Y ou’d think that witnessing the second-biggest bank failure in US history would be a sobering moment. Since Silicon Valley Bank collapsed on Friday amid a bank run, however, Republicans have instead been twisting themselves into inelegant pretzels to blame “wokeness” for the financial disaster.
For context, SVB – which before it collapsed was the 16th largest bank in the US and worth more than $200bn in assets – proudly reported that aside from 45% of its board being women, it also had “1 Black”, “1 LGBTQ+” and “2 Veterans”. According to Republicans, the bank’s focus on “woke” ideals is what led to its ultimate demise.
“This bank, they’re so concerned with DEI and politics and all kinds of stuff, I think that really diverted from them focusing on their core mission,” Florida governor Ron DeSantis told Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo.
And according to Donald Trump, Jr: “SVB is what happens when you push a leftist/woke ideology and have that take precedent over common sense business practices. This won’t be the last failure of this nature so long as people are rewarded for pushing this bs.”
This is a ridiculous and senseless leap, even for the right. “Wokeness” has gone from being a hamfisted shorthand for progressive overreach to a convenient – if lazy and illogical – explanation for every catastrophe.
Of course, the actual circumstances that led to the collapse of SVB are of no importance here. Republicans have said little about the higher interest rates brought on by inflation-anxiety and bad government bonds that helped SVB speed toward collapse.
They’ve also refused to acknowledge that, as James Downie writes in MSNBC, “SVB might still be around today but for deregulation signed by former President Donald Trump that wasRead more on theguardian.com