"Cultural Revolutions Start at Year Zero" by Victor Davis Hanson
This is very long, but very good. This is just a small part of it. Bold by me.
Are there now three Americas? One of white guilt and penance, one of black anger and victimization, and another seething in silence as they see their 244 years of history written off as something worse than the pasts of Somalia, Peru, Iran, or Serbia.
There are now two realities — beyond two national anthems, beyond black and white dorms, black and white segregated safe spaces on campus, and beyond now segregated black and white history, language, philosophy, and science and math.
For blatantly racist diatribes dug up from the past, there is one standard of contextualization for 1619 architect Nikole Hannah-Jones and the creators of Black Lives Matter, and another that forces silly entertainers like late-night host Jimmy Kimmel to go into exile? In the new America, skin color adjudicates whether one can with impunity be openly racist — as it used to be before the civil-rights movement, whose values and methods the Left purportedly seeks to embrace and resurrect.
If so, then we know from history the script that now follows.
In the exhilaration of exercising power ruthlessly and unchecked, the cultural revolutionists soon turn on their own: poor Trump-hating Dan Abrams losing his cop reality show, the two liberal trial lawyers armed on their mansion lawn in St. Louis terrified of the mob entering their gated estate community, bewildered CHOP activists wondering where the police were once mayhem and death were among them, the inner city of Chicago or New York in the age of police drawbacks wondering how high the daily murder rate will climb once shooters fathom that there are no police, and inner-city communities furious that the ER is too crowded with shooting victims to properly treat COVID-19 arrivals.
Do we now really expect that the Wilson Center in Washington will be cancelled, the Washington Monument cut down to size, and Princeton, Yale, and Stanford renamed?
The logic of the revolution says yes, but the liberal appeasers of it are growing uneasy. They are realizing that their own elite status and referents are now in the crosshairs. And so they are on the verge of becoming Thermidors.
And what will the new icons be under our new revolutionary premises?
Will we say the old statues were bad because they were not perfect, but the new replacements are perfect despite being a tad bad in places? Will we dedicate more memorials to Martin Luther King Jr., the great advocate of the civil-rights movement, or do we focus instead on his plagiarism, his often poor treatment of women, and his reckless promiscuity? Gandhi is gone, but who replaces him, Subhas Chandra Bose? Will Princeton rename their school of diplomacy in honor of the martyred Malcom X, slain by the black nationalist Nation of Islam? Malcom may now become ubiquitous, but he said things about white people that would have made what Wilson said about black people look tame.
Puritanical cultural revolutionaries are always a minority of society. But whether they win or lose — that is, whether they end up as Bolsheviks or Jacobins — hinges on how successfully they terrify the masses into submission, and how quickly they can do that before repulsion grows over their absurd violence and silly rhetoric.
When the backlash comes, as it must when mobs destroy statues at night, loot, burn, and obliterate what Mao called the “four olds” of a culture revolution — Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas — it may not be pretty.
Do Nike, the NFL, and the NBA really believe that their fan clientele will buy into the Black Lives Matter special national anthem and BLM corporate logos on their uniforms? Publicly, perhaps their clients will say so, but at home and in private where fans have absolute control of the remotes or their Amazon accounts, probably not.
The counterrevolution will be easy to spot. Suddenly a left-wing institution will refuse to change its name. Gone with the Wind will insidiously reappear on the schedule of TBN classic movies. Statue topplers all of a sudden will be scouted out and arrested and have felonies on their record — and no one will complain.
NFL’s attendance will crater. Joe Biden will begin cataloguing both good and bad statues, and correct and incorrect name changing, and by October he will be saying, “One the one hand . . . on the other hand . . . ”
Segregation will doom this revolution. It is the worst poison in a multiracial society. Yet it is the signature issue of Black Lives Matter — everything from separate safe spaces and theme houses based on skin color in universities to specials fees and rules for non-blacks. The popular forces of integration, assimilation, and intermarriage will not be harnessed by racial-separatist czars, asking for DNA pedigrees as they sleuth for microaggressions and implicit biases.
The BLM problem is that never in history has a radical cultural revolution at its outset declared itself both race-based and yet predicated on a small minority of the population, whose strategy was to shame and debase the majority that was sympathetic to the idea of relegating race to insignificance.
Thankful wife of David for 23 years and momma to Caroline for 13 years - Relaxed Homeschooler - Lover of books - Seeker of wisdom from the Lord - Drinker of too many coconut milk mochas from Starbucks