The Price Of Virtue Signaling Is Getting Higher And Higher, But We Can Fight

The Price Of Virtue Signaling Is Getting Higher And Higher, But We Can Fight

In 2004, not liking gay marriage made you uncool. In 2021, it might make you a hate criminal -- and no amount of past Democratic donations, good liberal activism, or yard signs will save you.

Watch “The Culture War” with The Federalist’s Christopher Bedford for the full interview with anti-Big-Tech warrior Rachel Bovard.

How about a tale of two Americas?

Just last month, Rochester, New York’s public schools had a problem. Teachers were wearing T-shirts and plastering classrooms with propaganda for Black Lives Matter, gay pride flags, and other emblems of the modern progressive moment. Teachers are of course allowed to believe what they like and a lot of them are left-wing, so what was the problem?

Well, a few old-fashioned people pointed out that Black Lives Matter and gay pride are political movements, and if you let teachers promote those movements in class, then under the First Amendment you have to let dissident teachers promote other ideas. Teachers, for example, might wear a Blue Lives Matter shirt to class, or even make the wild claim that there are just two sexes. Now, that would be a problem for Rochester Public Schools — and they could not abide it.

So Rochester’s school board found a fix: They made Black Lives Matter their official school ideology. From that day forth, “Black Lives Matter,” “Brown Lives Matter,” the gay pride flag and more were declared “government speech.” Why would that help them? As a local news station explained, “The board is protecting itself from legal action because it is allowing one type of speech, but not any speech in opposition to those phrases.”

At about the same time, in Norfolk, Virginia, police officer William Kelly was fired after two decades on the job for making a $25 donation to Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense fund and sending the teenager a supportive message. Nobody swooped in to save Kelly by declaring that a defense of Rittenhouse’s right to a fair trial ought to be considered “government speech,” and the feeble excuse given for his sacking was that he had made his donation using his work email.

That’s not surprising anymore, is it? Because every day we’ve watched as the price of loyalty to America’s ruling regime grows higher. In 2016, being a good liberal just required putting one of those “In This House We Believe…” signs in your front yard. A COEXIST bumper sticker on your Prius was a nice flair, but hardly a necessity.

Today, the price has become substantially greater. You’re expected to hand over your children to public schools that will propagandize them through their most impressionable years. At this moment, you’re being told to inject them with a novel vaccine thats long-term effects are unknown in order to protect them from a disease none of them are at measurable risk from.

“Wear a mask, get your life back,” reads a sign in the Washington D.C. Metro. But maybe you should be grateful it’s just an injection they’re demanding of you. If you’re unlucky, they’re already trying to inject your children with hormones to “fix” their gender.

As the demands grow harsher, the demonization of those who decline to participate become harsher as well. In 2004, not liking gay marriage made you uncool. In 2021, it might make you a hate criminal — and no amount of past Democratic donations, good liberal activism, or yard signs will save you.

In the elite circles of New York City, liberal businessman Harvey Goldman found out his $43,000 a year elementary school was teaching his nine-year-old daughter about the death of George Floyd, and how she was a part of — and beneficiary of — the racist system that killed him. When he told the school to stop filling his child with their creepy self-loathing, he was told to find another school. He did, and he moved to Florida where he found a public school that didn’t teach critical race theory and enrolled his daughter there.

When the New York Post asked the school about it, they said Goldman had left their classrooms for “financial reasons.” That’s right: They claimed Goldman’s problem was that he was too poor. This is what elite woke schools do.

At the Brearly Prep School, a $54,000-a-year girl’s school for grades K-12, parent Andrew Gutman found out with horror that his little girl was being turned into a soldier of the race war, and emailed other adults to let them know. The headmaster shot back, calling Gutman’s concerns “deeply offensive and harmful,” and claiming Gutman was frightening the children by sending a letter about what they were being taught.

Unfortunately for them, Gutman continued to speak, telling the world his child is taught that, “If you just stay silent, you’re racist. You have to be an activist for that. If you’re not an activist for an antiracism initiative, for black lives matter, for example, you are racist, you are a bad person, you are an oppressor, you are not doing the right thing.”

Paul Rossi taught math at a Manhattan’s Grace High School, where he was called to an all-too-common whites-only meeting of students and teachers. At the seminar, “objectivity,” “individualism,” and “fear of open conflict” were called characteristics of white supremacy. Rossi challenged this insanity.

After the meeting, some of his questions were shared publicly and the head of the school accused Rossi of doing “harm” to students, since these were “life and death matters, about people’s flesh and blood and bone.” Rossi was told he was “acting like an independent agent of a set of principles or ideas or beliefs,” and that he was failing into pursue the “greater good and the higher truth.”

