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Wokeism and cancel culture threaten our independence

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Unsplash/Madeleine Ragsdale

‘Tis the season to commemorate our nation’s independence. This year we once again celebrate the creation of a “more perfect union” while living amongst many who decry our nation’s history as so far from perfection that we should not even be celebrating. The true history of America’s founding and of our consistently overcoming injustices is a heritage for which all Americans should be proud.

Sadly, too many who sit in the halls of power seem to be ignorant of our proud heritage. It also appears that corporate board rooms are devoid of this knowledge.

All across the land, corporate America is going “woke,” embracing organizations and “movements” with an appalling lack of discernment. As believers, we must remember Paul’s counsel to the Corinthians found in the second letter to those believers. There Paul writes about the false teachers of the day:

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.

2 Corinthians 11:13-14

We should all be like the noble Bereans found in Acts 17:11; we should be on the lookout for false teachers within our churches. However, that same principle should apply equally outside the church walls. We should not tolerate false teachings inside nor outside the church.

Many of today’s false teachings are coming in the form of the “woke” movement. That movement has since turned into “cancel culture,” and it is getting out of hand.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has just had his license to practice law in the state of New York cancelled. Why? It appears that his license was suspended because he publicly made claims that he and his client believe to be true. Regardless of whether or not Mr. Giuliani and his client’s claims are true or false, where is the sin in speaking your mind? The sin is apparently not in speaking your mind, it’s speaking your mind when it disagrees with those in power.

Lest you think this is an isolated incident, something similar just happened to one of our clients.

This client was working for a very large, nationwide, law firm. Over the years, the client has become one of the nation’s leading litigators for one of the two main political parties for redistricting cases. This individual has generated more than $20 million in legal fees for their law firm. Despite their record and the revenues generated, the law firm just issued an edict to the firm’s attorneys: they are no longer allowed to represent this political party. They are still welcome to represent the other main political party, but not the one our client has been representing. Naturally, our client believes the new policy is taking the corporate “woke” policies too far. Thankfully, the client has been courted for years by a rival law firm and will have joined the new firm by the time this is published. So, for this client and the new firm, it worked out well.

My team and I serve another client with a bit murkier of a situation. This particular client is being recruited to directly serve under the new corporation’s Chief Diversity Officer. They are excited about the opportunity but worry about reporting to a “diversity” officer. What if their political views do not line up? Would they end up being cancelled for their political views? Or would they be forced into silence due to fear for their job?

One of our nation’s founding principles was the freedom of speech. Having the freedom to speak one’s mind was such a strong conviction that North Carolina, among others, first refused to ratify the Constitution. Thankfully, our freedom to speak without fear of government reprisal was enshrined in the first amendment to the Constitution. It was also this first amendment, which contains the freedom of speech and of religion, which ultimately lead to the passage of the 13th amendment which freed the slaves.

We would be wise to remember that our nation was founded on principles “in order to form a more perfect union” [emphasis added]. The founders knew the truth in Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” They knew that our nation would never be perfect. But the principles on which our nation was founded have indeed created a “more perfect union.” These principles should be defended. It starts with the first one, the freedom of speech without fear of reprisal from some government authority.

C. Theodore Hicks II, CFP, CKA, CMT is the Founder, CEO and Chief Investment Officer for Hicks & Associates Wealth Management.

C. Theodore Hicks II, CFP®, CKA®, CMT® is the Founder, CEO and Chief Investment Officer for Hicks & Associates Wealth Management.

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