ZHAO: America Has Yet To See The Worst Consequences Of Wokeness

YuKong Zhao President, Asian American Coalition for Education
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Recently, the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress started investigations into the Biden administration’s wrongdoings. Though I applaud them for their rightful restoration of House Oversight, Republicans cannot ignore the major threat to America’s future — Critical Race Theory (CRT) and woke culture.

Since summer of 2020, many survivors of China’s cultural revolutions, including myself, Chinese dissident Weiwei Ai, Chinese parents in R.I. Meyerholz Elementary School, and Xi Van Fleet of Virginia, described CRT and woke culture as America’s dangerous repeat of China’s Cultural Revolution. From our devastating experiences, we see a striking similarity between the radical left’s actions in America and the Communists/Red Guards (Maoists) in China 50 years ago.

Chinese Maoists and American leftists both created Marxist lies to establish moral authority and divide societies.

In the 20th century, Mao Zedong and his comrades borrowed the Marxist Class Struggle Theory to launch a violent revolution. They fabricated stories such as “The White-Haired Girl” and the “Rent Collection House”, accusing all landlords of being “the oppressor”, who lived by exploiting peasants (“the oppressed”).  This false premise gave them moral authority to mobilize tens of millions of poor peasants to seize power in 1949.

Using the Class Struggle Theory, Maoists established a divisive and repressive government dividing people based on family origin and class. Family members of “the oppressors” were regarded as “class enemies” and were barred from higher education or career advancement. They were frequently humiliated and even publicly tortured at class “struggle sessions.”

In the 21st century, the radical left propagates Critical Race Theory, which replaced class struggle with racial struggle. They fabricated stories such as “Hands up, Don’t Shoot” and the Jussie Smollett hoax. They exaggerate incidents of black men being killed by the police while falsely accusing white Americans of being “the oppressors,” who engage in “systemic racism” against blacks and Hispanics (“the oppressed”). With this baseless premise of moral authority, they launched violent riots in the summer of 2020 and successfully grabbed power.

Guided by CRT, the radical left is re-creating a racial class system that treats Americans based on skin color. White and Asian Americans are labeled as “privileged” and are discriminated against during college admissions, employment, and job advancement in the name of racial equity or diversity. In many DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) sessions, white Americans were coerced to confess their white privilege or white guilt.

Chinese Maoists and American leftists censor and cancel opposition.

In the 20th century, Maoists utilized their powerful party apparatus to implement nationwide censorship. They labeled and censored all opinions differing from Marxist ideology as “anti-revolutionary languages.”  In the 1958 “Anti-Rightist Campaign,” Maoists “canceled” the jobs of hundreds of thousands outspoken intellectuals and sent them to re-education camps, known as “bullpens,” where they endured forced labor and torture. Maoists even ruthlessly murdered many political dissidents such as Yu Luoke and Zhang Zhixin.

In the 21st century, the radical left and the Democrat Party colluded with powerful liberal media and social media giants, and carried out an unprecedented censorship in American history. They labeled information that opposed their narrative as “misinformation.” By covering up the “Hunter Biden” story, they misled American voters and improperly influenced the 2020 presidential election. U.C. Berkeley, the birthplace of freedom of speech, and other colleges nationwide consistently shut down conservative speakers, sometimes violently.

Worse, the radical left canceled many Americans’ jobs for stating true but politically incorrect opinions, such as Georgetown Law professor Sandra Sellers and Philadelphia Inquirer’s top editor Stan Wischnowski. Americans now live in fear of losing their jobs because of saying something politically incorrect. Conservative politicians Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell were harassed. Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s life was threatened over abortion.

Chinese Maoists and American leftists radically change the culture, rewrite history and indoctrinate citizens.

In the 20th century, in order to “purify” the nation to support their radical ideology, Maoists launched the “Shatter Four Olds Campaign” against Chinese culture. Aimed to destroy “old thoughts,” “old culture,” “old tradition” and “old habits,” Red Guards demolished almost all Chinese historical monuments, including that of Confucius. Books deemed non-revolutionary were burned or destroyed.  Chinese history was rewritten according to Marxist doctrine.

In 1962, Chairman Mao launched nationwide “education” of Class Struggle Theory, across all schools, factories, and villages. Four years later, tens of millions of indoctrinated Reds Guards and Revolutionary Rebels joined Mao’s Cultural Revolution and tortured tens of millions of innocent people, including my father. Millions of them were even murdered.

In the 21st century, for the same reason, the radical left in America makes every effort to change American culture. They discredit individual rights, free market system, freedom of speech, the rule of law, meritocracy, and many other America’s founding principles. They glorify socialism, big government control, censorship and racial equity. The “1619 Project” rewrites American history while radicals topple statues of America’s Founders, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Like its Maoist counterpart, the left zealously indoctrinates students. According to Cornell University Professor William Jacobson, over 200 colleges are teaching students CRT. New York, California, and other Democrat areas teach it to K-12 students. If we do not stop this soon, within a decade they will indoctrinate tens of millions of young Americans into radical “social justice warriors,” eager to tear down America as we know it.

The radical left has embarked on a dangerous journey of American cultural revolution, by using the same playbook Maoists applied in China over 50 years ago. Just like what the Cultural Revolution has done to Chinese people, CRT and woke culture will divide American society, destroy American cultural heritage, and finally ruin our nation. And although mass violence and severe repression have not yet begun, it is only a matter of time before they do – that is the natural result of such policies.

Fortunately, Governors Ron DeSantis and Glenn Youngkin are fighting tirelessly against CRT and wokeness. With majority control, the Republican House must join this crucial fight. The more we expose the danger of CRT/woke culture, the more Americans will wake up and resist. America’s cultural revolution must be stopped before it is too late!

Yukong Mike Zhao is a survivor of China’s Cultural Revolution. In his new book, Critical Race Theory and Woke Culture: America’s Dangerous Repeat of China’s Cultural Revolution, he draws parallels between what the radical left is doing in America and China’s Cultural Revolution 50 years ago

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.