Friday, June 19, 2020

The BLM Movement: An Existential Threat to America - Dr. Craig Luther

by Dr. Craig Luther

Its sudden rise and metastasizing power puts America at a dangerous crossroads.

BLACK LIVES MATTER has taken America by storm. Simply put, it is a radical Leftist outfit that seeks to replace capitalism with socialism, abolish the police (and let criminals out of jail), and looks to socialist Venezuela as a model. Historically, BLM’s antecedents reach back to the Black Panthers of the 1960s; in recent years it has drawn inspiration from the radical Occupy Wall Street movement.

The BLM movement was given added impetus by the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The Left mobilized upon Brown’s tragic death in 2014, BLM and other radical groups promoting the false narrative of "Hands up! Don't shoot!"--supposedly the young man’s final words before he was, we were told, brutally gunned down by a racist white cop. Destructive and deadly riots ensued.

Of course, "Hands up! Don't shoot!" was One. Big. Lie. Every black witness who testified before the grand jury stated that Michael Brown had attempted to force his way into the officer's police cruiser, assaulted the officer, and tried to grab his weapon. Looked at objectively, Mr Brown was a thug who, sadly, paid with his life for the terrible choices he made; even the Obama justice department could not come to a different conclusion.

Yet due to his death at the hands of a white police officer--as well as 2 or 3 similar events in recent years--the monstrous lie took hold that white police officers were engaged in genocide against black men. This dangerous falsehood was assiduously promoted by many in the media and by legions of “progressive” professors on our college campuses, where sadly, the mostly white student bodies lapped up every word; "yes, they thought, America is irredeemably racist, and there is nothing we can do to remove the stain of bigotry from our white skin except bow down before the New Racial Conformity.” So today young whites fall to their knees to repudiate their "white privilege" and beg for forgiveness that will never be forthcoming. And why not? Because, our new racial overlords lecture us, racism is not simply inherent in white America’s shameful past, it still permeates our white skin, and we can do nothing about that; it is who we are. White folks can even debase themselves by washing the feet of black men (as has occurred recently in several separate incidents), yet the original stain of white racism can never be symbolically washed away.

Of course, the protests and riots of the past two weeks were triggered by the tragic death of George Floyd. He certainly did not deserve to die, and those responsible should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. However, it is troubling that this man has been transformed into a tragic hero of the Left--this man with a long “rap” sheet, who once stuck a pistol in the stomach of a pregnant woman during a home invasion robbery. 

Yet Floyd’s untimely demise is ruthlessly exploited by BLM as yet another example of the “fact” that black men are being murdered wholesale by racist police officers. Might there be at least a scintilla of truth to that explosive charge? Question: How many unarmed African-Americans were shot and killed by police last year?






If you selected "9" you’d be correct. In other words, in the millions of encounters law enforcement had with African-Americans in 2019, only 9 unarmed blacks were killed; and according to police records, a majority of the fatal encounters were the outcome of fully justified police actions. In the same year, 19 unarmed whites were shot dead by police; yet no one hears or even seems to care about these victims, because they don’t fit the Left’s narrative. (Note: The above data is gleaned from the Washington Post’s data base of fatal police shootings; however, after this tally of 9 unarmed black victims was reported by several news outlets, the Post scrambled to reclassify more than a dozen of its armed victims of police shootings as unarmed in an obvious attempt to plump up the number of black victims; still, even the new figure [if it can be trusted] raised the number of unarmed black victims in 2019 to just 15, which comprise just 0.2 percent of all black homicide victims.)

Annually, some 93% of all black homicide victims are killed by other blacks; in Chicago a few days ago 18 African-Americans were shot and killed on a single day of almost unparalled violence—all by other blacks. Of course the thousands of overwhelmingly male African-Americans killed each year by other African-Americans are also of little concern to the radical Left and their “progressive” media allies, as they work together to whip America into a veritable frenzy of rioting, looting, destruction, even murder.

Where do we go from here? I have no answer to that question, other than to say that all good people who believe in real justice (not the Marxist scam of "social justice") need to raise up their voices in opposition to the scurrilous lies and uncivilized behavior of groups like BLM. Police are NOT waging war on African-Americans. This is NOT a nation mired in systemic racism. We are a flawed yet decent people, who for decades have struggle successfully to right the wrongs of our past. We need bow down before no one.

Yet time is short. The Left has prepared the cultural battlefield well, and with BLM in the vanguard, they have turned to outright insurrection in an effort to obliterate the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of our civilization This is now occuring right before our eyes in Seattle, where BLM, Antifa, and other radical groups have seized control of a large swath of the city; while they beat innocent people and extort money from businesses, the mayor hails them as patriots and orders the president back into his bunker. “Black Lives Matter!” she virtue signals.

So where do things stand at this utterly surreal moment in our nation’s history: After 50+ years of relentless Leftist agitation, America has finally reached an existential tipping point; indeed, should Biden win the presidency in November, his victory will be far from a conventional one; more likely it will signify a final and enduring seizure of power by BLM, Antifa and other Marxist/anarchist forces bent on destroying all decent Americans hold dear.

* * *
Photo credit: Anthony Quintano

Dr. Craig Luther completed his Ph.D. in Modern European History at UC Santa Barbara. He is a former Fulbright Scholar, retired U.S. Air Force historian, and author of 8 books on the Second World War focusing on German military operations on the eastern front. His recent book, First Day on the Eastern Front: Germany Invades the Soviet Union, June 22, 1941, was selected by the WW2 book aggregator site Stone & Stone WW2 Books as one of the six best books on WW2 published in 2018.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Red and Green Virtue-Signaling — An American “Intifada”? - Dr. Asaf Romirowsky

by Dr. Asaf Romirowsky

We are now seeing a conjoining of black American politics with Palestinian thinking, which is itself consumed by identity politics.

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,609, June 18, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The recent riots in the US underscore how identity politics have been hijacked by red and green alliances between socialist and Islamist ideologies. We are now seeing a conjoining of black American politics with Palestinian thinking, which is itself consumed by identity politics. 

It didn’t take long after the riots began across the US to hear expressions of solidarity from Palestinians in both the Middle East and the US connecting the horrific killing of George Floyd to the Palestinian tale. Palestinian artist Waleed Ayyoub illustrated the connection by painting and posting on the US Twitter feed of the Palestine Museum a picture of George Floyd dressed in a kaffiya in front of a banner of the Palestinian flag.

Palestinians claim that the killing of Floyd, as well as the subsequent violent exchanges between US military and police forces and protesters, show that Israel exports its “racism” to US police departments. The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) tweeted to its 51,000 followers, “The Israeli military trains US police in racist and repressive policing tactics, which systematically targets black and brown bodies.”

The red and green alliance between socialist and Islamist ideologies strengthened in parallel with the rise of the idea of intersectionality. Both ideologies are heavily laden with hatred of Israel, as became obvious during the latest rioting.

The best example of this phenomenon is the labeling of the current American reality as an intifada. The Arabic term, which literally means “uprising,” was first used during the 1987 popular revolt against Israel. It is translated by Arab-Palestinians as “awakening.” It is used in the Palestinian narrative in the sense of “waking up” Israel and the world at large to all the wrongs supposedly done to the Palestinians as a result of the so-called Israeli “occupation.” The late founder of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, used more colorful analogies, saying an intifada is the movement a dog makes when trying to get rid of a tick.

Rami Khouri, a journalism professor at the American University in Beirut, didn’t waste any time and declared the US riots an “American intifada.” He rationalized that “in the Arab world, there’s an inability to address the structural oppression of most citizens by an elite that has become very wealthy but is totally detached from their people. You’re seeing the same thing in the US. There’s an inability to address its structural racism.”

The adaptation of the term is not new, but it is revealing of the American political and cultural landscape in that it shows where the Palestinian cause sits in the intersectional pyramid. It appears to be the gold standard of (supposed) oppression, and is thus eagerly coopted by other causes rooted in identity politics.

This has long been visible in American institutions of higher education. Back in 2004, Hatem Bazian, director of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the Center for Race and Gender at the University of California, Berkeley, said:
Well, we’ve been watching intifada in Palestine, we’ve been watching an uprising in Iraq, and the question is, what are we doing? How come we don’t have an intifada in this country?
Because it seem[s] to me that we are comfortable in where we are, watching CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox … giving us a window to the world while the world is being managed from Washington, from New York … every one of those lying, cheating, stealing, deceiving individuals are in our country and we’re sitting here and watching the world pass by, people being bombed, and it’s about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here.
And we know every—They’re gonna say some Palestinian being too radical—well, you haven’t seen radicalism yet!
Then there is Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, a professor of the History of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Georgetown University, who explained simply that “Intifada is something that Muslims and Palestinians all approve of. It means ‘just get off my back.’”

Freedom of speech and religion in addition to the right to assemble and protest are all positive attributes and cornerstones of American democracy that should be embraced. But we need to be clear about the goals and objectives of intifada. Intifada by design has a violent terrorist agenda that has been demonstrated by the level of violence used against Israelis for over three decades. It is a mechanism that justifies all violence in the name of “resistance,” and has justified continued violence. One of the mistakes Israel has made is acceding to the adoption of the term to describe its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. By incorporating an Arabic term with clear goals into the Israeli political and cultural vernacular, Israel has, in effect, legitimated the Palestinian point of view.

The American democracy is far from perfect, but it remains the best system we have. America is not the Middle East; nor is it looking to transform itself into it. Using the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a façade or deflection, or trying to link radical ideologies on the hard left and right, has become the basis for the red and green alliance. Doing so only creates distortion.

Working to uproot all forms of racism is undoubtedly needed in the US, but antisemitism is another form of racism. Calling for intifada—in other words, calling for war—is the polar opposite of what Americans of any color should be doing.

Dr. Asaf Romirowsky is executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), a senior non-resident fellow at the BESA Center, and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

It’s Your Fault They Are Violent! - Raymond Ibrahim

by Raymond Ibrahim

That is, if you’re white and they’re not.

According to the media narrative, whatever unpleasant behavior a person or group is engaging in—from criminal activity to sheer terrorism—if you’re white and they’re not, that proves their behavior is entirely your fault.  Your insufferable racism and xenophobia have pushed them over the top; their criminal behavior is a reflection of their many grievances against you.

This would certainly require ameliorating, if it were but true.  It’s not.  This is not to say that there is no racism or xenophobia, things which cannot be “legislated”; rather, it is to say that the overwhelming majority of criminal behavior is and always has been fueled by things other than grievances.

Take Islam for instance.  Following the savage 9/11 terror attacks, the great question was “why do they hate us?” The answer from the media and its array of “experts” was that they had grievances against America.

Thereafter followed a litany list of supposed American/Western crimes against Muslims: originally it was Western political “sins”—from the crusades to colonialism to the creation of Israel.  But with each new Islamic terrorist attack or outrage, the “grievances” Muslims had grew: free speech, churches, even teddy bears were included.

The media might as well have mentioned your sheer existence as a free infidel as the ultimate grievance, which would have been closer to the truth.  After all, unjustified Muslim attacks on the West began nearly 1400 years ago, a few years after Islam was born; they continued for a millennium, swallowing three-quarters of the Christian world and bombarding every corner of Europe, whence many millions of slaves were abducted.

Even America’s first war as a nation was with African Muslims, who were raiding and enslaving American vessels.  When Jefferson and Adams asked the Barbary ambassador what “injury” the newborn American state could possibly have committed to provoke such attacks, “the ambassador answered us,” Jefferson wrote to Congress in 1786, “that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, … that it was their right and duty to make war upon them [non-Muslims] wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all.”

Muslim attacks on the West finally went on hiatus in the early nineteenth century, when Europe, fed up by Islamic depredations, invaded and colonized the Muslim world.  Even that “process of European expansion and empire,” explains Bernard Lewis, “has its roots in the clash of Islam and Christendom….  The victorious liberators [Europeans], having reconquered their own territories [from Muslims], pursued their former masters whence they had come.”

Regardless, the West has been so inundated with “it’s your fault,” Muslim “grievances,” and “Islamophobia” propaganda from their own media that the Islamic State itself (ISIS) made it a point to clarify that it hates and terrorizes the West first and foremost because Islamic law requires it to do so, irrespective of Western behavior.

Or consider the abysmal way Muslim nations treat their minorities, chiefly Christians.  How could these peaceful, tiny, and politically disenfranchised communities possibly “aggrieve” Muslims? They are often the same race, ethnicity, and speak the same language as their Muslim counterparts; you cannot tell them apart except for religion—and that is the “grievance” their persecutors have: non-Muslim minorities are “infidels” and therefore to be despised and oppressed.

Despite such outrageous persecution, which often leads to the murders of several Christians every month, the Western media seldom mentions this truly systemic and endemic topic, and never honestly: doing so would throw a wrench in their “grievances” narrative that Muslim misbehavior is a byproduct of “grievances” against the West.

Now consider how the media is using this same grievance-paradigm to justify criminal behavior and violence: a black man was killed by a police officer; although the latter was properly arrested and charged with murder, that’s not enough.  If you’re white, the current turmoil—the looting, burning, and killing—is again and ultimately your fault: “grievances” coming to roost; or, to quote a recent Politico headline, “White America is reckoning with racism.”

And yet, just as with Islam, the media’s “black lives matter” narrative is extremely selective and manipulative: the cold-blooded murder of several admirable black Americans, such as 77-year-old retired police captain David Dorn, who was tragically shot to death for protecting a pawn shop from looters, apparently do not matter (whose “protesting” for them?); nor do the many lives of hardworking American blacks whose businesses have been ransacked and destroyed.

Nor, for that matter, does the fact that several thousand black lives are snuffed out by other blacks every year matter to the media (American blacks have killed 324,000 other blacks between just 1979 and 2014).  As for the fact that, although amounting for about 15 percent of the U.S. population, blacks commit half of all murders—which at the very least means they end up in violent confrontations with police—what difference does that make?

Only those very, very few black lives that can possibly be made to conform to the grievance narrative will ever matter for the media.

The irony of all this is that only a naturally fair-minded people would ever care let alone allow the accusation that they are not being fair enough to their minorities shake them.  Try telling any non-Western nation (we’ve already seen how it goes under Islam) that they are mistreating their minorities—or better yet, that they need to get on their knees and apologize for their race—and see where that gets you.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

The Jonestowning of America - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

When the Democrats claim to care about black lives, they take them in horrifying numbers.

Dave Patrick Underwood, an African-American Federal Protective Service officer, was shot and killed at the Ronald V. Dellums Building during the radical riots in Oakland, California. A building named after Congressman Dellums is burdened with its own weight of historical complicity in leftist atrocities.

"Let me commend your pastor, Jim Jones, for the dedication he is showing to his community and surrounding areas," Congressman Dellums once wrote. "And also for impact he makes on members of his congregation."

At Oakland’s Evergreen Cemetery, some distance from the riots, a plaque over a mass grave reads, “In memory of the victims of the Jonestown tragedy". The names on the plaque include that of Jim Jones.

Jones, who called cops “pigs” and posed with Huey Newton of the Black Panthers, told his mostly black followers to die horrifyingly of cyanide poisoning to resist the racism of the United States of America.

The white leftist who claimed to uphold the value of black lives killed hundreds of black people.

Radicals call for a reckoning with America’s history. But they have not reckoned with their own history that played out much more recently than 1619. 1970s Jonestown has become their model for America.

Jonestown is much more relevant to what is going on in America now than the current revisionist history of Jamestown embraced by the radicals. And there is no more obvious barometer for the lost reckoning than the plaque which lists Jones as one of the victims of a tragedy, instead of a mass murderer. Calling the socialist massacre a tragedy suggests that Jonestown, like the USSR, was a noble cause that failed.

Talk to lefties of a certain age about Jonestown and they’ll mumble about CIA mind control experiments and FBI COINTELPRO operations against activists who wanted to bring about social change. The mass grave in Oakland, like the mass graves in Cambodia, the USSR, and Communist China, are uncomfortable realities. And while mainstream media narratives don’t go that far, they erase what Jones stood for.

The mad mob scenes in Oakland and across California with the power of the Democrat establishment behind them, the viral videos of white millennials kneeling and confessing their privilege, are the People's Temple writ large on a nation. Jones, the son of a Klansman, who was inspired by a Communist-allied cult to build a following as a Marxist preacher of interracial brotherhood, joining the California Democrat establishment before going down in flames, has once again become the future.

Jones ran a leftist cult of white leaders who called themselves black and exploited their mostly black congregation, endorsing the Black Panthers and other black nationalist terror groups, while serving as a core political organization for California Democrats, including former Governor Jerry Brown.

The stain of Jim Jones is still all over California. A generation of California Democrat leaders either allied with Jones or were mentored by Jones’ political allies like Willie Brown. That includes both Senator Kamala Harris and Governor Newsom. That’s why, decades later, California is still stuck in Jonestown.

Jim Jones is "what you should see every day when you look in the mirror", Governor Jerry Brown gushed. It's not what we see. But it's what Brown saw. And what so many Democrats see.

"Revisiting Peoples Temple's goals of apostolic socialism and racial reconciliation offer important insights for understanding the group's legacy that can contribute insight into ways of solving ongoing social problems related to poverty and racial inequality in the United State," David Feltmate, an associate professor of Sociology at Auburn University, has argued.

