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HIJACK: How Cultural Marxists Are Exploiting America’s Racial Reckoning

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July 20, 2021
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Much has been written about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the obsession with race that is sweeping the nation. This moment of racial reckoning is understandable and edifying on some levels, but it is also deeply problematic when it ignores both the energizing values of individual enterprise and freedom of opportunity on which this country was founded as well as the racial progress we have made over many decades.

What has yet to be thoroughly addressed, however, is an equally problematic underlying aspect of the anti-racism movement: Behind the discussion of race is an emergent ideology of cultural Marxism. By substituting race for class as the basis for political revolution in order to rectify alleged imbalance (first between owners and labor, but now between whites and blacks), proponents of cultural Marxism are weaponizing our racial history in an effort to hijack democratic debate, indoctrinate schoolchildren, and intimidate institutions in ways inconsistent with American liberal traditions and civic stability.

What has yet to be thoroughly addressed, however, is an equally problematic underlying aspect of the anti-racism movement: Behind the discussion of race is an emergent ideology of cultural Marxism.

MARXISM 2.0: FROM CLASS CONFLICT TO RACE WAR

Out of the complex pool of 19th-century European Marxist theory came the promotion of class warfare to overthrow the capitalist economic order and to impose, ultimately, an international communist order. Karl Marx believed that class conflict would result from the unifying of a resentful worker class—the proletariat—against the ownership class.

Marx’s theory to abolish private property and business is largely viewed as a failure. Individuals generally rejected the idea of joining a Socialist International movement, preferring both free market economics and their own nation-states as central to political and economic order.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the rising standard of living around the globe discredited Marxists and shattered their class-based economic arguments. Consequently, as author John Perazzo reveals in his report “Black Lives Matter: Marxist Hate Dressed Up As Racial Justice,” some of the ideas and tactics of the Black Panthers in the 1960s have influenced current radical activists to foment a revolution by substituting a race war for the class war. Here are three examples of this new strategy:

REPLACING INDIVIDUALISM WITH GROUP RIGHTS  

Critical race theory (CRT) builds upon critical legal studies, which rejects classical liberalism and the assertion that equal rights and racial justice can be achieved within the American political system. Theorists hold that both the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and function to maintain inequality between whites and non-whites.

In their work “Critical Race Theory: An Introduction” (2001), legal scholars Richard Delgado (one of the founders of CRT) and Jean Stefancic outline several first principles:

(1) Race is socially constructed. Race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct groups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of color.

(2) Racism in the United States is normal, not aberrational: it is the common, ordinary experience of most people of color.

(3) Legal advances for people of color tend to serve the interests of dominant white groups.

CRT, in other words, in classic Marxist fashion, is a collectivist belief system. The success of individual black and other non-white Americans (frequently Asian Americans, for example) or the poverty of white Americans is ignored by those who rely on “systemic racism” as the basis for most human experience.

THE MARXISM OF ANTI-RACISM

In an interview, Ibram X. Kendi identifies racism and capitalism as “the conjoined twins.” “Racism and capitalism emerged simultaneously, they have grown together, they have ravaged together—and one day they’ll ultimately die together.”

Kendi, who directs the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, has proposed the creation of a federal Department of Anti-racism. This department would be unaccountable to the elected branches of government and would have the power to nullify, veto or abolish any law at any level of government and curtail the speech of political leaders and others deemed insufficiently “antiracist.”

One practical result of the creation of such an Orwellian department would be the overthrow of free market capitalism, since, according to Kendi, “in order to truly be antiracist, you also have to truly be anticapitalist.”

One practical result of the creation of such an Orwellian department would be the overthrow of free market capitalism, since, according to Kendi, “in order to truly be antiracist, you also have to truly be anticapitalist.”

In the name of “equity,” UCLA law professor and critical race theorist Cheryl Harris has proposed the suspension of private property rights, the seizure of land and wealth and the redistribution of them along racial lines.

