by Scott McKay
There are a whole lot of things wrong in America, so many that it can often feel like fixing them is akin, as the old saying goes, to eating an elephant.
And, as the old saying goes, the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
So what’s the most important bite? Well, it’s clear after the 2020 presidential election, which despite months of a media offensive to the contrary is still held to be a failure, that election reform is certainly one of them.
And we saw in Georgia with the nationwide squealing of the Left over efforts to check their abuses of American democracy how crucial that issue is.
But perhaps equally as important, if not perhaps more so, is the necessity of doing something to stop critical race theory. Without an effective block on the Left’s indoctrination of that highly destructive ideology, we’re going to lose our country.
Anybody who didn’t understand how serious a problem this is has surely gained some wisdom on it by watching corporate America take on some of the most idiotic positions possible in recent months and years. Nike backs disrespect of the American flag. The NBA turns itself into a cavalcade of racial scolding. United Airlines announces they’re hiring and training pilots on the basis of race and sex rather than ability, which would make any reasonable human resolve never to fly the friendly skies again.
But if you have a child in a government school, you might already know all about critical race theory and where it came from, because the far-left loons who run public education in America (remember, the teachers unions were far and away the biggest benefactors to Bernie Sanders’ campaign) are hell-bent on replacing traditional American education with cultural Marxist indoctrination.
So far, they’re winning. That has to stop.
Remember the stupidity of good students in predominantly black schools being bullied for “acting white”? This institutionalizes that ignorance.
The funny thing about CRT, despite the filthy lucre it has generated for some of its more prominent proponents like Ibram X. Kendi and Ta-Nehisi Coates (there was an interesting Manhattan Institute study done not that long ago that showed a 15 percent drop in personal confidence among black respondents after listening to a passage of “woke” rhetoric from one of Coates’s writings), is that it was dreamed up by a bunch of white guys.
You’ve heard about the Frankfurt School, in all likelihood, and people like Herbert Marcuse and Theodor Adorno. Those are the guys who invented all of this, with help from lousy French philosophers like Jacques Derrida and the child molester Michel Foucault. It wasn’t until the 1990s when a black Harvard law professor named Derrick Bell, who was a mentor of Barack Obama’s, synthesized a bunch of Frankfurt School argle-bargle into what’s now critical race theory that People of Color were even part of this discussion.
And that’s because CRT isn’t about race and never has been. It’s about power and destruction.
It’s a Marxist doctrine. It flows from cultural Marxism, which is what’s left now that everybody who hasn’t been abused in a government school in the past 20 years knows economic Marxism is an unworkable disaster.
The basic Marxist construct is that the world is divided into classes of people, specifically the oppressor and the oppressed. Marx, who desperately needs to have a hostile biopic made about him seeing what a loathsome character he was, held that the oppressors were the capitalists and the bourgeoisie and the oppressed were the proletariat. But that didn’t really sell, and Marx’s followers were aghast when World War I broke out and poor folks all over Europe signed up to fight for their countries rather than the great revolution of the proletariat their cult leader had foreseen.
It was back to the drawing board, and the Frankfurt School, drawing from the writings of an Italian communist named Antonio Gramsci, whom you may know about, opted for the cultural side of Marxism. Gramsci is the one who coined the phrase “the long march through the institutions,” meaning that the way to achieve Marx’s revolution was to have fellow travelers occupy and control all of the key points within a nation’s culture — newspapers, film, literature, the arts, academia, and so on. The Frankfurt School was bent on making that happen.
But the Nazis who took power in Germany didn’t particularly like the Frankfurt School guys, mostly because Hitler and his boys were using German nationalism as their brand, and some elements of national culture had to be kept around in order to sell the rest of their socialist scam. It didn’t help that most of the members of the Frankfurt School were Jewish.
So the whole lot of them skedaddled, and the bulk of them ended up in two places: Columbia University and Hollywood.
Marcuse was arguably the most obnoxious of the bunch, and he rose from obscurity in the 1960s writing what at the time were considered insane treatises; in one, he talked about “repressive tolerance,” essentially meaning that the Left needed to use the concept of “tolerance” to promote acceptance of its destructive theories and then turn that tolerance on its head to demand intolerance toward competing avenues of thought. Thus was born cancel culture. Intersectionalism was another fruit of Marcuse’s poisonous tree.
Ibram X. Kendi writes, for example, that “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.” When you see that, just recognize that all he’s doing is cribbing Marcuse with repressive tolerance. Kendi isn’t brilliant; he’s derivative. He’s just entitled and outrageous enough to come off as something new.
All along, though, it’s been a project of the cultural Marxist movement in America, with its “critical theory” analysis, to convince people that America is a fundamentally flawed, structurally evil nation.
Nothing else really sold for these guys until they applied the oppressor–oppressed model to race. In a country like this one, founded on the ideals of freedom and equality, the history of slavery and racial discrimination is a sore spot for any well-meaning American.
Which means picking at that scab in order to guilt us into throwing away everything that makes us exceptional is the cultural Marxist endgame.
