Anti-Wokeism on The Left

Racial Bias Isn’t Just a Problem on The Right

Clare Xanthos, PhD


Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Nearly 40 years ago, a study found that half of all racially biased people were left-wing. In other words, being liberal, progressive or a leftist does not make you any less likely to have prejudiced thoughts and feelings or engage in discriminatory behaviors. As disconcerting as these findings may be to some, they are consistent with decades of commentary regarding the behavior of liberals by civil rights leaders and intellectuals (e.g. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, bell hooks, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Robin DiAngelo). Moreover, there are an abundance of contemporary examples which support the study’s conclusions, including my own experiences.

The “Dirtbag Left”

Over the last few years, a new breed of anti-Black liberals, progressives and leftists has emerged who are being more direct about their real feelings than has historically been the case with the anti-Black Left. These individuals — known as the “Dirtbag Left” — are openly describing themselves as “anti-woke.” Furthermore, their statements indicate that this is a movement that has already veered towards far-right talking points.

To give a couple of examples, Anna Khachiyan, a key figure in the anti-woke leftist movement, told Spiked that “you should be able to hate and hatred should be protected.” Moreover, the Daily Beast reports that Khachiyan and her podcast co-host went so far as to ask well-known alt-righter Steve Bannon about collaborating with them:

“It seems like we agree on a lot of things… [can] the anti-establishment left and right work together in any meaningful way…?”

The Case of Joe Biden

As the current Democrat President of the United States, Joe Biden is the most famous liberal in the world. Some may therefore find it surprising that Biden has engaged in consistently anti-Black behaviors throughout his long political career. Indeed, after Biden announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States in 2007, he made a horrendously distasteful comment about Barack Obama (his rival at the time) drawing on centuries-old prejudiced tropes:

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a…



Clare Xanthos, PhD

WRITER. AUTHOR. SCHOLAR. Interests: Racial Equity, Racial Health Equity, Racial Justice. Co-Editor: Social Determinants of Health among African-American Men