Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Real Target of ‘Anti-Racism’ Protests: Western Civilization, and Its Values – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 17, 2020

There was, however, a jarring incoherence in the whole enterprise. Even though the protests were ostensibly about the supposedly pervasive racism in Britain, they were launched and conducted in the name of George Floyd. The question that arises is this: If you are protesting racism in the UK, why do you do it in the name of a man who had nothing to do with the UK?


That Western civilization is in crisis has been obvious to some people for some time. The dramatic events of recent months in America and Europe have brought home with great vividness and immediacy the seriousness of this crisis. The protests and looting that swept through the United States quickly turned dozens of inner American cities into something akin to bombed out war zones. The surging wave of violence and anarchy, however, was not the only issue of deep concern. Equally alarming was our society’s response to it. Instead of taking measures to reestablish order and the rule of law, our political system malfunctioned at the moment of emergency. Fractious and paralyzed, the political establishment not only failed to implement meaningful measures to take control of the situation, it – unbelievably – tied the hands of the law enforcement, forcing it to stand by as destruction unfolded right before our eyes. Rather than encouraging and empowering the police to fight the unfolding anarchy, the events took a truly bizarre twist when some politicians and public officials began cutting funding for the very bodies and agencies tasked with protection of public order.

It is no exaggeration to say that the protests shook our society to its very foundations. They exposed a number of latent fault lines and further exacerbated those that had been painfully obvious before. The situation suddenly appeared to be so dire that many people began to fear that our nation – and indeed the whole of Western society – may be on the brink of disintegration. These fears may well be justified, since America was not the only country so shaken. Protests of similar natured gripped other Western democracies as well.

Most would now agree that the West is in the throes of an existential crisis. What is not so clear or agreed upon, however, is the nature of the crisis or even what the core issues and problems are. This lack of clarity is disconcerting, because if we cannot accurately identify the cause, we cannot take effective measures to address it. The first step toward understanding the nature of our plight, therefore, is to grasp what these protests were really about, since they obviously represented a violent eruption of the discontent and pathologies that have been festering in the Western psyche and which now threaten to engulf and destroy our societies.

The stated reason for these protests – both in the United States and Europe – was racism, which is said to be the great moral failing of our civilization. In the United States especially, we saw protesters asserting with great vehemence and anger that our society is oppressive toward minorities, particularly black people. But for anyone who knows the situation in the United States there was something fundamentally problematic with these assertions. They just don’t ring true.

Even though it is true that the United States has had a history of racial injustice – as, in fact, almost all countries have – it is most definitely not the case today. In a sincere effort to correct past wrongs, in the last sixty years the United States has undertaken tremendous efforts to assist and uplift its black population. This massive multipronged undertaking has been carried out with great resolution and at tremendous cost. It took the form of financial and material assistance, of various types of reverse discrimination, racial quotas in employment and education, preferential treatment of various kinds, lowering of professional and educational standards for black people and a host of other measures. Most of this was motivated by a genuine desire to improve the lives and situation of African Americans.

After six decades of this we can say with complete confidence that never in history has a power-yielding majority done so much for a racial minority as white Americans have done for black Americans. As the writer Fred Reed put it: “In truth, America has made the greatest effort ever essayed by one race to uplift another. 

The fact is that not only black people have equal rights – individual, civil, legal and political – with whites, but our current societal system is actually biased in favor of racial minorities. If truth be told, blacks in America today enjoy more protections, rights and advantage than white people do. American whites are the only ruling majority that has voluntarily relinquished its hold on power and made blacks the most protected, financially supported and privileged racial minority in history. This much is obvious to any objective observer.

Racism the American way: The 44nd President of the United States with the first lady and the first family

The claim that the United States is a racist society is thus completely at variance with reality. It is simply not true. One of the countless examples one could mention to illustrate this is the spectacular rise of Barack Obama who was elected to the highest office in America even though his prior accomplishments would – in the words of one commentator – barely fill the back of a postage stamp. A community organizer with a past about which he did not want to speak, Mr. Obama’s main qualification for becoming President of the United States was apparently the fact that his skin was black. Needless to say, the bulk of the votes that catapulted Mr. Obama into office was cast by white people. Could anything like this ever happen in a racist country?

