Enough about The Civil Rights Icon Formerly Known As John Lewis. This isn’t about him. It hasn’t even been about Civil Rights for 50 years. Let me explain what I mean before the progressive left starts attacking me for being a racist for having the temerity to question Saint John of Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Congressman Lewis risked life and limb to get rid of Jim Crow laws. There can be no doubt he did do that. For opposing that tyranny on behalf of his people – black Americans – and getting his skull cracked in the process, he should be celebrated just as we celebrate our Founding Fathers for breaking free of the tyranny of King George – but the similarities stop there.
Lewis and his compatriots – including Dr. King – won their battle against the authoritarian state (controlled primarily by the party he is a member of today, the Democrats) through using techniques pioneered by socialists and communists. Where the Founding Fathers drew people to their cause by promising liberty and individual freedom from a controlling state thousands of miles away, the Civil Rights movement was about getting a controlling state to carve out special protections for certain “protected groups” as a means of resolving temporary inequalities that existed. Rather than just stopping the actions of the Jim Crow governments, the Civil Rights movement promised economic and social retribution against the perpetrators (and I will not argue there wasn’t a need for punishment) but what actually happened was the waste of 50 years and 22 trillion dollars and the establishment of a never-ending welfare state.
The perpetual Civil Rights “struggle” shares much in common with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – neither are about statehood, independence, or self-determination any more (if they ever were), they are about one of the parties to the conflict being eliminated. I can state without fear of contradiction, given the ground rules established in the 50-year fight against racism and poverty, whites in America can never win.
I often wonder if what Netanyahu sad about the Arabs applies to the racial strife in America. Bibi said, “If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.” Of course, I don’t mean that to imply or infer that blacks want to kill whites or vice versa, Netanyahu’s statement just condenses the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict into two succinct sentences and it is a insoluble situation that seems to mirror our own.
Netanyahu’s remarks imply that if the antagonistic Palestinians would just stop fighting long enough to look around, what they profess to want is well within their grasp – their enemies would no longer be their enemies and there would be peace. One wonders if the same realization could not be experienced by blacks in America.
I also think about the fact the heartthrob of every American petit communist, Commandante Che Guevara visited the Gaza Strip in 1959, shortly after he and Fidel rocked the house down in old Havana. What could atheist (Castro called it secularism) Cuban communists and Arab Muslim communists possible have in common, one might ask?
Hmmmmmm. I just can’t figure that one out – but communism springs to mind.
I said it about Trump months ago, it matters how you win. The Civil Rights were won – but the concepts behind the win were collectivist – socialism and communism. It matters that Lewis and his fellow Civil Rights “icons” allied themselves with folks like Che and venerate “heroes” like Eugene Debs, John Dewey, Paul Robeson and Saul Alinsky.
The problem with using authoritarian techniques to bring down authoritarianism is that sooner or later you turn into an authoritarian. That is the biggest problem I have with Trump and I’ve said this before as well – right wing authoritarianism is just as evil as left wing authoritarianism.
If, 50 years later, the Civil Rights battle was clearly won and there is no reason to keep fighting, then why keep fighting?
The answer to that is “because it isn’t about Civil Rights any longer, “Civil Rights” is just window dressing. It is about fighting for socialism and communism.