'Woke' CIA recruitment video infuriates US conservatives

Donald Trump Jr, the son of the former president, tweeted that China and Russia would be laughing at CIA for trying to be "woke" in its recruitment ads. — AP

A 36-year-old CIA employee also wants you to know how else she sees herself — that she is proudly a "woman of colour," is "intersectional" and is a "cisgender millennial."

But a video featuring the young Latina woman to promote diversity at the US spy agency has conservatives fuming that it has gone overboard with "wokeness" — a broad term for acute awareness of contemporary issues of race and gender, sometimes used with derision.

The backlash was sparked after the Central Intelligence Agency posted the slick promotional video on its YouTube channel as part of a series called "Humans of CIA."

In it, the CIA employee proudly declares her success, using language that is familiar with younger Americans and intellectuals, but is derided as focusing too much on political correctness by many conservatives.

"I am a woman of colour. I am a mom. I am a cisgender millennial who has been diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder," she says as she walks through the halls of the CIA.

"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.

"I used to struggle with impostor syndrome. But at 36, I refuse to internalise misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be."

Conservatives blasted the agency.

"China and Russia are laughing their asses off watching CIA go full woke," tweeted Donald Trump Jr, the son of the former president.

"Wokeness is the kind of twisted PSYOP a spy agency would invent to destroy a country from the inside out," he wrote.

The video "proves the CIA is hiring and actively looking to recruit the most immodest, narcissistic, grotesquely self-serving people in the world - Woke Millennials," said John Nolte on the conservative Breitbart news site.

The video represents the agency's effort to recruit more women and ethnic minorities into its ranks of technologists, analysts and undercover agents.

"Command your space, Mija. You are worth it," the CIA tweeted approvingly with the video, quoting the woman featured in it.

Other critics faulted it for focusing 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.

But former CIA chief of staff Larry Pfeiffer retorted 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. – AFP

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