Cancel Culture Shaped History – Thoughts of a ‘Misfit Toy’
I have sat on the sidelines, sharing my opinions of recent events only to a select few. Watching cities burn under the premise of fighting injustice. Seeing yard signs in my neighborhood supporting a movement that is based on a false narrative. Staying silent while hearing calls to erase our history because it wasn’t clean and perfect.
My lack of activism wasn’t due to a lack of conviction. On the contrary, it was a common belief and fear of the backlash that might ensue by expressing thoughts and beliefs that have shown to incite unwanted actions by those holding different views. Why invite the hassle? Why engage in the debate if it isn’t civil?
I used these as excuses as I read surface opinions and heard, empty, shallow arguments.
My position was to shake my head in disbelief while staying safely in the shadows viewing ‘bumper sticker’ logic on social media knowing this is the depth of most sources and arguments.
It could be summed up like this:
I am a student of history. Everyone is a product of history. I believe it is our greatest teacher, if we are smart enough to learn from it. Recently, a dear friend of mine passed away after living through some of the darkest times in human history. A survivor of Auschwitz, her death sparked a reminder to me the importance of taking a stand. It reminded me of the dangers of appeasement and fearing the backlash. I could no longer claim to know and understand history and then knowingly repeat the mistakes of the past.
Recent events have brought to light ‘Mob Danger’ amid the protests, ‘bad behavior’ going ‘unchecked’. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives all citizens the right to “Peaceful Assembly”. There is NO right to violent protest! Burning property, stopping traffic, throwing rocks through windows, etc. are criminal acts that cross the line of rights guaranteed to all. Violence doesn’t advance any movement and those responsible for the criminal activity should be prosecuted. There should be NO appeasement or tolerance for violent protest. Supporting a movement that crosses this line should make people pause and consider what they are backing and what it could lead to… Our country provides a pathway for change, it is called an election, not mobs, and ideally not courts.
What History Teaches Us
After WW1, in Sept. 1919, a German corporal was sent to spy on a radical group in Munich called the German Worker’s Party (GWP). Anton Drexler led a group of 40 who believed that Germany’s defeat in the war was to be blamed on the betrayal by the Jews, the Communists, and the political elite, leading to the Versailles treaty that they despised. The corporal, Adolf Hitler, held the same beliefs and joins the group, quickly becomes their leader and grows their ranks to 3,000.
During this same time in 1919, communists try to take over part of Munich and claim it as their own sovereign territory, the Bavarian Soviet Republic. They claim they want to “change the system”. (Sound familiar Seattle?). The German army is sent in to quash this revolt and over 600 are killed in the unrest. It adds fuel to the growing GWP which changes its name to the National Socialist Party (the Nazi’s).
They grow through tactics of violence, intimidation, as the masses fear backlash so they stay silent as the Nazi’s grow…
In 1923, led by Hitler, the Nazi’s try to take over the government. The takeover fails and he is sent to prison, he writes Mein Kampf (My Struggle), his blue-print for future German world domination. He is released, resumes head of the Nazi party. By 1930, Nazi’s go from smallest member of the Bundestag (German congress) to the 2nd largest. Wall Street crashes, great depression in Germany creates the opportunity. Rising Tensions = Seizing of power, eventual suppression of all opposition.
Radical Group of 40 Grows Unchecked Into a Nazi Dictatorship
My interaction with the Auschwitz survivor reminded me of the quote by Martin Niemoller, who described how that development from a radical group of 40 could evolve into a dictatorship:
“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communists. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Applying that to recent events, I realized I had to look into the mirror. I could write:
“First they came for the Police, and I did not speak out — because I was not a cop. Then they burned and destroyed businesses and property, and I did not speak out — because they didn’t destroy my property. Then they intimidated everyone to believing we are all racists, and I didn’t speak out because I knew I wasn’t a racist….. Then ?
