Perhaps I’m going crazy, but I thought I just heard NBC News and other respected information sources report that the recent burning of two Black Lives Matter (BLM) signs is being investigated as “potential hate crimes” by the Washington, D.C. police.
Apparently these alleged hate crimes occurred as BLM and its sister organization (or rather, non-organization) Antifa had begun to beat up people at a pro-Trump rally in the nation’s capital. The media downplayed the facts about the leftists who started this violence, focusing instead on how silly the Trump-supporters were to question the election results, or note the presence of Proud Boy ruffians.
We’ll put those minor points aside, however. What I can’t quite get my head around is the elevation of BLM to a sacred band of brothers struggling for civil rights for all of us. Last I checked, BLM appeared to be the PC-authorized equivalent of the Nazi Brown Shirts, brutal thugs who prey on the weak and push racist mumbo-jumbo. Why is removing their signs the equivalent of pulling down religious statues—but perhaps not quite the equivalent, since our elites value BLM much more than they do traditional religious objects?
Apparently, racism is fine and even admirable, provided black radicals are advancing it with woke capitalist money. No one is supposed to feel anything but admiration for Raphael Warnock, who is running for a Georgia U.S. Senate seat against Kelly Loeffler. Warnock is closely identified with BLM and, like former President Barack Obama, is a pal of Louis Farrakhan, who thinks Hitler was a swell guy who gave European Jews what they deserved. But hey, who am I to criticize the friends of Louis Farrakhan or another civil rights icon, the Reverend Al Sharpton, who incited mobs against Jewish shopkeepers in New York? Anyhow Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), under the leadership of former George Soros employee, Jonathan Greenblatt, really don’t care what Farrakhan or Warnock say against white people. They’re too busy fighting Trump and other fascists from the Right.
This indulgent behavior toward black racists is not only sickening, it also encourages the slavish acceptance of a double standard by white Republicans, particularly those in the South who always feel they are under special obligation to show they are not white racists. Just about every Southern Republican Senator voted for the National Defense Authorization Act last week, which requires the renaming of all military bases bearing the names of Confederate commanders. Since white Southern descendants of Confederate soldiers seem to enjoy being kicked in the face, Senators David Perdue and Loeffler in Georgia, who couldn’t wait to vote for this bill, probably won’t suffer any consequences for their abject action.
Yet Loeffler is still frantically denying any white racist associations, based most recently on the fact that a photograph of her with someone who had white nationalist connections recently surfaced. Southern Republicans may be too gutless to say so, but it is their Democratic counterparts who reek big-time of racism, as the entire Democratic Party seems to have formed an alliance with black Nazis and their underlings. Moreover, I have no idea why Republicans in the South or anywhere else should feel guilty about white racism. Cowardice, rather, seems to be the GOP’s major sin.
This leads to some serious questions for any thinking person on either the Right or the Left. Why are only Democrats and BLM allowed to play the race card, while treating their obnoxious signs as sacred symbols? Why is there no pushback from the other side? And if Republicans are serious when they say they’re against racism, then why are they not up in arms against the most powerful and obnoxious racists in our society?
Of course, we know the answer. Republicans are mostly the party of wusses, not simply the stupid party that manages to be evil at times, as Sam Francis described Republicans in a moment of excessive generosity.
Right now the still immensely popular governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, plans to breech the First Amendment with his law against hate symbols.
“[L]imiting the display and sale of the confederate flag, Nazi swastika and other symbols of hatred from being displayed or sold on state property, including the state fairgrounds, this will help safeguard New Yorkers from the fear-installing effects of these abhorrent symbols,” Cuomo declared.
Why is the Confederate Battle Flag more of a “hate symbol” than a BLM sign? The last time I checked, it was the people carrying the latter who were devastating our cities and shooting policemen. I don’t expect many Republicans in New York or elsewhere will rise to the occasion by asking that obvious question.
Paul Gottfried is editor in chief of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is also the Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years, a Guggenheim recipient, and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents.