Still more see it as the logical successor to 1990s-type race, class, and gender obsessions—albeit with a shriller and more dangerous Jacobin, Soviet, and Maoist twist. Wokeism’ s hysteria also invites comparisons to the Salem witch trials and McCarthyism.
But few have described wokeism as the cruel creed that it is. Wokeism’ s natural logic is to destroy the lives of people of all genders, of all races, and—if necessary—those of every age, all to leverage an otherwise unworkable ideological agenda. It is nihilist and destroys everything it touches. It tears apart foes and friends alike, whether by fueling media-driven hatred of Donald Trump or faux-deification of the disaster that is now Joe Biden. 
In 2015 Ross Douthat coined the term “woke capitalism” when writing a piece for the New York Times. He defined it as how companies signal their support for progressive causes to maintain their influence in society. He really tapped into something. Since then, this mindset has only grown, as the largest corporations are now weighing in on every major public policy issue. The problem: they increasingly land on the “leftist” side of the issue. So, what is the impact? Is this a coordinated effort? What is the antidote to this “corporate wokeness” infiltrating our largest American companies? On this episode, Andy Olivastro joins us to weigh in with a unique perspective. He led communications and reputation strategy for some of the largest corporations and best- known brands and witnessed first-hand this gradual shift toward “corporate wokeness.”
This trend toward wokeness is becoming increasingly popular throughout corporate America. Corporations are willingly becoming activated political arms for left-wing causes. Why? What happened to these historic brands remaining neutral, letting the quality of their products speak for itself on the open market, and letting politicians worry about politics? What about shareholders and the employees of these corporations? Do they have a say in such divisive policy stances? Who is behind this increased wokeness in the boardroom?
Whenever you hear a management or corporate type talk about “diversity” and “inclusion,” you may be certain that you are about to hear a rationale for creating a more ideologically uniform and ideologically exclusive community. The familiar left vs. right categories no longer serves as dependable guides to our cultural reality. The cultural left has captured the bureaucracies at American corporations. One thing we hear a lot from our friends on the left is that Big Business is conservative and would never do anything that would hurt its bottom line. Wrong! I have seen personally how companies will do politically correct things that hurt their business model, but that win its management pats on the back among their social cohort. Woke Capitalism also refers to ESG investing that stands for “environmental, social and governance.” ESG concepts are tied to climate change, green technology, social justice causes, exploitation of minorities and is exploited by government oversight (????) or government promotion of causes.
- JP Morgan Chase
- Bank of America
- Netflix (though they have retracted)
- The NBA
- The NFL
- Levi Strauss
- Neiman Marcus Group – *No surprise here. When your entire marketing strategy consists of targeting wealthy elites, we know that kowtowing and virtue-signaling to their hoity-toity, highbrow customers is inevitable alphabet soup applies to the executive is unclear. NMG donates substantial funds to no less than three LGBTQ groups and flies the Pride Those are not all the woke companies to challenge and avoid. There are many, many more.
A good practice before buying anything is to research the company you are buying a product from and find out if it is a woke, anti-American company or a company that you are comfortable doing business with. The idea is to “avoid” these companies: Cancel Culture for the Cancel Culture, one might say. As noted previously, some of the companies that make up our list are extremely difficult to eliminate from our lives, but they can still be avoided on occasion. And such avoidance must not be limited merely to doing business directly with these organizations, there are other ways for our voices to be heard. For instance, refuse to invest in these companies, whether through direct stock purchases or via mutual/index funds in your portfolios. America is still a center-right country, and we are continuing to shift ever so slightly to the right. The wokesters who attempt to force LGBTQ celebrations, BLM anti-Americanism, runaway government spending, and climate politics idiocy down our throats are in the minority. And if we conservatives stand up for our values and say “no,” thereby hitting them where it hurts – in their back accounts – we will be effective.
In sum, wokeness is not about kindness, equality, fairness, or morality. It is the power agenda of the elite of all races. For differing reasons, they rig the game in their own interests, without a care about who suffers. Rich white people assume that they possess the money, the influence, the networking skills, and the connections to navigate around the very exclusionary rules they make for others. For them, there are seldom costs. But they win apparent psychological gain at feeling spiritually superior while driving a Range Rover.
They get high on the sense of power they wield to engineer the lives of millions deemed less important than they. And to the degree they feel guilty about their own monopoly of wealth and leisure, such transient superficial remorse is alleviated by abstract caring for the “other.”
If they can ensure that 50 percent of TV commercials highlight African Americans, then they worry little about the nation’s existential crisis of eight hundred Black people murdered in Chicago last year. And no such television execs have a clue—or a concern—about how to stop it. The woke take out a medieval contract that all their material indulgences can be balanced by virtue-signaling caring for the less fortunate—although always at someone else’s expense.
And for the millions of the affluent, elite nonwhite? The resurgence of racial obsessions conveniently destroys the old idea of class, even though now it is the far more precise calibration of inequality. For all the woke talk about “constructs” of gender, race is somehow alone exempted and declared innate, definable, and immutable. One’s appearance becomes the permanent victimized refuge—even of NBA multibillionaires and billionaire rappers alike.
A Ward Churchill or Elizabeth Warren can desperately seek to leverage a career in becoming Native American, as if they were almost trapped in their own white bodies. Yet they can still not manage to construct such assumed identities in the manner of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. If race is now the sole immutable barometer of who is a victim, who a victimizer, then LeBron James, Jay-Z, Kayne West, Chris Rock, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey are always to be among the eternally oppressed. The enormous influence, power, status, and wealth they wield never negates their victimhood, despite a nation three generations into affirmative action.
In the immoral calculus of woke, the poor white or Southeast Asian offspring of poorly paid high-school dropouts constitute “the privileged.” And a multimillionaire racist like the TV anchor Joy Reid claims to be the perpetual victim, not the inner-city African American retiree who in 2021 has lost local police protection. No wonder the woke elite and the affluent leftists fixate on race, given they are now the ruling class. Otherwise, their own privilege would be the obvious target of the once-beloved “Revolution.”
So, they fear that by their own prior left-wing standards, they too could end up on the wrong side of their moral Maginot Line. Wokeism’ s obsessions with ferreting out “white privilege” are a way for rich people to head off (so to speak) the fate of Marie Antoinette.
And if we “Make America Great Again (MAGA)” Patriots stand up for our values and say “no,” thereby hitting them where it hurts – in their back accounts – we will make a difference.
Published by the Stand Up America US Foundation
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