Rep. Jim Banks: Fighting the woke agenda in Congress



We no longer live in a normal America. The issues that Congress used to take up, like healthcare, the economy, or our withdrawal from Afghanistan, all regrettably pale in comparison to the creeping tyranny which nearly all Americans now feel.

The nation’s most powerful forces—our intelligence agencies, corporations, the press, our universities, and even our military—are all pressing further and further into uncharted territory from which it’s not clear America can return.

For the time being, saving America rests in the House of Representatives.

The most toxic part of this tyranny is its doctrine—“wokeness.” Everyone has by now heard this word but it means something very specific. It means that all the so-called oppressor groups must be punished for their past and present alleged sins. There are many steps to punishing them: inducing self-hatred through indoctrination, stripping away their rights by not enforcing the laws on their behalf, public humiliation, hatred, expropriation, and ultimately violence. That’s what the Left has done so far. It’s not exactly clear yet how far this can go.

And what does wokeness mean for the so-called oppressed? It means privileged status, exemption from certain laws and norms, and the public recognition that their views are unimpeachable—they cannot be contradicted by reason, they cannot be doubted, but must be believed.

This utterly un-American doctrine would be comical were it not so powerful. And it is powerful because it is enforced not only by every major national institution. It is promoted and funded by the federal government itself.

The Biden administration imposes these beliefs in schools, in the military, in government agencies and in the private sector. It not only wants us to hate each other. It is funding this hatred and fanning its flames. What do you think will be left of our nation once more and more people accept wokeness and act on its principles?

The new House Republican majority can and will fight institutionalized wokeness. The path forward is clear so long as we act confidently, as our voters demand.

First, House Republicans should pass legislation to rescind Executive Order 13985, Biden’s equity Executive Order that directed every single federal agency to produce an “Equity Action Plan.” Chuck Schumer would certainly strike it down, but it’s important for Republicans to make a unified statement in opposition to the Left’s abandonment of equality under the law.

Second, Congress must stop funding wokeness. The Claremont Institute has tracked federal funding for leftist institutions and activities since 2016, which amounts to over $3 billion taxpayer dollars. This money is spent not only to spread anti-American doctrines which will tear the nation apart; it also funds a class of activists, paying their salaries so they can be a perpetual revolutionary class.

Astonishingly, Congress sent more funding to woke institutions and activities in 2017 and 2018, when Republicans controlled both chambers, than it did in 2019 and 2020 with Nancy Pelosi in the Speaker’s chair. This Congress, we should aim to eliminate all such funding.

House Republicans demand defunding wokeness at the Department of Defense and in our education system. Wokeness is especially prevalent and dangerous at universities and in primary schools because the Left recognized students as the most vulnerable and useful targets for indoctrination. The Left has also pushed wokeness in the military. We must wonder what the Left wants to do with an anti-American military? For generations Americans never had to think about the Founders’ warnings about the dangers to civil government by a standing army. This has become an immediate question.

Third, we should use our oversight power to question woke federal officials and woke companies. CEOs at woke companies like Wells Fargo, which ties interest rates on certain credit facilities to borrowers’ diversity benchmarks, should fear public exposure and congressional scrutiny. 

Finally, anti-woke House Republicans should organize. That is why, this Congress, I will start the first ever “anti-woke caucus.”

I will regularly host meetings with anti-woke legislators and subject-matter experts.  My goal is to help myself and other Republicans better understand the long tentacles of the wokeness regime, the laws, regulations, and funding sources which support it, and explore legislative responses.

I know there are many more anti-woke legislatures in the Republican Congress, and that we will find strength in numbers. An anti-woke caucus with members on the Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, and Judiciary Committees, will work together to offer amendments that defund and expose wokeness at the NIH, the Justice Department, and every other federal agency. No bill that spends taxpayer dollars on leftist activities should pass out of committee without a recorded vote on an amendment to defund wokeness. 

House Republicans must tackle this greatest domestic threat to America today. The anti-woke caucus will help make use of our majority.

Rep. Jim Banks is a U.S. Congressman representing Indiana’s 3rd district and serves as Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee. This column ran first in The American Mind, a publican of the Claremont Institute.


  1. The real problem is not so much the radical leftists in Congress, or in the Usurper’s cabal in the White House, but all the radical leftist catfish among the general population who gullibly and self-righteously buy into the entire evil and insane ‘woke’ program. Or, maybe I should say, the ‘woke’ pogrom.

