America Is In A Cultural Civil War

America Is In A Cultural Civil War

This is the week America woke up to a moment of clarity: we are in the midst of a great cultural civil war.

The country was largely unified when we all saw the terrible video of George Floyd’s tragic death – unified in anger and frustration, in wanting justice and punishment for a cop who, whatever his motivation, went too far and murdered a citizen for the crime of passing a counterfeit bill. Ever since then, we’ve been coming apart.

The cultural civil war that has been simmering underneath the surface is now boiling. Consider that as much as the protests can largely be described as peaceful, they have now led to more than a dozen deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage and theft. Consider the image of Senator Tim Kaine, the former Vice Presidential nominee of his party, kneeling on the ground like he’s a hostage, as if only the penitent white man will pass. Consider the footage from the Minneapolis mayor being shouted down for refusing to defund the police.

It sets up a clash for the fall between the politics of revolutionary racial radicalism and defunding the police on the one hand, and law and order on the other. As Charles Murray noted yesterday, “The ‘abolish the police’ movement is the final piece needed to replicate the mentality of the New Left in the late 1960s–positions so crazy that only people completely out of touch with reality can advocate them with a straight face.” But farcical Maoism is still Maoist, and the struggle session doesn’t become less so just because it’s conducted by lunatics.

The images of woke white protesters brought to their knees across the country, apologizing to the mob for sins they did not commit, is jarring and disturbing. At the heights of elite power – in the corporate board rooms that have decided to blast us with emails touting their payment of indulgences to cement their status as “allies”, and at institutions like The New York Times – leftist campus antagonism has now been made powerful and tangible as it entered the real world.

Many of us warned this would happen after a decade of the Ivy Leagues churning out these aggressively woke children. They insist that they are only exposed to thoughts that are safe, and never wrong. And if you do it, you will kneel, or you will pay. Better get to decolonizing that bookshelf, right quick. Don’t wait for them to find your wrongthink.

As David Harsanyi wrote this weekend: “My parents came to the US to make sure their kids wouldn’t have to kneel.” Joshua Lawson has more.

The kneeling phenomenon demanded by the radical left in the wake of George Floyd’s death—and embraced by those guilted into submission—creates a two-tiered social stratification of “kneelers” and “those who refuse to bend the knee” that’s wholly un-American.

Mobs resulting from years of citizens saturated in “critical race theory” and grievance studies have pressured far too many into believing they bear guilt for the past sins of others. Now they kneel in fealty to that false reality or be exiled from society.

Unfortunately, it’s also moved beyond just kneeling. A crowd in Webster, Massachusetts, recently forced Police Chief Michael Shaw to lie face-down on the ground for eight minutes. In Cary, North Carolina, a group of Caucasians washed the feet of black organizers to “ask for forgiveness.” Not to be outdone by the latest woke trends, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a knee at a massive anti-racism protest at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Worse, kneeling—either figuratively or literally—doesn’t even satisfy the mob. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said all the “right” things to the radical leftists holding Guilt Court but was still heckled out of a public square for refusing to defund the police department. The truth is, even mobs tire of the readily subservient and easily obedient.

That’s the dirty little secret of this moment the smarter woke practitioners understand. Kneeling won’t be enough to cause the real fear. That comes later.

Ben Domenech is the publisher of The Federalist. Sign up for a free trial of his daily newsletter, The Transom.
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