Walking the Woke, or Just Talking the Talk
Hypocrisy is a tenet of modern liberalism. Those that talk the talk rarely walk the walk, or in the case of leftism, “walk the woke.” Regardless of the issue, the left says one thing and does another.
Examples include environmentalism, where climate warriors fly across the globe in high carbon footprint private jets to commune with fellow environmentalists or to accept awards for their words, rather than their deeds.
Faithful Catholics like Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi have no problem with full term abortion or same sex marriage. Those preaching the loudest about COVID face coverings ditch their own masks when they think no one is looking, like Dr Fauci at a baseball game or President Biden when he forgets where he is.
Racial justice warriors raise the alarms about white privilege, institutional racism, oppression, intersectionality, and many other terms de jour. How do those screaming the loudest fare when the judgement lens in focused in their direction rather than on those they criticize and impugn?
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Leading media organizations trip over themselves to be diverse, tolerant, and inclusive. How are they doing in these departments?
For purposes of a baseline, the demographic composition of the United States is 60 percent white, 13 percent black, 19 percent Hispanic and 6 percent Asian, per the US Census Bureau.
The New York Times, whose new motto is “all the woke that’s fit to print”, ousted a reporter who had been at the newspaper for 45 years over using a verboten racial slur “in a conversation about racist language.” Woe to the teacher who reads the wrong passage of Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” out loud to his or her class.
How is the Times itself doing in its diversity department? According to Statista, “People of color still have very limited representation within the company, particularly within leadership. In 2020, just 23 percent of leadership roles were occupied by people of color, up by six percent from 2015”, but well below the US demographic.
In 2020, Times employees were only 8 percent black and 7 percent Hispanic, well below their representation in American society. Perhaps an alternate motto for the paper could be “Diversity for thee, but not for me.”
How has the Beltway for the Times fared? Last October, the Washington Post published a long article, “Resources to understand America’s long history of injustice and inequality.” Are they “walking the woke”?
They are not, instead getting worse during the past five years, undoubtedly due to the influence of Donald Trump within their city. From 2015 to 2020, black employees fell from 27 to 20 percent and Hispanic employees rose from only 4 to 5 percent, well below their representation in America.
Uber woke social media giants, quick to censor or deplatform the unwoke deplorables, have similar diversity problems, despite their incessant finger wagging. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission opened a formal probe into “systemic” racial bias in hiring and promotions. Not at Trump Tower, but at Facebook, one of the wokest of the woke.
Several rejected job applicants, “have alleged Facebook discriminates against black candidates.” How diverse are Facebook employees?
In 2020, Facebook employees in the US were 41 percent white, 44 percent Asian, but only 6 percent Hispanic and 4 percent black, far lower than the ethnic composition of the US as a whole.
Fellow woke social media titan Twitter fares no better. The ethnic mix of their employees is 41 percent white, 29 percent Asian, 7 percent black and 5 percent Hispanic.
King of the hill Google must be better than its second tier brethren, right? Not so fast. In their annual diversity report they brag, “We’re advancing a diverse, accessible, and inclusive Google where everyone feels like they belong.”
They talk the talk, but do they walk the woke? According to the Washington Post, their recruiting is hardly diverse, “Google’s approach to historically Black schools helps explain why there are few Black engineers in Big Tech.”
Google’s employee ethnicity reflects what they do, not what they say. In 2020, whites and Asians made up 90 percent of their workforce, with only 4 percent black and 6 percent Hispanic representation. Diversity is for everyone else, not Google, which prefers to hire the best tech talent without regard to skin color.
The NFL takes a similar approach, hiring the best athletes regardless of skin color, resulting in 59 percent black players, enjoying the perks and paycheck of being an elite professional athlete. A diverse and socially just NFL would hire players in proportion to their mix in society as a whole.
Even American cities don’t reflect the diversity they preach. Boulder, Colorado, a beautiful city at the base of the Rocky Mountains, epitomizes the woke culture, with abundant cold brew, vegan ice cream, and kombucha on tap. Although they don’t control their residents, as a company does its employees, how are they doing in the diversity they preach?
Boulder is 80 percent white, 7 percent Hispanic and 1 percent black. So much for diversity. This ethnic mix more reflects an exclusive country club than one of the most woke cities in America.
I am not promoting diversity quotas. Businesses should be free to hire the best employees for their business needs, based on, to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr, the content of their character, and job skills, rather than the color of their skin.
Those companies that virtue signal their tolerance, diversity, intersectionality, and other social justice buzzwords should expect justifiable backlash if they don’t live up to their own standards.
The New York Times, for example, believes in a free exchange of views within the company. But half of employees are afraid to speak freely over intolerance and cancel culture.
Eventually the left eats its own over unrealistic standards and expectations that even the wokest of the woke cannot meet. When Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss are deemed racist or sexist, and intolerable, nothing is safe from the woke mob.
Those that talk the talk but don’t walk the woke are finding themselves victims of the culture they created. It is hard to have any sympathy toward those hoisted by their own petards.
Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer. He is on sabbatical from social media.