Barack Obama once mocked conservatives by saying: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” In the post-Floyd world, activist groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa – once discounted as dangerous radicals – are now mainstreamed by the legacy media. We ought to be asking, then, whether the response from the right has been more akin to using a toothpick to thwart a bazooka.
This wailing and gnashing of teeth over the George Floyd affair is on one level understandable among workaday Americans who do not obsess over politics and race. Decent people everywhere were appalled by Floyd’s apparent execution. But the immediate aftershocks should undoubtedly have calmed down enough for elected officials to do the bare minimum: stand up for the rule of law. The latest progressive icons chosen to be the grown-ups in the room are loath to do anything, though. Witness the mayor of Seattle embracing the lawless “block party,” permitting these vagrants to go rogue without consequence while other woke mayors in cities under siege round up some of the most egregious perpetrators – and then release them.
So, let’s see if we have this straight. Up until now, both Antifa and white supremacists were broadly considered to be equally repulsive. But while the latter is considered more toxic than ever, the former is now worthy of respect, thanks to our betters in the elite media telling us so. Thus, the fascistic actions of the ironically named Antifa (anti-fascist) should have been rejected out of hand before George Floyd, but are now understandable if not acceptable to progressives turning the free press into their own propaganda arm. Occupying, burning, looting, targeting police: bad before, OK now. Got it.
And yet, with the exception of President Trump, it seems all we get from the politicians and chattering class these days – left and right – is a succession of earnest-sounding, virtue-signaling, rear-covering statements, often stipulating the truth of “systemic racism,” and disclaimers saying essentially: hey, I’m not like those racist conservatives. Not me. I’m upright on all matters racial. Heck, even Virginia Governor Ralph Northam had the chutzpah to go on NBC, this week, and lecture the audience on black oppression. This is the man dubbed “Governor Blackface” after his yearbook was found to include a photograph of two guys – one wearing a KKK hood and another with minstrel-style blackened pigmentation. Northam yet again denied being either the blackface guy or the KKK guy.
Hello, can we regain a modicum of perspective here? We fought a civil war over slavery, the only nation ever to do so. About one million Americans lost their lives (the equivalent of more than 10 million today) in that twilight struggle against real black oppression. Oceans of blood, sweat, and tears were later expended on the civil rights movement, which produced concrete change because it undeniably softened the hearts and minds of middle America. Affirmative action led to guaranteed preferential treatment for blacks in the workplace. White people happily assisted in electing a black man to the most powerful office in the world, and then, even though he was not altogether popular, re-elected him. Does this signal a system rotten to its racist core?
The broad mass of public opinion, if not simple common sense, tells us that black lives not only matter but should have a value equal to all others. So why is the “black community” angrier than ever? One senses the problem runs far deeper than racist cops. Maybe it has to do with the utter inability or unwillingness of Democrats – elected and re-elected for decades by that same black community – to fix this systemic racism.
Slavery: We Didn’t Build That
But as they say in the late-night ads, wait – that’s not all! The radicals are also trying to peddle to the American people the twisted fiction that slavery was a uniquely American creation. Just this week, Tim Kaine, the esteemed senior senator from Virginia and running mate of Hillary Clinton in 2016, stated outright – on the floor of the United States Senate – that “The United States didn’t inherit slavery from anybody. We created it.”
That is a lie of biblical proportions – regarding both the past and present. If Tim Kaine would pick up a Bible, he’d see slavery goes back not just centuries, but millennia – to old testament times. In fact, it dates back to at least 3500 BC and the first civilizations in Mesopotamia. It became common in Europe during the Middle Ages and continued for centuries on end. And the Ottoman Wars, over hundreds of years, produced large numbers of Christian slaves. You don’t hear anything about that, do you? Just as importantly, many West African kingdoms played a prominent role in the Atlantic slave trade cited by the 1619 deconstructionists. Who exactly do you think sold us the slaves? You can look all of this up, but then, facts no longer matter to the narrative-driven left, so maybe you shouldn’t bother.
How about the fact – yes, the fact – that some 80% of the world’s countries are engaged in slavery, in one form or another, right now. It’s called the immutable nature of man. These days it’s often known as human trafficking. The State Department‘s definition of modern slavery is “the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud or coercion.” Applying that standard, we can make a list of 167 countries – a list headed by India, China, and Pakistan – which still have slavery, affecting about 46 million people.
The radicals propose that our sins of more than 150 years past – which America uniquely fought an unspeakably horrific war to stop – were egregious enough to render this nation permanently irredeemable. Make no mistake – these people desire nothing less than to crush the very underpinnings of American society as we know it. And as they recruit the compliant media and naive white liberals to the cause, they are advancing as never before.
Is it not time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country?
Read more from Tim Donner.