Just days after he announced that he was running for president, super-celebrity Kanye West was asked by Forbes if he was concerned that he would be siphoning off black voters from the Democrat Party. “That is a form of racism,” he responded, “and white supremacy and white control to say that all Black people need to be Democrat and to assume that me running is me splitting the vote…. I was told that if I voted on Trump my music career would be over. I was threatened into being in one party.… I was threatened as a Black man into the Democratic party. And that’s what the Democrats are doing, emotionally, to my people. Threatening them to the point where this white man can tell a Black man if you don’t vote for me, you’re not Black.”
I find two things fascinating about this interview. First, West’s denunciation of “white supremacy and white control” along with his reference to “my people” are sentiments fully in line with the rhetoric of Black Lives Matter (BLM), a movement that West has publicly embraced. Secondly, Kanye West had nothing disparaging to say whatsoever about the Republican Party in the interview, and instead reserved his wrath for the Democrats. Indeed, one might say that Kanye’s comments amounted to a declaration of war on the Democrat Party!
As it turns out, Kanye West is not an anomaly. Yes, he is certainly unique, but his anti-Democrat sentiments are shared by a number of activists in the BLM movement. In the same interview, West excoriated the sacred cow of the modern left: abortion. “Planned Parenthoods,” West proclaimed, “have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work.” But West’s comments came on the heels of an open letter signed by more than 350 current and former staffers of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, as well as about 800 donors, supporters and volunteers, that declared that the organization’s founder Margaret Sanger was “a racist, white woman” and that the organization suffers from “institutional racism.” In fact, signers of the letter were successful in getting the head of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York ousted in response to her supposed racial insensitivity according to staff complaints. While designating Margaret Sanger a racist eugenicist is commonplace in the rhetoric of the right, such a designation is utterly unprecedented coming from the left.
What’s going on here?
Well, it actually might be helpful if we jettison the whole notion of right and left in trying to make sense of all this. If we want to see what’s really going on in the Democrat Party and their embracing of the BLM movement, I think it’s better to think in terms of modernity and post-modernity.
Born out of the 18th century Enlightenment, modernity involves the enthronement of scientific rationalism as the one true way of knowing the world, a one-size-fits-all form of knowledge for all peoples, times, and places. Moderns believe that premodern tribal, ancestral, and monarchical beliefs and practices have ceded their authority to forms of truth and reasoning derived from autonomous human reason. Modernity is in many respects the philosophical roots of the liberal left.
The 19th and 20th centuries gave us three options for a fully modernist political and economic system: Western liberal globalism, Soviet Communism, and Nazi Fascism. With the defeat of fascism in World War II and the fall of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day, 1991, scholars such as Francis Fukuyama believed that we had reached, in his words, the “end of history.” Western liberal globalism had won the day and became the standard-bearer for a truly worldwide modern society.
But there were scholars such as Sam Huntington were highly skeptical of such a bold pronouncement. Huntington believed that what happened with the break-up of the Soviet Union and the violent balkanization of Yugoslavia that followed is going to happen to Western liberalism as well!
One of the major reasons for this coming social fission is the fact that the philosophical assumptions of modernity had largely been rejected by most populations. Instead, Western populations in particular had become in Francois Lyotard’s terms post-modern. Unlike modernists, post-modernists don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all Marxist or globalist political and economic system. Instead, post-modernists value the role of culture, custom, ethnicity, and race in cultivating our perceptions about the world and life.
Interestingly, Marxists seemed to recognize this shift from modernity to post-modernity. Keeping with the post-modern times, contemporary Marxists re-envisioned culture rather than class as the primary location for the proletariat struggle. Led by a group of pseudo-intellectuals known as the Frankfurt School, cultural Marxists argued that dominant ethnic cultures in the West could be effectively overthrown by a coalition of oppressed minorities. And so, cultural Marxist Democrats have offered ethno-minority groups such as BLM a home in their party to exercise political power.
And here’s the key to understanding the incoherence of the modern left today: if Marxism is modernist and if the cultural tribalism of BLM is post-modernist, then the Democrats’ embrace of cultural Marxism is an embracing of a post-modern modernism, which is like talking about square circles! It is precisely this contradiction that the BLM movement is bringing to the fore from within the Democrat Party. Post-modern BLM activists are shifting the party away from its white liberal center to a more neo-segregationist ethno-tribalism.
For example, at a recent rally in Los Angeles, Pan African Studies professor Melina Abdullah, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter LA, denounced the city of Los Angeles as filled with what she called “liberal white supremacists.” Responding to a sign held up by one of the protestors that said ‘F – Donald Trump’, Abdullah said: As we talk about a white supremacist terrorist like Donald Trump remember that we live in a city that is largely liberal white supremacists. So, when you say ‘F – Donald Trump, make sure you say ‘F – Eric Garcetti’”! Eric Garcetti is the ultra-left mayor of Los Angeles who recently announced $150 million dollars in cuts to the LA police department to show his fidelity to the BLM call to defund the police. However, you will notice that, according to Abdullah, the fact that she and the mayor are both liberals no longer means they are on the same political side! Indeed, a white liberal can now be equated with a supposedly white supremacist terrorist like Donald Trump!
Even left-wing ‘cancel culture’ organizations are collapsing over this contradiction of cultural Marxism. You may be familiar with the left-wing organization called Sleeping Giants. They’ve taken responsibility for putting Bill O’Reilly out of a job and de-platforming figures such as Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos. Well, now there is a major rift between the founders of the organization. Nandini Jammi, the co-founder of Sleeping Giants, has recently published a bitter public resignation where she accuses the other co-founder, Matt Rivitz, of using his white male privilege to oppress her. As it turns out, Jammi is now unleashing the mob on Rivitz demanding his own resignation; in her attack against a white liberal, cancel culture is cancelling itself!
The examples go on and on. From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accusing Nancy Pelosi of racism, to the BLM insistence of racially segregated dorms, orientations, and graduation ceremonies on our nation’s college campuses, the modern day left is actually being swallowed up by a post-modern tribalism that bears little resemblance to the white liberalism of Hilary Clinton or Chuck Schumer. The days of progressivism appear to be over in the Democrat Party; a reversion to tribalism and re-segregation are increasingly the new normal.
By inviting BLM into the highest ranks of their party, the Democrats have welcomed a Trojan Horse. On the one hand, they believe that BLM identity politics are their ticket back to political power. On the other hand, the post-modern tribalism and neo-segregationist sentiments of BLM activists are openly attacking the overwhelmingly white Democrat leadership along with liberalism’s sacred cows. Having given BLM activists a platform to air their grievances, Democrats are powerless to silence their new-found opposition. Having placed their confidence in the contradictions of cultural Marxism, the Democrats have unwittingly embraced their own demise.
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