Rossi, the headmaster continued, had created “dissonance for vulnerable and unformed thinkers” and “neurological disturbance in students’ beings and systems.”

“Neurological disturbances in student’s beings” — even Anthony Fauci couldn’t say that with a straight face. But then the school’s head of studies used a word that Americans are a lot more familiar with: By sharing his opinion that we shouldn’t teach kids to hate themselves and to separate by the color of their skin, Rossi was guilty of harassment.

Every school advisor at the $57,000-a-year Grace High School was asked to read a letter to students rebuking Rossi and his awful opinions, and if he would like to have returned to work the coming year year, he was told he would have to submit to re-education seminars. He declined and was dismissed.

Bari Weiss is a Jewish, bisexual, pro-abortion woman who might sound like a perfect fit for The New York Times, where indeed she was an editor and a writer until she was forced out. Why? She questioned the Me Too movement, which claimed it was too noble a cause for courts and such crazy, paternalist ideas as “innocent until proven guilty.” She started a very successful and interesting blog, where she published Rossi’s tell-all from inside the Grace High School insanity.

When Rossi wrote that essay, he admitted: “I know that by attaching my name to this I’m risking not only my current job but my career as an educator, since most schools, both public and private, are now captive to this backward ideology. But witnessing the harmful impact it has on children, I can’t stay silent.”

For every one of these people whose bravery leaves their reputations in tatters, many more in Manhattan, Boston, Columbus, St. Louis, Phoenix, and Loudoun County, Virginia remain silent. It’s dangerous to speak out so long as the public martyrdoms of those who do continue.

Earlier last year during the riots, The Federalist’s Helen Raleigh, a Chinese national who escaped to a life in America, wrote an article about the cultural revolution we were watching unfold — and how familiar it seemed. In China, she recalled, the ancient philosopher Confucius is held in the highest of esteem, and has been for thousands of years. The Red Guard dug up his grave, as well as those of his ancestors, and desecrated and looted them.

Why? Did they hate Confucius? No; the lesson wasn’t about him — it was about the people. If they could do this to him, the Red Guard said, they can do this to anyone. Raleigh watched in the United States as the statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and brave abolitionists were torn down by the mob, and she saw the lesson clearly: “They’re coming for us all, and no one will stop them.”

But China has more to teach us still. For years, conservatives have raised hackles about that country’s unfolding “social credit” system, where citizens who break the Communist Party’s rules lose the ability to buy train tickets or hotel rooms, or lose access to financing for their businesses. It’s always been treated as an ominous warning for America, but social credit is already here. And here, as in China, even obedience is not always enough: If you have the wrong sex or skin color, you risk becoming a second-class citizen regardless.

But we can fight back. The past year has taught us that Woke Capital and Big Tech can easily be a greater threat to our overall liberty than government, but government hasn’t disappeared either — and is ultimately still the greatest enabler of the poisons working their way through our country. And what the government can do, the voters and elected officials who control government can undo.

Some Republican activists will claim they need our votes in the 2022 midterms before anything can be done. These people are scam artists; Democrats never tell their constituents that winning national elections is the only way to get things done. When they want something done, they do it at the local level first and move up. Democrats, for example, invented the sanctuary city before they invented open borders.

Look to Florida, Tennessee and other states where governors have pushed back against the extremists. What governors do now? Former Trump administration official Stephen Miller wrote up a helpful list.

He could have added banning COVID vaccine passports by private businesses, and that would make the list about perfect.

But what do most Republicans do instead? When they want to stop you from protecting your culture, your family, and your children, they say action is “unnecessary” and that this fight isn’t even actually happening.

In 2016, then Gov. Nikki Haley told her South Carolina’s lawmakers they shouldn’t pass a bathroom bill because it wasn’t “necessary.”

“We’re not hearing of anybody’s religious liberties that are being violated,” she claimed.

In early May, Arkansas’s Gov. Asa Hutchinson said that a ban on teaching state employees critical race theory ”does not address any problem that exists.”

Did Haley and Hutchinson really believe that their states are magical, and that they will eternally resist what is already spreading from New York and California to Texas and Georgia? Of course not. They knew exactly what would happen, but they’d rather have jumped on a corporate board and made some money after that political stint. They didn’t want the conflict.

But you don’t need to follow them to the Church of Boeing and Walmart. If you see poison somewhere and you don’t want it in your state or your town, ban it now. If it’s already arrived, defund it. Do you want to protect freedom of speech? If you live in a town or state where lawmakers are on your side, act now. Don’t wait to see a story on Facebook and get angry.

The fight is now. We are in it and we can win — but first, we must fight.

Christopher Bedford is a senior editor at The Federalist, the vice chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, a board member at the National Journalism Center, and the author of The Art of the Donald. Follow him on Twitter.
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