This is stolen native land! Reparations now! More women and minorities need to run for public office! Free-market capitalism is oppressive! Abolish the police! For years, leftists have been on a moral crusade to force all to conform to their standards of economic, environmental, and political justice. Most progressives believe they have been granted ethical exculpation because they are militating on behalf of those they believe are too fragile to act. But rather than leading the charge by example and practical action, militant leftists simply retreat to the Twitterverse to virtue-signal to the blue checkmark brigade. Somehow they expect society to fulfill their honor code before they do any of the hard work.
What Do Riots Accomplish?
Starting off as demonstrations in support of George Floyd and against police brutality, the summer riots morphed into a buffet of causes marked by urban savagery. Everything from reparations for black people to blaming white folks for stealing indigenous land are highlighted in the major protests in large cities. But while it is easy to decorate a placard with some righteous but hollow slogan or vandalize public and private property behind a mask, it is far more demanding to accomplish something consequential and life-changing for the supposed victims of the white patriarchy.
In 2017, Black Lives Matter activist Chanelle Helm challenged the lip-serving but feckless do-gooder support by publishing a list of demands to help white people do the right thing and live by their words. Helm requested that white people leave their property to a black or brown family in their will, give their home to a minority family mired in generational poverty, and donate to black funds that sponsor home-buying. Have those who benefited from white privilege taken these steps in meaningful ways?
In the same vein, some leftists like to parrot their Marxist college professors about white people stealing land from Native American tribes. Those who regurgitate this concept and own a home should hand over the deed to a descendant of the Mohawk, Cayuga, Seneca, or Tuscarora. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might know someone in need.
This leftist talking point is especially infuriating: Caucasian candidates muse on the need for more women or minorities to run for president. And yet, defying logic, instead of dropping out and allocating their campaign resources to someone like Stacey Abrams or Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), they move ahead with their presidential aspirations. It is akin to the woke politicians who say all white people are, consciously or unconsciously, racist. But no one dares to question them about the shadow of a Ku Klux Klan ghost that lurks in their minds.
Pious hypocrisy is not the province of only the left. Consider a certain belligerent attitude common to a large phalanx on the right. With little soiling of political hands, many conservatives, while living in safe and secure D.C., feel justified sending young people to die in foreign conflicts, that often turn out to be senseless.
Both sides of today’s ideological divide have legitimate gripes: police brutality, anarchy, social and educational inequities, income disparities, flagrant anti-Americanism, lawmakers paralyzed by political warfare, and so many more. Forging solutions to these require so much more courage and painstaking labor than a hashtag tweet deigned to convey virtue. Nor is it brave to saunter into the voting booth and cast a ballot for a candidate pledging to redistribute someone else’s wealth, as if money is the only benchmark of success. Unless good intentions take root in effective actions, there is little glory in signaling empty virtues.
Read more from Andrew Moran.