It’s a tragedy that many of our institutions are cheering on or enabling the destruction of our nation’s own history.
Upon hearing the mob pass by his window, French revolutionary (of 1848) Alexander Ledru-Rollin quickly began getting dressed to go outside. When asked what he was doing, Ledru-Rollin replied, “There go the people. I must follow them. I am their leader.”
Now, the Ledru-Rollin quote is surely apocryphal, but it’s the best way I could think of to describe our useless political class. I’m not just talking about those who patronize minority voters by putting on African garb and kneeling for nine minutes, but rather those who know better but are too terrified to speak up as American history is being torn down.
Perhaps the iconoclasm we’re experiencing will be nothing more than a spasm of frustration, disconnected from the prevailing views of most Americans. This was the case in the 1960s, when big majorities rejected leftist extremes in the voting booth. I’m skeptical. For one thing, the Rejected now run most of our institutions, which is one of the big differences between today’s troubles and those of the 1960s. Most of our institutions are on the side of the revolution.
The other night, a Black Lives Matter leader named Hawk Newsome went on Fox News and said: “If U.S. doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.” This is a statement of insurgency and violence, not of legitimate protest. If a Tea Party leader had made comparable threats, CNN reporters would have sprinted to track down every GOP House member for a comment.
Now, I doubt Newsome speaks for most of the Black Lives Matter movement, but virtually every business organization in the country has already bequeathed the cause with a ringing endorsement. We’ve created a situation where some people can take over six blocks of a major city for weeks or vandalize sculptures that offend their sensibilities without repercussions, while other people will lose their jobs if they say “all lives matter.”
We’ve also created a situation where most of the media has not only dropped any pretense of objectivity, but rather has joined the social movement, often giving its worst actors cover. Not long ago, reporters were likening Antifa thugs to the G.I.s who landed on Normandy beach. Once the rioting and violence became too problematic to defend, Antifa was transformed by “factcheckers” into nothing but a loose-knit gang of harmless scalawags.
Put it this way. Today, the media can track down a woman who dressed in blackface two years ago at a Georgetown Halloween party, but can’t unearth a single politically motivated leftist rioter. It’s quite amazing.
“Anti-racism protesters,” says a headline that best encapsulates — to a near satirical degree — the essence of coverage, “mistakenly topple statue of anti-slavery activist.”
Once a person begins tearing down statues, he ceases to be a “protester,” and he becomes either a “vandal” or a “rioter.” The story itself offers no evidence that the toppling of a Hans Christian Heg’s sculpture in front the Wisconsin capitol — the man campaigned against slavery, fought in militias to stop slave hunters, and joined the Union army to fight slavery — was “accidental.” It is no more accidental than defacing of a Ulysses Grant or Winston Churchill statue, or the planned removal of a Teddy Roosevelt statue — all complicated, imperfect, and historically important men.
These vandals topple statues for the same reasons New York Times editorialists topple historical facts: Old-timey white guys are bad, because old-timey white guys — whatever they actually did or didn’t believe — represent the greatest sin of our past, the only past worth noting in the new, reductive telling our national story. It’s really that simple.
That’s the lesson plan being sent to the very high schools we are forced to send our kids to. We’ve already indoctrinated a generation of college students by treating America in, at best, relativistic terms and, at worst, as a destructive force in world. Might as well get a head start.
Pollsters like to ask some iteration of this question: Do you support Black Lives Matter and its goal of achieving racial equality? Well, yes, I’m sure most Americans rightly applaud the stated aspirations of racial equality. The reality of the movement our institutions cheer on is more complicated. Many BLM leaders are openly socialist, an ideology that is antithetical to liberty. Many believe the United States is hopelessly weighed down by “structural racism,” a notion plenty of us don’t subscribe to. Many have adopted a crude, race-obsessed way of judging people’s character, guilt, and actions. Many of the movement’s greatest fans are antagonistic toward the foundational ideas and history of American life, even in their most idealized conception.
In a recent Quillette piece, Eric Kaufmann, a professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London, asks a group of white liberals more probing questions. Kaufmann posed 16 propositions that he says “represents a radical blow to American cultural nationhood,” and then asked the participants if they agree or disagree:
Rebalance the history taught in schools until its voices and subjects reflect the demographics of the population and heritage of Native people and citizens of color
Move, after public consultation, to a new American anthem that better reflects our diversity as a people
Rename our cities and towns until they match the demographics of the population
Rebalance the art shown in museums across the country until an analysis of content shows that it reflects the demography of the population and perspective of Native people and citizens of color
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Move, after an open public process, to a new name for our country that better reflects the contributions of Native Americans and our diversity as a people
Rename our states until they better reflect the heritage of Native people and citizens of color
Gradually replace many older public buildings with new structures that don’t perpetuate a Eurocentric order, until a more representative public space is achieved
Respectfully remove the monument to four white male presidents at Mount Rushmore, as they presided over the conquest of Native people and repression of women and minorities
Allow our public parks to return to their natural state, before a European sense of order was imposed upon them
Move, after public consultation, to a new American flag that better reflects our diversity as a people
Consider adopting a new national language, that will be forged from the immigrant and Native linguistic diversity of this country’s past
Remove existing statues of white men from public spaces until the stock of statues matches the demographics of the population
Gently remodel the statue of liberty to make it better reflect the diversity of America
Rename our streets and neighborhoods until they match the demographics of the population
Move, after public consultation, to a new American constitution that better reflects our diversity as a people
Begin changing the layout of our cities, towns, and highways, moving away from the grid system to follow the more natural trails originally used by Native people
Almost 80 percent of “very liberal,” and 70 percent “liberal,” respondents want the Constitution — the legal manifestation of liberal ideals — to be changed to reflect “diversity.” Six of Kaufmann’s statements are supported by 50 percent or more of “committed liberals” — those who “neither agree nor disagree” with a statement. Eight are backed by a majority of the 40 percent of liberals who identify as “very liberal.” So, for instance, 40 percent of “very liberal” respondents want to replace the American flag.
Societal upheavals in America are most propelled by groups demanding to be afforded the same privileges, rights, and protections that their countrymen already enjoy. They don’t try to tear them down.
As Kaufmann correctly notes, our cultural revolutionaries view the world “through a totalizing Maoist lens which collapses shades of grey into black and white.” When we allow our tradition to be dominated by a single historical grievance, stripping the nation’s story of its achievements, redemption, and purpose, we threaten to destroy our cohesion. It’s a tragedy that many of our institutions are cheering on or enabling the destruction of our nation’s own history.
Watsapp Me +140-888-323-29
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe