Patrick Hutchinson, a black lives matter protester, carried a suspected far-right protester to safety on June 13. (Photo credit: Washington Post)
We have heard much talk lately about white supremacy and black lives. But the more I think about both of these terms, the less I understand what they mean. What is white supremacy? What are black lives? And, is there no other, no better way of talking about human beings?
To cut straight to the chase—to “plunge the sword straight in,” as the saying goes in Japanese—I cannot help but notice the shabbiness of nearly everyone who preaches a doctrine of white supremacy. David Duke, a felon and failed political hack, is often held up as the leader of the white supremacists, at least in the United States. But if this is the best the white supremacists can do then it begs the question of why anyone would want to sign up.
When news broke in the waning days of December that an Iranian-directed “mob” (many of whom were in fatigues—not exactly masters of disguise) was attacking the U.S. Embassy inside the green zone in Baghdad, President Donald Trump responded initially by retweeting Sen. Lindsay Graham’s statement that “there will be no Benghazis” on Trump’s watch.
Donald Trump doesn’t have a detailed plan. He doesn’t trade blood or money for ideas. And if anyone messes with America—not American property, but American people—he will “terminate” him. For Trump, it’s not ideological, it’s personal. It always has been.
After the outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus last year many American schools suspended in-person classes. Even now students across the country are taking part in their school day online. Instead of getting on a bus or rolling out of bed in a college dorm to go to school, kids are propped up at their parents’ kitchen tables, staring at a screen while a teacher or a professor delivers lectures via Zoom.
Parents, now finally able to see what they are getting for their tax or tuition dollars, have not been amused. It is not the online-ness of the classes that is the problem. It’s the classes themselves.
More specifically, it’s the instructors. Public school teachers are tax-guzzling ideologues who can’t diagram a sentence but who do have a very highly-developed ability to watch pornography at their desk and harass Christian kids at lunchtime. Many of them are criminals. University professors are even worse.
Whether your child is enrolled in a “Fat Studies” course or one of the endless varieties of Race, Class, Gender, and Grievance 101, you have probably stood by agog as he, she, ze, xe, or shim has Zoomed with an “intellectual” explaining the finer points of lesbian protest literature or Maoist theater. Fifty thousand dollars for fifteen PowerPoints about Haymarket is pretty steep, eh Dad? How much would those slide presentations, and the expert commentary that goes along with them, be worth in the real world?
As the virus runs its course and we begin to look ahead to next semester, the question in the news has lately been, will schools reconvene in September, or will everything remain online for the rest of the year? This is understandably a big question to ask for those who have made an investment of time and often real estate in their children’s education. But it is the wrong question.
It does not matter if the school bell rings again in the fall. As the current revolution in the streets of a hundred cities is making very clear, the students have already learned everything they needed from public school. School’s out for summer, and that is partly why the streets are now choked with delinquents who would otherwise be in a classroom. But school might as well also be out for ever.
Here’s the real question we should be asking: What else is there to study? What we are witnessing now is the final exam in Socialist Insurgency, really the only subject that almost every “educational” institution has taught since the 1970s. Congratulations, grads—if you have taken the past week to burn down a building or beat up an old lady defending her livelihood, then you get an A-plus. Your diploma is your mail-in ballot for 2020. (We don’t think you need to be told how to use it.)
A few years ago, many of us were surprised to learn that among the leaders of Antifa, the Left’s favorite organization for killing innocent people apart from Planned Parenthood, are a number of public school teachers. That fact is not so surprising today. The truth is that Antifa and our education system are the same thing. This is more than apparent this week.
The country is coming apart, and the “teachers” are not only egging the street punks on, the teachers are the street punks. With a few exceptions—nearly everyone who disagrees with the Left was ousted from the schools and the academy years ago—classrooms in America are simply where the revolutionaries have been drawing the X’s and O’s of the battle plans being put into action today. New York City is burning, but that’s only proximately the work of roid-raging snowflakes on loan from Columbia.
The real brains behind all this is the legion of Antifa coordinators who throng the faculty lounges at just about every place—K-12, college, and especially graduate school—where “social justice” long ago became the only item on the curriculum. Social justice is just Leninism biding its time, the comic book version of Rules for Radicals wedged into a math or science textbook. You thought you were putting your kid on the school bus to go study calculus. They were probably learning how to throw Molotov cocktails instead.
Like ISIS recruits fresh out of the training camps, the kids on the streets today have outlived their need for public schools. And I can’t imagine the teachers will bother with the charade any longer, either. School’s out. Forever.