Cancel Culture Destroyed Europe
History also teaches us about rewriting and cleaning history. In 1933 the Nazi’s initiated book burning to erase the past, control the narrative and create their Aryan myth. Among those works burned were the writings of German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine, who wrote in 1820–1821 the famous prophetic admonition, “Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen”: “Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people.”
Understanding history is the antidote to the ‘cancel culture’ movement. Tearing down statues does not erase the past, it is simply a criminal act and a display of ignorance. Ignorance is not an excuse for violence or illegal behavior.
Bringing Together a Fractured Nation
Many of the military bases that carry the names of confederate generals were given those names for a purpose. Many of those bases are in the South. When the Civil War ended, soldiers and supporters of the Confederacy were forced to take an oath to the Union as part of the process of reconciliation. This was necessary otherwise any person in the South would be ineligible to vote or hold federal office as a traitor to the Union. Many of the bases were used to train soldiers for WW1 and during that time, many Civil War veterans were still alive! Strong regional feelings remained across the country. To mix young men from all regions of the country for military training, these forts were named as part of the reconciliation and making American soldiers, not soldiers from the North or South. Generals like Lee were Americans before the Civil War, and also after the Civil War. They are part of American history, good or bad. If we only put up statues of perfect people we won’t have any statues. If anything, statues or monuments are a reminder of the work that still remains to avoid the mistakes of the past. Auschwitz, Dachau and other death camps were not torn down for this reason. Their existence offends the deniers! The Roman Empire was built by Christian and Jewish slaves. The Coliseum alone was built by 60,000 Jewish slaves. I am unaware of any Jewish protests to tear it down. Our past and history should be retained and visible for all to see and LEARN from, not erased for comfort or convenience. If the past is offensive, let it offend as it should offend, as reminder and driver for change.
To be clear, American history is full of tragic errors and mistakes—treatment of Native Americans, slavery, treatment of immigrants, treatment of women, Japanese containment camps, to name only a few. However, our Constitution is also a written record of corrections to address mistakes in a continuing effort to “create a more perfect Union”. If we put the microscope on any country’s history it would show similar mistakes, but rarely the corrections. This should be the pride of ALL Americans that our Founders had the foresight to create our Constitution with the flexible process to correct our mistakes to improve over time. I don’t believe America’s biggest issues to solve are centered around statues, monuments, or names of military bases. Does this really solve anything substantial?
Black Lives Matter – A FALSE Narrative
I see many yard signs in my neighborhood and in the city declaring support for BLM. I am sure many are believing they are supporting a movement against racism toward blacks. I am sure they believe they are supporting justice for blacks. This is a false narrative! I wonder how many of these same supporters have looked into what the BLM organization stands for and what their demands are directly from their website, though they faced their own backlash and modify it accordingly. This is what was listed as “What we stand for” just recently:
- End the war on black people
- Economic justice
- Community control
- Political power
- National defunding of police
Do my neighbors really want to join these marches and believe in this:
I would like to see everyone who supports BLM to write the first reparation checks! Otherwise they are showing their ignorance or they are phonies! Does BLM recognize that not all States were pro-slavery? Should only “slave states” have to pay reparations? What if one of my relatives died in the Civil War to help end slavery? Should I get reparations as well? Do they know their history??
Do people who claim to support BLM know that BLM calls for the end of the “Nuclear Family” — meaning they don’t believe in two parents and children as a family under one roof. This is their movement. They are not about racial injustice, they are about a movement that should have no support because the Truth does not support their movement:
History Teaches Us Truth Can Be Elusive
- “Hands up, don’t shoot”. An example of ‘Fiction vs. Fact’. The Obama justice department determined this never happened! The cop was completely cleared, his career ruined, yet Ferguson burned… What was achieved? A thug robs a store and roughs up the worker. When a cop stops him, he punches the cop and wrestles him for his gun and eventually gets shot. Ferguson burns… BLM calls for the killing of cops.
- BLM is NOT a peaceful protest movement. I can see boarded up stores within minutes from my house. If someone thinks these are peaceful protests, would they take their children to one of these protests? A trail of destruction is BLM history. They are simply a ‘mob’ that needs to be called out for what they really are and what they really represent.