Such calls are not unique. Like lefty histories of the USSR, historians, academics, and even PBS, seek to extract Jones’ good politics from his bad ending while refusing to recognize that they are intertwined.

There are certainly insights in Jones’ methodology of fleecing and humiliating wealthy white lefties, and exploiting elderly African-Americans who thought that the Peoples Temple would take care of them for the rest of their lives, only to be killed when the apostolic socialist cult collapsed under its own abuses.

All of that could have been avoided if the media hadn’t covered it up until one of their own got killed.

The Jonestown model is also the model for the Democrat Party which, like Jones, lures in upscale whites by playing on their idealism and guilt, humiliating them to keep them from seeing that the whole thing is a scam, and using the black people it lured in with promises of a social safety net to claim moral superiority. Add in a streak of terror and thuggery to keep everyone in line, along with a dash of sexual sadism to compromise and destroy the moral integrity of core cult members, and you have utopia.

Exploiting racism was central to the appeal of the Peoples Temple as it is to the Democrats.

The Peoples Temple used the moral drama of racism to create a racial conflict, playing on the guilt of white people and the fears of black people to divide them, threatening apocalypse and offering redemption through socialism. Racism was the source of Jones’ power. It was the primal sin and fear that he held over the heads of his followers to incite them to commit horrible crimes against each other.

And to stay silent while he committed even worse atrocities.

There is no meaningful reckoning that Americans can make with 1619, but it is vitally important that there be a reckoning with the seventies as Jonestown is becoming a statewide and nationwide model.

The latter-day Joneses promise redemption through socialism and twist America around the axis of race. Using the weight of racism, they are able to justify any crime and any abolition of rights in its name.

The ultimate victims of Jonestown were largely black. That’s also true of the Democrat Party.

Jim Jones was the first to turn racism into a religion. The end of the Peoples Temple and Jonestown are instructive now that racism has become the national religion of Jones’ Democrat Party. The cult leader had told his followers that God was socialism and that a man was as godly as he embodied socialism. And Jones was the ultimate divinity because he was the embodiment of the Principle of Socialism which alone could reconcile the races and all of humanity to paradise by becoming the gods of socialism.

“God was a liar. The snake told the truth,” Jones told his followers.

God told the truth. It’s the socialist snakes who always lie. Jim Jones promised his followers utopia, but he couldn’t deliver paradise. The people ate the poisonous apples, but never became as gods. Instead they tortured and killed, engaged in sexual debauchery of every variety, blackmailed and assassinated each other, and then died in terrible pain after first poisoning the elderly and then the children.

Also known as fighting for social justice, sexual liberation, euthanasia and abortion.

The Democrats and their media are telling the nation that burning and looting cities is the path to utopia. As Attorney General Maura Healey of Massachusetts said, “America is burning, but that’s how forests grow." Jones would beat and sexually humiliate his followers during services and tell them that they were better people for it. But the only leaders who want to beat and burn aren’t going to utopia. They are ushering in the familiar hell on earth in whose cruel flames every utopian experiment ends.

A month before the mass deaths, a Soviet diplomat visited Jonestown and listened to the men, women, and children who would soon be dead serenade him with a rendition of, “I’m a socialist today, and I’m glad." Jonestown, like the Soviet Union, Venezuela, or Cuba, was doomed even if no outside forces had intervened. It was a failed experiment in utopianism that could only end one way.

The same is becoming increasingly true of the Democrat enclaves, including in California where Jones had the most success and enjoyed the political protection of top Democrats and every major paper.

The Jonestowning of America is an act of brutal power by the Joneses and of despair by their followers.

Like Jim Jones, the Democrats have no vision or hope to offer. Utopia has been replaced with pain and death. The screams of hate and the wrecked blocks in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are the nation’s Jonestowns. The country’s biggest cities have become failed experiments in social justice where the socialist cant is preached all the louder even as things only get worse.

As the end approached, Jones took refuge in paranoid delusions and apocalyptic conflicts, inventing enemies and lashing out at them to evade responsibility for his corruption and crimes. All the radicalized Democrats have to offer are apocalyptic visions of environmental armageddons and perpetual racial atonement in a country that was irredeemably evil even over a century before its birth. Hope. Change.

The arc of history points not to progress, but to Jonestown. The Joneses are torturing their followers with pandemic lockdowns, rioting, economic destruction, environmental impoverishment, and cultural collapse to sate their own sadistic impulses and to divert attention from the failures of their ideas.

All that’s left now is the grim death march through the opening of prisons, the normalization of crime, the Green New Deal, socialized medicine, and the random crises met with tyranny on the way to utopia. At the end, the men and women who had followed Jones realized that the promise of a socialist kingdom of heaven on earth was a lie. There was no food. Bibles were being torn up for toilet paper. The only escape from the misery was death. That is also the great leftist vision for western civilization.

When our civilization lies in ruin and daily life is a miserable horror, they expect us to be ready to die.  Kill the elderly in the nursing homes. And then the children. Then everyone has to drink the Kool-Aid.

The progressive leaders will say that it’s an act of mercy and courageous idealism.

"There’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: Is it OK to still have children?” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wondered.

The Democrats have perfected Jones’ trick of using racial guilt to empower a white elite to carry out the socialist schemes that make them feel like gods even as they impoverish, enslave, and destroy. But, just like in Jonestown, all anyone has to do is look at the carnage and ask, “Is this progress? Where’s utopia?” Are the burning cities, the kneeling mobs, and the terrorized people really leading to utopia?

Jim Jones was the socialist son of a Klansman who exploited and killed hundreds of black people. The Democrats are the socialist party of the Klan who exploited and killed hundreds of thousands of black people. When the Democrats claim to care about black lives, they take them in horrifying numbers.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Is All We Are the Color of Our Skin? - Drieu Godefridi

by Drieu Godefridi

Reducing human beings to their skin color marks the supreme defeat in humanistic and political thought.