This may sound like wild rhetoric, but in fact limiting our critique to the public schools does not go nearly far enough. One Molotov cocktail devotee, Urooj Rahman, was bailed out of jail by a former Obama official after she was “charged with intentionally torching a police cruiser” in New York last week. The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, held a press conference a few days later in which he praised his own daughter for her arrest in the riots engulfing the city he was elected to protect.
Keith Ellison, the attorney general of the State of Minnesota, has tweeted out photographs of himself holding up Antifa literature. Ellison’s son, not to be outflanked by his radical old man, has declared his support for Antifa, too. It’s not just the public school teachers who are declaring themselves in lockstep with the terrorists. It’s public officials, too. (Did you think the Democrats were going to give up their coup that easily?)
And this is all to say nothing of the raft of celebrities and politicians mouthing the usual pabulum about supporting other terrorist organizations and hate groups such as By Any Means Necessary (what “means” do you think they mean by that?), Black Lives Matter, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and even the Biden Campaign apparently committed to ensuring that chaos reigns wherever poor black people cannot afford private security. Being able to tweet your support for mayhem from your compound in the Hamptons while black businesses get looted by Bernie Bros. If that’s not white privilege I simply cannot think of what is.
But don’t expect anyone on the left to start calling for reform. The lines are drawn now and there is no going back to the old hypocrisy. An article in a recent issue of Harvard Magazine profiles the work of Elizabeth Bartholet, for example, an anti-Christian bigot and demagogue who alleges that homeschooling is the source of so many of America’s ills that the very practice should be banned. This is what they think of you, America. I have spent many years among this tribe. The Left mocks the very idea of civilization and debate. They simply want to put you in camps and be rid of you.
The real solution to all of this would be to shut down all the universities and public schools and make homeschooling the only option for the next twenty years. One generation untouched by institutionalized Weather Underground-ism would revitalize the entire nation, perhaps even the whole world. To wit, I would be interested in statistics showing how many among the rioters and looters—and, now, murderers—running wild through the streets of our country have slogged through a Great Books program under the tutelage of dear old fascist mom and dad. Probably zero. But according to Elizabeth Bartholet, it’s you who are the problem, not the blood-soaked arsonists.
Not just Elizabeth Bartholet. His Holiness has spent his pontificate mocking you, too. In all this swirling din and bomb-smoke let us not forget the silence of our Catholic leadership. Pope Francis, the fairweather pacifist, has said nothing to attempt to calm the storm. (Maybe he’s against wanton murder only when it’s not the communists who are carrying it out—that was certainly his view in Latin America, at any rate.) One of his cathedrals was desecrated in New York, and an Episcopal temple was burned right next door to the White House.
This is terrorism against Christians right in the financial and political heart of America. Francis is mum. Not a single word. As with the crackdown against Christians in China, and now in Hong Kong, Francis seems offers new life to an old truth: qui tacit consentire videtur. Et tu, Jorge? Why won’t you come to stricken Christian parishes in the US and smell like the American sheep?
Churchmen have not all held their tongue, though. The Archbishop of Washington, Wilton D. Gregory, took time out of his day to condemn President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for visiting, and praying at, the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. No Republicans welcome at the altar of God. (But don’t politicize the Eucharist!)
Archbishop Gregory, in a stunning display of historical amnesia, used the example of Pope John Paul II to chide the Trumps, saying that the late pontiff would not have approved of dispersing armed mobs.
Archbishop Gregory may not be aware that John Paul spent his entire adult life before becoming pope living under the same communist terrorists who now torch churches in the United States. Your Grace, please, do yourself a favor and google “Poland under communism”. No, better yet, google “Mindszenty in Hungary”. But maybe if you try appeasing the Red Guards outside your office window it will all work out for the best. The American Vendée has started, but Archbishop Gregory appears to be throwing in his lot with Canclaux.
Nice try, Wilton. (I simply cannot wait to hear what Dolan is going to have to say about all this. Dolan? Hello?) The archbishop should not be faulted too harshly, though. He spent his childhood in Catholic schools. As we are now learning, those are even worse than the secular institutions.
Whatever happens over the coming “long, hot summer,” the fact is that the mask, ironically, is now off the Left. The nexus of terrorism in this country is the taxpayer-funded educational system. For some fifty years the entire purpose of that system has been to foment socialist revolution, to soften up the two generations required to minimize resistance to communism. That objective now splendidly accomplished, the schools are no longer necessary. School’s out for summer. School’s out forever.
--Jason Morgan is associate professor at Reitaku University in Kashiwa, Japan
A Remnant Book Review...
