Editor’s note: This is an edited version of a speech prepared for TOS-Con 2022. The written version retains the character of an oral presentation.

The problem of “wokeism” started as a small fire, but it is getting bigger.

I have spent decades fighting the ideology of Islamism. Through the foundation I established, the AHA Foundation, I am doing all I can to combat forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and so-called honor violence. When I first drew attention to these issues as an MP (member of Parliament) in the Netherlands, staunch multiculturalists—who purported to be humanitarians—were among my harshest critics. They thought my activism was stigmatizing and provocative. My quarrel with wokeism is not the first in which I have had serious disagreements with those promoting so-called social justice.

Of course, I believe in justice. And I believe justice requires a free, fair, and open society. In my view, wokeism is not compatible with either.

What exactly is wokeism? . . .

What exactly is wokeism? @Ayaan Hirsi Ali answers this question and sets out why this ideology is incompatible with a free, fair, and open society.
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1. Abas Mirzaei, “Where ‘Woke’ Came from and Why Marketers Should Think Twice before Jumping on the Social Activism Bandwagon,” The Conversation, September 8, 2019, https://theconversation.com/where-woke-came-from-and-why-marketers-should-think-twice-before-jumping-on-the-social-activism-bandwagon-122713.

2. Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (New York: New York University Press, 2017), 28.

3. “Funding for Racial Equity,” Candid, https://candid.org/explore-issues/racial-equity#stats-chart (accessed June 23, 2022).

4. Abigail Thompson, “A Word from Abigail Thompson, a Vice President of the AMS,” Notices of the American Mathematical

Society 66, no. 11 (December 2019), https://www.ams.org/journals/notices/201911/rnoti-p1778.pdf; Colleen Flaherty, “Diversity Statements as ‘Litmus Tests,’” Inside Higher Ed, November 19, 2019, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/11/19/mathematician-comes-out-against-mandatory-diversity-statements-while-others-say-they; “Rubric for Assessing Candidate Contributions to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging,” Berkeley Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare, https://ofew.berkeley.edu/recruitment/contributions-diversity/rubric-assessing-candidate-contributions-diversity-equity (accessed August 8, 2022).

5. Hayden Ludwig, “Wokeism in Private Schools: Go Woke or Get Out,” Capital Research Center, March 15, 2022, https://capitalresearch.org/article/wokeism-in-private-schools-part-4/.

6. Ludwig, “Wokeism in Private Schools: Go Woke or Get Out.”

7. Stanley Goldfarb, “Keep Politics Out of the Doctor’s Office,” Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/keep-politics-out-of-the-doctors-office-racism-woke-ideology-crt-critical-race-theory-medical-care-minorities-systemic-racism-covid-19-regulation-11650308028.

8. Robert Berg, “The Problem with a ‘Woke’ Military,” National Review, June 6, 2021, https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/06/the-problem-with-a-woke-military/.

9. Berg, “The Problem with a ‘Woke’ Military.”

10. “Holding Asset Managers Accountable to Support Racial Justice,” Majority Action, https://www.majorityaction.us/racial-justice (accessed August 9, 2022); “Dear Asset Managers, You’ve Upheld Systemic Racism,” Majority Action advertisement in the Financial Times, https://www.majorityaction.us/racial-justicehttps://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/60772572c3bc9b69fb643d36/1618874614433-CPUNEST7ZPSSQ4ZB8OBZ/AssetManagersLetter.jpg (accessed August 9, 2022); Andrew Ross Sorkin et al., “Activists Send a Message to Asset Managers,” New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/20/business/dealbook/dimon-lebron-super-league.html (accessed August 9, 2022).

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