  2. The issue isn’t the wokes. The issue is the amount of GOP who cave to them.

    Sadly there aren’t enough conservatives to fight woke, democrats, and GOP at the same time.

  3. Wokeness is just the start, prepare for ESG! Do some web searches and read into these large corporations. It’s not just business anymore. I was skimming through some of Bank of America’s web pages and their visions of the future and the year 2050. 2030 is the precursor. EVERYONE PLEASE READ, scary stuff. You won’t be able to buy food to eat unless you sell your soul to them.

    • Right?!?! Shouldn’t BOA be allowed to go back to their redlining doctrine where they could keep the Blacks out of your neighborhood? Stop this equality thing now! My enemies don’t deserve freedom!

      • MRAK Fan is the perfect example of what we are fighting against. One of the attack techniques of the woke program is twisting the words we use.

        Notice that we were all raised with word ‘equality’ drummed into our heads. For good reason as each CITIZEN is, by Constitution, federal, state, and local laws, guaranteed an equal chance at prosperity, both socially and economically. Remember ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’? The Constitution guarantees each and every one of us the safety of our lives, the freedom to pursue our wishes, and freedom to chase those goals we all set for our selves. THAT is equality. In America we all equally share this in spite of where we were born, religion, color of skin, economic status, etc. America is founded on the idea of no one being exempt or above any laws.

        Then three or four years ago ‘equality’ was simply replaced by the word ‘equity’. ‘Equity’ does not mean equal chances to pursue your dreams or goals. As used by the woke mob ‘equity’ is simply each person from an ‘oppressed’ group, arbitrarily given money or property that can only come from another person or entity. Don’t believe me? The next time you read or hear a statement from the likes of BLM or AnitFa, check out what they are trying to achieve. They are demanding that the government (usually the federal government) hand out money or property to their members in the name of ‘equity’. ‘Equality’ means each of us has an equal chance to be successful. ‘Equity’ means that SOMEONE gives each one of us the same economic amount. And where do you think the money and property, to be handed out, will come from? It will be taken from anyone that has worked hard and become successful enough to attain money and property. Now THAT is something that will surpass all discrimination claims as you will have your hard won gains taken from you in spite of any racial, religious, or ethnic claims.

        Now go back and read MRAK Fan’s 14Jan23 10:24 post. Since common sense makes a good argument against the woke idea of ‘equity’, he has retaliated with claims that our goal of re establishing ‘equality’ is an attempt to bring back racial discriminatory policies that our parents and grandparents (of all colors by the way) worked hard to overthrow. Completely false and baseless claims, but that doesn’t matter. If the claim is nasty enough to stop our attempts of equal opportunity for all, then he feels he has won. This is akin to an argument where one person shouts down the other and walks away bragging that they won the argument. Logic has no place in their world.

        Stay calm. Use common sense. Do not allow yourself to be baited into false arguments. And, most of all, fight as an American!

        • That was a WONDERFUL response to the irrational, illogical and insidiously disingenuous tripe and slander of every radical leftist, such as ‘MRAK Fan’, Paul! Bravo!
          Sadly, MRAK Fan is almost certainly one of those university-indoctrinated and self-righteous midwits to whom all logic, all facts, and all critical thinking is alien and anathema. ALL they have to fall back in their feeble attempts to debate and argue is the parroting of the talking points and laughable propaganda of their ruling class idols.

  4. The Republicans have always been so afraid of the woke agenda that they have thrown billions and billions of dollars at it. This goes as far back as the early when 1970s Nixon created the EPA, and then in the 1980s when the Reagan and Bush administrations enacted and enforced the wokesters’ industry-destroying environmental agenda.

  5. The real problem is the lying media and government. People are to gullible and believe the BS coming from them. I would ask every person if they like to be lied to and stole from. The normal answer would be no then why do they support it happening to them. Answer is because they are sheep going to slaughter. Wake up people.

  6. To Mr Banks (not that he will ever see this):

    Why should we support your objectives? The history of the modern GOP is making pork deals and caving to the left.

    I don’t blame anyone for not taking the corporate GOP seriously.

  7. It would appear to me an Equity Plan would be seeking equality. Republicans will be so busy investigating the investigators who investigated Republicans nothing will get done. This will meet all of the Freedom Caucus goals

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