Despite their attempt to make racism define November’s election, activists on the left are the real racists.
So damaging is the accusation, the racism charge is tantamount to conviction; this makes it a particularly advantageous weapon for the left. Yet, besides transparently attempting to define every issue by race, they are exploiting the victims they profess to help.
For several years, the charge of racism has been America’s most politically lethal. In addition to its visceral appeal for the left, it also addresses their strategic liabilities.
Activists on the left are America’s smallest ideological and political group. They therefore approach every confrontation knowing they must be united internally, and externally must split their opposition. The charge of racism does double duty for them.
Nothing unites the left more than victimhood, and there is no more compelling version of victimhood than racism. The victim of racism is guilty of being none other than who they are; a victim is utterly and unjustly defenseless. The accusation also splits the left’s center-right opposition who, though opposed to the left’s agenda, can be partially swayed by an ostensible claim of righting injustice.
Because of their advantageous opportunity, liberals have swung racism as a political cudgel against their opponents for years. Therefore, it was preordained that the left-wing activists were going to use the racism charge this November. However, with George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis raising racism to headline heights, the left’s opportunity became unparalleled.
Yet, in America’s current haste to eradicate racists, we have forgotten what racism really is. Racism, after all, is a fixation on race to the effective exclusion of other factors, so that race alone becomes determinative of one’s action. Nothing so accurately describes the left’s actions today.
Of course, the left will erroneously object that racism is so prevalent in America that nothing short of myopic fixation will fix it. It is a clever dodge meant to justify the left’s own use of race to advance its agenda. It also violates common sense that two wrongs do not make a right. Left-wing activists have long operated under their own dispensation here: That one wrong gives them the right to pursue another wrong.
Even more convincing of the left’s racism than their racist approach, are the results of their supposedly anti-racism actions — both past and present. The most compelling proof that the left uses victims to pursue its own ends — not the victims’ — is that the victims the left ostensibly defend fare so badly under its policies.
For decades, minorities have been the majority population where America’s left is politically strongest: big cities. Left-wing activists have held uncontested sway for decades, with full control over massive government funds to design and implement their policies. Yet, big cities are known for their poverty, poor schools and crime — and for their poorest inhabitants wanting to escape.
The left’s policies have not helped the victims, but they have safely ensconced liberal politicians in sinecures where they effectively can rule for life. The same benefits have flowed through to the representatives within the coalition that keeps the left in power — particularly government worker unions.
The last several months have only underscored that the left is using its victims. Big cities are the epicenters of so-called social justice “protests,” which the unbiased eye sees as “riots.” Undertaken by ultra-leftist agitators and unimpeded by old-line leftist politicians, swaths of big cities have become at worst war zones, and at best no-man’s lands where lawlessness prevails.
Today’s riots have nothing to do with social justice for victims, and everything to do with social upheaval to advance the left. Instead of alleviating minorities’ victim status, they increase it. Minorities now are more subject to crime and lawlessness than ever before.
Formerly, the left and its policies had kept minorities victims. Now, the left — riotous agitators and complicit politicians — have made them even greater victims.
Liberals are focused on race in order to advance their own agenda, not the actual victims of racism. They have doubly exploited the minorities about whom they profess to care: First, as cover for their agenda, and then as victims of their failed policies.
The left’s exploitation of minorities is not new; however, they have now taken it to a new level. What better definition of racism exists than exploiting someone based on race, without regard to the outcome? If Americans want to focus on racism, they do not have to go far to find it. They need only look to their left.
• J.T. Young served in the Office of Management and Budget and at the Treasury Department.