Shootings of police? Black Lives Matter demonstrators block streets? Trump caravan forced by a mob to stop on the freeway shoulder, then enter the hotel by a back door? Athletes refusing to stand for the National Anthem? Polls show race relations at a new low? What is happening here? Or rather, what has been happening for years, but now is becoming too obvious to ignore?
A bumper sticker proclaims, “There is no excuse for domestic abuse.” Men who beat their girlfriends or wives are unlikely to be influenced by bumper stickers. But the message is useful to the abused, who will be encouraged to leave abusive relationships.
We may not be able to dissuade those who indulge in abusive behavior, but we can resolve not to tolerate it any longer. We can shout, “Enough!” For example, take those who spew out lies and slanders against America.
A guide at the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum reported that group of black high-school students toured the exhibits. The guide asked if there were any questions. A student asked why white people hate black people, while another asked whether the guide thought that slavery would be re-established in America.
Where did young African Americans get such ideas? How did people who grew up in this country come to have such a low opinion of it? Young people don’t develop these notions spontaneously. Such destructive ideas have to be taught. Slavery ended in this country in 1865, after one-third of a million white men and boys died fighting for the Union in a horrible Civil War. Didn’t all that blood soaking into the ground, and all those amputated limbs, expiate America’s sin of slavery? And if they didn’t, what about the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s?
Slavery still exists in some parts of the Muslim world. A young black man from Sudan related how his parents were slaughtered by Muslims for the crime of being Christians. He was enslaved and subjected to physical and sexual abuse, but he finally escaped with the help of an anti-slavery organization.
Revealingly, Arabic uses the same word for “slave” and for “servant.” Persecution of Christians exists even more widely. But school kids rarely hear about these current problems − that might make them feel grateful to be Americans.
They are taught to celebrate “diversity” and never to be “judgmental.” That is, never to be “judgmental” about other cultures and nations, even those that oppress women or practice slavery. But they are taught to judge their own country as harshly as possible.
No wonder the black teenagers saw photos of European Jews being led to gas chambers in the 1940s, and related this to their own situation today. That’s the mind-set they are taught in school and hear in church. They see Barack Obama and other prominent African Americans, but they fail to perceive how far America has come in improving race relations. Instead, they believe they are hated, and they fear the re-imposition of slavery.
If old people have been soured by a lifetime of hard experiences, it is sad but understandable. But if young people are soured by poison that was fed them in schools and churches, that’s beyond sad − it’s unforgivable. Nothing highlights this situation better than the sermons of Barack Obama’s longtime pastor, Jeremiah Wright:
● Urging his congregation to sing “God damn America” instead of “God Bless America” This means that America is so rotten that it is beyond salvation.
● Claiming that America brought 9/11 on itself. This means that the terrorists who planned and carried out 9/11 are not to blame.
● Claiming that the U.S. government gives drugs to blacks in order to put them in prison. This means that black drug dealers and drug users are not to blame.
● Claiming that the U.S. government invented the AIDS virus to kill people of color. This means that black men who practice unsafe sex are not to blame.
● Publishing a propaganda bulletin from the terrorist group Hamas that blames Israel for Middle East problems. This means that the terrorists are not to blame.
● Publishing a Palestinian propaganda bulletin accusing Israel of making an “ethnic bomb” to kill Arabs and blacks. This means that those who blow up real bombs in Israeli markets and pizzerias are not to blame.
● Calling America the “U.S. of KKK-A.” This means that racists, white or black, are not to blame. If everyone is a racist, then no one really is.
● Calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “Clarence Colon,” and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “Con-damn-nesia.” If eminently successful blacks are no good, then why should young blacks even try to be successful?
● Claiming that America is the “number one killer in the world.” Hitler? Stalin? Mao? Cambodia? Rwanda? Darfur? Ever heard of them?
● Referring to Italians as having “garlic noses.” Is making racist remarks his idea of being a role model for young people?
● Giving a “man of the year” award to Louis Farrakhan. Yes, a man who makes anti-Jewish, anti-white, anti-American remarks is his idea of a role model.
● Preaching a racist theology that promotes the “black value system.” Where this leaves respect for the Judeo-Christian value system is unclear.
● Calling Jesus a “black man.” Where this leaves respect for the Bible, or for facts in general, is even less clear.
● Calling Israel a “dirty word.” The Bible repeatedly refers to the “God of Israel.” So what god were Wright and Obama worshipping for the 20 years Obama attended Wright’s church?
Despite all these hateful remarks − or rather because of them − many leftists, both secular and religious, praised Wright and called him a “prophet.” But biblical prophets pointed out the failings of their people, often in the harshest terms. In contrast, Wright glosses over the failings of his people, and instead blames all their problems on the “others.” That’s a demagogue, not a prophet.
Instead of making his people aware of their own failings and empowering them to take charge of their lives, Wright makes them feel victimized, helpless, and self-pitying. And why would anyone do that? To make African Americans believe they need black “leaders” and the Democratic Party to help them − that’s why.
Wright has many counterparts in the secular world (assuming you can call Wright religious). There is Prof. Noam Chomsky, who never met a tyrant he didn’t like, so long as the tyrant was anti-American. There is the late Prof. Howard Zinn, author of one of the most widely used textbooks of American history. Like Wright, Zinn emphasized the faults of America, real or imagined, but glossed over the faults of other nations. When asked whether America has done more good or more bad in the world, he replied, “Probably more bad.”
Europe under the Nazis? Asia under the Japanese fascists? Apparently Zinn believed even that would be preferable to a strong America. The secular Left vies with the religious Left in hatred of America and all it stands for. And both groups work hard to pass on their hatred to the next generation. In this they are regrettably successful, as witness the questions the black teenagers asked at the Holocaust Museum.
Yes, the future President Obama attended Wright’s church years ago. But the damage Wright and many others did, and are still doing, is only now becoming obvious. Hate, like cancer, must be stopped in its early stages. If it is not stopped, it can consume the whole body – or the whole nation.
Freedom of speech guarantees the right to speak, but it does not require anyone to listen. If someone makes factually incorrect statements, we have a right to correct him. And if someone spews racist or anti-American lies in a classroom or a church, we have a right to stand up, walk out, and never come back. Indeed, we have a duty to do so. Barack Obama did not understand this duty.
Like domestic abuse, national abuse causes lasting emotional harm to young people. It burdens them with a lifelong tendency to hate their country and suspect the worst of their fellow citizens – and as we are discovering to our sorrow, that can cause physical harm. Is this the legacy we want to leave them?
There is no excuse for domestic abuse. Hurting those closest to us, those who protect and nourish us, is unforgivable. There is also no excuse for national abuse − for the same reasons. Helpful, constructive, factual criticism is one thing. Hateful, destructive, lying claptrap is quite another. It is past time to shout, “Enough!”
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