As described by investigative journalist Christopher Rufo, “an equity-based form of government would mean the end not only of private property but also of individual rights, equality under the law, federalism and freedom of speech. These would be replaced by race-based redistribution of wealth, group-based rights, active discrimination and omnipotent bureaucratic authority.”

Herbert Marcuse’s 1965 essay “Repressive Tolerance” argues that the protection of free speech thwarts the cause of social justice and, consequently, he called for “intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed.”

This Marxist anti-racism phenomenon has rapidly infiltrated our public institutions—government agencies, public school systems, teacher training programs and corporate human resources departments.

BLACK LIVES MATTER: ROOTED IN MARXISM AND ANTISEMITISM

Among those trained in socialist revolution is Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who has admitted that she and her fellow organizers are “trained Marxists.”

In her book “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir” (2018), Cullors affirms her support of Marxist ideology learned from her mentor Eric Mann, a former adherent of the Weather Underground domestic terror organization.

“We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers,” she said, referring to BLM co-founder Alicia Garza.

“We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk.”

One of the important tenets of many radical leftists has been a hatred of Jews. As Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin point out in their book “Why the Jews?”, Fascists have accused Jews “of being Communists, and Communists have branded them capitalists.” Long before that, Voltaire, the key Enlightenment philosopher of modern leftism, believed that the Jewish fealty to God and his commandments formed the basis for moral laws, individual rights, freedom of expression and private property—all of which stood in the way of the French philosopher’s utopian vision.  

One of the important tenets of many radical leftists has been a hatred of Jews.

Marx was not to be outdone. In his infamous pamphlet “On the Jewish Question,” he attempted to smear the Jews for accumulating wealth “for practical need,” “self-interest” and “huckstering.”

This anti-Jewish sentiment is a feature of the effort to reject both the Hebraic roots of western civilization as well as the Protestant work ethic. When combined as the foundations for democratic capitalism, these philosophies empower individuals to see themselves as co-creators with God to build economies that overcome poverty and to create the conditions for meaningful charity.

Key elements of the liberal establishment are now leveraging historical antisemitism on the left. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), for example, influenced by Louis Farrakhan’s bitter denunciations of Jews as devils, has built much of her political career on undermining Jews and Israel.

In 2015, Black Lives Matter leadership, after a ten-day trip to the West Bank, organized a statement signed by over 1,000 activists that denounced Israel for “occupation … cruelty … colonialism … apartheid … ethnic cleansing … land theft.”  BLM called for the cutting off of all U.S. aid to Israel and wholeheartedly endorsed the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement, an antisemitic initiative seeking to economically strangle the Jewish state.

Recently, Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers union, sought to smear the entire Jewish community (among the most liberal and philanthropic in the nation) by asserting to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “American Jews are now part of the ownership class … those who are in the ownership class now want to take that ladder of opportunity away from those who do not have it.”

As columnist Jonathan Tobin noted, “This is an issue in which the interests of the Jewish community are very much at risk from those who wish to label both the Jewish people and Israel as linked to ‘white privilege’ and the effort to oppress ‘people of color.’”

But separate from the issue of antisemitism, the brutal reality is that socialist governments in the USSR, China, Cambodia, Cuba, Nicaragua and elsewhere murdered some 100 million people, imposing on their victims gulags, persecution, mass executions, starvations and the death of free society. Marx’s ideas became reality, and unleashed unrelenting destruction.

Most black Americans do not want a race war or a Marxist revolution. Many parents are fighting back against the indoctrination of their children with Marxist, race-obsessed curricula.

And average citizens are slowly waking up to the systemic promotion of Marxism’s “late phase”—a revolution waged not by a 19th-century industrial proletariat, but by 21st-century tech-titans, corporate leaders, media voices, professors and teachers, radical politicians and racial provocateurs pandering to woke constituencies with nothing less in mind than the deconstruction of the United States.


Larry Greenfield is a Fellow of The Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship & Political Philosophy.

 

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