IT HAS OFTEN been remarked that Marxism is a kind of religion. The philosophy itself is shrouded in religious mystique, with adherents asked to begin from a leap of faith—dialectical materialism as the key to human history and the roadmap toward a perfect human society. The suspension of disbelief thus complete, the Marxist is free to make wild and untenable predictions, which inevitably fail to come true. When this happens, Marxists persecute their perceived enemies with a zeal far beyond anything any religion has ever been able to inspire. Marxists are even fond of cheap imitations of the Resurrection—the moldering, waxed-over corpses of Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung, Mao, and other dead communists lie in state here and there as sullen testimony to what eternal life looks like to a socialist bureaucrat. A rather sad religion, this, but a religion all the same.
When Pope Francis visited Japan in November, it marked the first time a supreme pontiff had alighted on Japanese soil since Pope John Paul II’s brief stay in February of 1981. Although Pope Francis’ visit included the same three cities as did John Paul II’s—namely, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Tokyo—there are glaring differences between the two visits, and the two papacies.
For one thing, while Pope John Paul II was unapologetically pro-life, Pope Francis has turned the phrase into its opposite through the skillful use of ambiguity.
Athletics at a school dominated by white leftists is sold as the ticket of escape from the poverty that white leftists created in the first place.
Jemele Hill is probably not a racist. The former ESPN host has gained notoriety for tweeting that Donald Trump is a white supremacist, but, to be fair to Hill, such slander has lost almost all meaning. Anyone who has been among liberals these past two decades will know that “white supremacist” is their standard retort to anyone who questions the General Will of the herd of independent minds—a kind of “irritable mental gesture” signifying exasperated defeat in the face of sound argument. Calling Trump a “white supremacist” should be interpreted in exactly the same way as the primal screams that liberals bellowed in the days following Trump’s election to the presidency. The phrase is not an attempt at discourse, but a frank admission of defeat. Nothing really racial about it—just a verbal tic in the latter days of our dying republic.
Nor, it should be noted, is Jemele Hill much of a philosopher. ESPN is not exactly the Einstein, Spinoza, and Plato Network, after all, and Hill’s colleagues have not distinguished themselves by the quality of their musings on things other than the hurling of javelins and the swatting of balls. Keith Olbermann, Hill’s dai-senpai in unhinged microblogging, tore through the pages of GQ—a magazine about neckties—listing nearly two hundred reasons why, in Olbermann’s estimation, Trump would suddenly resign. Hill, who filled in at the ESPN Social Justice Desk for Olbermann while the latter was explaining to rapt audiences of dozens the finer points of the strike zone and the one-two count, was in every way her mentor’s equal in mediocrity. This intellectual blandness put both Olbermann and Hill far ahead of their jockstrap-sorting colleagues at Connecticut GHQ, but it still did not suffice to lift Bristol into the ranks of Vienna, Oxford, and Athens.
And yet, even granting that Hill is just a run-of-the-mill left-wing drivel nozzle, dribbling precisely the same highfalutin' nonsense as the interchangeable parts who work at the Washington Post, Columbia University, and the Department of Motor Vehicles, it is still theoretically possible that she be right about something from time to time. This is one of those times. Jemele Hill, who now writes columns for The Atlantic (perfect), has recently opined that black athletes should stop going to big schools, where they will be exploited, and should try to lift up black colleges and universities instead.
The reality of college athletics is that athletes are the modern equivalent of Indian slaves in a Mexican silver mine. The athletes do all the work, the university gets all the money. Athletes, especially black athletes from poor families, are lured into this arrangement with the promise of scholarships—because nobody in their right mind would pay to spend four years in a communist re-education camp (On, Wisconsin!)—and further exploitation down the line. Some athletes do go on to earn millions in the big leagues, until gruesome injury or permanent brain damage renders them unable to work at all. After four (or five, or six) years of studying Bolivian queer protest literature and attending mandatory drill sessions with Sex Out Loud, the vast majority of athletes are given a worthless piece of paper and sent on their way, while the army of white deans and deanlets continues its search for the next crop of poor kids to exploit. Hill is absolutely correct to say that this is a system that does not benefit black people. Indeed, this system benefits no one at all except the rapacious administrators who cash six- or seven-figure paychecks from the takings. She is also correct to say that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) stand to benefit by young and talented people investing more in the community than in themselves. Both of these are undeniable facts.
Hill frames this as a race issue, to be sure. Everyone is a white supremacist, so black kids must shun the Klan State and stick with their own kind. To be fair, she can hardly do otherwise, as to fail to parrot the issue du jour would lead to her immediate dismissal from The Atlantic. The fact, though, is that Hill, while spewing the usual racist bile one now expects from the CNN crowd, is inadvertently making an argument for subsidiarity. If people are hurting, then those people should be able to make the decisions that they think will ameliorate the conditions in which they find themselves. Black communities are in bad shape, and they can’t afford to have their best and brightest taken away for a shot at the big time in Potosí. This is not about race, it’s about human dignity and respect. Hill is clueless, but she still ends up in the right place.
