by Anton Lupan
“Silence is Violence” is one of the most preposterous slogans of the Left’s latest cultural offensive. The basic idea is that it’s not enough simply not to be a racist; no, in order to truly combat racism, everyone must “speak out” by parroting the leftist propaganda that America is irredeemably racist, that systemic racism is an ongoing problem, and that all white people must repent of the original sin of whiteness. Failure to do so makes you “violent.”
But it’s interesting that this argument is applied only when it’s politically convenient.
Just last year, photos surfaced of Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam dressed in a horrendously racist Halloween costume (whether he was wearing blackface or dressed as a KKK member was never clarified). And what happened to the good governor? Yes, there were some half-hearted calls for his resignation, and some Virginia House Democrats were “deeply saddened” by Northam’s past misstep. But apparently they were not “deeply saddened” enough, as Northam remained in power after the furor died down and the scandal is now all but forgotten. What happened to “silence is violence”?
Or consider Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who, like Northam, was embarrassed by photos that surfaced in 2019 showing him at a past party dressed in blackface. Again, similar to Northam’s situation, there was a fit of short-lived public anger, which in any case was not enough to oust Trudeau, who won reelection handily late last year. As with Northam, Trudeau’s offense is all but forgotten. What happened to “silence is violence”? Does anyone have any doubt what would have happened had either of these men been conservative candidates?
The Left’s double standard doesn’t stop there. Our leaders in academia, the media, entertainment, woke corporations, etc. inform us that all whites must repent of their inherent racism, ascribing to an entire racial group certain immutable characteristics that cannot be changed, or only changed with great difficulty (I believe there’s a word for that somewhere).
Yet they would never apply this same unfair double standard to any other group.
Consider how many figures who are considered “leaders in the black community” are guilty of horrible comments. Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam, repeatedly makes awful anti-Semitic comments—like calling Adolf Hitler a “very great man” and referring to Jews as “Satanic” and “termites.” If he were a basement dweller with zero political and social influence, you might say that none of this matters. So what if some random extremist loser is a bigoted fool posting crazed racist commentary on the internet? He has no power!
But of course, this is not the case. Random extremist losers in their mothers’ basements are routinely targeted by a hyperventilating Left and propped up as examples of the dangers of right-wing thinking, but Farrakhan’s commentary is brushed aside. Farrakhan was even photographed alongside then-Senator Barack Obama, and those photographs were conveniently suppressed in case they hurt Obama’s 2008 presidential bid (in another show of the media’s stunning honesty and journalistic integrity).
Other African American cultural leaders have been known to utter similarly outrageous and anti-Semitic remarks. Reverend Al Sharpton has previously referred to Jews as “white interlopers” and “diamond merchants,” and he’s not much kinder to African Americans who disagree with him, having called them “cocktail-sip negroes.” Reverend Jesse Jackson has also referred to Jews as “Hymies” and to New York City as “Hymietown,” supposedly because of the International Zionist Cabal’s control over the Big Apple.
Neither are such comments limited to cultural leaders. Many political leaders, including several members of Congress, have made similar remarks. U.S. Representative Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) in 2016 came under fire for calling Jews “termites” and, more recently, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who spreads harmful stereotypes of Jews as rich magnates who control America’s foreign policy, said that Jews have “hypnotized the world,” and accused American Jews of “dual loyalty” to Israel.
Yes, some Democrats condemned Omar’s blatant anti-Semitism. But so what? She remains in Congress and continues to sit on the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. The only resolution the House passed against her comments was quickly diluted into a generic statement opposing “hate.” What happened to “silence is violence”?
Peddling Trite Generalizations
Of course, no one should imagine that the actions of these few black American politicians and cultural leaders implicate African Americans as a whole. It would be ridiculous to accuse all black Americans of harboring sentiments like those of Farrkhan, Jackson, Sharpton, Johnson, Omar and others. But it is just as ridiculous to smear white Americans because of the horrid actions of the white officer who murdered George Floyd in cold blood.
Look at the double standard here. Whenever a white cop commits a crime, the media attacks us with propaganda promoting the lie that all whites are racist, that they cannot help but be racist, and our social media feeds are flooded with trite posts about how “whites should do better,” about how “it’s not enough to stay silent.” It’s the same old slogans repeated ad nauseam.
Imagine the justified outrage if, after every one of Omar’s comments, people would accuse all black Americans of anti-Semitism, publishing posts about “how our black friends just need to do better at fighting their inherent anti-Semitism,” and how “silence is violence”?
Racism ascribes immutable characteristics to a particular race, usually terrible characteristics. That’s why white plantation owners, for centuries, had to portray black Americans as “uncivilized savages” who somehow benefitted from slavery. How else can you justify an awful system of chattel slavery if you don’t use disgusting mental acrobatics?
Antislavery politicians in the United States like Abraham Lincoln (who apparently is now not “woke” enough for the Left), and the civil rights leaders after him who fought the terrible injustice of segregation, all fought racism because they understood our common humanity, and our common nationality. They realized it’s wrong to ascribe immutable characteristics to an entire race, that this dehumanizes people, and it opens the door for justifying crimes against our fellow man. They realized that the only way to combat this kind of backward thinking was to promote color blindness: celebrating other cultures, yes, but uniting in our common humanity instead of dividing ourselves according to something as superficial as the quantity of melanin in our skin.
The Left no longer cares about racial fairness and colorblindness, to the point that the idea of colorblindness today is denigrated. Saying “I don’t see color” is enough to get you labeled a racist.
Today the Left is interested only in stoking divisions, pitting American against American, and causing more and more chaos. This is because our budding grievance culture is the perfect tool to keep them in power. That’s why they’re fine with accusing all whites of being guilty for George Floyd’s murder, and for perpetuating a culture in America of systemic racism.
Martin Luther King, Jr., who has done more for African Americans than all of our socialist politicians, diversity officers, and leftist writers, once said that he looked forward to a future where “my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
If he said that today, he’d probably be called a racist, too.
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Photo “George Floyd Riots” by Lorie Shaull. CC BY-SA 2.0.