IN-DEPTH: Parents Should Teach Children to Defend Against ‘Woke’ Ideas, Says Author

Gun Rights

Parents should teach their children to become resilient to “woke” ideologies, which means being able to recognize when such a concept is pushed on them and to think for themselves, said a co-author of a new book on the subject.

Parents should be able to influence their children so they can think for themselves when they are faced with forces in society pushing them in a certain direction, said Karol Markowicz, New York Post columnist and co-author of “Stolen Youth: How Radicals Are Erasing Innocence and Indoctrinating a Generation.”

The term “woke” is used by both liberals and conservatives to describe a number of more radical progressive ideologies, including critical race theory, social justice, and gender theory.

Although it isn’t reasonable that children will follow everything that a parent tells them, they should not be subject to indoctrination by their teacher or physician, Markowicz said in an April 26 interview for EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program.

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“The idea that you should be able to indoctrinate my children is one that I find abhorrent,” she said.

Markowicz said that her kids move through the world with an awareness of when someone is trying to convince them of something because she teaches them to be aware of woke ideologies.

She said that her two older children are able to recognize “when a concept is being pushed on them or when they’re getting someone’s opinion and not fact,” and they ask their mother for guidance.

“The goal is to raise resilient children who can go out into the world and not feel a level of anxiety that debilitates them,” Markowicz said.

Raising resilient children does not necessarily mean raising conservatives, Markowicz explained.

“I would love for my kids to be conservative, but I would most like them to be resilient … and grow up into resilient adults who are able to live their lives to their full capacity and not be hindered by bad ideas.”

The goal is to give them the tools to evaluate what they hear out in the world, she said.

Parental Duty

Epoch Times Photo
Embracing the individuality of each child helps parents to support their dreams, needs, and passions. (Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock)

“When we treat kids like little adults, we instill all of our problems and issues on them, and that really does mess them up going forward,” Markowicz said. “But it seems like the parents are just as ideologically captured.”

Markowicz told a story of a child suffering from a sore throat who refused to open his mouth when a doctor asked him to do so for examination. The mother backed the child, telling the doctor that “it’s his body, his choice,” to the doctor’s astonishment.

“This is the natural progression of this thing where the kid’s in charge,” Markowicz said. Children need parents to show them the way and teach them, she added. “Parents are really abdicating that duty, and it’s going to have bad repercussions.”

It used to be understood that if someone asks a child to keep a secret from their parents, that person is doing something bad to the child, Markowicz said, but now, schools are concealing from parents that their children are transitioning to another gender.

“There’s so much evidence that what the kids pick up in society as it’s being pushed on them really does resonate,” Markowicz said, giving examples of child indoctrination in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

In Nazi Germany, the idea of anti-Semitism was being pushed on kids in schools and promoted in culture, so as a result, the generation of children brought up under Nazi rule became far more anti-Semitic than previous or post generations, Markowicz asserted.

“In the Soviet Union, kids were seen as the ultimate revolutionaries,” said Markowicz, who was born in the Soviet Union and emigrated to the United States as a small child. “[The Soviets] tried to separate kids from their parents for indoctrination.”

But even the Soviets could not say openly that the children were theirs and belonged to all in the society, like President Joe Biden claimed recently during a speech, Markowicz said, because parents would have pushed back against that.

On April 24, at a speech to honor the national and state teachers of the year, Biden said there’s “no such thing as someone else’s child. Our nation’s children are all our children.”

The Soviets were slyly saying that they were helping parents to raise their kids, Markowicz said.

Children Used as Activists

Students stage a sit-down in Lafayette Square across the White House in Washington, DC on April 20, 2018 to protest gun violence. - Students across the US were urged to walk out of classes to mark the 19th anniversary of the 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado which left 13 people dead. The walkout has been organized by students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 14 students and three adult staff members were killed by a troubled former classmate on February 14, 2018. (Photo by Cyril JULIEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read CYRIL JULIEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Students stage a sit-down in Lafayette Square across from the White House in Washington to protest gun violence on April 20, 2018. (Cyril Julien /AFP via Getty Images)

Markowicz and her co-author, commentator Bethany Mandel, wrote in their book about how the political left uses children to be their activists. They received many comments from readers who did not believe them, calling it “ridiculous” and a “conspiracy theory,” Markowicz said.

