David Horowitz writes that today’s Left is the same as yesterday’s Left: irredeemably destructive and dishonest. Hating America and working toward its demise is the Left’s pole star. This piece is special to Power Line.
My first political demonstration was a May Day parade in 1948. I was nine years old. We chanted in support of President Truman’s “Fair Employment Practices Commission” and his successful effort to integrate the civil service. The May Day parade was organized by the Communist Party USA, a conspiratorial organization working in league with Communist Russia to overthrow the United States government and create a “Soviet America.” Both my parents were members of the Party.
These two causes in a way defined the next seventy-odd years of my life: on the one hand, the fight for individual rights and equality; on the other a lifelong struggle for – and then against – a treasonous movement that set out to change the world for the better but ended up making it worse – much worse.
As a young man, I was present at the creation of the New Left, editing its largest magazine, Ramparts. The New Left was a socialist movement that began as an attempt to rescue the “Old” Communist Left from the “mistakes” it had made in serving masters who murdered more than 100 million people. In peace time. “Mistakes” was our weasel term for the epic crimes our fellow Marxists committed against ordinary human beings who refused to go along with their utopian schemes. Our goal was to revive the quest they had begun and finally create a world of “social justice.”
I soon discovered that there was no new Left fundamentally different from its predecessor. The evil the left did flowed directly from the noble ideal itself. You cannot create a world of perfect equality because people are not equal, and the attempt to make them so requires taking away the freedom of most for the benefit of what turns out to be a few. You cannot create a government that is socially “just” because the people who will run it are the same people whose lies, bigotries, selfishness and greed created the unjust world you are attempting to leave behind. The new rulers, corrupt as ever, will have more power than ever. You can only make things worse. Much worse.
I learned these truths first in my work with the Black Panther Party, a murderous street gang whom we regarded as “the vanguard of the revolution.” We did so because the Panthers were the only leftists with guns who were willing to use them. The Panthers preyed mainly on vulnerable blacks but also murdered a friend of mine who was white.
My second awakening came with the success of the New Left’s “antiwar movement,” which forced America out of Vietnam. The New Left’s claims to be “anti-war” in behalf of the Vietnamese were actually two dangerous lies. When the movement succeeded in forcing America’s withdrawal from Indo-China, the Communists proceeded to slaughter two and a half million peasants in Cambodia and Vietnam. There wasn’t a single demonstration against the slaughter. Not one. I realized then that it was never an “anti-war” movement. It was an anti-American movement. The Left wanted the Communists to win and didn’t care how many innocent Asians were murdered in the process. I realized I was involved in a movement whose rhetoric was seductive and noble but whose deeds were evil. And I left.
The “social justice” radicals still have the best slogans. They call themselves progressives but are actually reactionaries. They call themselves liberals but are actually bigots. They say they’re for peace when they are organized for war. It is always the same war: to bring down the United States of America.
Thanks mainly to their growing influence, we live in extreme times, where things are not what they are made to seem, and monstrous accusations are leveled at individuals without restraint. As a result, we live in an atmosphere of intimidation, where people can lose their livelihoods, their careers and even their lives if they get on the wrong side of leftist crusaders. That is a terrible thing to have to say in this once free country, but it is something that has become too obvious to deny.
For 30 years before he descended the famous escalator in Trump Tower to declare his candidacy for the White House, Donald Trump was a well-known public figure. Everybody in America knew who he was. In all those 30 years, no one ever referred to him as “Donald Trump, host of ‘The Apprentice’ and white supremacist.” Nobody ever said “This is Donald Trump, New York builder and white nationalist.” That only happened when he ran against the Democrats.
In fact, all three of Trump’s predecessors as presidential candidates – Bush, McCain and even Romney were denounced as racists by the Democrats. Vice President Joe Biden told an audience that included many black Americans that if elected, Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan, “are gonna put y’all back in chains.”
Why do Democrats take such a low road as a matter of course? They do it because it is effective, and because the Democrat Party has a dirty secret to hide. Democrats control 100% of every major inner-city in America, and have for 50 to 100 years. Every killing field — Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis – is 100% in the hands of the Democrats. Every injustice in these inner cities – real or imagined – that policy can affect, Democrats are 100% responsible for. Every rotten school system, which year in and year out fails to provide mainly black and Hispanic kids with the basic tools they need to succeed is 100% controlled by the Democrat Party and its teacher unions who without exception put the interests of the adults in the system in front of the kids. Including keeping schools closed during the Covid-19 pandemic while demanding more money for themselves.
Trump represented a major threat to the Democrats’ corrupt inner-city empires and – worse – to their electoral power base. Consequently, when Trump asked inner city blacks “What do you have to lose by voting for me?” the Democrats lost no time in demonizing him. They did so in the most dehumanizing terms possible – launching an all-out war to destroy him as a white nationalist, white supremacist, Hitler. In this lethal atmosphere, which has lasted for four years, the first black President of the United States this week again called Trump – and by implication his seventy-three million supporters – racist.
Race is the Democrats’ nuclear weapon, deployed to destroy their critics and protect every corrupt urban Tammany Hall they have built and profited from over the last 100 years. This weapon was a gift from the radicals who successfully infiltrated the Democrat Party following their riot at the Convention in 1968. It is where the deep divisions that afflict us now began.
The absurd, racially poisonous term, “white skin privilege,” for example, was an invention of the hate America terrorists who called themselves “Weathermen,” and whose leaders, Bill Ayers and Eric Mann, advised Barack Obama (Ayers actually ghosted his autobiography) and mentored the insurrectionary founders of Black Lives Matter. The stated goal of the Weathermen terrorists was to join what they saw as a global race war against “white supremacy,” and to join it as a fifth column against white America.
Democrats embraced racial politics opportunistically at first, because it was an effective political weapon. As a result of the radical ascendancy within the Democrat party and in the nation’s schools, the race card now features the ludicrous charge that white America is a white supremacist nation, and “racism is in its DNA.” This is a charge that is deadly because it will justify the most radical anti-American measures. As a result of the Democrats’ blitzkrieg against this imaginary scourge, large sections of the American public are now in the grip of a hysteria that has detached them from any semblance of reality. In this atmosphere, a lifelong liberal like Trump can be miraculously transformed into a raving Nazi. On the other end of the equation, black America is cast as a race of noble savages who can do no wrongs that are not attributable to “systemic racism” and white oppression.
In this fantasy world, black Americans are routinely portrayed as though they are a “marginal” and “under-represented” people in our society. This has become a required perspective for racially sensitive Americans eager to position themselves “on the right side of history.” And it is forced on millions of whites who are demonized by a multi-million-dollar industry of racist diversity trainers who lecture captive audiences in our universities, corporations, and even military academies, in the anti-white racism of “critical race theory,” a creed concocted by the hate America left.
The notion that black Americans are marginal, and under-represented, and therefore oppressed is transparently ridiculous. On the contrary, to anyone with eyes to see, Black America and its wounds are closer to being the center of the nation’s attention, and also the focus of its charitable largesse. Otherwise, how explain the complacency of the nation and its civic authorities towards the epic lawlessness and destruction inspired by Black Lives Matter vigilantes in 600 American cities last summer without a single instigator being held accountable, and even the arrested perpetrators being immediately released from jail? How explain how such criminal violence could be justified as opposing “police brutality” in advance of a single trial or even investigation of an allegedly brutal police officer?
Far from being marginal, under-represented, and oppressed, Black America is a community continually front and center in the nation’s consciousness. They are a powerful and often dominant force in American culture. Black athletes are the heroes of America’s youth. Black comedians, entertainers, musicians and actors fill America’s TV, theater and Internet screens, bringing their stories – their lives, emotions, victories, losses – into America’s hearts. Far from being denied access to the American dream, most black Americans are now comfortably in the middle class and part of it.
Oprah Winfrey is a self-made billionaire, the richest woman in America, and she is joined by increasing numbers of other blacks who are also self-made, having amassed multi-million-dollar fortunes in a single lifetime. The reality is that far from oppressing black America, Americans have made blacks the recipients of a cornucopia of special privileges – of lavishly funded programs and benefits based on their skin color that are designed to give them a leg up in the world. And these privileges come at the expense of opportunities for white and Asian Americans who are denied places they have earned at elite universities, and in all walks of professional life, also because of their skin color. This is a systemic racism that Americans support because it benefits black Americans, and that self-anointed “anti-racists” will defend at all costs.
If the majority of black Americans are comfortably in the middle class, what accounts for the failure of other members of the black community to lift themselves out of poverty? This is a question that is now politically incorrect to ask. It is “blaming the victim.” It is an affront to the skin privilege of an oppressed people. It is racist. In fact, it is an obvious sham, but the vast majority of Americans go along with it. The rest of America doesn’t ask blacks who have fallen behind why that is so. For example, absent fathers, rampant drug use and off the charts crime rates – to mention three obvious factors. Instead of holding these individuals in any way accountable for their plight, their failure is blamed on invisible white people, who are allegedly responsible for an always un-evidenced “systemic racism” against blacks.
Systemic racism is illegal under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If it were actually a problem in police departments and corporate institutions, as organizations like Black Lives Matter claim, there would be massive lawsuits by legions of black (and white) attorneys, prosecutors and attorneys general. There aren’t such lawsuits because the problem is invented. Aside from affirmative action programs, the only systemic racism is to be found in the disgraceful inner-city public schools, whose oppression of black youngsters is protected by the Democrat Party and its teacher unions. They will fight to the death to prevent poor minority kids from having the same choices in education as the children of Democrat teacher union members.
Taken together, the anti-white hysteria and the hysteria of black victimhood have had terrible consequences for Americans both black and white. In the summer of 2020, Black Lives Matter set in motion the largest, most violent, most destructive lynch mob in American history. Arsonists, looters and street criminals laid siege to 633 cities, caused billions of dollars in damage, and killed scores of people, as it happens mainly black. According to studies, ninety-five percent of the violent demonstrations were led by Black Lives Matter, and their fascist Antifa allies.
Like classic lynch mobs, the Black Lives Matter attacks were inspired by demands for verdicts in advance of trials or even investigations. “No Justice, No Peace!” Thus, George Floyd’s death was called a racial murder in advance of the autopsy report, which showed there was no strangulation and that he died of a self-inflicted Fentanyl overdose. One of the four officers indicted for Floyd’s “murder,” under pressure from the lynch mob, was an African American who had joined the police force to help institute reforms. How was this even a racial incident?
The same lies endlessly repeated describe the vast majority of Black Lives Matters’ claims about racial injustices committed by police. These lies obscure the fact that these incidents routinely involved black criminals resisting arrest by law enforcement officials whose chiefs – as in the Floyd case – were more often than not black themselves – and Democrats. “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” an infamous Black Lives Matter lie that led to arson, destruction and general mayhem in Ferguson, Missouri was the invention of a black criminal accomplice of Michael Brown. It was refuted before a grand jury by six black eyewitnesses who testified that Brown was actually charging the officer with his head down when he was shot.
Yet this lie is now part of the deadly folklore of the Black Lives Matter lynch mob and is featured in a new Netflix film based on the writings of the racist black author Ta-Nehisi Coates. Small wonder that the icon of the Black Lives Matter movement, Assata Shakur, is a cold-blooded cop killer. Shakur is also a fugitive taken in by the sadistic dictator Fidel Castro, a figure adored by Black Lives Matters’ Marxist founders.
Black Lives Matter leads a coalition of roughly fifty vigilante organizations claiming to be pursuing “social justice.” Vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, who has raised bail funds for Black Lives Matter arsonists and street criminals, calls them “A Coalition of Conscience.” Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in its efforts by George Soros, the Ford Foundation and major U.S. corporations, helping to make it the most powerful political movement in America today.
The coalition has already presented its first legislative proposal, maliciously called “The Breathe Act” after two notorious Black Lives Matter lies claiming that Eric Garner and George Floyd were strangled by police. (The autopsy reports in both cases showed that neither man was strangled. Both were resisting arrest.) “The Breathe Act” is not about “choke holds” or other possible causes of strangulation. Its goals are to defund the police, abolish prisons, and eliminate border enforcement. In other words, to make America as vulnerable to domestic criminals and international enemies as possible.
Forty years ago, I left the left when I saw that it was a destructive force that would never change. Leftists do not tolerate dissenters in their ranks. They suppress politically incorrect ideas and cast out their perpetrators, demonizing them in the process. As a result, leftists never learn from their “mistakes” or take responsibility for their crimes. Thus, in every generation a new destructive crusade for “social justice” is launched, oblivious of the disasters previous radical campaigns left in their wakes.
The leaders of Black Lives Matter proclaim “We are trained Marxists,” as though that were a badge of honor rather than a confession of dangerous ignorance and a kiss of death. Every successful Marxist revolution without exception has established a ruthless police state, which more often than not conducts genocidal persecutions of ethnic minorities. In other words, social injustice on an epic scale. Yet that is the prospect we face in a reactionary left that has learned nothing from the past and is intent on destroying the most tolerant, inclusive, egalitarian society ever created. The good news is that a patriotic movement has risen, rededicated to the propositions that all men are created equal and endowed with God-given rights to life and liberty, and is prepared to defend them.
David Horowitz is the author of Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left & Win, and The Enemy Within: How a Totalitarian Movement is Destroying America, published in hardcover this past June and forthcoming in paperback next spring.