  • We should not allow ourselves to fall into the crude trap of this debilitating racialization.
  • The first problem is collective responsibility; the idea that responsibility for the crimes of a few extends to all members of a group, both criminals and victims.... As Larry Elder, an American radio host, author and attorney, recently noted: "Reparations are the extraction of money from those who were never slave owners to be given to those who were never slaves."
  • The second problem is responsibility through the generations: the idea that the passage of time does not change anything. Children who are not yet born, are, in advance, responsible for the crimes and abuses of their ancestors -- and all the ancestors of the "group" to which they belong.
  • Reducing human beings to their skin color marks the supreme defeat in humanistic and political thought.

Larry Elder, an American radio host, author and attorney, recently noted: "Reparations are the extraction of money from those who were never slave owners to be given to those who were never slaves." (Image source: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

The political left in the United States now seems to embrace the most openly racist ideas perhaps since German National Socialism in the 1930s and 1940s.

Their racist view, according to which the color of skin is the measure of all reality, truth, hierarchy and moral values, marks a startling regression.

During recent riots, shop fronts and synagogues in the United States were defaced with antisemitic slogans. It is argued in vain that these threats should not be exaggerated; a protester in New York City seemed comfortable openly declaring on Fox News that he intended to lead his peers, laden with cheap gasoline, to set fire to a neighborhood, the "Diamond District," where many Jews are known to work.

The doctrine that reduces human beings to the color of their skin does not befit any society, especially a multiracial one.

One of the demands of many on the left is to pay trillions of dollars for reparations (when you love, you do not count) to the descendants of slaves. This demand presents three problems:
The first problem is collective responsibility; the idea that responsibility for the crimes of a few extends to all members of a group, both criminals and victims. As the American radio host, author and attorney Larry Elder, who happens to be Black, recently noted on Twitter: "Reparations are the extraction of money from those who were never slave owners to be given to those who were never slaves."

The second problem is responsibility through the generations: the idea that the passage of time does not change anything. Children who are not yet born, are, in advance, responsible for the crimes and abuses of their ancestors -- and all the ancestors of the "group" to which they belong.

Note that collective responsibility and historical responsibility are the two theoretical and moral matrices of anti-Semitism throughout the ages -- as in "they killed Jesus!" Jean-Paul Sartre showed this most vividly in his book Anti-Semite and Jew ("Réflexions sur la question juive").

The third problem is that of race, more precisely of skin color. From the perspective of many, especially on today's political left, a person is defined first and foremost by his skin; he belongs in some way to the color of his skin and everything else is of less importance. A white person can be considered a criminal by the color of his skin, just as Jews were considered criminals by the simple fact of their Jewishness.

Finally, identifying the descendants of slaves involves the exhaustive genealogical and genetic mapping of the entire American population, down to the last DNA fragment -- even totalitarian China did not dare to go that far -- and raises persistent questions. What about Americans who have both white and black ancestors, for example, President Barack Obama? What about Americans who have both slave ancestors and slave-owner ancestors? What about the countless Americans who are of mixed blood? Will we have to measure their skulls, their jaws, their percentage of ancestors of such and such a race? The Nazis favored the latter technique.

What to do?

We should not allow ourselves to fall into the crude trap of this debilitating racialization. In the arc of civilizations, contemporary Western civilization is the most radically alien to the concept of race since ancient Rome and the empire of Alexander the Great.

Reducing human beings to their skin color marks the supreme defeat in humanistic and political thought.

We should be better than this reinvention of racial hatred by the left. The great American economist Thomas Sowell -- who also happens to be Black -- wrote:
"Nothing could be more jolting and discordant with the vision of today's intellectuals than the fact that it was businessmen, devout religious leaders and Western imperialists who together destroyed slavery around the world. And if it doesn't fit their vision, it is the same to them as if it never happened."
All decent American leaders must stop retreating and take the offensive on all fronts. The legal categorization of Antifa as a terrorist organization is a first step in the right direction.

Drieu Godefridi, a classical-liberal Belgian author, is the founder of the l'Institut Hayek in Brussels. He has a PhD in Philosophy from the Sorbonne in Paris and also heads investments in European companies.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Are we about to see the second Burning of Atlanta? - Andrea Widburg

by Andrea Widburg

The Fulton County district attorney has accused the officer who shot Rayshard Brooks of felony murder — and Atlanta police officers are not taking it well.

In 1864, Atlanta burned to the ground when General Sherman conducted his famous March through Georgia. Atlanta citizens had better hope history does not repeat itself, this time because Atlanta police officers are so horrified by the eleven charges the Fulton County district attorney Paul Howard filed against Garret Rolfe, who shot Rayshard Brooks, that they're engaging in a sick out. Without the police, the whole of Atlanta is a sitting duck for every criminal out there.

So here's what we know: despite the media's usual claim that a man who died while fighting the police was a beloved family man, Rayshard Brooks might not have been such a nice person. When he died, he was on probation for a 2014 four-count conviction, with a seven-year prison sentence: False Imprisonment, Simple Battery/Family, Battery Simple, and Felony Cruelty/Cruelty to Children. He'd already violated his probation once, which resulted in his going back to prison for a year in 2016.
Brooks's criminal history does not mean he deserved to die. It merely explains why he went from compliant to violent in his interactions with police: Brooks knew that his being arrested for DUI would send him back to prison for violating his parole. In his drunken state of mind, he thought he could avoid that fate by fighting the police and running away.

