Goodbye America, Hello Woketopia

The America of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity is already half gone. Our universities, media, industries, and one of our two main political parties are in the hands of the “wokerati.” If Democrats take control of the government come November, America is gone, to be replaced by “Woketopia.”

In Woketopia your life and future will be entirely determined by your gender and your race. If you are a member of one or more of the preferred classes—females, African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, LGBT++, disabled, and homeless—you will always be at the top of the list for admissions, hiring, funding, promotions, and other benefits— and always “included.” If you belong to one of the despised classes—males, whites, Asians, Christians, Jews, heterosexuals, able bodied, middle class—you will not be admitted, not hired, not funded, not promoted, not given other benefits, and, as much as possible, systematically excluded.

In Woketopia the traditional liberal values of universalistic criteria, such as achievement, excellence, and potential, and of judging people as individuals, will be entirely discredited and jettisoned. The liberal attempt to undermine hierarchies and advance equality of opportunity would be condemned in Woketopia, for liberal ideas such as “color blindness” have been redefined by the wokerati as racism. There would be no more equality before the law in Woketopia; rather, traditional racist and sexist hierarchies are not to be equalized, but to be turned on their head, so that the worthy victims of the past are now the masters of those who formerly oppressed them. Finally, there would be woketopian revenge for “the patriarchy” and biology, for slavery and Jim Crow, for heteronormativity, for war in the Middle East, for able normality, and for prosperity.

Last year, in “The Death of Merit and the Race to Mediocrity in Our Increasingly Marxist Universities,” I argued that identity politics and social justice ideology have steamrollered traditional academic values. As the progressive revolution ramps up toward its totalitarian end goal, all pretense of treating people on the basis of their accomplishments and potential has disappeared. The latest sign of this rejection of merit as a basis for selecting and evaluating academics is the abandonment of nationwide standardized examinations.

According to the Washington Post, “Nearly 50 accredited colleges and universities that award bachelor’s degrees announced from September 2018 to September 2019 that they were dropping the admissions requirement for an SAT or ACT score, FairTest said. That brings the number of accredited schools to have done so to 1,050 — about 40 percent of the total, the nonprofit said.”

Wake Forest University made standardized tests optional in 2009, and in the period of 2008 to 2017, “ethnic diversity among undergraduates increased 90 percent.” Wake Forest (to be renamed “Woke Forest”) is quite up-front about the goal no longer being to recruit the strongest students, but instead to increase “ethnic diversity.”

The rationale reported in the Post article is that “Research has consistently shown that ACT and SAT scores are strongly linked to family income, mother’s education level and race.” According to the lobby group, “The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, … [in 2019] the gaps between demographic groups grew larger from a year earlier, with the average scores of students from historically disenfranchised groups falling further behind students from more privileged families.” Even when the socioeconomic level of the test taker is the same, racial and ethnic groups have different results. According to CNN, “Hispanic and African-American students from comparable socioeconomic families scored lower than their Asian-American and White peers.”In other words, some observers did not like the results of the tests because they did not conform to the far-leftist ideal of equality of outcome. Students who did well were of the wrong races and economic classes, so the exams should be canceled.

This abandonment of standardized tests is not limited to college admissions, but also to admission for graduate programs. The same WP article reports that “Brown University announced this month it will no longer require that applicants to 24 of its doctoral programs submit scores from the GRE. In a Brown news release, Graduate School Dean Andrew G. Campbell said increasing evidence shows the GRE is not always an accurate predictor of success in school, and that he expects the move will allow the talent pool of applicants to broaden. Brown’s move followed Princeton University, which said in August that 14 graduate programs had decided to eliminate the GRE requirement for admissions, including molecular biology, psychology and neuroscience. A news release said Princeton, too, expects to attract a wider range of applicants.” In other words, what replaces test results are gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability credentials.

Members of the wokecrats are enthusiastic about the abandonment of universalistic standards and the rejection of standardized testing. Anthony P. Carnevale argues the tests are not effective, in that they do not predict performance in university: “they are poor predictors of college success. The tests have given colleges a pseudo-scientific cover for weeding out students they didn’t want to enroll anyway.” However, according to CNN, “a yearlong review done by the University of California’s Standardized Testing Task Force that found standardized tests to be the best predictor of a college student’s success.” The real objection of Carnevale is that “the tests are strongly biased in favor of wealthy white test takers,” which would be worrying if the facts did not contradict it: the highest test results for an ethnic category are for Asians, with whites behind them. Based on Carnevale’s dubious arguments, he advises that universities “Use class-based and race-based affirmative action,” notwithstanding the fact that Americans of all races do not approve of race- and gender-based affirmative action in college admissions.

Other wokecrats brazenly condemn concerns about merit. A San Francisco Board of Education commissioner, Allison Collins, attempts to apply the coup de grace to merit: “Please be mindful that ‘merit’ is an inherently racist construct designed and centered on white supremacist framing that justifies who IS and ISN’T worthy of education, safety, justice, empathy… basically humanity. When we say some kids ‘deserve’ access to a quality education, we are also inherently saying some don’t. When we say some schools are ‘academic’ we are saying others aren’t. When we say some cultures value education, we are saying some don’t.” [Emphasis added] Her counterfactual paranoia continues: “And, yes, this even applies at a majority Asian-American school. The Model Minority Myth only exists within the context of a continuum that pits people of color against one another yet leaves the status quo unchecked.” Apparently, the commissioner has forgotten that America has endured a half century of “affirmative action” giving special consideration to African Americans and other “marginalized minorities” (except Asians).

It appears that the ideal of equality of outcome borrowed from the ideology of failed communist regimes in the USSR, Communist China, Khmer Rouge Cambodia, North Korea, and Cuba has now been adopted by the wokerati who control our educational system, media, and governments. Equality of outcome now applies not only to individuals, but to census categories of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, physical ability, etc. The criterion advanced is percentage of the general population, which should and must be replicated in each and every organization and activity. What matters is whether a category is “underrepresented” or “overrepresented,” the argument being that underrepresentation is proof of racial, gender, ethnic, etc. discrimination, and, conversely, those who are overrepresented are so because they are “privileged” or have blocked members of other categories from inclusion.

Concern about overrepresentation has never been directed to professional sports, in which African Americans make up some 80% of multi-millionaire athletes. Have other races been unfairly excluded from these sports? No one thinks so. But when Asians and Jews are “overrepresented” in academia, medicine, and other professions, wokerati claim that it is due to privilege and due to discrimination against marginalized minorities. The underrepresentation of African Americans and other “marginalized minorities” in these fields is alleged to be proof of discrimination, but in fact it reflects African American underperformance in the educational system. And this underperformance continues in spite of decades-long “affirmative action” policies, in which any moderately capable member of a “marginalized minority” is snapped up and given the place of more accomplished members of despised races and genders.

Furthermore, the “underrepresentation” of Asians in professional sports, in forest industries, or in oilfield hands is not due to any discrimination, but rather due to the preferences and abilities of members of that category. The claim that “underrepresentation” is a result of racial discrimination is a tendentious fraud by those who wish to advance people who have not earned the advancement, and by those who seek to undermine our open and competitive society, and thereby undercut our freedom and prosperity. Unfortunately, the wokerati have captured the major American institutions and are doing all they can—with canceling standardized tests a significant step—to replace America with Woketopia.


Image: Arie Wubben, Public Domain

Philip Carl Salzman

Philip Carl Salzman

Philip Carl Salzman is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at McGill University, Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.

7 thoughts on “Goodbye America, Hello Woketopia

  1. We mock-they advance
    We ridicule-they advance
    We yell -they advance
    We scream-they advance
    We are clever in our sarcasm-they advance

    If this was our strategy in WWII I would be dead and you-all would be speaking bad German.