An example of teen activism is gun control advocacy by teenagers who survived the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Markowicz said.

“The media immediately fell in love with them,” Markowicz said.

CNN organized a town hall in which a group of students from the school confronted several lawmakers, including Sen. Marco Rubio, a local county sheriff, and a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association on stage, and Markowicz said the teens were clearly traumatized.

“How can you argue with a child?” she asked rhetorically.

“Some of them went on to become activists, but at least one of them really regrets that appearance and regrets that whole episode because he feels like he was pressured into it,” she said.

Markowicz seemed to be referring to Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the Florida school shooting who co-founded the gun control advocacy group March For Our Lives before leaving the group.

Kasky was a participant in the CNN town hall. In an interview on The Ben Shapiro Show later that year, he said he regretted trying to “embarrass” Rubio on stage.

“I incredibly inappropriately likened him to a school shooter. I’m embarrassed by that. I’m incredibly apologetic for it,” the teenager said, adding that although his polticial opinions haven’t change and he still disagrees with Rubio on policies, the senator deserved to be treated more fairly.

Climate Activism

Epoch Times Photo
Youth climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks during the UN Climate Action Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on Sept. 23, 2019. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Swedish teen Greta Thunberg was inspired by the Parkland survivors’ activism and became an activist on climate change, Markowicz said.

It was a grownup in her life who knew that she was passionate about climate change, and seeing the reaction to the Parkland students’ advocacy, the adult suggested that Thunberg could do the same thing with climate, Markowicz said.

Thunberg told CNN in 2018 that after learning about school walkouts in the United States due to the Parkland shooting, someone she knew proposed that children could do the same thing for climate change.

Thunberg said that she found that idea very good and decided to follow the suggestion. So at the age of 15, she walked out of her Swedish school “to protest the inaction of climate change,” according to CNN.

In 2019, Thunberg spoke at the United Nations climate summit, harshly criticizing world leaders for insufficient action to counter climate change and telling them that they are still “not mature enough to tell it like it is.”

“For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away,” Thunberg said at the summit.

Markowicz commented on the effectiveness of this approach.

“How are you going to argue with this pigtailed little girl who is afraid that the world is going to end?” she said. “They have set up a situation where their opinions are impossible to confront.”

“Kids are much easier to persuade than a full-grown adult who has their own ideas and concepts and thoughts,” she said. “If you start the indoctrination early, you can ideologically capture most children. You can feed them ideas throughout their schooling and make them believe what you want them to believe.”

How Wokeism Works

Markowicz defined “wokeism” as a combination of leftist ideology with forced conformity.

“Old leftism definitely tried to push its agenda and did so successfully at the college level,” Markowicz explained, “but the new wokeism won’t allow any room for conversation.”

“The new wokeism, as opposed to liberalism or the old leftism, walks such a narrow line that you have to parrot the words in exactly the right way. You can only speak about [ideas] in a certain way,” Markowicz said, giving the example that “you can’t say: ‘I’m not racist’; you have to say, ‘I’m anti-racist.’”

The goal used to be to teach kids to explore their own ideas and have their own thoughts and concepts, Markowicz said.

“Now, we don’t have that because everybody has to think the exact same way under this woke regime,” she said. “The jargon has to change so that you know who’s in the in-group.”

She made a prediction that the word “trans” would be out of favor very soon.

People who believe that their gender is different than their biological sex and present as the opposite sex are called a trans. A biological male who believes that he is a woman and presents as a female is called a “transwoman,” and a biological female who believes she is male and presents as a man is called a “transman,” she explained.

“Very soon, the fact that you’re even qualifying that they’re not actually a man or not actually a woman will be unacceptable,” she said. “Just like the way ‘vagrant’ became ‘homeless,’ then became ‘unhoused.’”

“The woke are a very small segment of the population, and yet, they’re able to control so much,” she said. “They do that through this forced conformity.”

Markowicz encourages parents to stand up to wokeism for themselves and their children.

“When they see that you are brave and not afraid of the slings and arrows, you’ll find a community of people willing to do the same.”

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