LAF FOREWORD: As I have done several times before, I’m sharing something with my readers written by someone other than myself. This is one of those pieces I wish I had written. I don’t want my readers to miss it.
I don’t always agree with what Mr. Shapiro writes. For example, he’s extremely critical of President Trump, although he has the political acumen to admit that Hillary would have been far worse. During the 2016 campaign he wrote that the electorate was being forced to choose between bad and worse.
I’ve read enough of Mr. Shapiro’s writing, though, to know that he’s a patriotic American and a strong conservative.
I agree with this piece in its entirety. I hope you find it thought-provoking.
# # # # # # # # # #
America Is Hitting the Self-Destruct Button
By Ben Shapiro, July 23, 2020
On Tuesday, July 21, The Wall Street Journal released the results of a poll performed in conjunction with NBC News. The poll found that 56 percent of Americans believe American society is racist. Seventy-one percent believe race relations are either very or fairly bad. Most troubling, 65 percent of black Americans say that racial discrimination is built into American society, “including into our policies and institutions.”
The notion that America is systemically racist bodes ill for the future.
It’s also a dramatic lie. American history is replete with racism; racism was indeed the root of systems ranging from slavery to Jim Crow. But the story of America is the story of the cashing of Martin Luther King Jr.’s promissory note: the fulfillment of the pledge of the Declaration of Independence to treat all men equally, to grant them protection of their inalienable natural rights. America has worked to extirpate the nearly universal sin of bigotry in pursuit of the fulfillment of the declaration. The story of America is 1776, not 1619; it’s Abraham Lincoln, not John C. Calhoun; it’s Martin Luther King Jr., not Robin DiAngelo.
It is particularly true today that American society does not deserve the scorn being heaped upon her head. American society is decidedly not racist: According to Swedish economists from World Values, America is one of the most racially tolerant countries on Earth. American law has banned discrimination on race for two generations and more than half a century; in fact, the only racially discriminatory laws on the books cut in favor of racial minorities, who have been granted special privileges in arenas like college admissions and government.contracts
The police are no longer instruments of racial terror, contrary to popular media narrative: In many of America’s largest cities, police forces are either majority minority or nearly so, and police are not more likely to shoot and kill black Americans than white Americans. Problems of high crime in minority neighborhoods are generally a result of underpolicing, rather than the converse.
Some problems of wealth inequality are in part products of history — history always has consequences. But overwhelmingly, the pathways to success are not barred by discrimination. Black Americans occupy many of the most prominent positions in American society, from government to entertainment to education to finance. Responsible individual decision-making is generally rewarded for all Americans, black and white. And Americans are more than willing to fight those who would obstruct the possibility of success for those who make the right decisions.
More and more Americans apparently believe that the American system is endemically racist — yet the system produces more wealth, freedom, and opportunity than any on Earth for millions of citizens of every color, creed, and religion.
If a majority of Americans believe that society is racist — not just individuals but a vast swath of friends and neighbors, and America’s institutions to boot — then it will be quite difficult for Americans to unify. No country can survive its citizens seeing one another as enemies rather than friends, seeing their country as a reflection of continuing evil embedded in its history.
America, like every other nation, requires a common philosophy, culture, and history to survive. And yet those elements are being consistently eroded by those who would rather collapse the American system in pursuit of some unspecified utopia.
That utopia will not come. All that will follow in the wake of the dissolution of our common bonds is chaos. The principles of the Declaration of Independence remain true; the promise remains durable. The only question is whether we are willing to stand up for those principles and work anew to fulfill those promises, rather than caving in the foundations of the greatest nation ever conceived by mankind.
Ben Shapiro is a 36-year-old graduate of Harvard Law School, He is host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller “The Right Side of History.” He lives with his wife and three children in Los Angeles.
# # # # # # # # # #
LAF AFTERWORD: As many of you know, I’m an avid student of history. I’m particularly interested in the history of Germany between the World Wars. After sixty years of study I’m still trying to understand how 35 million of some of the most intelligent and best-educated people in the world allowed a madman like Adolf Hitler to lead them not only to the brink of destruction but over the precipice.
One of the keys, I think, lies in the fact that after WW1, Germany was radically divided. Roughly half the German population was on the far left, advocating socialism and communism. (Remember, the Bolshevik Revolution, in which the Russian Communist Party defeated the Tsarist monarchy, had only happened two years earlier.)
The other half was on the far right, advocating German nationalism, German patriotism, and a return to German hegemony.
There were no “moderates,” because moderates weren’t tolerated by either side of the political spectrum. Those who argued there were valid points on both sides were told, “You’re either for us or against us. Choose.”
I’m seeing the same thing play out in the U.S. today, and it frightens me. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 triggered an outpouring of political hatred the likes of which this nation hasn’t seen since Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams in the election of 1800. Even the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 to replace the incompetent Jimmy Carter didn’t trigger this level of divisiveness.
Now we have left-wing anarchists doing their best to destroy six or eight major U.S. cities. They’re wearing facemasks made from the Chinese Communist flag. (They’re not wearing facemasks because of the pandemic, either. They’re wearing them the way the Bad Guys did in the Old West movies—to conceal their faces while they’re committing crimes.)
They’re looting and burning stores and offices of companies that have voiced support for their causes, and contributed money to their organizations. They’re harassing and attacking the liberal government officials that have forbidden the police from trying to stop their destruction of the city.
Even worse—I’m reading and hearing predictions that what we’re seeing now is only a hint of the rioting and destruction we will see if Prez Trump wins in November.
The liberals have created a monster, and now, like Dr. Frankenstein, they find they can no longer control it.
I’ve said it before, and I’m still saying it. I fear for the future of my nation. Our nation.