A recruitment video posted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) shows a 36-year old woman CIA employee who is a “person of colour”, is “intersectional”, and “is a cis-gender millennial”.
The video featuring the Latina woman aims to promote diversity but has gotten backlash from right-wing conservatives in the US for its “wokeness” – a broad term for acute awareness of contemporary issues of race and gender, sometimes used with derision. (Ed’s Note: Sometimes JUICE gets called that but we don’t care).
Backlash soon followed after the CIA shared the promotional video on its YouTube channel as part of a series called “Humans of CIA”. In the video, the CIA employee proudly declares her success, using language that is relatable to younger Americans and intellectuals.
However, many conservatives in the country were not having any of it because the video focused too much on political correctness, a term oftentimes associated with being “woke”.
“I am a woman of colour. I am a mom. I am a cisgender millennial who has been diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder.
“I am intersectional, but my existence is not a box-checking exercise… I did not sneak into CIA. I earned my way in and I earned my way up the ranks,” she says in the video.
“I used to struggle with imposter syndrome. But at 36, I refuse to internalise misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be”.
Several conservatives, including Donald Trump Jr, the son of the former US President, took jabs at the US spy agency.
China & Russia are laughing their asses off watching CIA go full woke. “Cisgender.” “Intersectional.” It’s like @TheBabylonBee is handling CIA’s comms. If you think about it, wokeness is the kind of twisted PSYOP a spy agency would invent to destroy a country from the inside out.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 3, 2021
“China & Russia are laughing their asses off watching CIA go full woke,” tweeted Donald Trump Jr. “Wokeness is the kind of twisted PSYOP a spy agency would invent to destroy a country from the inside out,” he wrote.
The promotional video represents the CIA’s effort in recruiting more women and ethnic minorities to join the ranks of technologists, analyst, and undercover agents. Some critics say it focuses too much on identity, and not the core mission.
“Our enemies clean our clocks while we obsess over ‘me’ & ‘I’ puddles of wokeness – and not the mission,” tweeted Leah Campos, a former CIA case officer.
On the other hand, former CIA chief of staff, Larry Pfeiffer retorted, or as a woke millennial would say, “clapback” by saying that the agency gains strength from diversity.
“I would suggest that if you don’t like it, you are probably not whom the ad is targeting for employment,” he said.