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Airborne Marxists: The Week in Woke

What the hell are they teaching at that Air Force Academy anyway?

Welcome back to the Week in Woke, where we take a look at some of the (often quite unlikely) things that right-wingers are calling “woke.” This week, a you’ll notice, there’s a little bit of a military theme. Because what could be more woke than the military-industrial complex?

The Air Force Academy

It was the op-ed that launched a thousand headlines. Well, not literally, but an op-ed from an associate political science professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy did cause more than a few conservatives’ heads to explode, also not literally.

“As a professor of political science at the U.S. Air Force Academy,” wrote Lynne Chandler García in the Washington Post.

I teach critical race theories to our nation’s future military leaders because it is vital that cadets understand the history of the racism that has shaped both foreign and domestic policy …

To think critically and read broadly is fundamental to making them future leaders for times of both war and peace.

After conservatives put their exploded heads back together, they launched a counterattack. A headline on Fox News declared “Air Force Academy Goes Woke, Brainwash [sic] Airmen With Marxist, Anti-American Critical Race Theory.” A GOP congressman called for Garcia to be fired. Republican senator Tom Cotton told Fox News that:

It’s clear she knows very little about our Constitution, which is typical of colleges these days. She has no business teaching the Constitution or political science to cadets at the Air Force. 

I’m sure Mr. Cotton is quite the constitutional scholar himself.

[Defense] Secretary [Lloyd] Austin has testified at least twice that our military does not teach, instruct, or condone critical race theory. So Miss Garcia should start looking for a different place of employment in my opinion. … We should not be … indoctrinating our cadets to believe that our military is a fundamentally racist institution.

Speaking of the military:

Raytheon

Raytheon is the second biggest military contractor in the United States. It’s also, if you believe some on the far right, a hotbed of Marxist “wokeness.” According to anti-Critical Race Theory activist Christopher Rufo, talking to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Raytheon has launched

this really political indoctrination program teaching employees to judge each other on the basis of race …They provided specific rules for white employees how to speak to black employees. And they even said that employees should reject the principle of equality in favor [of] equality of outcomes, which is a synonym for socialism, maybe communism

And it’s really astonishing because this is one of the largest corporations in the world, it manufactures key defense armaments, and yet it has been captured by this woke ideology that seems to be now the dominant force not only in education and in government but also in business.

It’s a defense contractor, dude. It’s about as Marxist as my cats.

Capitalism

Yes, even capitalism itself is going woke. As Tim Busch writes on National Review Online,

Company after company now routinely weighs in on the most divisive issues, and the C-suite take seems uniformly liberal. See the mass opposition to Georgia’s recent election law, enormous criticism of Alabama’s regulation of abortion, and deep support for federal legislation that would limit religious liberty in the name of gender equality, among many other examples. Elite opinion overwhelmingly favors this transformation, and I’m sure newly political CEOs love being told they’re “on the right side of history.” There’s even a name for what they’re doing: “woke capitalism.”

A more accurate label might be “pandering to the liberal majority in the US in order to keep employees happy and sell more stuff.” The companies that take so-called “woke” stances on civil rights issues and the like recognize that the American people are far to the left of the politicians that claim to represent us.

But Busch thinks taking a political stance is somehow antithetical to true capitalism. “Businesses are built to provide the innovation that improves lives,” he writes. “Virtue-signaling tends to detract from this important work.”

No it doesn’t. Taking a symbolic stance in favor of, say LGBTQ+ people by putting a pride flag on your logo during pride month takes two seconds. It’s marketing, not Marxism.

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jsrtheta
jsrtheta
20 days ago

I grew up in the Boston area. I traveled on Route 128 most of my youth, and names like Raytheon and IBM were the scenery as you drove by. What the hell, Harvard and MIT were churning out graduates who designed the missiles and the circuitry to make the Defense Department what it is today.

And thank god for that. Huntsville might be a big aerospace city, but the tempering influence of the Ivy League, reflected in the defense establishment that grew next to Route 128, might have saved us all. (And sometimes screwed us all, that can’t be denied.)

Now I live about 60 miles north of the Air Force Academy, and a short drive to Buckley Air Force Base. F-16s periodically roar over my house, and other military aircraft populate the skies from time to time. I have also represented, as a defense attorney, a few soldiers and officers based at Fort Carson. Some of those clients stayed in touch with me, though I’ve been a lifelong Democrat and a liberal. These were people I came to respect deeply.

None of them had any illusions about anything. They were committed to the national defense, and were strongly patriotic. I never heard one express any contempt for liberals and/or Democrats. I never heard one express credulous acceptance of Republicans. These were people who thought for themselves, and had no patience for fools.

The military understands many things better than idiots like Cotton, or slightly ill-informed liberals like me. If it came to a credibility contest between Tom Cotton and a career officer, I’d go with the officer, and his military colleagues, every time.

The American military does not need advice from Tom Cotton or from me. They are miles from infallible, but they have the good sense to know it.

Xennial Dot Warner
Xennial Dot Warner
20 days ago

Best not to take them too literally when they start ranting about “Marxism.” Their definition of “Marxism,” after all, is “anything that makes them uncomfortable.”

gijoel
gijoel
20 days ago

James Stephanie Stirling calls out companies trying to get on the ‘woke’ PR train.

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
20 days ago

As Tim Busch writes on National Review Online,

Company after company now routinely weighs in on the most divisive issues, and the C-suite take seems uniformly liberal. . . . There’s even a name for what they’re doing: “woke capitalism.”. . .

But Busch thinks taking a political stance is somehow antithetical to true capitalism. “Businesses are built to provide the innovation that improves lives,” he writes. “Virtue-signaling tends to detract from this important work.”

Virtue signaling: okay when Tim Busch does it, not okay when corporations do it.

Crip Dyke
20 days ago

It’s about as Marxist as my cats.

Confused Cats Against Capitalism?

Queen of the Harpies
Queen of the Harpies
20 days ago

A GOP congressman called for Garcia to be fired.

Tell me again how you hate “cancel culture” and “censorship”, guys.

And like I said before, “Marxist” is basically the new “commie/socialist” for these dumbasses, though I see they threw those in too for good measure. And ask any one of them to define these terms for $50 and they won’t get a single one right.

Crip Dyke
20 days ago

Agree with Kat. The people who denigrate virtue signaling universally fail to understand that they are engaged in a virtue signaling project with more energy, consistency, and persistence than nearly anyone else.

Politicians virtue signal constantly because that’s their job: to sell themselves and therefore to signal their own virtue as part of that. It’s not bad that Cotton or whichever right wing asshole trashes virtue signaling engages in it. WHat’s bad is that they aren’t honest enough to admit that the distinction between themselves and their political opponents isn’t that one side signals virtues and the other doesn’t. The difference is in which virtues are being signaled. And there Cotton and the others of the right are fucked. The virtues that they are most invested in signaling are racism, patriarchal sexism (which requires certain anti child, anti queer and anti trans positions within it), the superiority of the wealthy, and authoritarianism.

With the exception of Democrats unctuous devotion to wealth in which the parties are the same, the Democrats values are consistently regarded as superior by a majority of US residents and have been since the mid80s. Without their campaigns of demonization combined with gerrymandering, the racism of the US electorate couldn’t have sustained any significant Republican power past 1987.

And it’s looking more and more like the campaigns of demonization and gerrymandering are reaching their limits as well. We’ll see, but the long slow fight for the values of the country gives every appearance of being won. How long it takes to overcome the desperate rear guard action of the authoritarians is hard to say, but I think that the virtue signaling of Cotton et. al, can only hasten their demise.

We loathe what you value, right wingers. That dat doesn’t make you a celebrated, rebellious Han Solo, It makes you Jabba the Hutt.

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
20 days ago

“Businesses are built to provide the innovation that improves lives,” he writes.

A common misconception. Businesses are built to make money. Any positive side-effect of that goal is cool, but everything a company does is based on whether they think it will bring in more money over all. It is a net positive that a lot of companies are becoming more ‘woke’, as a barometer of where they estimate society as a whole is at. And it’s definitely favorable to the opposite. But the motivator will always be profit, not social change. Individuals working for these companies may hold these values but the company itself does not.

In a similar vein, I do not believe companies actually try to have the best product. Or at least they have a different idea of what the best product is than the customer. Any innovation to improve a product is to earn more money, not to make the product better for the consumer (though that is one factor in innovation). I’m sure they’d happily sell us The video-game industry is a great example of this (as any other follower of James Stephanie Sterling can also tell you).

Anyway, sorry for the rant, but that kind of thinking really irks me.

Xennial Dot Warner
Xennial Dot Warner
20 days ago

James Stephanie Stirling calls out companies trying to get on the ‘woke’ PR train.

Unfortunate wording on Sterling’s part. That said: they seem to be talking about Ubisoft’s hypocrisy (preening about how progressive their content is while their work environment is anything but and fairly hostile overall) rather than just whining about the content.

That said: “woke” was perfectly good AAVE for about a week. Then, white wannabe-allies got ahold of it; and then, reactionaries forcibly took it from them. Just saying.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
20 days ago

If the goal of business is to maximize profits, then racism and segregation are by definition anti-business. A business plastered with MAGA signs is a business willing to give up 2/3 of its potential customers and pay a steep “I want to publicly be an offensive asshole” tariff. White supremacy is more precious than money to them.

Where I live, there’s a local moving company whose trucks are blazoned with enormous “TRUMP 2024 – STILL MY PRESIDENT” signs (and other slogans designed to offend). Out of morbid curiosity about how they stay in business, I looked them up on Yelp. Sure enough, it’s full of 1 star reviews from unhappy customers with missing, broken, and stolen items, as well as people who were out-and-out swindled. As you would expect, the owner responds personally to every review with blustery insults and “Fake news! We never moved this person!”

I don’t know why any of these reviewers were surprised that a Trump-worshipping moving company did a crappy job, ripped them off, then refused to provide even the bare minimum of respectful customer care afterwards. I mean, they should have expected that from the get-go. Those sorts of businesses don’t exist because they want to help people and make them happy.

epitome of incomrepehensibility

Yeah, I’ve heard/read criticisms of “woke capitalism” from leftist folks, but they’re not objecting to the so-called “wokeness.”

What bugs me is when advertising seems to trivialize things. Like the tutoring centre I work for putting out a poster saying “Black Lives Matter,” since the phrase is to protest people getting killed by police – it’s not just a random trend. To be fair, they weren’t all “Black Lives Matter…AND you should take classes with us, which is totally relevant!!” but it felt a little like that.

Not saying that people shouldn’t be more inclusive in advertising, but there are ways it makes more sense than others. E.g. having a w/w or m/m couple in an ad…without having to go “We welcome ALL families!” in a way that sounds patronizing. Not only would that be a sort of “virtue signaling” but it could backfire if it makes out LGBTQ+ folks to be weird and exotic.

Pseudonym
Pseudonym
20 days ago

The National Review, which was founded to oppose federal legislation that would limit “religious liberty” in the name of racial equality, now opposes federal legislation that would limit “religious liberty” in the name of gender equality? What a surprise.

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
20 days ago

Yeah, I’ve heard/read criticisms of “woke capitalism” from leftist folks, but they’re not objecting to the so-called “wokeness.”

Yeah, this. It gets brought up more with things like pride month for instance. Cool that companies consider minorities to be an acceptable gain vs the loss of reactionary dingusses marketwise, but don’t expect them to have your back in any meaningful way. I mean, those same twitter accounts for companies that use the rainbow-flag at the start of Pride-Month don’t do that in countries where LGBT-rights are still a hot-button issue or not accepted in any way. And those filters will of course disappear at the end of june or when the next trend pops up.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
19 days ago

Let’s see, I knew both the Air Force Academy and defense contractors, and they were the opposite of “woke”.

But I’m only a little woman, so my experiences don’t count like those of bloviating Republican men.

Also I’m not a reactionary, so I know that anyone who still seriously uses the word “woke” is one and I can feel free to ignore anything they say.

tim gueguen
19 days ago

I’m surprised Professor Garcia manages to teach at all at the Air Force Academy, which has long had problems with Evangelical types throwing their weight around, bullying non-Evangelicals etc.

Gerald Fnord
Gerald Fnord
15 days ago

> They provided specific rules for white employees
> how to speak to black employees.

‘They told me I couldn’t tell him his kid was “one good-looking pickaninny” and that he was the most competent coon I’d ever had the privilege to work-with. O, weep! for my lost Freedoms!!11!1!’