  2. Well done. BUT what is our plan-overwhelm them with complaints read by a small number of people?

    What does history say about this plan working to change things ?

  3. In the old days, the tests were used to predict more than performance in the degree program. They were used to try to guess at who would be a genius and have big accomplishments in the field.

    Having a near-perfect score on SAT or GRE is no guarantee of that, to say the least. But not having one is a pretty strong indicator against it. So they were using the scores to weed out known mediocrities and try to get the really clever people — and the search for the geniuses would continue during the subsequent rigorous educational process in the undergraduate or graduate program.

    But high accomplishment, at least in math and physical science, is extraordinarly highly correlated to race. So rather than waiting and continuing to work to see if the pipeline would change that, they’ve decided to give up and tear it all down.

  4. I work in my nation’s largest institution of higher education. Weighing in on this issue, I find myself in agreement with much that has been expressed here.
    Personally, I find myself seeking a certain measure of relief when all this “wokeness” is finally identified for what it really is: revenge. Which as a lifelong historian, I actually find quite understandable. But until the cards are placed on the table, we don’t really know where we’re at, and rules of engagement have not been established.

    Of course, I can understand why that is. Freedom has been under attack since our society came up with the bright idea that kids should be trucked around like visiting royalty, or like incarcerated convicts – take your pick. Either way a certain basic freedom of independent mobility has been absent from their lives for at least a generation and a half. There have been obvious consequences.

    Real freedom is an incredibly dangerous thing to those whose empowerment comes from taking it away. The freedom to enjoy a certain social standing, or to retain a necessary term of employment while stating a considered opinion, for example. The freedom to disagree. The freedom to say no. The freedom of conscience, above all other freedoms of expression. The freedom to think individually, uncluttered from groupthink.

    A real education has been known to be the gateway to understanding why all these freedoms are so important. The very anthem of the nation mentions this, by naming the land. That offer is now extended to all, though many will not take it.

    By actions we are known. Nobody now clamoring for any kind of justice, redemption or historical realignment includes the most important request or demand of them all – the right to a real education.
    I’ve often wondered why that is. It appears to me, having spent a working life observing some several millions of students working their butts off to get somewhere and achieve something, it remains, after all, bloody hard work. That is the one universal thing that’s never changed.

    But when a mere child is handed a “Get out of school free” card at a tender age, education is replaced by indoctrination, dogma, sloganeering, pandering, whining, propagandist mush, and a core belief that illiteracy is noble.
    Several dozen millions of women in the Middle East, but most especially Afghanistan would beg to disagree. For them, two words are interchangeable. Freedom and Education.

    Of course we have descended into a pit. It is not enough that one becomes educated. Now every single molecule of knowledge must needs be disseminated, picked apart, examined under a microscope for clues of incorrectness.
    We must wonder that the examiners even know how to use the microscope, but there it is.

    1. But for revenge to really make sense, the country would have to have hurt them very badly. Instead, the members of these supposedly disadvantaged groups are doing better here than those of the same intersectionality in their home countries. Hondurans here are apparently better off than they would be in Honduras. Otherwise they could go back!

      I can understand the feeling, but shouldn’t they be held to at least this much of a reality check?

  5. Echos of Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron – a country run by bureacrats to eliminate inequality.

    Quoting Wikipedia, “In the year 2081, the 211th, 212th, and 213th amendments to the Constitution dictate that all Americans are fully equal and not allowed to be smarter, better-looking, or more physically able than anyone else. The Handicapper General’s agents enforce the equality laws, forcing citizens to wear “handicaps”: masks for those who are too beautiful, loud radios that disrupt thoughts inside the ears of intelligent people, and heavy weights for the strong or athletic.”

    Equity for all!!!

    1. As I watch what is going on with the results of the election looking more and more for Biden, I can only wonder whether Kamala Harris will assume the role of Handicapper General?

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