There are, of course, instances of racism on the individual and private levels. All racial groups are prone to this kind of prejudice and black people themselves are no exception. In fact, black racism is a well-known phenomenon, and it is probably more widespread and corrosive than white on black racism today. But be that as it may, any public manifestation of vestigial private racism against minorities – whether it be in employment, education, politics or in any other area – is quickly dealt with by a range of mechanisms designed to stop and correct any such occurrences. Acts of racism or discrimination are unlawful in the United States and the country enforces its anti-discriminatory laws with considerable vigor and strictness. So much so that the law is often abused in the opposite direction. Few countries are more sensitive to the issue of racism than the US. Rather than being discriminatory, American society as it exists now is structured in a way to give minorities advantage over the majority.

This is not to deny that large parts of the black community are plagued by severe pathologies and ills. But these are certainly not the result of discrimination. The seventy five percent illegitimacy rate and the decadent black street culture are among some of the root causes of the black predicament. The chances of a child born to a single mother who grows up in the grip of black street culture – as so many black children do – to become an upright, well-adjusted human being who can lead a fulfilling life are virtually zero. This, we would suggest, is the real driver of the black crisis. In other words, the problems that plague the black demographic are moral in nature and not a consequence of racism.

To give legitimacy to their claims, race activists point to instances like the George Floyd incident. But in a nation of more than 320 million people in which every year there are more than three million police-public contacts such events are extremely rare. Studies and investigations have repeatedly shown that the police do not apply lethal force in a racially biased manner (see here, here and here). In the vast majority of cases where black men die in the hands of the police, it is not because they are targeted for the color of their skin. This may also have been the case with George Floyd as there is a substantial body of evidence that his death was a result of cardiopulmonary arrest brought about by a combination of pre-existing conditions with lethal levels of Fentanyl in his system.

But even if George Floyd was killed by a rogue cop because of the color of his skin, it would not indicate that America as such is a racist nation. There are bad cops, of course, as there are bad, lawyers, doctors and teachers. But that does not mean that such individuals are reflective of the society as a whole. Such bad apples are exceptions and whenever their actions are brought to light they are dealt with by appropriate mechanisms. This is most certainly the case with the police where every lethal event is subject to extensive inquiry and investigation.  Beyond Woke Michael Recten

Protests in Britain

The false basis of the protests that swept across large portions of the western world become even more obvious when we look at the situation on the other side of the Atlantic. Not long after rioting broke out in the US, similar stirrings began manifesting themselves in Great Britain as well. As in the US, the protests there were organized by Black Lives Matter and featured almost identical rhetoric and posturing. Like in the United States, the declared cause of the protests was racism which is – so it was alleged – endemically and systemically embedded in British society.

There was, however, a jarring incoherence in the whole enterprise. Even though the protests were ostensibly about the supposedly pervasive racism in Britain, they were launched and conducted in the name of George Floyd. The question that arises is this: If you are protesting racism in the UK, why do you do it in the name of a man who had nothing to do with the UK?  George Floyd was not a British citizen, had no ties to Britain and died thousands of miles away in another country. His death had absolutely nothing to do with British society, the British government or the British police. Why, then, do the protesters who demonstrate against the alleged racial injustices in the UK carry posters of George Floyd and chant his name as they march along? If they are protesting racism in the UK, why don’t they bring up instances of racism from Great Britain? If Britain is such a racist country as they say it is, they should have no difficulties pointing to genuine home-made instances of racial oppression. Why don’t they do it then?

