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November 29, 2021

Trigger warning for leftists: This commentary freely uses the terms “woke” and “woke-ism,” words you introduced yourselves as part of your attempt to control the language and, now that we use it pejoratively, criticize us for using. If this bothers you, so much the better. Curl up with some hot cocoa with mini-marshmallows and you’ll be fine.


The spirit of Christmas giving has been tarnished a bit this season with the revelation that the Salvation Army has published a new course of study for Salvationists called “Let’s Talk About Racism” --- gosh, we just never talk about racism any more, do we? --- that urges members to actively confront Christianity’s historic racism. National Review has details.

On the positive side, it does say this activity is for Salvationists “who choose to participate.” And it does say there are “no correct answers,” just the will to have “an authentic conversation,” prayerfully, and open to the Holy Spirit. You’re even allowed to disagree. But there’s a glossary of terms so you use the correct language when you do.

The main course book has a more concise companion document, “The Study Guide On Racism”; both were created by the Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission. They talk about unity and Scripture but still manage to parrot Ibram X. Kendi’s “anti-racist” view that white people carry “unconscious bias.” It reads, “The subtle nature of racism is such that people who are not consciously racist easily function with the privileges, empowerment and benefits of dominant ethnicity, thus unintentionally perpetuating injustice.”

The “Let’s Talk About Racism” book is the more in-depth of the two, with that exhaustive glossary of terms. We all know it’s very important to use the right vocabulary, at least until “progressives” decide to change it. (For clarification on what “anti-racism” is about, I recommend checking out this glossary.) For example, “structural the overarching system of racial bias across institutions and society. These systems give privileges to White people resulting in disadvantages to [blacks].” “Racist policy” is “any measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between racial groups.” That refers to the anti-racist concept of “equity,” meaning equal outcomes for all groups. The implication: If there is not an equal outcome among groups, the policy must be racist.

Also, it defines racism so that only white people can be racist. Racism is “the prejudiced treatment, stereotyping, or discrimination of POC [people of color] on the basis of race. It is the “system of social advantage” based on a hierarchy of skin color that it describes as lightest on top and working down through darker shades. “What has not changed is that racial groups are placed into a hierarchy,” it says, “with White or lighter-skinned people at the top.”

You’d think the solution to this hierarchy would be to adopt what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said about judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. But no, that’s not it. Being colorblind “ignores the discrimination our Black and Brown brothers and sisters face and does not allow us to address racism properly.” Also, “Color-blindedness is often dangerous because while we may not claim to see color, we don’t address the race-based stereotypes of beauty, fame and intelligence which often support a supremacist ideology.” Sigh.

According to this study, there's no genetic basis for race at all. “Race is a social construct designed by humanity,” it says.

Here’s a link to the shorter, ten-page guide.

Much of what’s in this guide is very good. There’s a lot about unity. On the first page, called “The Salvation Army International Positional Statement on Racism,” it “denounces racism in all its forms.” But the SA apparently is not seeing what millions of concerned Christian parents do: that some of the “anti-racist” principles espoused here are, in themselves, racist.

The guide wisely says, “Racism is fundamentally incompatible with the Christian conviction that all people are made in the image of God and are equal in value. The Salvation Army believes that the world is enriched by a diversity of cultures and ethnicities.”

And the “Theological Framework” makes some valuable points about the spread of Christianity in the New Testament and the “global multi-ethnic reconciliation plan of God.” But, really, if it’s true that “in some mysterious way we shall retain our ethnic identities in heaven,” as this guidebook says, we hope the proponents of “anti-racism” will finally --- at long last --- look to their better angels and stop their eternal “harping” about race.

Oh, and the Salvation Army isn't the only charitable organization embracing Critical Race Theory. Goodwill industries is doing this as well.

Goodwill Embraces Critical Race Theory, Hires “Director of Anti-Racism, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion”

UPDATE: In breaking news, the Salvation Army has said they will "review" their racism guides. has insightful commentary.

Steve Hilton, on his Sunday FOX News show “The Next Revolution,” had a segment about “Woke-ism” in general –- which, of course, includes Critical Race Theory –- now that seemingly everybody’s woke: the Democrat Party, the media, corporate America and even classroom teachers and local school boards. He explained that this authoritarian ideology dates from 1920s Germany –- The Frankfort School of Marxist philosophy –- as a strategy to get the oppressed proletariats to rise up and throw off their capitalist masters, as they had thus far failed to do. These Marxists decided that three things were in the way and had to be destroyed: faith, family and culture.

“Woke-ism” targets all three. In fact, Hilton’s guest Michael Shellenberger, in an article on, argues that it, in itself, is a religion, as it's based on “a whole series of mythological and supernatural beliefs...” Sadly, it can take the place of actual religion, which is to say, the worship of God.

For example, climate change. Shellenberger argues the belief that the world is coming to an end is a religious idea. It’s not based in science, but in faith.

In his book SAN FRANSICKO, he writes about something that CRT proponents might want to examine: “the idea that people that are victims of ‘the system’ are sacred.” For example, there’s enormous concern for black Americans shot by police but relatively little for the 30-times-greater number of blacks who are killed by other black citizens in their neighborhoods.

I would add that the assertion in the Salvation Army guide that race has no genetic basis and is merely a social construct is another example. The idea that gender is not biological is yet another.

