Will Progressives erase the history of their racist heroes, or only their racist enemies?
.. Much of the country has demanded the elimination of references to, and images of, people of the past — from Christopher Columbus to Robert E. Lee — who do not meet our evolving standards of probity. In some cases, such damnation may be understandable if done calmly and peacefully — and democratically, by a majority vote of elected representatives.
.. Few probably wish to see a statue in a public park honoring Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of the founding members of the Ku Klux Klan, or Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney, who wrote the majority opinion in the racist Dred Scott decision that set the stage for the Civil War four years later.
But cleansing the past is a dangerous business. The wide liberal search for more enemies of the past may soon take progressives down hypocritical pathways they would prefer not to walk.
In the present climate of auditing the past, it is inevitable that Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood will have to be disassociated from its founder. Sanger was an unapologetic racist and eugenicist who pushed abortion to reduce the nonwhite population.
.. Should we ask that Ruth Bader Ginsburg resign from the Supreme Court? Even with the benefit of 21st-century moral sensitivity, Ginsburg still managed to echo Sanger in a racist reference to abortion (“growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of”).
Why did we ever mint a Susan B. Anthony dollar? The progressive suffragist once said, “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman.”
Liberal icon and Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren pushed for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II while he was California’s attorney general.
President Woodrow Wilson ensured that the Armed Forces were not integrated. He also segregated civil-service agencies. Why, then, does Princeton University still cling to its Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs? To honor a progressive who did a great deal of harm to African-American causes?
In the current logic, Klan membership certainly should be a disqualifier of public commemoration. Why are there public buildings and roads still dedicated to the late Democratic senator Robert Byrd, former “exalted cyclops” of his local Klan affiliate, who reportedly never shook his disgusting lifelong habit of using the N-word? Why is Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, once a Klansman, in the 20th century, still honored as a progressive hero?
.. Are the supposedly oppressed exempt from charges of oppression? Farm-labor icon Cesar Chavez once sent union thugs to the border to physically bar U.S. entry to undocumented Mexican immigrants, whom he derided as “wetbacks” in a fashion that would today surely earn Chavez ostracism by progressives as a xenophobe.
.. What is the ultimate purpose of progressives condemning the past? Does toppling the statue of a Confederate general — without a referendum or a majority vote of an elected council — improve racial relations? Does renaming a bridge or building reduce unemployment in the inner city?
.. Does selectively warring against the illiberal past make us feel better about doing something symbolic when we cannot do something substantive? Or is it a sign of raw power and ego when activists force authorities to cave to their threats and remove images and names in the dead of night? Does damning the dead send a flashy signal of our superior virtue?
“There’s a deep fascist streak in politics now. Ironically, the fascism of today marches under the banner of anti-fascism, and it claims the moral credibility of anti-fascism,” D’Souza said. “In other words, it tries to take all the odor of fascism – stained as it is with the Holocaust, Auschwitz – and project it onto Trump and on the right.”
“This is a massive historical deception. That’s the Big Lie at its core,”
.. D’Souza saw the election of former President Barack Obama as the tipping point for left-wing fascism.
.. “When Obama came in with his sort of Alinskyite sensibility, and Hillary, of course, having the same, a kind of gangsterism came into American politics.” he continued, “a gangsterism that said things like, ‘Let’s deploy the IRS against our opposition. Let’s wiretap using the FBI. Let’s try to put our opponents in prison.’ This is sort of fascist behavior, and this is the kind of thing that I don’t think – I mean, Jimmy Carter would not have dreamed of it. Neither would JFK or Truman.”
.. D’Souza said the left was driven to embrace these tactics by “the glimpse of being able to establish exactly what the fascists always wanted: a complete centralized state.”
.. “Remember, for example, that with the NSA today there are surveillance technologies that were completely unavailable to Mussolini in the 20s or Hitler in the 30s,” he pointed out. “So in a sense, true fascism, full-scale fascism, is more possible today than it was in the twentieth century.”
“This is sort of the leftist objective. Now, they thought that they were almost there – and then, out of nowhere, comes this bizarre guy Trump, and he sort of turns the tables. He takes over, and they’ve suddenly lost all three branches of government, and they can’t believe it. This is the fury out of which they’re striking back,” he said.
.. “Now, I’m not comparing the left to the Nazis of Auschwitz,” he added. “But I am comparing them to the early Nazis, and, in fact, I would insist that the history of the Democratic Party – look at its 150-year history of racism, slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan. This history is actually more reminiscent of Nazism than of, say, Mussolini-style fascism.”
.. “Mussolini didn’t actually have concentration camps,” he elaborated. “He didn’t persecute the Jews in the systematic fashion Hitler did. He didn’t have segregation. Mussolini’s fascism, in a sense, was much less racist. So if you want to compare racism, you’ve got to compare the Democratic Party with the Nazis – both those groups imbued, over most of their history, with deep racism.”
.. Kassam proposed that much of this truth has been hidden by rebranding left-wing heroes of the past, such as Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s transformation from eugenicist to “women’s health” pioneer.
“Margaret Sanger’s basic premise was eugenics,” D’Souza agreed. “More children from the fit and less from the unfit. She was in support of fairly extreme measures, including segregation and then, notoriously, forced sterilization in order to deprive lower-class and uneducated women of the chance to reproduce. She was very explicit about that.”
“Now, when the Nazis did it in 1933, Margaret Sanger gave speeches praising it. She said, ‘Look, the Nazis, the Germans, are ahead of us. We’ve got to catch up to them.’ This is the actual Margaret Sanger, but it’s not the Margaret Sanger you’ll find in Planned Parenthood brochures,” he said.
.. “Number one, I notice that the Republicans very rarely answer the accusations that are made against them,” D’Souza replied. “For example, all Trump needs to say is something like, ‘Hey, guys, it’s very interesting you call me a fascist. First of all, you guys slay me on every existing platform. I turn on the TV, comedians are ridiculing me. The media is blasting me. Hollywood people are railing. If I was really a fascist, do you think I would allow that to happen? Do you think Mussolini would allow the radio in Rome to be blasting him? No, he’d send some people over. They’d shut down the radio station. That would be the end of that.’”
“Real fascism doesn’t tolerate that kind of dissent,” he noted. “The pervasiveness of it is clear proof that Trump is not an authoritarian; he’s not a fascist.”
.. The guys, for example, who wrote the Nuremberg laws, the senior Nazi officials, are literally standing there and debating these laws holding in their hand the blueprints of Democratic laws of the Jim Crow South. And they’re basically saying, ‘All we need to do, in effect, is cross out the word black and write in the word Jew, and we’re home free.’ Literally, the Nuremberg laws were not parallel to, they were based upon – they were directly derived from – Democratic laws formed in America, in the South,” he said.