The Revolution is in full swing. When will the insanity end?
The death of George Floyd while under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, set off a round of riots, ostensibly in protest of police brutality. Whether Chauvin is lawfully responsible for Floyd’s death will be determined at trial. He has been arrested and charged with homicide. What is beyond argument is that the rest of us in America are not responsible for Floyd’s death. And yet, BLM and other radical leftist groups have used the excuse of Floyd’s death for riots, causing multiple deaths and injuries and millions of dollars of property damage and theft.
What is going on here has nothing to do with George Floyd. This is nothing more than a huge push to take political power by a progressive left that is quite at home using extra-lawful means to achieve its ends. And even the worst of the looting and the like is justified by these people as a war on systemic racism supposedly infecting our nation. For instance,
“Arlene Dávila, a professor at NYU and founding director of the Latinx Project, believes that looting, theft, and destruction are all part of this essential tapestry of protest. She writes, “Anyone surprised that protests include looting of luxury stores in Soho & elsewhere doesn’t know the 1st thing about racial capitalism & luxury consumption. Racial exploitation is at the root of consumer capitalism built on the commodification of black bodies through slavery.””
Those with a taste for adolescent nihilism tarted-up as woke theorising can head over here for more of the same. There, you’ll learn that sweatshops exist and that “advertising is one of the whitest industries in corporate America,” and that therefore – yes, therefore – people who recently found their businesses and neighbourhoods violated and ablaze should just quit complaining and suck it up, baby.
One can only hope that Professor Dávila returns home one evening to find that it too has been chosen as a target of ‘protest’, i.e., robbed of anything valuable and merrily on fire. Possibly as a result of parents belatedly registering the kinds of people now entrusted to educate their children. Or would that somehow be unfair? I ask because, stripped of its rote contortions, Professor Dávila’s reasoning seems to be, “I am unhappy, therefore I am obviously entitled to smash whatever I choose, terrorise whomever I choose, however arbitrarily, and to destroy the hopes and livelihoods of countless random people.”
Because – magic words – social justice.
The left, and now its standard-bearer, Joe Biden, pretend that “systemic racism” is the root of all evil in this country and the cause of all problems in the black community. As Heather MacDonald has pointed out innumerable times (for instance, see here and here, and most recently in testimony before Congress here), the numbers certainly don’t support those claims, even when the numbers are cooked. The fact is that a black person has an exponentially greater risk of being injured by another black person than he or she ever has of being harmed by the police, whether black or white. Moreover, as John McWhorter writes at Quillette, the belief that police, in particular, are animated by racism is a canard as well. After citing both hard data and anecdotal evidence, he states:
So, the perception that the police regularly kill black people under circumstances in which white people would be merely disciplined is in fact a misperception. White people vastly outnumber black people in America, so it should be no surprise that more white people die at the hands of the cops each year than black people.
Higher [black] aggregate crime rates lead to more encounters with police officers overall which increases the likelihood that a proportion of those encounters will get out of hand. Entrenched socioeconomic disparities should concern us all, and are as intolerable as cop murders. But the idea that the police murder out of racist animus is much less clear than we are often led to suppose.
Truth be known, actual acts of white on black racism are very rare in the mainstream of society. The face of “white supremacy” is more often than not a surprisingly darker shade than one would expect. But JUSTICE FOR JUSSIE!
According to Victor Davis Hanson, our own radicals are now beginning to resemble the radicals of the French Revolution. They are using mob tactics to silence conservatives (and insufficiently woke leftists) and, as well, the police power of the state to target conservatives. For instance, as exemplified by the NYT, there is quite the overlap between those championing the systemic racism canard on one hand, and on the other, those who championed the Russia Hoax and those who are championing the lynching of Michael Flynn today. The fact that anyone with knowledge of the horrendous facts of the Michael Flynn case can support continued prosecution of this man is nothing short of lynching an innocent man to cover-up at least one part of the greatest political scandal in our nation’s history.
As former Young Turks reporter Michael Tracey wrote of the radicals pushing this insanity in the mainstream:
Media culture is now filled with coddled 20-and-30 somethings who have been inculcated into believing that presenting an alternate view constitutes “violence” against them, and therefore they’re not obligated to make arguments. Their inherent rightness/superiority is just ASSUMED
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 4, 2020
Understand what’s happening here. The left/liberal media world is demanding that journalists CEASE CRITICAL THINKING and hand over their critical thinking faculties to others, because to not do so would be gravely offensive and possibly even violent. Fucking ridiculous clowns
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 4, 2020
The left-wing activist/media world (there is no real distinction between the two) increasingly operates like some kind of New Age cult. There is plenty of cult-like behavior on the Right as well, but these left-wing activists are culturally ascendant and they are total lunatics
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 4, 2020
As Shelby Steele, a black veteran of the 60’s Civil Rights movement, pointed out in an interview with Mark Levin, blacks have “never been less repressed” than they are today:
Society is responsible for us, because racism is so systemic. Well, that’s a corruption, and I know it’s a corruption, because the truth of the matter is blacks have never been less oppressed than they are today. Opportunity is around every corner. In all of this, no one ever stops to say, well, you’re unhappy with where minorities are at in American life, and blacks continue to be at the bottom of most socioeconomic measures. You’re unhappy about that. Well, why don’t you take some responsibility for that? Why don’t you take more responsibility? I would be happy to look at all the usual bad guys, the police and so forth, if we had the nerve, the courage to look at black people. To look at black Americans, minority Americans, and say, you’re not carrying your own weight.
A big part of this issue is that the progressive left has redefined “racism” into an Orwellian pretzel that includes any act or omission that falls short of affirmatively embracing the systemic racism canard while writing a check to BLM (that may well end up being funneled to the DNC and the Biden campaign). So, for instance, according to modern race hustlers, it is racist to hold people to any single colorblind standard — something that cost one UCLA Professor his job recently:
A California college professor reportedly is being investigated for discrimination and under police protection after refusing a request to exempt black students from final exams in the wake of George Floyd‘s death.
The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) suspended Gordon Klein, an accounting professor in the Anderson School of Business where he’s been teaching for 39 years, for three weeks beginning on June 25 after he declined a student’s request to delay a final exam in light of Floyd’s death, the Free Beacon reports.
Anderson School of Management Dean Antonio Bernardo sent an email to students on Monday calling Klein’s behavior “troubling” and reportedly extended the time students have to complete exams given the “difficult circumstances.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reportedly has an increased police presence outside Klein’s home after multiple threats. . . .
Likewise, it is racist if there aren’t equal outcomes, irrespective of merit or personal choice — and thus science occupations and STEM disciplines are being targeted with such insanity as feminist math. It should be caveated, though, that for the left, actual racism is a one-way street. Any act by a black person, irrespective of how outrageously racist, cannot be deemed racist and subject to colorblind legal consequence because blacks supposedly lack any systemic power. Bullshit.
The progressive left has similarly redefined “violence” as being the articulation of any challenge to the systemic racism canard. Only complete supplication is now considered acceptable. Jim Treacher has pointed out that the progressive left has proclaimed that simply not being a racist isn’t good enough anymore. Anyone who does not volubly agree is be driven from society so that ‘black and brown bodies’ can feel “safe.” As Ms. BWR wrote yesterday, “the frantic virtue signaling, with every business in America trying to outdo all the other businesses by showing more empathy for blacks than the next person or by confessing more guilt,” resembles nothing so much as the public mourning for a deceased leader in North Korea. You don’t want to be the person identified by the commissar as not mourning loud enough. Ominously, even local law enforcement and the FBI are getting in on the act. It gives this moment a very Cultural Revolution feel.
In just the past three weeks, we have seen one major establishment figure after another brought down by these would-be Maoists. At the NYT, James Bennet was forced to resign merely for the crime, in the spirit of freedom of speech, of printing a conservative op-ed by a Republican Senator. The founder and CEO of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, stepped down after taking tremendous heat for daring to speak an opinion that was something less than a complete embrace of the progressive canards. Likewise, the president of the Poetry Foundation, Henry Bienen, and its board chairman, Willard Bunn III, lost their job for similar reasons. The editor in chief of the food magazine Bon Appetit, Adam Rapoport, resigned after a photo surfaced of him in 2004 “dressed in a racially insensitive costume.” Matt Taibbi covers the attacks on the investigative reporter Lei Fang for publishing the following interview with a BLM member:
Asked everyone I spoke with today if there was anything they wanted to get off their chest about the movement. Max from Oakland, a supporter of BLM, had a measured critique he wanted to share. pic.twitter.com/07qMQyCdJ9
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) June 4, 2020
. . . [A]mong self-described liberals, we’re watching an intellectual revolution. It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind. It’s become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.
The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily.
Elsewhere, progressive mobs are beating the war drums to get conservatives fired who have had the temerity to challenge BLM, such as Tucker Carlson and, most recently, Cornell professor and blogger, William Jacobson.
And those are just the people in the national news who theoretically have standing, money, power and a platform to defend themselves. God help anyone lower on the food chain who commits such a thought crime, such as in this recent story of an Alabama pastor. Today, our freedom of speech ends where the progressive left’s will to power begins, irrespective of our rights under the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the laws of the United States, and notions of fundamental fairness.
