Uncovering the dangerous tactics of propaganda, misinformation, and culture wars, and why we must fight back against the growing threat of fascism.
Today, the far-right propaganda arm of the Republican Party of Texas published an egregious article using divisive language in an attempt to cause further animosity toward Black, brown, gay, poor, and liberal Texans. This fascist propaganda is dangerous because it creates an us-versus-them mentality and targets vulnerable groups, often scapegoating them for societal problems. In addition, this rhetoric can appeal to people who feel disaffected or disenfranchised, and it can be used to justify violence against marginalized groups.
By repeating certain slogans and demonizing certain groups, fascist propaganda can create a sense of superiority and entitlement among its followers. This can lead to increased aggression, both in the form of verbal attacks and physical violence. In addition to the immediate harm caused by violent acts, fascist propaganda can lead to long-term societal problems by creating an atmosphere of fear and distrust, eroding social cohesion, and undermining the rule of law. Spreading fascist propaganda can have far-reaching and devastating consequences for individuals and society.
While the Texas Scorecard claims that a “woke mind virus” is infecting Texas, the real threat lies in the rise of fascism and authoritarianism. This dangerous ideology promotes hate and intolerance towards different people, spreading through our society like a disease. To combat this threat, we must reject the false narrative of wokeness and instead focus on the real issues that are causing harm to our communities.
What is “woke” vs. what they say “woke” is?
Woke generally refers to an awareness of social and political issues, particularly discrimination and injustice. It is often associated with progressive social and political movements that seek to address issues such as racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression.
In a recent lawsuit, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ legal team defined woke as “the belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them.”
The Texas Scorecard defined woke as “being a social justice warrior” and “a political ideology that promotes hate, an approach that has served as the foundation for atrocities such as slavery and genocide.”
The people who are against “being woke” have completely changed the definition of what it means. This is intentional.
“All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”Adolf Hitler
The Texas Scorecard’s use and definition of “woke” are consistent with Hitler’s approach to propaganda, which was to appeal to the emotions and instincts of the masses rather than their reason or intellect.
Hitler believed that propaganda should be simple, repetitive, and emotionally compelling to be effective and tailored to its target audience’s prejudices and preconceptions.
The Texas Scorecard also said, “woke is also used to advocate for the grooming of children.”
Unironically, the Nazi regime created propaganda that vilified homosexuality and depicted it as threatening the traditional family unit and society. They portrayed homosexuals as degenerate, immoral, and a danger to children. They used this propaganda to justify the criminalization of homosexuality and the persecution of gay men. Similarly, other fascist regimes and groups have targeted the LGBTQ+ community and used propaganda to vilify and dehumanize them, labeling them as deviant and dangerous to society.
The Texas Scorecard highlighted “culture wars” and quoted the dead racist Andrew Breitbart. Their quote was, “politics is downstream of culture,” which meant that to change politics, one must first change the culture.
However, the only political group fighting a culture war is the Republicans. It started in the 1970s with the emergence of the Moral Majority. This movement included conservative activists who sought to counteract what they saw as the excesses of the social movements of the 1960s. Multiculturalism has also fueled this far-right movement.
Then they pointed to DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) as examples of the so-called culture war.
Fascism and racism fundamentally oppose the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Fascism emphasizes the need for a homogenous society in which people are forced to conform to a narrow definition of what it means to be a “true” member of the nation. This involves excluding people who do not fit this definition, whether members of minority racial or ethnic groups, LGBTQ individuals, or anyone else who does not conform to the fascist ideal. In a fascist society, there is no room for diversity or differences in thought, expression, or identity.
Racism is built on the idea that some groups of people are inherently superior to others based on their race, ethnicity, or other immutable characteristics. This ideology denies the concept of equity by denying individuals the opportunity to achieve their full potential and succeed based on their abilities, regardless of race or ethnicity. Racism also conflicts with inclusion, as it creates a society where specific individuals or groups are excluded or marginalized based solely on their race or ethnicity. In short, fascism and racism are fundamentally at odds with diversity, equity, and inclusion, as they promote exclusion, discrimination, and the suppression of individual differences.
“The cultural decay that had been underway for generations cannot be halted and turned around until we carry out a thorough moral and ideological housecleaning.”Joseph Goebbels
The Texas Scorecard argues that the ESG movement, particularly concerning DEI, promotes a leftist agenda and suppresses traditional values, as evidenced by the conflict between the Florida Legislature and the Walt Disney Company over parental rights in education.
Education is a theme the far-right has used recently. This is also intentional.
“The State cannot allow the education of youth to remain in the hands of sectarian groups that engage in blind and shameless propaganda. National education is the most effective antidote against totalitarian tendencies and ideological extravagances that agitate around youth.”Francisco Franco
During the Francisco Franco dictatorship in Spain, emotional indoctrination through sentimental narratives reinforced the regime’s ideology in primary education textbooks. This emotional indoctrination aimed to instill in children a sense of national pride and loyalty to the regime while demonizing any opposition.
Textbooks often used sentimental and emotional language to promote Francoist values and virtues, such as obedience, patriotism, and self-sacrifice. In addition, they emphasized the importance of the Catholic religion, traditional gender roles, and the rejection of modernity and liberal values.
For example, textbooks often portrayed Franco as a strong and virtuous leader, defending Spain from its enemies and promoting its greatness.
They also depicted the Spanish Civil War as a heroic struggle against communism and international subversion. This emotional indoctrination profoundly impacted Spanish society, shaping the values and beliefs of an entire generation. Moreover, it reinforced the regime’s authoritarian control and helped to create a culture of fear and silence.
When you hear these far-right types talk about education, it’s essential to understand what they mean.
The Texas Scorecard asserts that the DEI movement has been culturally and financially destructive, that even the political left has raised recent concerns regarding its harmful effects, and that highly diverse countries that emphasize differences tend to devolve into chaos and bloodshed rapidly.
However, they overlook that diversity, equity, and inclusion are crucial for building a more equitable society. While the article cites examples of countries that have devolved into chaos due to emphasis on differences, it ignores other examples of countries that have successfully embraced diversity and inclusion, such as Canada, which has a strong focus on multiculturalism, and Germany, which has welcomed immigrants and refugees despite a history of exclusionary policies.
The suggestion that emphasizing color and ethnic differences only increases division is also misguided. Recognizing and celebrating differences while working towards equity and inclusion can help build stronger communities and foster understanding and respect among people of different backgrounds. Moreover, the assertion that the DEI movement is responsible for resurrecting historic animosities is baseless and unsupported by evidence.
It is vital to recognize and address the systemic inequalities that exist to build a more united and just society. The DEI movement is an important step in that direction. Rather than dismissing the movement, we should find ways to make it more effective and inclusive.
The DEI movement is not a “cultural virus” but a necessary step towards creating a more equitable society.
The Texas Scorecard’s argument that public money should not be used for DEI offices in public school districts or on college campuses is misguided as it fails to acknowledge the systemic inequalities that exist and perpetuate in our education system.
Additionally, the suggestion that no teacher or student should be compelled to profess or believe any idea that violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is misleading, as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was designed to protect individuals from discrimination based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and does not prevent the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The belief that emphasizing individual accomplishments instead of skin color, ethnicity, and nationality will promote national unity overlooks that people of different backgrounds and experiences have different starting points and may not have equal opportunities to achieve the same level of individual success. Moreover, emphasizing character and virtue alone ignores systemic discrimination’s role in limiting the opportunities available to certain groups.
Fascism is on the rise in Texas. I hope you’re paying attention.
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