AMAC Exclusive – by Seamus Brennan
According to a recently released report from the newly created “Task Force on Racism” at the National Archives, the Archives Rotunda, which is home to our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, is now an example of “structural racism.” Just as the left has called for a “reimagining” of everything from policing to federal highway policy, they are now calling on the federal government to “reimagine” the Rotunda, including by eliminating “harmful” terms like calling our founding documents the “Charters of Freedom.”
This example is only the latest in what has become a clear pattern: that which the left wishes to destroy, its minions first call “systemically racist.” This includes the institutions, traditions, and values of American life that the left wishes to radically transform, including the police and criminal justice system, the Constitution, the nuclear family, national borders, the financial system, home ownership, single-family zoning, private healthcare, election integrity laws, restrictions on drug use, religion, and– as the recent scandal over the Rotunda of the National Archives attests–American identity itself.
The sweeping and generalized charge of “systemic racism”–a charge with no definition and no proof–has come to serve as the left’s most potent weapon in its quest to acquire political, corporate, and social power. Tragically, many well-intentioned Americans are falling for it, often conflating “systemic racism” with individually racist actions or words. No mainstream figure has claimed that there are not instances of racism; undoubtedly there are, and they are nearly always immediately condemned by voices on both sides of the political aisle.
Charges of individual racism are very different from the suggestion that the American system itself is somehow racist. Yet, this is the claim the left is making ad-nauseum—and President Joe Biden has embraced the “systemic racism” tactic of the left perhaps more than any Democrat political leader before him.
“Systemic racism pervades every part of our society, including law enforcement — and we have to do the hard work to root it out,” candidate Biden tweeted in June 2020. A few days later Biden again took to Twitter: “There is systemic racism not just in our law enforcement but also in housing, education, and everything we do.” Around the same time, a CBS reporter asked Biden whether he believed there existed systemic racism in law enforcement. Biden’s response: “Absolutely. But it’s not just in law enforcement, it’s across the board.” A few weeks later in his speech accepting the nomination of the Democrat Party for president, Biden stated that America was finally ready “to do the hard work of rooting out our systemic racism.”
During the 2020 campaign, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders created the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force that published a 110-page policy manifesto. This leftist policy document uses the charge of “systemic racism” to justify overhauling the American policing and justice systems, a federal takeover of K-12 education, the elimination of border security, and Green New Deal-esque environmental measures, and a general transformation of the economy through socialist policies. The report identified “systemic racism” in virtually every part of American life.
In Biden’s inaugural address, he said the nation faced a “time of testing” and that it had to confront “the sting of systemic racism.” A few weeks later, President Biden then mentioned “systemic racism” twice in his first address to a Joint Session of Congress, claiming that “we have a real chance to root out systemic racism that plagues America and American lives.”
Vice President Kamala Harris has professed the same view of the country. “Systemic racism touches all levels of our society,” tweeted candidate Harris on June 15, 2020. In her nomination acceptance speech, Harris argued that “Black, Latino and Indigenous people are suffering and dying disproportionately. This is not a coincidence. It is the effect of structural racism.” Later in the campaign, Harris vowed “to root out the systemic racism that still permeates in our courtrooms, our prisons, and in policing.”
It is hard to think of anything else in the modern era that has been cited as the direct source for nearly every problem in American life, let alone with precisely the same language.
The solution of the Democrat Party is, of course, always more direct control of the federal government (and thus Democratic Party) over the lives of ordinary Americans.
In his own nomination acceptance speech a little over a year ago, President Donald Trump directly took on the Democrat Party’s oft-stated hatred of America and incessant charges of systemic racism:
At the Democrat National Convention, Joe Biden and his party repeatedly assailed America as a land of racial, economic, and social injustice. So, tonight, I ask you a simple question: How can the Democrat Party ask to lead our country when it spends so much time tearing down our country? In the left’s backward view, they do not see America as the most free, just, and exceptional nation on Earth. Instead, they see a wicked nation that must be punished for its sins. Our opponents say that redemption for you can only come from giving power to them. This is a tired anthem spoken by every repressive movement throughout history.
In a July essay in American Greatness, Peter Wood compared today’s persistent accusations of “systemic racism” to the Salem witch trials, characterizing systemic racism as a “theory of witchcraft.” Wood is clear that systemic racism has existed in the past—in the antebellum South, for instance. He is also clear that there are still instances of racism, which can and should be pointed out and condemned. But, Wood contends, “’systemic racism,’ involving the complicity of law, the approval of society, the power of economics, and the reinforcement of culture is just gone. It was officially undone generations ago and we have since vigorously cleaned out its vestiges.”
As Wood points out, the widespread belief on the left in “systemic racism,” as the left defines it, without any concrete evidence of its actual existence in American society today has resulted in a “Salem-esque panic based on the pseudo-authoritative declaration that it exists.” Proponents of “systemic racism,” Wood writes, are forced to search for “spectral evidence,” which requires “special magical eyes” to detect an all-encompassing racism that they can’t prove empirically.
Wood observes that “witchcraft crazes never end well—not for the accused, seldom for the accusers, and certainly not for the society that has permitted this temporary descent into madness.”
One of the greatest writers of the 20th Century would have been well-acquainted with what we are now seeing in our politics and its constantly shifting and ambiguously defined terms like “systemic racism.” In his book 1984, George Orwell describes the phenomenon by which aspiring totalitarians try to gain control over language in order to limit the ability of the population to think and act on its own terms: “Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.” 1984 was published in 1949, but its prescient warning about the desire of radical socialists to police so-called “thoughtcrime” and thereby silence dissenters remains relevant today. This is especially so within the context of the extreme left’s grip on American culture, a grip that persists largely due to a single concept that seeks to cancel its opponents: “systemic racism.”
For the good of American strength and unity, and for the ultimate goal of living up to our national motto, E pluribus unum, Americans must hope that more and more of their fellow citizens will wake up from the madness, recognize the severe damage of racializing every component of American life, and expose wild charges of “systemic racism” for the lies that they are.
If we don’t, as Wood warns, we will all end up on trial—every one of us.