by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Linking to a Sesame Street celebration of “Latinx culture,” Antonio García Martínez, sharpest wit on Twitter, wrote last fall: “One of the great mysteries is how every elite institution, from universities to corporations to media to even Sesame Street, all spontaneously coalesced on the same narrow set of values all of a sudden.”
The set of values in question belongs to the cult of identity—a ramshackle creed that maintains, for example, that the term “Latinx” signifies an actual human group. Once the province of pretentious professors and their captive students, the cult has leaked out of the cannabis-scented halls of academia to infect an astonishing number of people in power. García Martínez is right. In the scope and rapidity of institutional embrace, nothing like it has transpired since the conversion of Constantine.
The National Archives in Washington, D.C., today places warning labels on the Constitution, because reading it may induce unpleasant sensations in some identity groups. Universities like Princeton now publish “antiracist toolkits” to instruct the faithful on how to “move beyond diversity” and into identity heaven. Nike, which makes sneakers, demands of its customers: “Don’t pretend there’s not a problem with America. Don’t turn your back on racism.” The Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins, two time-honored sports franchises, for their identity sins have had their names stripped away. I could extend the list unto boredom—it would range from prestigious media institutions like the New York Times to local bodies like the San Francisco school board.
Tyler Cowen, nobody’s idea of an identity enthusiast, has declared that “wokeism”—a popular tag for the cult—“will rule the world.” “Winners win! And woke is right now one of America’s global winners,” he writes.