The University of California’s “Students of Color Conference” ended in disarray earlier this month with various racial, ethnic, and religious groups vying for the “Biggest Victim” prize. Though it was intended to foster thoughtful discussion about issues that affect minorities, the conference devolved into a “safe space gone wrong” according to The Daily Bruin’s Jacqueline Alvarez.
Rather than hating white people, the various groups turned on each other. “[T]he conference eventually turned into a kind of ‘oppression Olympics,’ where students argued over which minority group was oppressed the most rather than finding solidarity and understanding amongst each other,” wrote Alvarez. One point of contention was the conference’s theme: “Fighting anti-Blackness.” The whole conference was geared toward America’s premiere victim group, blacks, which displeased some members of other groups. When one student asked why other groups’ issues weren’t being discussed a black student replied that blacks were the most oppressed which elicited a negative response from a Muslim student who said that her people were being bombed in the Middle East.
I don’t know about you but I find this whole story very entertaining. It’s a nice change to see the victimhood pathology eating away at the grand coalition of the oppressed rather than at our nation as a whole.
Modern progressivism is an identity politics stew consisting of divergent groups that don’t always agree. What binds them together is a visceral hatred of Western civilization which they associate with white people, Christianity, capitalism, individual rights, and “the patriarchy” (men). They’ve shown great progress in vanquishing all of these things.
The Left has an obsession with tearing down the status quo, a task it has been engaged in for more than two hundred years. Armed with rhetorical sledge hammers they go about smashing everything they see. Smash monogamy! Smash the patriarchy! Smash capitalism! Smash this! Smash that! Smashing is what they do best and for that the Left deserves to be called a demolition crew.
Leftists won’t admit this of course. In their own minds they are building a better, more egalitarian future. But in order to usher in that future they must first demolish Western civilization and sweep away the wretched rubble. This task has become their fixation. So focused are they on undermining the current order that they’ve almost lost sight of their supposed long term goal of building an earthly paradise in its place.
In all likelihood, they never will get around to the construction phase of their strategy because the demolition phase will never be complete. Consider for a moment their obsession with racism. Leftists perceive it everywhere and concoct phony examples of it where it doesn’t exist. Here’s a good example: Just before the election, a black church in Mississippi was torched and spray-painted with the words “Vote Trump.” Police have since arrested a man named Andrew McClinton for the heinous act. Who is this scoundrel? A klansman, perhaps? Nope. McClinton is a black member of the church. This man actually burnt down his own spiritual home just to make a point about the imaginary racists who live in his head.
In order to sustain our hysteria about racism the Left needs to provide teachable moments from time to time. The Mississippi church burning was one such moment. The lessons they wanted us to learn from it were that white supremacism still reigns supreme and that we must continue smashing it with all due ferocity. Therefore, demolition is still called for—and always will be. There’s never a good time to declare victory in the war on racism.
Unfortunately for them, a movement so tightly bound up with destruction runs the risk of devouring itself from within. Until recently I was of the opinion that this Left-on-Left cannibalization would likely happen after they had destroyed Western civilization as we know it. I imagined it going down something like the French Revolution when Jacobins sent each other to the guillotine once they had murdered the monarchy, raped the nuns, and desecrated the churches. But could I be wrong? I have no doubt that this coalition of victims is going to self-destruct; it’s only a question of whether it will occur before or after their scorched earth campaign against the rest of us has concluded.
We conservatives should take every opportunity to point out that the Left’s many strange bedfellows don’t have much in common. Sometimes we do illuminate the absurdity of a movement that counts both Muslims and homosexuals as members. Don’t “gays” know that most Muslims hate them? Many don’t. But we haven’t done a good enough job explaining to Muslims that homosexuals hate them too. We might want to mention that after the social justice warriors complete their incremental criminalization of Christianity they’ll have all the right precedents in place to do the same to Islam.
“No fair!” shout the Leftists. “That’s the politics of divisiveness!” Yes, I suppose it is. But they started it.
Conservatives want people in this country to unite behind a common national identity—as Americans—whereas liberals want to split the population into many different groups based on sex, sexuality, class, race, and religion before bundling the majority of those splinter groups into a coalition that will act as a battering ram against the dreaded System. They really don’t like it when we try to dilute the glue that binds their various constituency groups together.
Self-professed communist Van Jones complained of this tactic this past February, criticizing the Trump campaign for daring to say that the current administration puts illegal aliens above blacks—which they do, of course. Said Jones: “Somebody raised the DREAMers, the young Latinos who everyone loves, [Trump] puts them down. He says they’re not American…He pivots directly to blacks. This guy is going to try to sow dissension not just in the Republican ranks within America itself, he’s going to try to split the Obama coalition.”
Yes, I do believe that Trump was trying to split the Obama coalition but that’s okay because it richly deserves to be split. Black people’s interests are not the same as Hispanics’ interests and on the issue of illegal immigration blacks’ interests are in fact diametrically opposed to what Hispanic advocacy groups demand. Our unsecured borders have worked out great for dishonest employers but not for blacks who have found themselves competing for entry-level jobs with people who will work for less.
Trump was not, however, trying to drive a wedge between blacks and Latinos but rather between blacks and illegal aliens. There’s a difference. Perhaps it’s time for blacks to ask themselves where their true interests lie. What exactly do they gain from illegal immigration? Nothing, as far as I can see.
There are other reason why blacks should not rejoice in the booming Hispanic population, many of whom came here illegally. Look to Los Angeles for a good example, the city that hosted the aforementioned Students of Color Conference. Certain neighborhoods in LA which were once black enclaves have become predominantly Hispanic with serious consequences for the black residents who remain there. The neighborhood of Watts, which was the city’s black enclave for much of the 20th Century, was only one third black in the 2010 census—and 65% Latino. In an attempt to drive out blacks, gangs of brown supremacists have targeted them with racist attacks. In 2013 a black man was stopped by a gang of Hispanics who, according to the LA Times, “pulled up and called him a ‘n***er,’ saying black people were barred from the neighborhood.” They then proceeded to pull a gun on him and beat him with pipes. But if you ask blacks to get as upset about this as they do about police shootings that’s “sowing dissension.” So be it.
Van Jones doesn’t like people messing with the “Obama coalition” because his goal is to unite black and brown against white. Am I guilty of wanting black and white to unite to against brown? No. I want Americans of all colors to come together against illegal alien invaders—not all of whom are Hispanic. This is our country. It belongs to a multiracial group of people called Americans and we decide who may enter our house.
The coalition of the oppressed is in fact very fragile. Don’t hesitate to do everything in your power to aggravate its inherent schisms. Their goal is to destroy Western civilization so don’t feel bad about wanting to destroy their contrived sense of solidarity.