How the media drives radical ‘wokeness’

By Jarrett Stepman | The Daily Signal

“Fake news” isn’t the only media problem in 2020. An important analysis in media trends of the past decade shows how activist journalism is promoting radical racial “wokeness.”

There was a time when the woke ideology was firmly ensconced in the ivory tower and limited to radical corners of our university system. But now it’s everywhere, and America seemingly can’t stop talking about race, racism, and anti-racism all the time.

More than that, the George Floyd protests have turned into the 1619 riots, where the very idea of America is being called into question as a part of some grand racial reckoning.

But where is all of this coming from?

Wikimedia Commons/Mike Shaheen

To those who may think that coverage of race and racism revived after the election of President Donald Trump in 2016, Goldberg’s analysis shows that this surge actually began years earlier, coinciding more closely with the beginning of President Barack Obama’s second term in office in 2013.

An in-depth analysis at Tablet magazine from Zach Goldberg, a doctoral candidate in political science at Georgia State University, shows that at the very least, America’s most elite media institutions have been the conduit for these ideas to become ubiquitous.

Once obscure academic jargon like “white privilege” and “microaggression,” Goldberg notes in his Aug. 4 piece, has been picked up by liberal journalists while the word “racism” has been redefined.

As I wrote in my analysis of Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, and the “anti-racist” movement, racism is “not just an individual act of discrimination or prejudice toward a person or a people based on their race.”

Instead, racism is a “collective condition leading to inequities in society.”

Being racially colorblind or demanding equal treatment under the law now are considered racist if societal inequities persist.

In his Tablet piece, Goldberg lays out just how rapidly and widely “wokeness” has been disseminated among Americans. The chief culprit being media, more specifically elite media institutions such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.

That process accelerated over the summer, Goldberg writes, as countless articles in these elite publications, typically portrayed as straight news, “illustrate a prevailing new political morality on questions of race and justice that has taken power at the Times and Post—a worldview sometimes abbreviated as ‘wokeness’ that combines the sensibilities of highly educated and hyperliberal white professionals with elements of Black nationalism and academic critical race theory.”

“Wokeness” is a term most Americans were mostly unfamiliar with even a few years ago, but now its prevailing ideas are everywhere. Wokeness, which combines elements of Marxist ideology and critical race theory, increasingly has become the dominant ethos of America’s higher education institutions, newsrooms, and boardrooms.

To those who may think that coverage of race and racism revived after the election of President Donald Trump in 2016, Goldberg’s analysis shows that this surge actually began years earlier, coinciding more closely with the beginning of President Barack Obama’s second term in office in 2013.

“In 2011, the terms racist/racists/racism accounted for 0.0027% and 0.0029% of all words in The New York Times and The Washington Post, respectively,” Goldberg writes, adding:

What we see over the past decade is a continual dramatic increase in usages of ‘racism’ and its variations. Moreover, the graph shows that this increase occurred a half decade before the arrival of Donald Trump. By 2019, they would constitute 0.02% and just under 0.03% of all words published in the Times and Post—an increase of over 700% and just under 1,000%, respectively, from 2011.

One can see how this has led to a transformation of public opinion, especially on the American left.

“In 2011, just 35% of white liberals thought racism in the United States was ‘a big problem,’ according to national polling,” Goldberg writes. “By 2015, this figure had ballooned to 61% and further still to 77% in 2017.”

This development coincided with a large increase in white liberals saying that they knew someone whom they considered racist.

This perception didn’t change among nonwhite Democrats, though, and if anything, the trend was downward.

Goldberg writes that it’s possible that these changes in opinion represent a genuine explosion of racism in America, and that white liberals are particularly perceptive to it.

However, he argues, it’s more likely that “ascendant progressive notions about race, reflected in a steady drumbeat of reporting and editorializing on the subject from leading national media outlets, encouraged white liberals to label a larger number of behaviors and people as racist.”

Goldberg’s analysis demonstrates how elite institutions are generating broad cultural shifts in American society and how the radicalism of college campuses no longer is contained to college campuses.

America’s most powerful newsrooms not only are biased, they are engaging in widespread activism and leading the charge in America’s cultural revolution—whether or not this trend reflects the opinion of the majority of Americans.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Mike Shaheen

13 thoughts on “How the media drives radical ‘wokeness’

  1. Referring to the New York Time as an “elite” publication is ludicrous. This rag lost all respect and credibility years ago. I was a daily and weekend reader for over thirty years. Haven’t picked it up in the past twenty. They have intermingled news and opinions to the point where there are no longer any distinctions. And we all know how biased its opinions are.

  2. There is systemic racism, I used to not believe it. Here they are…

    Hollywood = their constant portrayal is completely racist

    Planned Parenthood = their failed birth control and family planning where by in Vermont50% of all births are unplanned, puts minority women in life long poverty.

    School Systems = we have failed inner city schools, not because of lack of money, but because of corruption in the governing and school systems in minority communities.

    Poverty Traps = housing projects that forever trap people into renting, never being part of the middle class and owning their home. Vermont is adopting this plan with similar results.

    Drugs and Alcohol = promoting a life style that brings little long term peace or prosperity. It’s promoted by Hollywood and others as a way to prosperity.

    Breaking up the Family = probably more than any community the family and children are suffering because of systemic racism that makes it more profitable to make the wrong choice. Children grow up in broken families with predicable results of young men acting out in violence and young women getting pregnant before adulthood.

    Yeah there is systemic racism, it’s not the cops, it’s not capitalism and its not our constitution.

  3. We’re dealing with the Hippies from the 60s and 70s that hated America.
    They went into Education and took it over and into Govt. jobs. They raised their own kids with this hate of America.. the schools then were getting worse as they were moved onto the same page.. add in social media and Big Tech.
    Then what could have stopped all of this is our side running our mouths more, but then we got muzzled with Political Correctness as our language got stolen out from under us. No, everything you don’t like is Racist. Add in censorship, dark money everywhere you look, corruption, voter fraud, turning our back on God, and here we are.
    Barry Soetoro certainly didn’t help any either. He made what was a declining situation much worse.
    And look at the Millennials we’ve been saddled with, they want to start a new job and be equal with their boss.
    Now we have the plandemic.
    We’ve all been basically forced to survive life in the psyche ward while we get robbed with taxes and put outta work.
    Great plan! and it looks like Vermont will vote for more of it.

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