Inconvenient Facts to Consider:
- Less than 5% of slaves from Africa came to the U.S.
- Blacks represent 13% of the U.S. population, but account for 52% of all murders.
- 65% of cops are white, 13% are black
- Nationally, only .25% of the US population serves in law enforcement.
- 48 police officers were killed in 2019, 40 white, 7 black, 1 asian.
- Police kill more whites than blacks:
The number of people shot to death by the police in U.S. from 2017 to 2020, by race:
The truth is that population groups ‘earn’ the right for police to profile them.
BLM claims racism is systematic in U.S. society, but rather than advance through the ‘content of their character’, BLM has chosen to intimidate, to riot, and to loot. They depend on the silence of their critics. They claim the murder of George Floyd is an example of police brutality toward blacks. They use that as the catalyst to burn down their neighborhood. Yet, not one cop, not one white person, or any person has supported what the cop did to him. Everyone has condemned the terrible actions of that officer.
However, you hear little about the reasons that the cops were there to arrest him in the first place. Floyd had committed a crime. You also don’t hear anyone say that he would be alive today if he didn’t resist arrest! You don’t hear that he had so much fentanyl in his system that he was having trouble breathing even before he was on the ground— repeatedly saying he can’t breath while 4 cops tried to get him into a police car. You don’t hear that Floyd was asking to lay down because he was having trouble breathing. What the cop did was inexcusable, but Floyd is not the angel the BLM people have made him out to be. How many protestors throwing stones know the criminal history of George Floyd? Do they know that Floyd served time in prison for armed robbery and held a gun to the stomach of the pregnant victim of his robbery? BLM wants to name streets and plazas after Floyd—a person with a long criminal history—because he was killed by the extreme actions of a cop while arresting him for a crime. To the followers of BLM, anyone with a flaw (Washington, Grant, Lincoln, etc) can’t have a statue to recognize their accomplishments, but a career criminal with obvious flaws should be lionized.
These same people who have leveraged Floyd’s death into advancing their movement, spoke loudly after 9/11 that we shouldn’t judge all Muslims on the actions of a few, yet this isn’t allowed to apply to the police in the Floyd situation.
Remember: Laws don’t enforce themselves. You may not like the police, but a civil society depends on them, or you become the next Portland. I fully support and defend the police— along with their human flaws.
The truth is that if BLM really cared about the lives of Blacks, BLM would want more safety and security in communities. They would be marching to stop ‘black on black’ crime which accounts for more than 90% of crimes against blacks. (~93% of black murder victims were killed by blacks). They would demand school choice to provide the best education options for children. They would want to address that 77% black children are born to unwed mothers. They would want to ask why a vast majority of Asian children (85%) today live with two married parents, as is the case for most white children (74%) and Hispanic children (61%). Black children who live with married parents is 36%. BLM doesn’t address this, they blame.
The facts don’t support them. Rational people who know the truth shouldn’t support them.
The truth is that they rely on playing the ‘victim’ card. They intimidate knowing they can play the ‘racism’ card to silence people as part of a shaming tactic. They aren’t really looking for change for the black community, as they point out in their goals, they are looking for “political power” and ask you to blindly donate to their cause.
It should be clear to anyone willing to listen, what they are really about. When one of the leaders and founders of BLM proclaimed if their demands are not met that they should burn down the system, is that what my neighbors are backing with their yard signs? His words and goal:
“I just want black liberation and black sovereignty, by any means necessary.”
If a nation has laws that afford all citizens equal rights and those rights, laws and regulations are enforced, then that nation is not systematically racist. It is possible that people – many or few – of that nation may be racist, but that is a question of personal choice/behavior. So, racism is not an affliction of a nation (except in the case of disparate laws and rights), but it is an affliction of individuals as a result of their personal fears, upbringings, experiences, etc. And that is a situation that cannot be legislated. Each person must face their own feelings and their own behavior with other people and before their god.