The videos give a reasonably clear picture of what happened after Brooks was found passed out behind the wheel of his car in a Wendy's drive-through lane: everything was polite until the cuffs came out. At that point, Brooks turned into a maniac, attacking Officers Devin Brosnan and Garret Rolfe. Rolfe's attorney summarizes the attack (a summary consistent with the videos all of us have watched):
Officers Brosnan and Rolfe used the least amount of force possible in their attempts to place Mr. Brooks into handcuffs. They attempted to leverage him to the ground while giving him loud, clear verbal commands. In response, Mr. Brooks continued actively resisting lawful efforts to arrest him. He then escalated his resistance by punching Officer Rolfe in the face committing several counts of felony obstruction of an officer. See O.C.G.A. §16-10-24. In an effort to place Mr. Brooks under arrest and stop his assault, Officer Rolfe lawfully deployed his TASER twice, but it had no effect on Mr. Brooks.
Mr. Brooks continued his assault and disarmed Officer Brosnan, stealing his city-issued TASER committing a robbery, another forcible felony under Georgia law. See O.C.G.A. §16-8-40 & O.C.G.A. §16-10-33 . Mr. Brooks, then armed, began running through a crowded parking lot. Mr. Brooks was lawfully under arrest and Officer Rolfe pursued him. Officer Rolfe had deployed his taser and held it steady in hopes the prongs would catch onto Mr. Brooks body and neutralize him. Unfortunately, that didn't occur.
Instead of merely trying to escape, Mr. Brooks reached back with his arm extended and pointed an object at Officer Rolfe. Officer Rolfe heard a sound like a gunshot and saw a flash in front of him. Fearing for his safety, and the safety of the civilians around him, Officer Rolfe dropped his taser and fired his service weapon at the only portion of Mr. Brooks that presented to him – Mr. Brooks' back. Officer Rolfe immediately stopped firing when Mr. Brooks fell to the ground since there was no longer an imminent threat towards Officer Rolfe or others. Officer Rolfe gathered himself, and then immediately called for EMS. Officer Rolfe retrieved first-aid supplies and began rendering aid to Mr. Brooks. When Mr. Brooks' pulse stopped, Officer Rolfe immediately began CPR until EMS relieved him.
Although Paul Howard insists that Rolfe kicked the body, his bodycam shows him kneeling on the ground, administering CPR to Brooks, while begging Brooks to keep breathing.

Police officers understand what is happening here: they're being told that they will be presumed guilty any time they shoot someone in what they believe is a life-or-death situation. This presumption will escalate if the person shot is black or if the D.A. is hyper-political or corrupt (as is likely the case with D.A. Howard). They understand that the D.A. just turned them into sitting ducks.

In Atlanta, the police are making their displeasure known by calling in sick. While the police department is doing the usual "everything is fine here," Twitchy has assembled myriad tweets showing that nothing is fine in Atlanta. Here are just some of those tweets:

Soon, the mobs will be wilding, and Atlanta may end up looking no better than it did in 1864 — only this time, it will have done it to itself.

Andrea Widburg


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Meet Your New Commissar - Bruce Bawer

by Bruce Bawer

Black Studies star Ibram X. Kendi has plans for you.

Among the byproducts of the worldwide mayhem and destruction carried out in solemn memory of career criminal George Floyd is that books on racism are selling almost as briskly as guns. As I write this, the #3 bestseller on Amazon is something called How to Be an Antiracist by one Ibram X. Kendi.

This book is Kendi’s third. The first was The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965–1972 (2012); the second, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (2016), won the National Book Award, led to a Guggenheim Fellowship, and propelled Kendi, three years ago, from a low-level teaching job at the University of Florida to a position as full professor and head of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.

Next month, in a further move up the academic ladder, Kendi, age 37, will take up a plum post as director of the brand-new Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He’ll also publish Antiracist Baby, a “board book” for very young children (already #15 on Amazon) “that introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of anti-racism.”

But we’re here to talk about How to Be an Antiracist, in which Kendi frames his life story as an account of how he came to understand race properly. Born Ibram Henry Rogers in Queens, N.Y., Kendi was raised by liberationist Christians who encouraged him to be a rebel. But he soon got out of hand even for them. By seven years old he had become a veritable Greta Thunberg of race, challenging the only black teacher at a school in which his parents were thinking of enrolling him:
“Are you the only Black teacher?”
“Yes, but—”
I cut her off. “Why are you the only Black teacher?”…
“Why are you asking that question?” she asked nicely.

“If you have so many Black kids, you should have more Black teachers,” I said.
“The school hasn’t hired more Black teachers.”
“I don’t know.”
“Why don’t you know?” 
Smart kid? Not exactly. In high school, Kendi tells us, his “SAT score barely cracked 1000,” so he thought he was “too dumb for college.” He now believes that “intelligence is as subjective as beauty” and that he’d been wrong to use “‘objective’ standards, like test scores and report cards, to judge myself.” As a teen, we learn, he “hated what they called civilization” and “was an intuitive believer in multiculturalism.” As an undergrad at Florida A&M, he decided that white people were space aliens. (Yes, literally.)

He went on to Temple University, where he received a doctorate in African American Studies, which, like all “identity studies” disciplines, is a load of hogwash designed for people who are otherwise, yes, too dumb for college. Never having encountered a real idea, they’re presented with a handful of simple statements about group identity and oppression and are told that they’re in the presence of sophisticated theories. Meanwhile, on the other side of campus, people their age are learning how to build skyscrapers, perform brain surgery, and cure diseases.

If you doubt this, then by all means read Kendi’s book, because it’s proof positive of just how dumb African American Studies is. Kendi paints a human race divided neatly into racists and antiracists and dreams of a golden future time in which everyone will be antiracist, and where everything, consequently, will be just dandy. It’s not enough, mind you, to be non-racist; no, if you’re not actively struggling against racism you’re a part of the problem.

