Former NFL quarterback and far-Left activist Colin Kaepernick is now well on his way in our hyper-politicized era to becoming the first man inducted into the football Hall of Fame for being woke. He further cemented this lofty status when he fired off a 4th of July broadside that underscored yet again what far too few reasonable people understand about the current Leftist rage that has engulfed the nation: It is irrational and impervious to evidence. And there are disquieting historical precedents for movements that are driven by hysterical, unreasoned rage and hate.
During Saturday’s Independence Day festivities, Kaepernick tweeted: “Black ppl have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized by America for centuries, & are expected to join your commemoration of ‘independence’, while you enslaved our ancestors. We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all.”
Like all Big Lies, this one contains a kernel of truth that gives it plausibility. Yes, there was slavery in America. And yes, after it was abolished, black people were victims of grave injustices. It is also true, however, that among the Founding Fathers were strong believers in the equal dignity of all human beings and the need to abolish slavery. America fought a bloody Civil War over slavery, and hundreds of thousands of men died to make the slaves free.
During the Jim Crow era, a series of Republican Presidents tried to secure civil rights for black Americans, with Democrats resisting and thwarting their efforts at every turn. More than any other nation on the face of the earth, the United States has labored to rid itself of racial injustice and clear away obstacles to equal opportunity for all of its citizens.
But in the unlikely event that Colin Kaepernick himself happens to read this, he will brush it all aside. Howard Zinn or someone like him has already told him it isn’t so, and he isn’t likely to take the time to research the matter himself. Ultimately, Kaepernick, as well as Black Lives Matter and Antifa, are fueled by a rage that is not grounded in facts, but in feelings that are whipped up by rousing slogans and expressed in histrionic gestures of the destruction of the monuments of the old order.
This has happened before. In November 1918, when the German Empire surrendered to bring World War I to a close, many Germans, including a young Corporal named Adolf Hitler, received the shock of their lives. The German press had for four years painted an unflaggingly rosy picture of Germany’s military situation. The surrender was not based on battlefield reversals, but on a careful assessment by the German High Command of the likelihood that such reversals were in the offing.
But in the absence of tangible and readily available evidence that Germany was indeed losing the war, millions – Hitler among them – embraced the idea that Germany had been stabbed in the back, its war effort sabotaged by a shadowy Jewish cabal. It was amid this ferment that Hitler became a national figure. There was no reasoning with him and his followers: Anyone who produced evidence that there was no sabotage, and that the surrender was based on a legitimate appraisal of the situation, was dismissed as naive or worse, in league with the Jewish saboteurs.
The entire National Socialist (Nazi) movement was based on a hatred that had nothing to do with reality, but which offered a convenient semblance of analysis and rational thought for those who were swept away by their rage as a defeated Germany’s economy collapsed.
So it is today with the Left in America. No, Colin Kaepernick is not another Hitler. But his rage is just as irrational. Neither he nor any Leftist who is out looting businesses and pulling down statues is going to sit still for a reasoned, evidence-based presentation on how their picture of America as a monstrous oppressor state is false. And the Left today is as shocked by defeat as Germany was after World War I.
Leftists have so many unexpected reversals, with Trump and Brexit foremost among them. As far as they’re concerned, the possibility of people rejecting their failed ideas is inconceivable. No, they must be falling victim to something more sinister and shadowy than that – and so the concept of “systemic racism” was born.
What can be done? Above all, the propaganda these Leftists have swallowed whole has to be removed completely from our educational system, and replaced with accurate history from a patriotic perspective. No nation can survive training generations of its young people to hate it. But once this has been done, it’s too late for most of those who have been indoctrinated.
America’s educational system needs a thoroughgoing reform to make sure that doesn’t happen, teaching our children to love their country and its history while those lessons can still be heard. If this is done, and done quickly, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave has a good chance to survive into the latter half of the twenty-first century as still the freest nation on earth. But if not, not.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.