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The Pink Terror

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A reader who asks for anonymity, but who works in a US Attorney’s office in a Red state, serving under a GOP-appointed US Attorney, e-mails:

It is not just Baylor and “conservative” academics who are bowing to the false gods of wokeness.  Take a look at what I deal with in my day job at the US Attorney’s Office in [state].  Donald Trump is the president, William Barr the AG, the US Attorney for [the reader’s district] is a Republican appointee.  Yet, we have a diversity committee and suggested readings from the most radical of Jacobins such as Robin DiAngelo.  If this is the garbage line federal prosecutors are pummeled with when Trump and the GOP are in power, can you imagine what it will be like when Biden assumes the reins?

Your point is well made that this “anti-racist” agenda has penetrated deeply into what one would normally think are conservative institutions.

My job is pretty insulated from politics.  In the past it has not mattered much whether Bush, Obama, or Trump was president.  I have been able to function and prosecute cases despite the silliness of Washington, D.C.  I feel that the insulation is wearing away.  Wokeness is not going away,  If DiAngelo is recommended reading now, I can’t imagine what will be required later.

The reader then forwarded an email sent out to the reader’s entire office. I reproduce it below, without the DOJ addresses:

On behalf of the Diversity Committee, we would like to thank everyone who was in attendance for today’s virtual roundtable. If you were unable to attend, then you missed a great conversation from our panel members and some great input from our coworkers. We hope you can attend next month’s virtual roundtable.  For those of you who would like to reach out to [name] or [name], they are CC’d above.

We took feedback from the survey that was sent out last week and shared it with the group to get the conversation started. If you missed the survey, please visit this link [deleted] where you can still take the survey anonymously. You can also read the responses of some of your coworkers to get a better understanding of how your coworkers feel right now.

This initial meeting was designed to help get the conversation started in our district about race and current events. We agreed that we would continue today’s conversation in small groups across the district. Feel free to create your own group. The intention is to then have a representative of the small group bring up issues/concerns to the virtual roundtable. We are hoping this will allow for speaking truth without fear. I would strongly encourage you to seek out diversity in your group when possible, yet identify things you all have in common as well.

Our next, virtual roundtable is scheduled for [date]. Please meet with your small groups before then and have discussions related to today’s meetings. Please see below for additional topics to consider.

–          What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

–          What does racism really mean, and what does it look like today?

–          What benefits could come out of a more diverse work force?


Are you a reader? Here are a few books to consider reading.

–          White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

–          So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

–          Racism Without Racists by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva


Below are some useful links:

–          Employee Assistance Program Page

–          Employee Assistance Program Blog

–          Recruitment and Outreach Tips

–          Anti-Racist Resources from Greater Good

–          21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge

Rod here. I clicked on the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge, which is from the American Bar Association. It’s pure, unadulterated, utterly unbalanced left-wing ideology. The idea that lawyers from the US Department of Justice are urged to immerse themselves in this poisonous stuff is profoundly unsettling.

We’ve all heard a lot about Robin DiAngelo’s book, but I have not heard a lot about Ijeoma Oluo’s book. I spent some time reading through what’s available on Amazon’s Look Inside feature. You can get a pretty good idea of what it’s about, in fact. Look at this passage from the introductory chapter:



If you read what’s available of Oluo’s book online, you can see that she will tolerate no dissent from her viewpoint. You either agree with her view of “systemic racism,” or you are part of the problem, and she does not feel “safe” around you (she writes). It is nakedly manipulative and unreasonable. Now, imagine Justice Department prosecutors being told to read this work, which has a very clear view of what justice is when it comes to racial matters — and it is not justice in the familiar sense of the term. It is justice as determined by group outcome. I have no idea what Olou’s personal politics are, but this is how the Soviets thought of justice. Its most malicious and murderous form was articulated by the head of Lenin’s secret police in Ukraine. I cite him in this passage from my forthcoming book Live Not By Lies:

[I]n 1918, Lenin unleashed the Red Terror, a campaign of annihilation against those who resisted Bolshevik power. Martin Latsis, head of the secret police in Ukraine, instructed his agents as follows:

Do not look in the file of incriminating evidence to see whether or not the accused rose up against the Soviets with arms or words. Ask him instead to which class he belongs, what is his background, his education, his profession. These are the questions that will determine the fate of the accused. That is the meaning and essence of the Red Terror.

Note well that an individual’s words and deeds had nothing to do with determining one’s guilt or innocence. One was presumed guilty based entirely on one’s class and social status. A revolution that began as an attempt to right historical injustices quickly became an exterminationist exercise of raw power. Communists justified the imprisonment, ruin, and even the execution of people who stood in the way of Progress as necessary to achieve historical justice over alleged exploiters of privilege.

A softer, bloodless form of the same logic is at work in American institutions. Social justice progressives advance their malignant concept of justice in part by terrorizing dissenters as thoroughly as any inquisitor on the hunt for enemies of religious orthodoxy.

I’m not kidding when I tell you that we are moving towards soft totalitarianism. Wokeness and racial consciousness is taking over key institutions of American life. As my correspondent points out, if this is where the DOJ is going under Donald Trump and Bill Barr, just imagine where it’s going to go under a Democratic president and Democratic Attorney General. I’m not at all saying that DOJ lawyers and staff shouldn’t read any of that. It’s important for them to keep up with current thinking about these matters. But where is the balance? Where is the critical perspective? And, why would anyone who disagrees with the left-wing political line be foolish enough to answer those three questions aloud?

No, I don’t believe we will have a Red Terror in America. But when lawyers for the US Department of Justice are being encouraged by the department to immerse themselves in a theory of justice that judges people on the basis of group social outcome, how can those who are members of disfavored classes be confident in what the future holds on the legal front? If you are white, you are guilty — that is the meaning and essence of the Pink Terror.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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