It is the responsibility of the nation to legislate laws and regulations which are equal for everybody, and it is the responsibility of the nation to enforce those laws to ensure that everyone can enjoy this equality. In cases where the compliance or enforcement is lacking, there are legal ramifications for that, and the violators should face the appropriate consequences. That is all a nation can do against continuing racism.
Until the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the US was a racist nation. Following that, there were other changes in Federal, state and local laws that abolished the legal discrimination against Blacks. These actions eliminated racism as a system by the nation, but some racism still exists in some individuals.
If the situation is left alone (while observing and enforcing the laws), in my opinion, each year, each generation becomes less racist. In turbulent times, such as now, there is a negative return for the BLM movement after a few days of peaceful protests. Racism increases as people get fed-up with the violence and destruction of property connected to BLM. And, since the US is no longer a racist nation, there is not much more the government can do for them anyway. Their “defunding” the police platform might last 6 months until total chaos reigns. The solution for the deaths of unarmed Black men in police shootings is to prosecute the violators, not to shut down the police! And since the remaining racism in the US is personal and not institutional, it cannot be addressed by anarchy.
The truth is that there is no way to eliminate racism. There will always be a bias in the hearts of some people just as some people will never like tattoos or nose rings. However, the government’s task is to eliminate legal discrimination against all people and to encourage the end to racism. This will reduce (not eliminate) its impact on the society.
Unfortunately, this current period of extreme anti-racism, might in-turn have the undesired effect of alienating more people against Blacks. Unfortunately, politicians, especially liberals, don’t address a problem by looking at the facts – they look at what will get them more votes!
If BLM really cared about improving equality and improving the lives of the black population they shouldn’t rely on the government, they should create the solutions from within.
In my opinion, it starts with education. My quick thought solution:
Create 2 non-profit organizations to focus on the education of minority students:
- Scholarship fund
- Tutoring fund
Challenge minority high school students to achieve a certain grade point average and if they do, college will be paid for! They need skin in the game—Attend school, achieve a target and the reward is that their secondary education can be paid for. Making grades might not be easy, so it is supplemented by a tutoring program. Free tutoring to help them achieve that goal.
ELIMINATE the excuses, the blame, the lack of hope! Create the pathway for opportunity.
Pay for these out of private contributions for tax deductions. If you put a BLM sign on your lawn, how much will you donate to scholarships or tutoring? Will you put skin in the game?
- Challenge black billionaires (Oprah, Jordan, etc.) to champion this and lead the funding.
- Every pro athlete that kneels should donate a percentage of their salaries to support, or they are phonies and they feel better by wearing a BLM T-shirt.
- Have the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc. do a $ matching program so they all have skin in the game to help build equality through education, achievement, hope.
This is an easy program to create, should be easy to support, and is peaceful, measurable, and does not rely on government intervention—therefore, it has a chance to work! BLM could be addressing real issues, but they would rather get paid reparations, and support violent marches.
I am sure that Martin Niemoller is turning in his grave as a group of radical anarchists, posing as a peaceful movement for racial justice, have taken over blocks of Seattle (~Munich 1919) claiming the need to “change the system”, positioned the police as the enemy, used tactics of intimidation and shame to silence critics, and build their following on playing the victim card, leading to the twisted times when an athlete standing for the National Anthem is the news of the day!
Blue Eyes Matter – An Alternate Perspective
The best way to understand others is to walk in their shoes. Here is a comparator:
People with Blue Eyes represent 17% of US population, 8% worldwide. A distinct minority.
What if Blue-eyed people were responsible for:
- over 50% of murders in the US?
- over 50% of robberies
- over 60% of murders of ages under 18
- over 90% of blue-eyed murder victims were murdered by blued-eyed people.
As a Blue-eyed person:
- Would I expect and understand police profiling?
- Would I blame the Police? Society?
- Burn down buildings?
- Call for abolishing of the police?
- Would I call for change in the Blue-eyed population to change this?
