We have seen the videos of uncouth Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa radicals screaming at ordinary citizens and demanding that they yield to the mob’s authority by reciting some mantra or raising their fists. The decent people sit there in stunned silence.
It’s time for the silent majority to end their silence. I’m not talking about violence. I’m talking about standing up for values. The silent majority must speak up.
The year 2020 has been a mind-numbing whirlwind. It began with an impeachment trial that completely consumed the media, politicians, and the attention of the nation. What wasn’t noticed was a virus—from communist China—slipping into the country through airports in New York, San Francisco, and other international destination points. Just when the president, and the attention of the nation, should have been focused on this dangerous intruder, everyone was preoccupied with a pointless and irrelevant impeachment trial. It’s even hard now to remember what it was supposedly about. Something about a telephone call? (And before that it was a couple of years wasted on the completely bogus “Russian collusion” fairy-tale.)
When the true danger of this brand-new virus began to hit home, everyone’s attention very suddenly turned from that supposedly important impeachment trial about … whatever it was about, to this pandemic from China. The news channels blasted out coronavirus news 24 hours a day. Lockdowns, death counts, shutdowns, and yet more laws about who can remain open, who has to close, etc. filled the days.
The fear level reached new heights. Above all, people were told, no mass gatherings.
And then suddenly, all of that instantly changed. The death of George Floyd—with a knee on his neck, and deadly drugs in his system—stood this pandemic-crazed world on its head. Where one day it was illegal to have gatherings of more than a few people, suddenly it was okay to have thousands of unmasked people on the street and in stores—protesting, rioting, and looting. Woke politicians who had been threatening ordinary citizens with dire punishments for breaching their shutdown laws were themselves in the streets with the mostly unmasked protesters and rioters, encouraging others to join in the free-for-all.
All the while the rhetoric assaulting every ear from all sides accused people of being racist to the core. Anti-racism became an intolerant new religion. All at once, peaceful citizens who thought that they had put the country’s racist past behind them long ago were told that everything about them was deeply racist. Books, like “White Fragility” and similar thin gruel, insisted that Americans were in fact awful racists—that the entire nation was irredeemably racist. Business owners desperate to keep the mob from their door grovelled and “took the knee.” Politicians outdid themselves in their rush to convert to this supposedly “anti-racist” theology.
People who really didn’t even think that much about racial issues were told that they must take sensitivity courses on how to recognize their awful racism. They were told that “silence is violence” and that even if they didn’t have a racist bone in their body, they were part of the problem, simply because of the color of their skin. If their skin was even remotely white they were bad to the bone. Even black people and other people of color who didn’t consider themselves victims were told that indeed they were. BLM denounced people of color who didn’t accept the radical BLM narrative.
Parents who had carefully taught their children the Martin Luther King truth—namely, that they should judge people by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin—were informed that was not enough. In fact, they were told that such an attitude was evidence of their inherent racism. And even if they were not themselves racists, the country they lived in was “systemically racist.”
The entire history of the country was being rewritten before the nation’s eyes. Instead of the real history everyone learned as children—namely, that the Revolution and the Declaration of Independence came about to preserve freedom—people were told instead in fabrications such as the “1619 Project” that the only reason America came into being was to protect the institution of slavery. It insisted that America was not “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” but instead was a vile place full of racist institutions and racist people.
The only way out—they loudly insisted—was to tear everything down and do whatever the radicals said was necessary to build some utopia where capitalism was ended and some new and wonderful—but rather vague—system prevailed. Burning down courthouses and defunding the police would somehow do that.
And the proof of what the BLM and Antifa radicals were telling us must replace the racist, capitalist system was playing out before our very eyes on our screens. Portland, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles—oh, and Kenosha, too. That’s what needed to happen. Clearly, all the racism and capitalism were being burned and looted right out of those cities. That’s where social justice could be found. Just step over the injured police, the looted buildings, the burned out hulks of vehicles and buildings, and it’s there right in front of you.
That’s what social justice and an end to racism and inequality apparently looks like. And that odor of burned buildings and smashed vehicles is what it smells like. Critical race theory and critical social justice theory would teach Americans everything they needed to know. Never mind if they believed that America was in fact the best country in the world. Never mind that Americans consider themselves fair-minded people and not at all racists. These people who believe in burning things down tell us different.
Why are we listening to these people? Why are we letting them impose their radical nonsense on us? Why are people not speaking up?
It’s always said that there’s a silent majority of people who will not accept anarchy and extremism. That is true, and it has always been true. And that silent majority consists of Democrats as well as Republicans. Eventually the silent majority sends extremists packing. But this time around, it might not be enough to wait in silence while this nuttiness plays itself out. Sinister forces are moving fast. Waiting might not be an option this time.
This time around the silent majority needs to end the silence. The silent majority need to speak up.
Before it’s too late.
Brian Giesbrecht is a retired judge and a senior fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.