Are you saying your degree in wokism didn’t prepare you for dealing with real people with real feelings of pride in their work ? These are real people you are dealing with not a bunch of human beings with labels attached.
Every boss has to create an atmosphere of respect for the boss. As a boss you need to translate the needs of the company into workable goals employees can follow. In this story you failed to communicate what needs to be done. You probably anticipated the old timers wouldn’t follow you instructions. Why were you surprised when they didn’t? These are real people regardless of the labels you want to put on them. As a boss you need to set goals and consequences if they don’t meet those goals. Forget the prejudices you were taught in school. This is the real world and you are a part of it.