I spent much of last week drawing comparisons between the violent unrest and strict “cancel culture” going on in our country with the swift transformation of such places as Hong Kong, all to show how quickly that same socialist takeover and loss of freedom can happen here. We know exactly what the Democrat Party will do, step by step, to cement its control if it (shudder) wins in November, as we (and it) can see that Biden is a diminished human being who would be a mere figurehead with no principles of his own, a puppet of the left. That, obviously, is the plan.
Our freedom is something many of us took for granted in the past –- even on the Fourth Of July –- but we can’t do that now. If we do, there might be no more Fourths of July to celebrate, certainly not by waving an American flag around! Since last week, I’ve seen other pieces that reflect the same thinking.
Here’s one from a writer named Xiao Li, an American whose father came to this country two decades ago after the death of Mao but had grown up in China under Mao’s Cultural Revolution. When the writer was 18, his father took him on a trip to China to show him something of his youth, of which he’d spoken to his son very little before then.
Xiao tells of meeting a number of amiable older men, one by one, from his father’s past and hearing from his father after each meeting what each of these men had actually done to him under Mao. Memories fade, I suppose, and these men, many years after performing their duties as ruthless revolutionaries, had forgotten some awful things they’d done to him. Some of these men were his own family members. Xiao says, “Some of my father’s tormenters were blood relatives, who were especially keen to display their revolutionary credentials through violence, a situation that was sadly not uncommon. As Xiao explains, you can’t have a revolution without dissolving “the bonds of organic trust” between children and their parents or students and their teachers.
I’m reminded of what so many American parents are saying now about trying to have political discussions with their own kids. As soon as the parents introduce some unsanctioned point, the discussions unravel, with their kids yelling at them, calling them racists and white supremacists (!) and hurling demands at them straight out of WHITE FRAGILITY, such as “Do the work!” One hallmark of revolutionary thinking is that the family must be destroyed in favor of the State and that independent thinkers within the family must be exposed and shamed. We are seeing this now.
Xiao does reference another article that tries to differentiate the Chinese Cultural Revolution from the radical leftists’ quest for power currently going on in America. I’ll link to it here in case you’d like to read it. The author is right in saying there are some nuances of difference, but if you’re like me you will find no comfort in these. It’s like saying Alaskan grizzly bears will tear you apart and eat you alive but this one is more like one of those Canadian grizzly bears that might be satisfied with ripping your arms and legs off, so don’t be too concerned.
As Xiao puts it, “No historical analogy is ever perfect, and to seek exactitude over verisimilitude is to miss the point. In other words, as the saying goes, history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. Xiao’s father and many of his contemporaries who lived through the era of Mao “can’t put their finger on the why,” but in America they are sensing something in the air that reminds them of the events of their youth in China.
One commonality Xiao sees is the fact that the young Chinese revolutionaries, the Red Guard, tended to come from privileged backgrounds; they were young and well-educated like the current American activists. In China, he says, “the young students saw their chance to to achieve revolutionary greatness...seeking to root out imaginary class enemies from within.”
In the next step, the movement’s slogans and way of thinking worked their way down to “non-elite institutions and popular discourse.” We see this in America every day in the news media, on TV shows and in magazines. In other words, it’s not just on campus anymore. We also we see “the blatant denial of reality, the constant gaslighting which almost seems designed to ferret out people with any sanity left.” We must refuse to be ferreted.
Xiao’s article is a must-read as a follow-up to my commentary of last week. Also, my writer/researcher Laura Ainsworth has been busy tackling a different aspect of the current dark revolutionary spirit: the curious radicalism of white leftist women trying so desperately to make up for their “privilege” and the shame of not being born “of color.”
The article Laura cited in her commentary had a link to a piece from last year by Peggy Noonan, which draws a comparison with the Chinese Cultural Revolution as powerful as any made by Xiao Li in his piece about his father. Noonan describes the “struggle sessions” implemented by Mao to humiliate people in various ways to get them to confess to social “crimes.” This is similar to the shaming that is done on college campuses in 2020. And today, we also have the internet, which makes this sort of psychological pressure much more pervasive in students' lives.
I’ve mentioned a few things we can do to fight the onslaught, but here is a great article I’ve found since: “Five Ways to Conquer The Cancel Culture,” by radio talk show host Dr. Michael Brown. Yes, he says, we can face this down and beat it, and we can take our cues from the Bible. If we stand strong and handle this attack on our values with assurance, the “cancel culture” will devour its own. We can see this already happening.
You also can’t go wrong with anything written by the brilliant Shelby Steele, whose book WHITE GUILT, though it came out in 2007, is a wonderful antidote for the toxic identity politics being practiced by leftists today. If anyone in your family is having to read WHITE FRAGILITY for school –- and, sadly, it seems every student is –- do what you can to make WHITE GUILT companion reading.