Despite record employment numbers, black communities are hurting very badly. White liberals have destroyed black neighborhoods with decades of parochial faux-charity in the form of cash payments in exchange for Democrat votes. White liberals, who themselves tend to get married and work and save for the future, promote among poor people (especially blacks) a culture of heedlessness and contempt for the family. Fatherlessness among blacks has long since passed the point of being epidemic. Hopelessness—the inevitable result of familial despair—has become the standard mental equipment of the young African American. There were no Crips or Bloods until white liberals started to “help” black neighborhoods. Like Mao at Tiananmen, a giant portrait of Lyndon Baines Johnson ought to hang from the side of every rundown project building in federal Pottertowns.
The solution that the liberals offer to this hell they have made? Go to college at State U! Run a ball up and down a court or a field for a few years and then leave your past behind for good. Don’t look back, just get out. Athletics at a school dominated by white leftists is sold as the ticket of escape from the poverty that white leftists created in the first place.
What Hill proposes is much more humane—much more Catholic, in fact. Building up a community through patient effort takes a lot more work than kneeling for two minutes during the national anthem. Students and professors at HBCUs get far, far less attention than their counterparts at Gargantuan State (funny, but Hill’s alma mater ESPN is at LSU games far more often than they’re at Grambling’s). But HBCUs do more for black neighborhoods than any number of Famous Athlete Foundations will ever achieve. If heaven is gained like the camel passing through the eye of a needle, then one wonders whither the wide, cash-paved road of the pro career and the endorsement contract will lead.
Jemele Hill probably did not mean to say any of this, of course. But she is right all the same. It will take a lot of time and commitment to heal the broken hearts of the communities that liberalism carpetbombed with federal “assistance”. Imagine what could happen if subsidiarity, and not subsidized escape programs for talented youth, was the guiding principle of neighborhoods across the United States.
--Jason Morgan is associate professor at Reitaku University in Chiba, Japan.
Little Hong Kong, dangling from the underbelly of this beast, is putting up a fight so valiant, so brave, that it brings tears to the eyes of anyone who hopes for more from life than managed consumerism and soul-deadening distraction from the fact of fundamental unfreedom. -Jason Morgan
Many around the world watching the Hong Kong protests unfold are probably thinking that they portend the downfall of the communist Leviathan in Beijing.
They do not.
Christianity is a strange religion. So strange, in fact, that it may be best not even to call it a religion at all. There is no end to ‘the varieties of religious experience’, as our pragmatic-Protestant culture delights in pointing out. But the treasure of truth safeguarded by the Catholic Church is, at heart, a singular paradox. Man sins, and God dies so that man might live. Nobody, but nobody, saw that coming.
Nobody sees it coming still. It shocks everyone who learns that God is not some lightning bolt-hurling playboy living on top of a mountain or a thousand-armed arhat with knotty hair. God is love, and love to death.
Many Remnant readers will probably have heard of Mishima Yukio. Japanese literary star Mishima was one of the most famous novelists of the twentieth century. (In my humble opinion, he was also the best.) Although not a Catholic by any stretch of the imagination, Mishima wrote sensitively, at times searingly, about questions of faith.
Among Mishima’s many masterpieces is the 1956 novel Kinkakuji, which Ivan Morris translated into English in 1959 as The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. The real Kinkakuji—the Temple of the Golden Pavilion—is among the few instantly-recognizable buildings in the world. Anyone who has visited Kyoto has surely been to this breathtaking architectural triumph.
Gilded and yet not glittering, ostentatious and yet subtle and even reserved, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, which is also known as the Rokuonji, marks a high-water point of medieval Japanese culture. Built by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in the late fourteenth century, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion was a Zen Buddhist enclave as well as, eventually, a world-renowned artifact of Muromachi brilliance.
Let us avoid any more damage done by Pope Pokémon I, jumping around from one globalist mashup to the next and surely just minutes away from incardinating Ringo Starr. --Jason Morgan
Whenever anything of mine appears in print, I assume it will have precisely two readers: my editor, and my Mom.
Imagine my delight, then, when I found that someone had not only read one of my recent Remnant columns—nearly doubling my usual audience!—but had taken the time to reply to my arguments. I am grateful to the website Novus Ordo Watch for their lengthy, albeit unsigned, essay, “Missing the Forest for the Trees: The Remnant on Schism and Sedevacantism,” in which the anonymous author (how fitting that a sedevacantist should have no name) goes through my original Remnant article with a fine-toothed comb. If only everyone read my little jottings so closely. (I’m not letting this go to my head, though. I still assume a readership of two. Thanks, Ma!)