America has spent years fighting communism outside its borders, but now a Marxist threat is growing from within the country, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez says.
Gonzalez, author of “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution,” says the Black Lives Matter organization has encouraged Americans, especially young people, to embrace communist ideology.
In 2020, there “were 633 riots … according to the U.S. Crisis Monitor run out of Princeton [University], and 95% of those riots in which we know the identity of the perpetrator … Black Lives Matter members were included,” Gonzalez says.
Through his book, Gonzalez hopes to “open people’s eyes” to the true nature of Black Lives Matter.
Gonzalez joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss the book and why he’s standing against the communist influences in our culture today.
Also on today’s show, we read your letters to the editor and share a good news story about a New Jersey community that is going above and beyond to make sure all returning military personnel receive the welcome and thank you they deserve.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.
Virginia Allen: I am so pleased to be joined by Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez. Mike is the author of the brand new book “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution.” Mike, the book is out today, congratulations.
Mike Gonzalez: Thank you, Virginia. Yes, I’m very happy.
Allen: You really didn’t mince words with the title of this book: “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution.” That’s pretty straightforward. But I do want to begin with defining some terms. What exactly do you mean by “new Marxist revolution”?
Gonzalez: When we talk about Marxists, we’re talking about communists. They have tried to take over America for many decades, for many centuries, really. They have always seen America as a rich country, the world leader, at least since World War I. They want to see us as a top target, but they failed miserably.
In all the years as a Soviet Union, they tried to infiltrate us or tried to influence Americans and they failed. This time through Black Lives Matter—and I can get into why—Marxism and Marxist communists have come very close, the closest they’ve ever come, to changing our way of life and that is what is happening right now.
Allen: I found it really fascinating that as you’re going through the book, you’re explaining that very thing, this changing culture and how the Black Lives Matter organization has an agenda. You actually started the book by talking about Frederick Douglass. That fascinated me. Why did you feel the need to give that historical perspective and talk about a figure like Frederick Douglass before diving into this larger conversation about Black Lives Matter?
Gonzalez: Yeah, Chapter 1 starts with Frederick Douglass, the introduction obviously starts with Jan. 6. I explain my understanding of Jan. 6, but I start the book proper on Frederick Douglass because Frederick Douglass really is the best known abolitionist in U.S. history. He was a man of noble character. He was a man of courage. I started with his fight with a sadistic master to whom he had been loaned and how he said he became a man by beating this man who owned them on loan.
I started with him because throughout his life, he was anti-socialist. I describe in the book a meeting in which he spoke and there was a socialist. One of the quirky, weird, odd things about communists and socialists, by the way, [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels never established a difference between socialism and communism, but they used the terms interchangeably. The socialist speaking with Frederick Douglass really was not putting an emphasis on the abolition of slavery. He was putting an emphasis on the abolition of wage labor.
Communists believed that wage labor—in other words, what we all do—is a continuation of slavery, which is crazy, just as communism is crazy. Frederick Douglass could not stand that this man was saying these things.
To Frederick Douglass, abolition was about one thing: It was about ending slavery, ending this blight upon our country. To communists, abolition is a completely separate thing. They want to abolish the family, the state, and all the institutions. In 1848, when this meeting takes place, Frederick Douglass understood that what we needed to abolish was slavery.
Allen: Yeah. That historical context is so critical for this broader conversation. I loved in the introduction, you really clearly lay out the mission for the book. You say, “This book exists to fill the void in public awareness.” You go on to say, “If journalists will not report on the real nature of the Black Lives Matter organizations and their leaders and if the federal government cannot gather information on First Amendment-protected activities, this book will attempt to correct the record and analyze all the aspects of what transpired in 2020, as well as the historical forces that led up to those events.”
So what then is that real nature of the Black Lives Matter organization and their leaders?
Gonzalez: First of all, I want to make it very clear that I agree with demand on the federal government not being able to collect information on First Amendment-protected activities. I’m saddened by the fact that journalists did not vet, in fact, refuse to vet and did not cover the Black Lives Matter movement.
They covered for them. They de-emphasize or deny the Marxism of their founders—Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and also Melina Abdullah—even though they themselves are quite open about it and make videos saying, “Yeah, I’m a Marxist and I’ve being trained as a Marxist.”
They say this all the time and journalists, when they report on it—which is very, very seldom—they say, I think I quote a PolitiFact fact check, in which he said, “Well, Marxism these days, it’s really considering life through an economic lens.”
No, it isn’t. Marxism is what it is, what it says it is. It’s communism. It is getting rid of the market economy, getting rid of capitalism, which Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors say they want to do. They want to get rid of free markets. They want to get rid of our ability to own property and sell that property or sell our labor for a wage. They don’t even like our system of representative democracy.
Opal Tometi has been very praiseful of the Chavismo in Venezuela. She was photographed with Nicolas Maduro. She believes in this type of direct democracy, which is not a democracy at all. It’s just a dictatorship of one party.
So this is what they want to do. They want to abolish the family. In fact, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation had it on their website that they wanted to really make deep changes to the family system.
I wrote about it with my colleague, Andrew Olivastro, in a piece that was read by over a million people. Within a month, they did what all Stalinists do: They airbrushed that out of their website. All of a sudden that was gone, except that it is in other parts of the literature. They cannot hide this. They want to abolish the American way of life. This is what they’re about.
They hide themselves behind a very good slogan: “Black lives matter.” Who could be against that? If you don’t think that black lives matter, I don’t even want to talk to you. They hide themselves. If they call themselves “Red Ideas Matter,” it would be much more representative of who they are, but of course, like all communists, they hide themselves behind these noble sentiments, like black lives matter.
Allen: That’s really helpful context, Mike. I know you talk about the fact that, for so long, and during the Cold War, America was fighting the Soviet Union and we were fighting communism from afar, but now what we see is that we’re fighting it within our own borders, we’re fighting it from within.
Talk a little bit about how the organization Black Lives Matter is responsible. Are they responsible? Should we blame them for what we see now in this new interest that we see young people having in socialism and in new fascination with communism? Is Black Lives Matter really to blame for that?
Gonzalez: Yeah, let me put it together. First of all, it’s a really sad irony that as we celebrate this year, the 30th anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, that we’re seeing communist ideas gain such currency in our system.
We spent all these resources, all this time and energy and lives fighting socialism, fighting communism, fighting what [former President Ronald] Reagan called the “evil empire,” the Soviet Union, which was finally dissolved on Christmas Day 1991. The significance of the day is underlining the noble and moral character of our crusade against communism.
It is because of what happened in 2020, the year of turmoil and the riots. There were 633 riots, by the way, at least according to the U.S. Crisis Monitor run out of Princeton. And 95% of those riots in which we know the identity of the perpetrator, Black Lives Matter members were included.
It is because of this that critical race theory all of a sudden jumps the university walls and enters K-12 in full force. We’re seeing as a result of last year, our classrooms completely change and teachers. It was happening before, but it really enters into full force.
We see also critical race theory entering the military, the houses of worship. And corporate America has completely surrendered to this ideology. Sports and every aspect of our lives is because of this. It is because of what happened last year.
The manipulation of the tragedy of George Floyd’s death, which is a tragedy, the manipulation of this into making people believe the leaders of all our key institutions that we are systemically racist and that our criminal justice system is systemically racist—they threw in the towel and accepted all of this.
And we’re telling our soldiers to read critical race theory texts, which say that the Constitution is illegitimate. These are people who volunteered to defend the Constitution from enemies, foreign and domestic, and yet, we’re telling them to read Kendi and all these other writers, Ibram X. Kendi, who say the Constitution is an illegitimate document.
This is happening because of the year of unrest that we had the riots and demonstrations, the upheaval, that people want to forget. Nobody wants to talk about it, but we cannot forget what we had after May 2020 for many, many, many months. I’ve written the book just to shine a light on this and say, “We cannot give in.”
In fact, you’ve seen resistance from the American people. I’ve crossed the country and speak to groups from coast to coast and I get hundreds of people, I’m not that electrifying a speaker, and people turn out because they demand information about critical race theory. They want to know what’s going on. They want to have it explained to them.
The resistance is now coming from the grassroots. The American people are standing up and saying, “No, I don’t want these things taught to my children. I don’t want to be trained and go through these reeducation camps at my place of work.” This is a form of workplace harassment, so they’re fighting against what Verizon is trying to do, what American Express is trying to do, and even The Salvation Army has these training programs.
Allen: Well, Mike, I really appreciate the research that you have done on critical race theory. You really are the expert at Heritage on that subject. I encourage all of our listeners, if you want to read Mike’s pieces on this, you can check him out on The Heritage Foundation website.
Mike, you mentioned the riots last year that obviously took the nation by storm and really changed so much in our country. I was fascinated that in the book, you mentioned how Antifa in some ways became a distraction from Black Lives Matter. I was really, really interested in that point. Talk a little bit about that.
Gonzalez: I say that in a way to castigate politicians. Politicians from both parties are not courageous or as courageous as they should be. They don’t want to talk about Black Lives Matter because black lives matter, because of the slogan. They are very shy to talk about these organizations, which are distinct from the concept.
Antifa, which is a much more white phenomenon, these are anarchists. They’re violent anarchists. As I see it, they don’t have a thought-out academic discipline, like Black Lives Matter has critical race theory behind it. They’re all practitioners of critical race theory. Antifa doesn’t have that. Antifa is anarchism and it’s just pure violence, almost for the sake of violence. I think they have goals like overthrowing the state, but they don’t have a well-thought-out program.
Black Lives Matter has bills in Congress. Black Lives Matter has a curriculum that is being taught in many of our children’s schools already. Black Lives Matter has a foreign policy. They came out and supported the communist government of Cuba. As the communist government was rounding up protesters, beating them up, and putting them into prison through kangaroo trials, BLM came out and supported them. BLM came out in support against Israel as Israel was fighting the terrorist group Hamas earlier this year.
So Black Lives Matter has a foreign policy and it has a gazillion dollars. They raised $10 million—well, no, sorry, they raised $100 million last year. It has all these assets that Antifa does not have.
Allen: You mentioned the money and you have a whole chapter in the book specifically titled “Following the Money,” what did you discover as you looked at the money coming into and out of the Black Lives Matter organization?
Gonzalez: There are all these corporations that have gone woke. There are many reasons being given why.
Vivek Ramaswamy, a colleague, he does a lot of [anti-critical race theory] work, has another book out in which he talks about how this is really easy for the CEOs to go woke. This is costless to them, but we’re seeing all these foundations raising money.
A lot of times, as I point out in the chapter devoted to this, these foundations have links, longstanding links, to Marxist groups, such as the Sandinistas. One of these groups is a [pro-People’s Republic of China], pro-Maoism group in San Francisco, the Chinese Progressive Association, which is the financial sponsor of two of the Black Lives Matter affiliates.
The Chinese Progressive Association in San Francisco was founded to support the People’s Republic of China against mainland China, against Taiwan. It was founded in the ’70s for that reason.
Allen: In your writing of this book, in the research that you’ve done on the Black Lives Matter organization and critical race theory, ultimately, in your assessment, what’s the end goal for Black Lives Matter? What are they aiming for? You say that they have public policy, they have bills in Congress. What’s their end-all, be-all?
Gonzalez: Their goal is what Alicia Garza said … in 2019, when she was visiting a group of Maine leftists. She said, “What we want to do is dismantle the organizing principle of society.” She said that, and that’s what they want. They want to dismantle the way we’re organized. They want to dismantle the American system.
They say that we’re systemically, structurally, institutionally racist, because they want to pull out all the institutions and want to change all the institutions, all the structures in the very system of America. That is their goal and they hide behind this good slogan that black lives do matter in order to pursue the complete overhaul of the United States.
Look, we have problems, problems that we need to solve, obviously, but we’re still the fairest, most prosperous country in the world where real human flourishing can take place. That’s the reason why people fall from airplanes out of the sky to come to this country, and there’s no line of people leaving to get out.
There’s a very, very long line of people coming to get in because they see, they understand that America is the land of hope for the working man and woman of the world, of any race. These are people coming of all races. If we were a racist country, systemically racist country, we wouldn’t have so many people of all races wanting to come in here and succeeding here and thank God for that.
Allen: This might be a naive question, but why? You’re saying that they want to fundamentally change America, they want to unravel the traditional structure of the family, of capitalism. Why?
Gonzalez: Well, on the family itself, it was Marx and Engels who put that in “The Communist Manifesto” of 1848 that they wanted to “abolish the family.”
I don’t think anyone embraces evil qua evil. I think that they do believe that this is an oppressive system. Critical race theorists, just like critical legal theorists, just like critical theorists in the 1930s and ’20s, believe that the West has a superstructure that is oppressive. They admit that capitalism produces the goods, but they say that’s what’s bad about capitalism, because it produces material well-being and that it perpetuates a very oppressive system.
They are crazy, and I’m not a psychologist, but you have to believe that Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Melina Abdullah believe that we live in an oppressive society. Obviously, they haven’t traveled, or they haven’t traveled extensively outside of the U.S.
I have lived in at least seven countries, at least a year, as a foreign correspondent. I lived in Kabul for a month. And I can tell you that compared to the rest of the world, not only are we not oppressive, but we’re pretty, pretty good.
Allen: Where do we go from here then and what is really your hope as readers read the book, what do you want them to take from it?
Gonzalez: I want to open people’s eyes. I want to convince people who are either ambivalent about Black Lives Matter or actually believe that this is a noble endeavor and noble organizations, as a concept, of course it’s noble, but as organizations, no they’re not. And I want to convince people of that.
I also want to stiffen up the resolve of the American people that, no, we shouldn’t allow this here. The American people are exceptionally attached to liberty. We have always been. This is something that has been remarked upon by social scientists and foreign visitors for centuries—G. K. Chesterton and before him, Alexis de Tocqueville and Herbert Marcuse, who hated it.
I want the people who already are suspicious of the BLM organizations to stiffen their spine against this and make sure that this does not take hold. I also want to reach out to people who do believe that these are good organizations, who have been misinformed, who have been manipulated into believing that we live in an oppressive system with systemic racism.
Allen: So critical. Well, the book is “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution.” You can get it on Amazon. Mike, final words, anything you’d like to add before I let you go?
Gonzalez: Yes. As I said, America, I don’t want to pretend that we do not have our faults. No system ever is going to be perfect on earth because it’s dealing with flawed individuals, right? Man is flawed, but this is a good country. I traveled the country, I go everywhere. Americans are good people. We have a good system. So before we think about completely overhauling and pulling out the foundations, we should really think hard: Is this really what we want to do?
Allen: Critical. “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution,” get it on Amazon. Mike, thank you so much for being here.
Gonzalez: Thank you, Virginia.
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