The answer is quite simple: It is because they cannot not really find any. Rather than being oppressed, the black minority in the UK enjoys similar kinds of special protections, privileges, rights and benefits that are enjoyed by their counterparts across the ocean. The UK, like America, is not racist country… far from it. Like the United States, the UK has bent backwards to help and accommodate its racial minorities whom it treats with great consideration and good will. Hence the difficulties of the protestors to find an authentic homemade cause around which to rally their movement. Instead they had to disingenuously exploit an unfortunate and unrepresentative incident that happened an ocean away in a country not their own.

What all this shows is that the “anti-racism” protests that took place on both sides of the Atlantic were launched and conducted on a fraudulent basis and under false pretenses. The protestors were thus literally rebels without a cause. Or, to be more precise, they were rebels with a fake cause. Their fake cause was systemic racism which, however, they could not document with any bona fide evidence.

The movement’s true objective

The question, then, becomes: What was the real reason for the protests? What were these protests in their core really about?

Before we go further, we should observe that the protestors did not form a monolithic front. They were made of various groups, subgroups and factions who took part for various reasons and with different agendas. They ranged from looters who come to get their free Nikies and iPhones through spoilt white college students in search of meaning to aging boomers who longed to relive the excitement of their 60s heyday. There were also those who were seeking an outlet for the surfeit of their energies generated by the prolonged COVID lockdowns, and then there were the menacing Antifa types.

Yet despite all of this variance of groups and motives, the overall thrust and energy inclined in specific direction against a definite target. We can see what that target was when we consider the kind of symbolic objects the protestors consciously and systematically targeted for physical destruction. One class of such objects were the statues representing distinguished men of the past. Revealingly, the mob was not after a particular group of historical figures. The statue slayers attacked memorials of men who distinguished themselves across the spectrum of human endeavors – thinkers, national leaders, explorers, religious figures. Even though the destruction was carried out under the generic charge of racism, many people were startled by its apparently indiscriminate and random nature. The attacks, however, were not random in the deeper sense, for what these men shared was that they all played some part in the advancement and progress of Western civilization. In other words, each in his own way contributed in some measure to the flourishing of Western culture. And it was precisely this fact that drew the ire of the raging mob. The racism charge with which they sought to cover their motives was purely nominal and obviously false, given that they targeted statues even of men who had done much in the cause of liberation of black people. Abraham Lincoln would be one example of this.

But even the attacks on men who have done less for minorities than Lincoln did were contrary to reason, since their contributions helped to build the only civilization in human history that grants racial minorities equal freedoms and rights. If the protestors were indeed concerned with racial progress, they would feel gratitude toward these individuals. Their attacks, however, betray what these protests were in their core about – an attack on Western civilization and culture.

This becomes clear when we contemplate other classes of objects that protestors targeted for destruction such as, for example, Christian churches. More than one hundred houses of worship have been attacked and vandalized in the course of the protests to the surprise of many observers. But there is nothing surprising about this once we understand the protestors’ frame of mind. Conscious of the fact that Christianity played an instrumental role in the development of Western civilization, they sought to destroy its structures and symbols. Revealing also is the fact that while dutifully destroying Christian churches, the protestors felt no compulsion to complain about Muslim mosques. This is strange indeed given that mosques represent a genuinely oppressive civilizational stream that not only brutally oppresses minorities to this very day but thinks there is nothing particularly wrong with such treatment of people.

But it is not only the crass destruction of physical symbols of Western civilization that betray the protestors’ true motivation. Underneath these crude physical gestures is a more subtle and far more dangerous assault on the foundational values and principles of Western culture such as freedom of speech, open discourse, freedom of expression, tolerance of opposing views, freedom of conscience, etc. All of this we will develop and discuss in greater details in the essays that will follow. For now, we leave you with these observations:

The protest movement which is unfolding before our eyes on American streets and in European cities is in its inmost essence nothing other than a wholesale, thinly-disguised assault on Western civilization and its values.

It is hatred of the West that is the true drivers of the faux “anti-racist” crusade and that actuates the protestors’ destructive energies. It is this, rather than the non-existent racism, that represents the real existential threat to our Western culture and the way of life.

Be seeing you


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