It ought to be understood that Americans weren’t responsible for slavery, and neither were the Europeans who proceeded us in developing Western culture. In fact, slavery in one form or another has existed in just about every human civilization dating to the beginning of time. And until 250 years or so ago, there wasn’t much of a moral debate about it.
Why? Because our ancestors had no choice. They didn’t have electricity. They didn’t have tractors, washing machines, or steam shovels. All they had was human and animal labor to do work there wasn’t enough capital in the world to pay market rate for. In lots of cases if you didn’t have slaves to dig a ditch or harvest a field the work simply wouldn’t get done. So the Barbary corsairs and the Ottomans would come to Europe to capture white people as slaves, the European lords would tie people to the land as serfs, the Chinese and Arabs practiced the peculiar institution copiously — it was everywhere.
It was only when Enlightenment thought began examining the moral question of human liberty and its meaning, and market capitalism began emerging as a function of that flowering, and then the Industrial Revolution made possible the series of massive leaps in science and technology, that a moral examination of slavery became a practical possibility.
That isn’t a defense of slavery. It’s an exultation of market capitalism and Western, and principally American, industry.
After all, what won the Civil War in this country? Industrialism. The North could produce more weapons and supplies than the South, and they ended up wearing the South out. The Civil War proved that an industrialized society was morally and economically better than an agrarian, slave-owning one. It took more than half a million American deaths to embed that lesson in the world’s conscience.
What that means is the fundamental premise of critical race theory is fundamentally a lie. Far from being a systemically evil nation, we are the beacon for the world. We’ve spent more in lives and treasure, we’ve suffered more for the prospect that all men are created equal and endowed with God-given rights, than any nation on earth.
Can you find systemic racism or bigotry in American history? Sure. Now do China. And India. And Turkey. And Russia. And Japan. And Rwanda. See how this works? One day maybe we can talk about how those slaves got to America in the first place, because somebody sold them, didn’t they?
We can’t allow these cretins to teach our kids that our country is illegitimate. This kind of indoctrination is seditious and self-destructive. We will not hold our society together if we can’t at least sell its values to ourselves, and it’s the hard Left’s project to wipe out our culture.
You probably shouldn’t take it as a coincidence that the rise of CRT in our schools and cultural institutions coincides with the rise of Chinese communist influence in them. Maoism carries with it a huge cultural component, as it proved with the brutal Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s, and the Chicoms gave us a dead giveaway back in Anchorage in February that they’re very much on the CRT train. We know they’ve hooked themselves up to Black Lives Matter as well.
President Trump saw all of this, and last year he issued a presidential directive that CRT was to be scrubbed out of the federal government’s training materials and other activities. Trump touted patriotic education as an agenda item. But the Biden administration has dumped all of it. Your federal tax dollars are pumping into CRT everywhere the current regime can impose it.
So it’s up to the states to fight this battle for now. We’re seeing a lot of movement on fighting CRT. In Florida, for example, HB 5 passed both houses without even a single Democrat vote in opposition. The bill, which mandates that schools implement civics education based on patriotic principles, passed 115-0 in the Florida House and 40-0 in the Senate. Gov. Ron DeSantis followed that up with his own executive action fighting CRT, and called it out as such. “Let me be clear, there is no room in our classrooms for things like Critical Race Theory,” he said. “Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”
There has been movement in other states. Texas, following a scandalous breakout of CRT in the Carroll Independent School District in suburban Dallas, the top-performing district in the state, is now working on fighting it. In Iowa, Mississippi, and Arkansas, there are bills banning the teaching of the New York Times‘ fraudulent and nauseatingly woke 1619 Project.
They’re doing good work, and they’re not alone. But it’s going to take a lot of courage to stand up to the Left on this issue.
Sadly, in my home state of Louisiana, it doesn’t look like that courage is on offer.
HB 564, brought by Rep. Ray Garofalo, a Republican from the New Orleans suburb of Chalmette who chairs the Louisiana House Education Committee, had its hearing Tuesday. Garofalo’s bill doesn’t say CRT can’t be taught in the schools. All it says is it can’t be taught as doctrine and that competing theories have to get essentially equal time. But when Garofalo brought the bill, the Legislative Black Caucus threw a fit — so much so that they demanded House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, who is a Republican, kill the bill before it goes to the House floor.
And Schexnayder is working to do just that.
The bill had a nearly five-hour hearing Tuesday, and Garofalo returned it to the committee’s calendar without a vote. He says he’ll bring it back, but the Speaker is pressuring him not to. And at least one of the Speaker’s GOP allies on the committee, Rep. Stephanie Hilferty of New Orleans, was openly hostile to the bill in the committee hearing. The committee has an 8-5 Republican majority, but it’s not a sure thing the bill can get out.
To which the obvious question arises: what’s the point of having a Republican legislature if it won’t even defend the founding of America against “woke” Marxists?
That’s a question Clay Schexnayder, and lots of other Republicans yet to engage in this existential fight, need to be made to answer. This is serious business, and it’s probably the single most critical litmus test available in America today for who is with us as traditional Americans and who is not.
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics.