Have we become a nation of toddlers?
Even as our country is grappling with weighty questions about history, racism, and how to deal with a pandemic, we’re seeing an explosion of behavior as rational as that of a small child, high on sugar-laced juice boxes, throwing a tantrum.
Just consider these examples from the past few days.
In a video captured by The Daily Caller’s Henry Rodgers, a white woman is “racesplaining” to African-American police officers. “You’re white, and you’re telling this to two black police officers. Do you see the problem with that a little bit?” asks Rodgers.
“Um, no, I don’t, because you know what? just because I’m white and I haven’t experienced racism myself doesn’t mean I can’t fight for justice,” the white woman responds. “They’re a part of the system. They’re a part of the problem. Just ’cause they’re black doesn’t mean they’re not a part of the problem. I’m allowed to say this to whoever because I’m white. Racism is a white person’s problem. Racism is my problem. I need to fix it. That’s why I’m here, talking to all of them—black, white, f–king brown, purple—.”
(Editor’s note: Crude language used in this clip)
So, apparently, the logic on the left has gone from only people of color can talk about racism to … only liberals, regardless of skin color, can talk about racism. Also apparently, color blindness is in vogue again.
On Tuesday, Twitter slapped a warning on yet another of President Donald Trump’s tweets, sanctimoniously declaring, “We’ve placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group.”
Ah, you say, but what exactly did our bombastic president say? Well, here’s what he said: “There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try, they will be met with serious force!”
Yes, the “threat of harm against an identifiable group” was … Trump’s saying a portion of D.C. can’t secede from the United States.
I don’t want to overthink this, but it seems as though if Twitter had been around in the 1860s, this kind of pro-secession talk would have put it on the Wrong Side of History.
Think secession talk is too far? Well, in Seattle’s “autonomous zone,” the police have been kicked out of a precinct building. And when a fight broke out over the weekend, leading to a person being killed, the police said they couldn’t get into the zone to investigate and bring back order.
Who exactly is inciting violence here again? (And I haven’t even started on the fact that journalist Andy Ngo told our own Rachel del Guidice that people in the Seattle zone were distributing literature on creating bombs and killing police.)
But we’re still not done detailing all the stupidity that’s gone down this week!
On Tuesday, a large group gathered around a statue in Washington, D.C., just blocks from the Capitol. “Thursday at 7 p.m.,” a man bellows, per a tweeted video from The Daily Caller’s Richie McGinniss, “we’re tearing this motherf—er down!” The crowd erupts into cheers and shouts of “woo!”
Well, you might say, mob rule isn’t the way to go, but gosh, why do we have so many Confederate statues around America, given that they fought for slavery?
Well, say what you will, but this is a statue of Abraham Lincoln. With a freed slave.
Nor was this eloquent gentleman the only one calling for statue destruction this week. On Monday, Shaun King, a journalist and a liberal activist with over a million Twitter followers, tweeted: “Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy.”
Ah, yes, because what we really need now is to take mobs to the churches! (The churches that are still empty or near-empty of believers in many jurisdictions because of coronavirus concerns. But, of course, the good news is that you can’t catch coronavirus when involved in a leftist protest, so there’s no risk of mobs in churches getting infected, unlike the very real perils of believers worshipping together and giving each other COVID-19. Side note: Isn’t it endearing that the medical community is still looking for a vaccine and cures, when we could just all protest together?)
Of course, King’s remarks also ignore the rich history of Christianity’s depiction of religious figures as a range of ethnicities. Yes, Jesus was a Jewish man who fit in in Egypt. But He’s also God … a bit more universal a figure.
As Bill McMorris beautifully wrote in The Federalist, Catholics have a rich tradition, including in Washington, D.C., of depicting Mary, the mother of Jesus, as being part of a range of cultures. (Although I suppose once King finds that out, he’ll be accusing Mary of cultural appropriation. You really can’t win here.)
Another example from this week? The country lurched into yet another solemn discussion of race relations, this one triggered by the discovery of a rope tied like a noose in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
Yet when the authorities investigated, it emerged that no nefarious action targeting Wallace, who is African American, had happened. Instead, the rope had been in place since October, long before this was Wallace’s assigned garage. Unfortunately, few waited for the facts to emerge, and just immediately saw the rope as more proof of how racist America is.
And don’t even start me on the fact that one activist is calling for “The Star-Spangled Banner” to be replaced as the national anthem by John Lennon’s “Imagine,” a sad slouch of a song that includes the apparently not-disqualifying lyric, “Imagine there’s no countries.”
I’m sure I could go on. Except I can’t … because this level of stupidity is just too depressing.
I hate to sound super boring here, but where are the adults?
We have real problems in America right now. We need to solve them with rational discourse, serious conversations, and genuine engagement with each other. We need to work together.
Instead, it’s as though decades of lousy education, a terrible media, and activists who favor retweets over real improvements all have colluded to create the perfect storm of stupidity.
It’s a weird time. We’ve all been locked up and cooped up. We’re worried about the long-term effects of a pandemic. Many Americans are out of work and/or facing the end of their small businesses. We’re horrified by the fact that a cop killed a man who wasn’t resisting arrest, while three other cops watched as the man said he couldn’t breathe.
It’s not surprising that emotions are high. But we cannot meet this moment with just our passions. We have to be serious here.
Just consider the fact that a Wisconsin state senator, Tim Carpenter, says he was beaten up Tuesday night by a mob near the state Capitol in Madison (where more statues were torn down). Carpenter tweeted: “I took this pic– it got me assaulted & beat up. Punched/kicked in the head, neck, ribs. Maybe concussion, socked in left eye is little blurry, sore neck & ribs. 8-10 people attacked me. Innocent people are going to get killed.”
Carpenter told The Washington Post, “Sad thing I’m on their side for peaceful demonstrations—am a Gay Progressive Dem Senator [who] served 36 years in the legislature.”
I wish I could just laugh off the examples I’ve listed here, but Carpenter’s example shows why we are teetering on the cusp of something far more likely to be tragic than risible.
At a time like this, I can only cry—because nothing less than America’s future is at stake.