And what a problem it is! In an interview this month, the black author Shelby Steele told Mark Levin: “Blacks have never been less oppressed than they are today. Opportunity is around every corner.” Contrast this with Kendi, who maintains: “Our world is suffering from metastatic cancer. Stage 4. Racism has spread to nearly every part of the body politic, intersecting with bigotry of all kinds.” What, he asks, “if we treated racism in the way we treat cancer?” He elaborates:
Saturate the body politic with the chemotherapy or immunotherapy of antiracist policies that shrink the tumors of racial inequities, that kill undetectable cancer cells. Remove any remaining racist policies, the way surgeons remove the tumors. Ensure there are clear margins, meaning no cancer cells of inequity left in the body politic, only the healthy cells of equity. Encourage the consumption of healthy foods for thought and the regular exercising of antiracist ideas, to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence. Monitor the body politic closely, especially where the tumors of racial inequity previously existed. Detect and treat a recurrence early, before it can grow and threaten the body politic.

If Kendi is preoccupied with cancer, it’s because, as he recounts in this book, he was recently cured of stage-4 colon cancer – very much against the odds – by six months of chemotherapy followed by an operation. This is a man who considers affirmative action obligatory in every sector: “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” But would Kendi really want to be treated by oncologists and surgeons who barely cracked 1000 on the SATs and who got into med school – and got hired by some hospital – only because of their race?

How does Kendi define anti-racism? “To be antiracist,” he argues, “is to reject cultural standards and level cultural difference.” In her recent book The Diversity Delusion, Heather Mac Donald examines the vexing fact that black students consistently score far lower on standardized tests than members of other groups. This can’t be blamed on poverty or racism: even well-off black kids routinely do worse than, say, South Asians from poor families. It’s impossible not to look to cultural factors: fatherless families, for example, and communities that encourage criminality and that mock studiousness.

But Kendi isn’t having it. In his view, it’s racist to measure the performance of young blacks and to compare it to that of kids from other groups. Yes, he says, if some individual black kid does poorly in school, it’s OK to try to deal with his problem; but to notice that black kids as a group do poorly, and to try to figure out why and to address it responsibly? No. Because then you’re indicting black culture. And culture is not to be questioned or criticized.

The same goes for black crime. To agonize over “black on black crime,” or to suggest that it’s unhealthy for black kids to grow up in neighborhoods dominated by drug dealers and heroin addicts and rampant gun violence, or to worry aloud about those kids being caught up in bad habits and losing their chances for a better future – all this is racist. And if blacks express concern about such matters, well, they’re guilty of having bought into the rhetoric of white racists.

Quoting Mac Donald’s 2016 statement that “[t]he core criminal-justice population is the black underclass,” Kendi responds: “This is the living legacy of racist power, constructing the Black race biologically and ethnically and presenting the Black body to the world first and foremost as a ‘beast,’ to use Gomes de Zurara’s term, as violently dangerous, as the dark embodiment of evil.”

Also racist, according to Kendi, is the contention by black Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley that high rates of black imprisonment aren’t the fault of racism but of “black behavior.” Antiracists, Kendi explains, know that “there is no such thing as racial behavior….Black behavior is as fictitious as Black genes.”  Oh, and just so you know: to “set the Black criminal alongside the White racist as the enemies of the people” is also racist. So is referring to somebody as “playing the race card.”

For Kendi, even Barack Obama is a racist, because his Race to the Top and Common Core initiatives were founded on a belief in the “achievement gap” between black and white students. Kendi acknowledges that these initiatives may have been well meant. “But what if, all along, these well-meaning efforts at closing the achievement gap have been opening the door to racist ideas? What if different environments lead to different kinds of achievement rather than different levels of achievement? What if the intellect of a low-testing Black child in a poor Black school is different from – and not inferior to – the intellect of a high-testing White child in a rich White school?” Is this really Kendi’s response to the reality of high-school seniors who can’t write a simple sentence or add a column of figures, but who’ve already fathered children out of wedlock and committed armed robberies?

Not that Kendi exempts himself from criticism. “Those of us Black writers who grew up in ‘inner city’ Black neighborhoods too often recall the violence we experienced more than the nonviolence. We don’t write about all those days we were not faced with guns in our ribs. We don’t retell all those days we did not fight, the days we didn’t watch someone get beaten in front of us.” This is like Jeffrey Daumer saying: “But what about all the guys I didn’t rape, kill, and eat?” Society today, Kendi asserts, is awash in racism, but racists deny it because “racism is steeped in denial.” I would submit that his own refusal to face up to the chronic problems of the black American subculture is a textbook case of denial.

In a long passage about America before, during, and after the Civil War, Kendi refers to white Southern slaveowners as “enslavers.” Yes, he admits, the slaves they owned were actually turned into chattel by fellow blacks back in Africa, but somehow that’s not so terrible because these Africans didn’t have a twenty-first-century concept of race. Even as he plays down the transgressions of those black enslavers, Kendi smears abolitionists for being insufficiently woke and deep-sixes the more than 350,000 white Union soldiers who died to free black slaves.

For Kendi, the paramount task of humankind is to join in one great movement of antiracist instruction and persuasion, in which antiracists continuously refine their methods until they finally succeed in ushering in a “world of equity” – that is, not equality of opportunity but equality of outcome. Kendi’s call for mass indoctrination brings to mind the Chinese Cultural Revolution, during which doctors, lawyers, and other professionals were shipped to the countryside to be “re-educated” by peasants. It’s rigid, humorless, and deeply disturbing. At the very end of the book he says that his goal is a world in which we can be “forever free,” but his notion of freedom is not yours or mine or that of the Founding Fathers.  

And he hates capitalism. “To love capitalism,” he declares, “is to end up loving racism. To love racism is to end up loving capitalism. The conjoined twins are two sides of the same destructive body.” He looks up to W.E.B. Du Bois and to Martin Luther King, Jr., but the Du Bois whom he admires is the late-period Du Bois, who’d become a Communist, and the King he admires is the late-period King, who was starting to sound like one. (Oh, and there’s also a lot of the usual stuff here about intersectionality: “We cannot be antiracist if we are homophobic or transphobic.”)