This type of thinking isn’t rational. So when we try to counter it with a rational argument, the conversation goes nowhere.

“These are supernatural views,” Shellenberger says, “that accompany the new morality of victim ideology.” But he thinks we’ll see woke-ism come to an end, because there are unfortunate consequences from this ideology, such as the dramatic rise in crime. He thinks “reality will intrude on woke religion,” and that most Americans “really just want to be equal citizens under the law.” But for now, the Religion Of Wokeness is making problems of racism and injustice MORE difficult to solve.

This is a fascinating read, offering a point of view on victimology that the Salvation Army should not leave out of its “authentic conversations,” but probably will.

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Comments 1-10 of 89

  • Byron Brock

    12/08/2021 06:37 PM

    Jesus said to love your enemy's and your neighbor. If we give our heart to God, then I won't be "WOKE" but I will wake every morning with a smile on my face and love in my heart. I guess I can get canceled for that, but I don't really care.

  • Jane Canfield

    12/07/2021 08:18 AM

    Gov Mike,
    My husband and I give a check to send to the Salvation Army every year at Christmas time. I had a check ready to mail but when we heard about this, we agreed that I would shred it. What a way to "trigger" charitable minded people!
    I certainly appreciate your newsletter and your sense of humor. Merry Christmas!

  • Reg Baker

    12/06/2021 03:03 PM

    Governor -
    Love your newsletters and read every one of them (when I can.....)
    Speaking of racism and only applies to "whites", I am "white" with a family history from Germany, England and Cherokee. Being white, I was faced with extreme racism in Hawaii after my return from Vietnam in 1975. Yes, being a Vietnam Veteran had its own challenges, but being white (Hawaii calls us Haloes') in Hawaii during the 1970's was even worse. While attending the University of Hawaii on the GI Bill, I was constantly called out during class for being the reason for all of Hawaii's problems (I stole Hawaii from the locals you know LOL). Apparently, we Haloes were the suppressors and kept all the good of Hawaii and gave all the bad back to the Hawaiians (which includes the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Philippines). The public schools in Hawaii, which my three sons all attended, had an occasional "Kill a Haloe" day which was considered funny by the teachers (not so much with the Haloes). So, I (and my sons) know personally that racism can exist within and against ALL races. This CRT garbage is just that, garbage.

  • Gale Woolsey

    12/06/2021 10:43 AM

    The Caucasian race is the one being discriminated against and has been for years. In 1978-1979 while working as an administrative assistant for a government contracted army ammunition plant, I interviewed many applicants for hire. With pen or pencil in hand, as soon as the applicant walked through the door, I was to write on the back of the application BM, BF, WF, WM, or other. My employer had to meet quotas. Veterans were given top priority for hire. The rankings then fell in this order of hiring: black female, black male, other, white female, white male. This “woke” me up years ago to the fact that based upon the color of your skin decided the chance you had for employment. Experience and education didn’t matter when it came to filling quotas! Fast forward through the years, it’s still true today! The school district I retired from has more of the black race in leadership and teaching positions than the Caucasian race. The white male stands a better chance of learning a trade and starting his own business than getting employment through a mandated employer who has to meet quotas! Thank you, Mike, for your article to remind me of discriminatory wokeness! Gale Woolsey

  • joan t matthews

    12/05/2021 11:18 PM

    This is sad to hear indeed. The SA has been a positive force for so many for many years. It is hardly in need of a mea culpa. It would probably be helpful to construct a model letter / template that readers can send to their LOCAL Salvation Army or Goodwill. (and cc national). The locals are on the front line and most likely were sent a copy of the new study. Thank you!

  • Serena Reagan

    12/05/2021 10:06 PM

    CRT is an evil we don't need. It adds fire to dividing us. I am disappointed in the Salvation Army and Goodwill. I can and will boycott them. Thanks for info.
    Dallas, Texas

  • Carol Peterson

    12/05/2021 09:02 PM

    I love your daily scriptures, Mike, the truths that you share in your articles, and you -- you are a truly good human being. As for the Salvation Army, I'm disappointed with any organization who feels the need to even step their toe into "woke" politics. Salvation Army historically has served ALL people regardless of race or any of the other designated minority groups. They have only seen and served according to the need. So why do this now? I have donated thousands of dollars and items to Salvation Army over the years, but am rethinking what I might do in the future. Regardless, I thought I would share something I learned recently, that I find interesting. "Black" is NOT a color. It is the absence of ALL color. So when people use the term "people of color," by definition, Black people are not included in that. I just found that to be interesting and thought I would share. And according to the definition, White "contains an equal balance of all the colors of the spectrum." Keep up the good work, Mike -- you make a difference! God bless you and your good family.

  • Patricia Bainbridge

    12/05/2021 07:01 PM

    Let's not forget that the Salvation Army also sees nothing wrong with abortion for the so-called "hard cases."

  • Nan Hilton

    12/05/2021 06:48 PM

    Thank you for the information on "wokeism" and "CRT" It seems that I will no longer donate to the
    Salvation Army. I will be donating to Samaritan's Purse much more.

  • Ronnie Mullis

    12/05/2021 06:46 PM

    No more Red Kettle drops for us. We are certainly not ashamed for being White.