- I would focus on fixing my own house first before casting blame and crying ‘victim’!
- What if the government instituted a program where a blue-eyed person needed to be hired over a brown-eyed person even though the Blue-eyed person was less qualified? A clearly racist policy put in place to help end racism. An example of politicians solving problems…
What have Democrats done for racial equality? They treat blacks like victims… keep them as “wards of the State”. Bad economic policies and bad economic performance feeds this cycle. It keeps the dependency on government to provide opportunity and solutions—though most career politicians never ran a business, never made a payroll or ever hired people. It is our strange dependency on politicians who have never achieved to provide the solutions for achieving what is expected.
- Fact: the number of people on Food Stamps hit an all-time high under Obama, over 10 million more going onto the program. Trump reversed the trend taking more than 6 million off of food stamps, providing dignity through work and self-reliance. That is the history.
- Fact: the amount of national debt doubled under Obama-Biden, increasing more than all previous administrations combined!
- Fact: the Obama-Biden administration was the first administration in history that never had a whole year of 3 percent growth.
A confident Obama declared that these poor economic numbers should be considered the ‘new normal’ and not to expect any of the lost manufacturing jobs overseas to return. The epitome of a community organizer and career politician becoming an expert on international economics.
The result of bad economic policies and bad economic performance delivered nothing for blacks.
When Biden says his children didn’t go to public schools because he “didn’t want them to grow up in the racial jungle” and then says if blacks don’t vote for him “they aren’t black” you shouldn’t wonder why the Obama-Biden administration didn’t pass any major legislation during 8 years that addressed racial inequality. That is Obama-Biden history.
By comparison, after 3 years of the Trump administration, with the combination of tax cuts, regulation cuts, restructured trade deals, becoming energy independent, while passing of prison and justice reform, permanent funding of historical black colleges, black participation in the workforce hit an all-time high and black unemployment hit an all-time low, while wages increased the highest for blacks than any other demographic and of course—crime reduced. That is Trump history.
If Dems want to declare ObamaCare a success, have they ever asked themselves why Senators and Representatives that approved it are exempt from it? Why should the people that represent us in government be allowed to have a different healthcare program that we, as the tax payers, have to pay for ?? Why can’t we have the same program that congress enjoys? This is OUR fault as citizens, voters, and taxpayers that we allow this to happen. This is across BOTH parties and we should all look in the mirror.
It is our collective naivety to rely on the same political class for solutions to problems that they created or advanced in the first place. The Deep State depends on this, knowing empty promises are acceptable and the bar for results will remain low. We only have ourselves to blame for not demanding more from the people who represent us.
Unless someone works for the government or in the military, citizens DON’T SERVE the government! The government SERVES THE CITIZENS! It is philosophical difference between the left and right. Decision-making for health care, education, etc. Government deciding for you or YOU decide. The US was created on the concept of Self-Determination! The US Constitution wasn’t designed and written to restrict its citizens, it was written to restrict the government! The US was never created to become a Social Welfare State and this philosophical struggle continues to this day.
Here is the challenge:
Name 3 acts of legislation by Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer (combined 100+ years of public service) that addressed race relations in America? Just try to name 1.
Yet these career politicians became rich and powerful!
Combined they have done nothing except get re-elected and promise to “fight for the middle class“, “fight for working Americans”! These are “election words in the wind”. Should we expect anything from them if they continue to serve? Has history taught us anything???
The internet has made everyone an editor and a publisher. Anyone can create their own reality and find something on the internet to support it. Everyone can have their own opinion and that means having a different opinion shouldn’t open up someone for attack. Debate is welcomed. We may not agree. But I will not disparage anyone personally for having a different opinion and expect the same. I only ask that people ground themselves in facts, not emotion or narrative.
Know the history! Know the facts!
I am sure I will be labeled something. That is the playbook. Label, intimidate, shame and silence. The playbook will be to bark loud, switch the argument, and when faced with facts—avoid the debate—put a label on me and if I don’t wilt, run away. But I am not Drew Brees….
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