Bottom line: this book is thin gruel. Kendi’s “ideas” about changing the world wouldn’t pass muster with a middle-school kid with a basic knowledge of history. There’s more insight into race on a page of Shelby Steele or Thomas Sowell than in this whole book. But of course Kendi’s book is not meant to bring insight. It’s a hustle – period. And it’s gotten Kendi to the top of the heap. In return for his book-long whine about wealth, power, and authority, Kendi’s been amply rewarded with wealth, power, and authority. It’s depressing to see. Even more depressing is the thought of all those students in Kendi’s classrooms – and all the purchasers of his book – who think they’re acquiring wisdom from him when in fact they’re being brainwashed by a would-be commissar into a facile and dangerous ideology.

* * *
Photo credit: Montclair Film

Bruce Bawer


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

ISIS Terrorists Cannot Be Allowed to Reclaim Iraq - Con Coughlin

by Con Coughlin

Iraqi security officials say the number of ISIS fighters in Iraq is now between 2,000-3,000, which includes around 500 militants who have made their way to Iraq after escaping from prisons in Syria.

  • Iraqi security officials say the number of ISIS fighters in Iraq is now between 2,000-3,000, which includes around 500 militants who have made their way to Iraq after escaping from prisons in Syria.
  • The upsurge in ISIS in activity in Iraq should certainly act as a wake-up call for the Trump administration as it reviews America's military commitment to Iraq following the recent appointment of former Iraqi intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi as the country's new pro-Western prime minister.
  • The reason Iraq is able to have elections in the first place is because of the enormous sacrifices made by American and other coalition forces to rebuild the country after the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, an achievement that the Trump administration cannot allow to be damaged by a resurgent ISIS.

The upsurge in ISIS in activity in Iraq should certainly act as a wake-up call for the Trump administration as it reviews America's military commitment to Iraq following the recent appointment of former Iraqi intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi (pictured) as the country's new pro-Western prime minister. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Iraq Prime Minister's Office)

With the primary focus of the Trump administration understandably concentrated on a variety of pressing domestic issues, from the forthcoming presidential election campaign to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, there is growing concern that ISIS fanatics are seeking to exploit the situation to rebuild their terrorist infrastructure throughout the Middle East.

In countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, there is mounting evidence that the ISIS leadership is seeking to move on from the catastrophic defeats it has suffered in recent years and rebuild its fighting strength.

In Afghanistan, the most deadly manifestation of the group's new-found strength was demonstrated when U.S. officials blamed ISIS for last month's brutal attack on a maternity ward in the country's capital Kabul in which 24 people died, including a number of mothers, children and new-born babies.

The deepening chaos in Libya caused by the country's bitter civil war has also raised fears that ISIS is seeking to exploit the situation to rebuild its operational strength in the pivotal North African country. Last year U.S. drones carried out a series of attacks against ISIS positions in the Libyan desert, and Western intelligence officials remain concerned that the group is placing sleeper cells in some of the country's major cities.

By far the greatest concern among Western security officials, though, is the prospect of ISIS rebuilding its infrastructure in Iraq, the country where the country's former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi famously proclaimed the establishment of his so-called caliphate in June 2014.

By the time Baghdadi met his death during a U.S. Special Forces operation in Syria's northwestern Idlib province last October, his organisation had been decimated as a result of the U.S.-led coalition's highly effective military campaign against ISIS, which resulted in the destruction of the caliphate.

Since that low point, Iraq security officials have identified a resurgence of ISIS-sponsored activity in Iraq in recent months, with most of the activity concentrated on provinces to the east and north of Baghdad. In April alone the organisation managed to carry out 108 attacks in Iraq, including an assault on an intelligence headquarters in Kirkuk. In early May ISIS militants killed at least 10 Iraqi militiamen in a coordinated assault on their base in the central city of Samarra.

Coalition officials believe there are similarities between the tactics ISIS is employing during its current activity in Iraq and those it used during the start of its campaign in northern Iraq in 2013, which ultimately resulted in the organisation controlling large swathes of the country.

The growing confidence of the ISIS leadership in Iraq is reflected in an online message posted by the organisation's new leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi at the end of last month, which ominously read: "What you are witnessing these days are only signs of the big changes in the region that will offer greater opportunities than we had previously in the past decade."

Iraqi security officials say the number of ISIS fighters in Iraq is now between 2,000-3,000, which includes around 500 militants who have made their way to Iraq after escaping from prisons in Syria. Moreover the ability of the Iraqi security forces to deal with the ISIS threat has been hampered by the fact the Iraqi military has seen a 50 percent drop in the number of available military personnel as a result of the pandemic. This has enabled ISIS to shift the emphasis of its attacks from carrying out local acts of intimidation against government officials to carrying out more complex missions, including IED attacks, shootings and carrying out ambushes against the police and military.

The growing strength of ISIS in Iraq has prompted coalition forces to renew air strikes against ISIS targets in the country. Last month American and British warplanes carried out a series of strikes against a network of caves in northern Iraq that were being used as a base by Isis fighters, killing between 5-10 terrorists.

Western security sources believe a number of factors explain the resurgence of ISIS in Iraq. Apart from exploiting the recent loss of manpower in the Iraqi security forces because of the coronavirus pandemic, ISIS leaders have also taken advantage of the political paralysis the country has experienced following the recent waves of anti-government protests.

The upsurge in ISIS in activity in Iraq should certainly act as a wake-up call for the Trump administration as it reviews America's military commitment to Iraq following the recent appointment of former Iraqi intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi as the country's new pro-Western prime minister.

The reason Iraq is able to have elections in the first place is because of the enormous sacrifices made by American and other coalition forces to rebuild the country after the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, an achievement that the Trump administration cannot allow to be damaged by a resurgent ISIS.

Con Coughlin is the Telegraph's Defence and Foreign Affairs Editor and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter