At the beginning of the year, I wrote a lengthy column about how wokeism is an all-or-nothing proposition. To be woke, one has to commit to every tenet of the woke religion or else face the gracelessness of the woke clerisy.
We’re starting to see the wokes cannibalize themselves, and an environmental advocacy group is the latest example. Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a nonprofit group that fights in court for the civil rights of natural elements like rivers and trees, is facing accusations of transphobia.
It seems like an organization so committed to the environment that it defends plants and bodies of water in court would maintain enough of a laser focus on its cause that other woke issues wouldn’t get in the way, but that’s not the case with CELDF. Oh, and it’s bad enough of a problem that CELDF has lost nearly half its staff.
“Since last summer, seven of the 15 staffers or contract attorneys have left the nonprofit Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which gained some renown in recent years as a leader of the ‘rights of nature’ movement to win civil rights for parts of the environment,” reports Politico. “Three of those who quit told E&E News the organization was divided by a toxic work culture that resisted efforts to make it more inclusive, including for LGBTQ people.”
That’s right: the dreaded “inclusivity” has reared its ugly head in the radical environmentalist movement.
The executive director of CELDF “acknowledged hearing a staff member not using people’s appropriate pronouns on staff calls, which she described as ‘not respecting other people.’” The horror!
But CELDF denies the anti-trans albatross. A February statement from the group asserted that “Current and former staff and others have accused CELDF of having a culture that espouses transphobia. That story is false and unfounded.”
Related: Wokeism Is a Religion Without Grace
One particular issue is CELDF’s relationship with a collective of green fellow travelers known as Deep Green Resistance, with whom CELDF partnered concerning protests against a potential lithium mine in Nevada.
What’s the problem with Deep Green Resistance? They’re certainly woke — just not woke enough.
Politico described Deep Green Resistance as “a self-described ‘radical feminist’ group, [which] advocates for an end to industrial civilization — and opposes rights for transgender people.” Gasp!
Several other groups involved in the protest decided to keep their distance from CELDF and Deep Green Resistance, not because of any environmental disagreements, but because of transgenderism. The other groups claimed in a statement that the involvement of CELDF and Deep Green Resistance “does real harm to advancing the rights of transgender and all people, as well as the ecosystems of Thacker Pass, and everywhere.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
“We felt addressing transphobia — and what comes with it — with CELDF was a worthy use of our energy,” admitted a former CELDF staffer, but other employees “appeared to only give lip service” to the issue.
I’d think that most of us on the right would accept someone who supported one issue without expecting them to agree with us on absolutely everything. Someone can be part of a pro-life organization, and other members of that group wouldn’t expect that person to agree 100% on tax policy or immigration issues to partner with him or her. But that’s not how the left works.
“There’s no grace for you in wokeism unless you’re willing to commit 100% to the woke agenda,” I wrote back in January. “It’s all or nothing. If you’re an ally of “people of color” but you’re not down with the transgender ideology, you’ve committed a grievous sin. If you’re willing to accept the LGBTetc narrative but aren’t willing to atone for racist attitudes (that you don’t actually harbor) in your own life, you’re guaranteed not to receive grace among the wokes.”
CELDF is learning this lesson the hard way — and it’s all because of issues that have nothing to do with that organization’s mission.