Hoover Institute scholar and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali linked wokeism to White supremacy in her address at the National Conservatism conference in Orlando.
Ali began her remarks discussing a group of “people in this country” who believe “human beings are divided into races” with White people “ranked” at the “very top,” Black people at the “very bottom,” and “everyone else in between.” They also didn’t consider Jews to be human.
“They, the White supremacists, believe that anyone who objects to this racial hierarchy deserves punishment. And people of other races who resist this view are to be punished for eliminated,” Ali said on Monday. “These White supremacists are racist because they want race at the center of all human interaction. Thank goodness these White supremacists are a very small minority.”
“Not all White people were in fact racist. There were those who fought tooth and nail against that terrible ideology. Together, with Blacks and other people of color, they waged a campaign against it and won,” Ali told the crowd, pointing out how White supremacy can only be found in the most fringe groups in society. “However, to claim today, that White supremacy is the biggest domestic threat we face is nonsensical, histrionic and self-serving.”
Ali blasted comparisons of Georgia’s election law requiring voter ID to “Jim Crow,” saying doing is to “implicitly express contempt for the victims of Jim Crow and those men and women who fought against White supremacy.”
She then offered a warning.
“The ideology that threatens us today and has the potential to grow in our society is a different one. It goes by many names, but I will call it wokeism,” Ali said. “In fact, in an eerie way, it has remarkable similarities with White supremacy.”
After saying that wokeism and White supremacy share the same ranking, with White people at the top as “oppressors” and Black people at the bottom as “victims,” Ali said that “the woke” say things like “marriage, punctuality hard work, hygiene, individualism, objective truth and the notion of lifting yourself up by your bootstraps” are “manifestations of Whiteness.” And that according to wokeism, Jewish people are simply considered “White” despite how “not so long ago” there was a “serious attempt [that] was made to eliminate Jews because they were considered a nuisance to the White race.”
“One reason why it’s difficult to pin down wokeism is- is that the theories of deconstruction are constantly expanding with grievance after grievance,” Ali said. “Sometimes I think this ambiguity is intentional. If you can pin an idea, you can expose it… But if its meaning keeps shifting, with the grievance of the day, it becomes elusive. It’s not social justice theory. Weirdly, though, it’s not a theory at all… You can’t treat it like other theories that is by taking it through the process of scrutiny for certification or verification.”
Ali asserted that a “key element” of wokeism is the “contamination of language,” pointing to its “lexicon” of terms like “microaggressions, safe spaces” and “equity.” And that existing language is “policed” by the woke “to become purified of any perceived bigotry or injustice.”
“The main goal of the woke is to seek unchecked and absolute power, advancing from the academy and out into other institutions of society,” Ali told the Orlando crowd. “In America, and the rest of the English-speaking world, it is no issue of any significance that we can discuss in any meaningful way without running into woke sabotage.”
The Somalia-born activist insisted that issues the world faces from the coronavirus pandemic, radical Islamism to climate change are “not free of woke speak.”
“If the federal government was adopting the language of White supremacy, if the police units of some of the most powerful states in the United States were adjusting to their demands, if our military was holding White supremacy conscious training sessions, if most prominent national sports teams were using White supremacy gestures, if Hollywood, and other entertainment industries were editing their outputs or censoring it and a time’s running propaganda for cause of White supremacy, if elementary and high schools or universities were openly teaching the principles of White supremacy, what would we say at this or any other gathering that is concerned with the health of our society?” Ali asked. “Today, in none of these institutions is White supremacy tolerated. That’s a huge milestone. Sadly, however, wokeism is the trending, rotten idea of our time. And it’s embedded in almost every institution in our society.”
“Wokeism, its narratives or theories, are dividing us, once again, into races and more. It’s weakening our hard-earned freedom and the faith in one another. For those of us who recognize it as the threat it is, I believe we have no option but we fight it in just the way you fought White supremacy… If you think that White supremacy is the biggest domestic threat that we face, I want to say to you – get a grip,” Ali added.