Expect the woke Left to try to smear you as a “fascist” if you object to children being taught to hate themselves or others because of their race. A recent op-ed in The Guardian has warned us. It headlines the word “fascism” to describe Florida’s 2022 legislation that puts the brakes on some of the most divisive and abusive ideologies being forced into American schools and boardrooms.
One of those curricula is Critical Race Theory (CRT), a particularly destructive product of identity politics. It aims to instill resentment and guilt in Americans by relentlessly preaching that America, and specifically “white” Americans, are irredeemably racist. It’s akin to coercive thought reform. But those who speak out against such psychologically manipulative programs seem to have emboldened many more Americans to openly support legislation like Florida’s.
However, as The Guardian op-ed illustrates, proponents of agendas like CRT are reacting to this refreshing outspokenness with ever more demonization. Their smear tactics vilify those who don’t support such lesson plans for impressionable children or training for new employees. “Fascist” is just one of countless smear words that circulate in Big Media to cut off conversation. Others include “bigot,” “hater,” “white supremacist,” “domestic terrorist,” “Nazi,” “homophobic,” “transphobic,” “conspiracy theorist,” etc.
Such demonization — backed up by a media monopoly — has tended to work because human beings have a primal fear of being isolated and ostracized. Whenever the defamation is amplified — with all opposing voices squashed — people tend to shut up or even lie about what they believe in order to avoid social derision and shunning. This conformity impulse is very natural and therefore very easily weaponized by tyrants.
However, the tactic seems to be losing some traction, which may explain the momentum behind similar legislation in many other states. Defamatory tactics tend to lose their grip when enough people have the courage to speak up, thus leading the way for others to follow. That’s likely why activists for identity politics are now pushing labels like “fascist” into hyperdrive. Maybe they hope a fresh wave of demonization will induce a fresh wave of self-censorship.
The Guardian op-ed cited above was written by a Yale professor named Jason Stanley whose books include titles like “How Fascism Works” and “How Propaganda Works.” Many on the Left cite him as an authority on propaganda, and perhaps that’s because he’s an expert propagandist.
Stanley offers no honest argument to justify his description of the Florida “Stop WOKE” legislation as fascism. Rather, he couples an ad hominem attack with a false comparison of the Florida legislation — an act which serves to protect people from institutional indoctrination in divisive ideologies — with a blanket ban on woke books and authors. But there is no threat of any such ban. Anybody can obtain those readily available best-selling books. And the vast majority of media platforms constantly push them and show no signs of letting up.
In short, Stanley makes no attempt to distinguish between political censorship in the public sphere of adult conversation and enforced political indoctrination of children and the entire workforce.
Neither does he clarify the extremely propagandistic nature of those books and authors, which include Ibram X. Kendi, Ta-nehisi Coates, Nikole Hannah-Jones, among many others. In fact, none of them are the least bit inclined to even tolerate the teaching of any competing idea. (Stanley himself has expressed approval with censoring those with whom he disagrees.) Any child, parent, teacher, or executive who does not conform with the narrative — particularly if they claim not to be racist — can expect to be singled out as especially racist. Or white supremacist, fascist, etc.
Thus, woke curricula like CRT actively suppresses the speech of anyone who might not accept their draconian narratives. Wokeness is essentially a puritanical religion that tolerates no dissent. And severe punishment is routinely meted out to those who stray from woke dogmas. Teachers are fired. Parents are arrested. Children are bullied. So claiming that the Florida legislation is equivalent to a blanket banning of authors and ideas is hypocritical at best.
Proponents of CRT also fail to deal with one of the fundamental concerns of its critics: its contempt for individualism and the worth of the individual human being. Like all forms of identity politics, CRT serves to cultivate hostilities by dividing people according to oppressor or victim status. Individuality disappears in a sea of CRT’s assigned identities. Human relationships suffer. And it’s even worse for children. Just imagine how isolating such a perspective is to any child of any background who simply hopes to make friends.
CRT simply forbids us to see one another as unique persons each with differing perspectives, personalities, experiences, and sufferings. For example, Kendi has written that color-blindness is “a mask to hide racism.” I imagine this is exactly why Martin Luther King’s most iconic quote is nowhere to be found among the 15 quotations engraved on the memorial that was dedicated to him in Washington, D.C., in 2011. To judge people “by the content of their character” rather than the color of their skin is anathema to CRT propaganda.
So, be forewarned. Propagandists always use the guise of social justice to try to defend the coercive thought reform that is baked into CRT. They will use smear words like “bigot” and “fascist” and “domestic terrorist” to try to scare people into shutting up about its harms. Among those harms is the demonization of those who teach that all human beings are unique in the content of their character, no matter their specified demographic. Appreciating this uniqueness is what allows us all to form friendships and not suffer in the loneliness that identity politics imposes on us.
Stella Morabito is the author of “The Weaponization of Loneliness: How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of Isolation to Silence, Divide, and Conquer.” She has written extensively on the social fallout of propaganda and group think and has been published in The Federalist, Washington Examiner, American Thinker, Public Discourse, Human Life Review, New Oxford Review and The Daily Wire.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.