officers, government officials, and school administrators, as well as much of the mainstream media, into incorporating benign-sounding inclusivity and anti-bias principles in their work environments. From there it has not been a huge leap for liberal leaning institutions to mandate that certain politically correct words be used, and other words avoided, in order to create the truly “inclusive” environment they claim to embrace.
Transgender activists, for example, are pushing use of the word “they” to replace “he/she” as the proper singular pronoun. “Mother” is out. “Birthing person” is in.
If the transgender activists get their way, more than 99 percent of the U.S. population who identify with their biological sex would have to fundamentally alter their customary speech to accommodate the feelings of a tiny but strident transgender minority.
Merriam Webster named ‘they’ as its Word of the Year for 2019. Merriam Webster explained at the time that the word ‘they’ has been “used to refer to one person whose gender identity is nonbinary, a sense that is increasingly common in published, edited text, as well as all over social media and in daily personal interactions between English speakers. There’s no doubt that its use is established in the English language, which is why it was added to the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary this past September.”
In other words, Merriam Webster is using its reputation as America’s best-known dictionary to help normalize a fundamental change in the meaning of centuries-old pronouns to conform with the transgender activists’ cultural transformation agenda.
The Biden administration’s Office of Budget and Management is on board with the transgender Wokespeak. It used the phrase “birthing person” in the budget it released earlier this year.
The White House’s website contact page includes a dropdown menu allowing users to choose among multiple pronoun options, including “she/her,” “he/him,” “they/them,” or “other” where they can write in their own pronoun preference.
One of the first actions that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives took at the opening of the 117th Congress was to adopt a new gender-neutral speech code. House Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern explained that “pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules” were changed to “ensure we are inclusive of all Members, Delegates, Resident Commissioners and their families—including those who are nonbinary.”
More and more companies are pressuring their employees to identify their own preferred pronouns in such work-related usages as email signatures and conference nametags.
Schools have disciplined teachers who refused to use their transgender students’ preferred pronouns for religious reasons.
Critical race theory activists hide behind euphemisms such as “diversity, “inclusion,” and “culturally responsive teaching” to mask their neo-Marxist dogma that divides people by race rather than by class.
These activists are seeking to normalize the broad use of the term “equity” instead of “equality” to express America’s guiding ideal. Don’t be fooled by their semantics. The goal of critical race social warriors is to fundamentally transform America from a society that values equality of opportunity to a society that mandates what the activists define as a “just” outcome. It’s stealthy way of saying “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
The tactic is working well. The Biden administration, for example, has declared in its list of “immediate priorities” that it is putting equity at the “center” of its agenda to “embed racial justice across Federal agencies, policies, and programs.”
The military is also going “woke.” Daniel Greenfield, author of the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s booklet, Disloyal: How the Military Brass is Betraying Our Country, has written about the top military brass’s embrace of critical race theory. “Tragically for our nation, the Biden administration is continuing Clinton and Obama’s destruction of the military,” Greenfield said. “Our country is barely surviving a woke government and woke corporations, it will not survive the disloyal military leaders of a woke military.”
Company human resource departments are incorporating critical race theory precepts such as racial “equity” into their training programs. Schools are doing the same in their student curricula, creating a parental backlash that Barack Obama mocked as “fake outrage.”
Fighting all this wokeness, including the perversion of our language with Wokespeak, is this decade’s preeminent battle to ensure that America remains true to its founding ideals.