The progressive war on America is on every front, including now challenging the very basis of our nation as illegitimate. The NYT promulgated the 1619 Project, a race-hustling false history of the Founding to balkanize our nation and devolve us into tribalism for political ends. Even though the core document of the 1619 Project was shown to be false, the writings of the 1619 Project are being readied for use in school curriculums across the country. And even with its falsity proven, the narrative won Nikole Hannah-Jones a Pulitzer Prize. As John McWhorter wrote at the 1776 Project:
The data are in: The New York Times’ 1619 Project is founded on empirical sand. The fundamental claim that the Revolutionary War was fought to preserve slavery simply does not correspond with the facts, too conclusively for the point to be dismissed as mere hair-splitting. The issue is not differing interpretations of history, but an outright misinterpretation of it.
Yet the project lives on. Its spearheaders blithely dismiss the charges of inaccuracy as mere natterings that at least verge on racism, while school districts nationwide eagerly received pedagogical materials based on the idea of offering students a fresh, revealing take on American history.
What a travesty.
Some blacks at least realize that they are being played by a group of white progressives and black radicals.
Black lady screams at white liberals blocking the street
“You racist white liberals do this sh*t every f****** four years. We’re tired of it…F*** you, you dumb b*tch. You’re not here for me. You’re here because you’re dumb as f***” pic.twitter.com/PW8BYCWk5G
— Amy (@MaybeAmes) June 11, 2020
Others are eschewing the violence of BLM and Antifa. Roger Simon sees a rising silent black majority led by black conservatives. And young blacks show much stronger support for Trump and conservatives than their elders. Perhaps this will resolve itself peacefully.
Or equally likely, this will give the left enough momentum to carry the empty shell of Joe Biden across the finish line, in which case I do not expect the nation to long survive. These progressive scum are every bit as radical and unwilling to tolerate opposition as the radicals of countless bloody revolutions past, And it is clear that mere words on the pages of our Constitution don’t mean anything to them. My money is on the shooting starting when the left votes to institute Common Sense Gun Control, nullifying the 2nd Amendment the day after seating a newly packed 21-person (men, women, and other, all progressive) Supreme Court.
Update 2: I think it notable that Paul Mirengoff of Powerline has arrived at a similar conclusion. We are not headed in a good direction:
In recent years, the term “cold civil war” has gained currency as an updated way of describing what used to be called “the cultural wars.” I’ve never embraced the view that we’re in a cold civil war, but I’m not sure we aren’t.
However, when I see that most Democrats favor defunding the police, and when I see the “cancel culture’s” growing success in censoring conservative voices, I begin to fear that a cold civil war — rather than a shooting one — may soon become a best case scenario.
Update 1: After finishing my stream of consciousness post above, I found the following linked at Instapundit. It is articulate, eloquent, powerful, and well worth your time to read. I would imagine this black professor is now a hunted person at the Berkley plantation.
UC Berkeley History Professor’s Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy
Dear profs X, Y, Z
I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.
In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.
In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.
Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or ‘Uncle Toms’. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders. Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.
The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians. Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence. This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.
A counternarrative exists. If you have time, please consider examining some of the documents I attach at the end of this email. Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black.
Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict. This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries.
And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department’s apparent desire to shoulder the ‘white man’s burden’ and to promote a narrative of white guilt.
If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it’s fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews. None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. “Those are racist dogwhistles”. “The model minority myth is white supremacist”. “Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime”, ad nauseam.
These types of statements do not amount to counterarguments: they are simply arbitrary offensive classifications, intended to silence and oppress discourse. Any serious historian will recognize these for the silencing orthodoxy tactics they are, common to suppressive regimes, doctrines, and religions throughout time and space. They are intended to crush real diversity and permanently exile the culture of robust criticism from our department.
Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM’s problematic view of history, and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position, which is no small number.
I personally don’t dare speak out against the BLM narrative, and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.
The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.
No discussion is permitted for nonblack victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of nonblack violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders. Home invaders like George Floyd. For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.
The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn’t led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively. Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices – as do Nigerian Americans, who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department. The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession.
Most troublingly, our department appears to have been entirely captured by the interests of the Democratic National Convention, and the Democratic Party more broadly. To explain what I mean, consider what happens if you choose to donate to Black Lives Matter, an organization UCB History has explicitly promoted in its recent mailers. All donations to the official BLM website are immediately redirected to ActBlue Charities, an organization primarily concerned with bankrolling election campaigns for Democrat candidates. Donating to BLM today is to indirectly donate to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of Democrats for over five decades; the ‘systemic racism’ there was built by successive Democrat administrations.
