‘Our Universities’ and ’the Student Population’Based on his 50 years of experience, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Jon Zubieta at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences believes “the most decisive defeat for common sense in our universities has been the introduction of offices for diversity, inclusiveness, and equity.”
“As an educator, I spend much of my day in contact with students,” Zubieta told The Epoch Times. “In my experience, the student population has undergone a sea change in attitude and general knowledge. Until fairly recently, these young scholars were inquisitive, ambitious and somewhat rebellious, and iconoclastic, as young people should be. These characteristics have been replaced by conformity to the woke orthodoxy, and heaven help you if you deviate. This docility is reinforced with what seems total ignorance of economics, civics, and the Western cultural heritage that provides the foundation for our society. In fact, it goes well beyond ignorance as it is manifested in antagonism toward the glories of western culture and civilization. We are a society that has become unmoored from its past; a society that has lost cultural confidence; in fact, a society that is now busily destroying its own cultural heritage.
‘Wokeism Is Affecting Academia Because Academia Is Where it Starts’
“Wokeism is affecting academia because academia is where it starts,” Barnhizer told The Epoch Times. While he was once supportive of Affirmative Action in hiring, he now sees how universities have “hired so many people who are woke” and part of the “diversity, equity, and inclusion” mindset that they are “now pretty much in charge of the universities” and the coddled, illiterate students graduating high school go on to universities where the low expectations continue. That a lot of today’s K-12 teachers are “disciples of what they learned in universities,” Barnhizer sees them passing on their “wokeness” to this generation, which has become more radical and violent.
“I could not teach them,” Barnhizer confessed. “I cared about teaching my students to think. But to think you have to have something up there to think with. You have to be able to think properly because thinking leads to conclusions, and the woke don’t want anything to get in the way of undermining their own conclusions.”
Companies Are ‘Hiring on the Basis of Surface Characteristics Rather Than Merit’
“The Black Lives Matter culture says asking students to give the right answer and getting the right solutions is ‘racist.’ This is the bigotry of racism on steroids,” Scott told The Epoch Times. “Then it’s racist or discriminatory not to give jobs to people who simply aren’t qualified for them and when we give jobs to people who aren’t qualified, nothing is going to work anymore. These people are not going to be able to compete. You can’t deny reality forever and expect people who don’t know any math to build bridges.”
Scott also noted how “some companies have explicitly said they’re hiring on the basis of surface characteristics rather than merit. The airlines have started saying they’re going to have minimum quotas for pilots. You’d think if there’s some place in the world where you would only hire only the ability to fly a plane, that would be it.”
The ‘Highly Politicized’ Military
“Most service members had no clue that was taking place unless they were directly involved in those planning efforts in the halls of the Pentagon,” Lohmeier told The Epoch Times.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the last year of the Trump administration, Lohmeier said there was “an extreme push for diversity equity and inclusion initiatives within all federal agencies, including the uniformed services.
“It really came on strongly after the death of George Floyd,” Lohmeier explained. “At the same time, you had a renewed energy of Black Lives Matter and other critical social justice initiatives throughout the country that were actively taking to the streets and actively taking to social media.”
Simultaneously, Lohmeier said senior military leaders within the defense department were “pushing obvious, apparent left-wing political talking points from their social media accounts and that was being parroted by young service members within all branches of the military.”
As this “extreme left-wing radicalism” began sweeping across the military, Lohmeier said a pushback immediately ensued from various corners of the military. That pushback sparked accusations of racism.
“It was an extremism stand down, which meant everyone was to take a knee from their training or from whatever missions they were performing to discuss radicalism and what was meant by that was right-wing, white supremacist extremism within the ranks, which was a purported problem we were facing,“ said Lohmeier, who was still in command of a unit at the time. ”Instantly there began to be a cynicism, a politicization that arose within the armed forces and a loss of trust and confidence in the senior military leaders that I recognized as a commander that was unfolding within the lowest ranks of the tactical level. People were wondering why we were talking about this stuff because it wasn’t something that was part of their day-to-day operational mission. As far as I can see, that hasn’t gone away. It’s only gotten worse now that there’s COVID vaccine mandates that have become such a sticking point for senior military leaders and the secretary of defense that they’re now willing to purge the roughly five percent of our service members who aren’t willing to comply with those mandates against their conscience.”
‘This Can’t Work’Asked what the future holds for academia, corporations, and the military if the course of wokeism continues, all four experts predict the same failure suffered in K-12 education.
“The new role of the academic seems to be to sanctify whatever attitudes students bring with them, a sort of obeisance to the tropes of wokeness,” Zubieta said. “We really must get back to a social theory based on cooperation for attaining just goals. We certainly will not instill such attitudes by encouraging aggressive self-righteousness.
“Where do we go from here?” Zubieta asked rhetorically. “A first step would be to rid academia of diversity offices and return the power to make such decision to the faculty, where it belongs. Since this is unlikely to happen, I am not feeling very optimistic about the future of academia. The raucous, good-naturedly combative, and iconoclastic faculty of the late twentieth century is being replaced by a generation of much more docile and woke young academics. Since the current state of academics is unsustainable, it will not be sustained over time. The question is whether incremental reform is possible or if the whole system must be razed and rebuilt anew.”
Barnhizer believes “the single most important factor” in stemming the tide of “wokeism, critical race theory, and Social and Emotional Learning in schools is the rapid rise of parental awareness and the creation of parental organizations committed to resisting the development.”
“The movement they represent is not only growing but is stimulating a significant political base that transcends political divides because parents see their children’s futures at stake,” Barnhizer explained. “This parental movement is gaining a range of political allies in local, state, and national contexts and if it continues to develop can provide hope that the tide of one-sided brainwashing being implemented by the ‘Woke’ and the ‘Crits’ can be withstood.”
“What can be done depends on having a clear understanding of where we are and what is being done by the ‘Woke’ and ‘Crits’ to capture our educational systems,” Barnhizer said further, explaining that “a significant part of the strategy involves capturing systemic elements far beyond the educational dimension, including corporations, governmental entities, journalists, social media, the American military, and correcting general discourse.”
As for corporate wokeism, Scott believes “it’s going to spin out.”
“This can’t work. It’s not a functional model and it’s also not a legal model,” Scott said. “You can’t explicitly discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or ethnicity. That’s the Fourteenth Amendment and you can’t dress up the new racism by calling it anti-racism. It’s clearly racism. It’s clearly discriminatory. If you’re hiring on the basis of anything other than merit, you’re going to have a less successful organization. The corporations will work less well, make less money, make worse products have worse outcomes.”
Because of “the sharp, left-hand turn their military leaders have taken toward wokeness,” Lohmeier predicts that, as the active-duty service status of military personnel expires, we’re going to see further retention issues across all critical career fields within every branch of the military.
“There continues to be a degradation of trust. There continues to be a breakdown of good order and discipline and morale and it’s leading to recruiting and retention issues for all branches of the armed services,” Lohmeier said. “You have to love what you’re doing. You have to believe in the cause you’re fighting for. On the one hand, it’s tough enough to sign up year after year to stay in the service, and on the other these young people who hear about this stuff who are anticipating joining the service are repulsed by the politicization of the armed forces.”