The rhetoric so often used by the Left in America against the country in general and conservatives in particular is now being picked up by the nation’s foreign adversaries, from China to Russia to Iran.
For example, China this week reacted to international criticism of its treatment of Uighurs by vowing to submit a “report on human-rights violations in the United States” that will address the Black Lives Matter movement. In Russia, the government persuaded Amnesty International to revoke the “prisoner of conscience” label from Russian dissident Alexei Navalny by bringing attention to his comments on immigration from a decade ago.
“White supremacy,” “systemic racism,” and similar terms are now openly being employed by foreign countries against the United States.
Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said the use of social-justice rhetoric lets these nations’ propagandists divert attention away from their own authoritarian practices while sowing division in America.
“This is a two-fer for them: It can sow dissent and unrest here, and then it can let them say to their own people, ‘Look how unruly and violent democracy can be,’” said Gonzalez. “It makes the conduct of our foreign policy much harder, in places like Hong Kong or Xinjiang for example.”
China has led the charge in employing the language of America’s Left. The Free Beacon notes:
China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman responded to U.S. criticism about its crackdown in Hong Kong by tweeting, “I can’t breathe” in May 2020, days after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Chinese propagandists also accused the United States of hypocrisy for supporting Chinese dissidents while cracking down on riots at home.
The Chinese propaganda effort has doubled down on its woke approach as pressure mounts on the authoritarian regime’s treatment of Muslim Uighurs. In February, a Chinese mouthpiece accused a U.S.-led “axis of white supremacy” of spreading slander about Xinjiang to isolate China on the international stage.
“A U.S.-centered, racist, and mafia-styled community [is] willfully and arrogantly provoking China and trying to consolidate their hegemony as all gangsters do,” reads a Februrary 23 editorial by China’s state-sponsored Global Times. “They are becoming a racist axis aimed at stifling the development rights of 1.4 billion Chinese.”
Another example of Chinese use of “woke” rhetoric for its own purposes is in its spinning of coronavirus criticism. When the virus broke out early last year, the regime’s state-run outlets accused Western outlets of racism for using the term “Wuhan flu,” causing most outlets to drop the phrase and allowing the Chinese government to distract the public from COVID-19’s origin in their country.
“As they say, ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” said Representative Jim Banks (R-Ind.). “It’s terrifying to see … internal and external enemies of American greatness collude out in the open.”
Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) also gave his opinion on the matter.
“It’s no surprise to see the Chinese Communist Party trafficking in propaganda that mirrors the shoddy arguments coming out of American newsrooms and universities,” he said. “And frankly, woke liberals and our increasingly deranged cancel culture give them every reason to think those arguments will work.”
Russia played this strategy to fend off growing unrest over its detention of Navalny, the opposition leader and anti-corruption activist. The Kremlin launched a coordinated effort to publicize comments Navalny made over a decade ago in which he called immigrants “cockroaches.”
As a result, Amnesty International dropped their “prisoner of conscience” label for Navalny over his past “advocacy of hatred” on February 24, handing Vladimir Putin a PR win.
“One of the most visible international human-rights organizations has, in fact, labeled Navalny a bigot, a hater, an advocate of violence — in sum, a reprehensible person not deserving the title of ‘prisoner of conscience,’” wrote University of Houston professor Paul Roderick Gregory. “Consider the irony of the unwoke Kremlin holding the feet of Western institutions to the woke fire.”
“Our enemies in places like China, Russia, and Cuba love nothing more than to point to these profoundly wrong ideologies to justify their own ongoing human-rights atrocities and to sow division here,” added Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
When you consider that “wokeness” is merely cultural Marxism by a hip name, it’s no surprise that communists all over the world are taking advantage of it to attack their shared enemy: a free America.