The patronizing and condescending attitudes of Democrat leaders towards the black community, exemplified by nearly every Biden statement on the black race, all but guarantee a perpetual state of misery, resentment, poverty, and the attendant grievance politics which are simultaneously annihilating American political discourse and black lives. And yet, donating to BLM is bankrolling the election campaigns of men like Mayor Frey, who saw their cities devolve into violence. This is a grotesque capture of a good-faith movement for necessary police reform, and of our department, by a political party. Even worse, there are virtually no avenues for dissent in academic circles. I refuse to serve the Party, and so should you.
The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes, carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed.
There also exists a large constituency of what can only be called ‘race hustlers’: hucksters of all colors who benefit from stoking the fires of racial conflict to secure administrative jobs, charity management positions, academic jobs and advancement, or personal political entrepreneurship.
Given the direction our history department appears to be taking far from any commitment to truth, we can regard ourselves as a formative training institution for this brand of snake-oil salespeople. Their activities are corrosive, demolishing any hope at harmonious racial coexistence in our nation and colonizing our political and institutional life. Many of their voices are unironically segregationist.
MLK would likely be called an Uncle Tom if he spoke on our campus today. We are training leaders who intend, explicitly, to destroy one of the only truly successful ethnically diverse societies in modern history. As the PRC, an ethnonationalist and aggressively racially chauvinist national polity with null immigration and no concept of jus solis increasingly presents itself as the global political alternative to the US, I ask you: Is this wise? Are we really doing the right thing?
As a final point, our university and department has made multiple statements celebrating and eulogizing George Floyd. Floyd was a multiple felon who once held a pregnant black woman at gunpoint. He broke into her home with a gang of men and pointed a gun at her pregnant stomach. He terrorized the women in his community. He sired and abandoned multiple children, playing no part in their support or upbringing, failing one of the most basic tests of decency for a human being. He was a drug-addict and sometime drug-dealer, a swindler who preyed upon his honest and hard-working neighbors.
And yet, the regents of UC and the historians of the UCB History department are celebrating this violent criminal, elevating his name to virtual sainthood. A man who hurt women. A man who hurt black women. With the full collaboration of the UCB history department, corporate America, most mainstream media outlets, and some of the wealthiest and most privileged opinion-shaping elites of the USA, he has become a culture hero, buried in a golden casket, his (recognized) family showered with gifts and praise. Americans are being socially pressured into kneeling for this violent, abusive misogynist. A generation of black men are being coerced into identifying with George Floyd, the absolute worst specimen of our race and species.
I’m ashamed of my department. I would say that I’m ashamed of both of you, but perhaps you agree with me, and are simply afraid, as I am, of the backlash of speaking the truth. It’s hard to know what kneeling means, when you have to kneel to keep your job.
It shouldn’t affect the strength of my argument above, but for the record, I write as a person of color. My family have been personally victimized by men like Floyd. We are aware of the condescending depredations of the Democrat party against our race. The humiliating assumption that we are too stupid to do STEM, that we need special help and lower requirements to get ahead in life, is richly familiar to us. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to deal with open fascists, who at least would be straightforward in calling me a subhuman, and who are unlikely to share my race.
The ever-present soft bigotry of low expectations and the permanent claim that the solutions to the plight of my people rest exclusively on the goodwill of whites rather than on our own hard work is psychologically devastating. No other group in America is systematically demoralized in this way by its alleged allies. A whole generation of black children are being taught that only by begging and weeping and screaming will they get handouts from guilt-ridden whites.
No message will more surely devastate their futures, especially if whites run out of guilt, or indeed if America runs out of whites. If this had been done to Japanese Americans, or Jewish Americans, or Chinese Americans, then Chinatown and Japantown would surely be no different to the roughest parts of Baltimore and East St. Louis today. The History department of UCB is now an integral institutional promulgator of a destructive and denigrating fallacy about the black race.
I hope you appreciate the frustration behind this message. I do not support BLM. I do not support the Democrat grievance agenda and the Party’s uncontested capture of our department. I do not support the Party co-opting my race, as Biden recently did in his disturbing interview, claiming that voting Democrat and being black are isomorphic. I condemn the manner of George Floyd’s death and join you in calling for greater police accountability and police reform. However, I will not pretend that George Floyd was anything other than a violent misogynist, a brutal man who met a predictably brutal end.
I also want to protect the practice of history. Cleo is no grovelling handmaiden to politicians and corporations. Like us, she is free.