Cultural Tyrants - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Cultural Tyrants

The aftermath of the Charleston church massacre has been an interesting thing.

Following the nine killed by 21-year-old ninth grade dropout and troglodyte Dylann Roof at the Mother Emanuel AME Church last week, the people of that venerable South Carolina city have given the nation one of our more inspiring spectacles — thousands gathering in prayer and demonstrating for unity and civility. Had the reaction of Charleston been the major story, the massacre — disgusting and tragic as it was — would have told us something good about the basic character of the American people.

Your author will go so far as to say Charleston’s reaction has told us something true, as well — about most of us, at least.

Unfortunately, most of us are not represented by our betters in politics, media and the cultural elite. Our ruling class missed the unity and healing in Charleston completely — so anxious were they to make Roof the epitome of the knuckle-dragging white Southerner (and Republican, at that, though there is no evidence of his membership in the GOP) and present a “teachable moment” to the American people who foolishly believe despite the presence of a black president that America has not fundamentally advanced on race since the bad old days of Jim Crow.

The inevitable punishment — for punishing Southern whites has been a central obsession of the Democrat party since Republicans began gaining ground from Texas to Virginia in the late 1960s — demanded from Southern culture for Charleston didn’t come first, however. First was a recitation of the Barack Obama parade of gun-control demands, not a single one of which would have prevented Roof from obtaining the weapon he used to kill the nine church members at Mother Emanuel.

That was the immediate reaction. When it was met by a chorus of yawns from the American people, not to mention answered with suggestions that had someone in the church that night been armed the death toll might have been far lower and Roof far closer to room temperature, it had to be abandoned. Proof the ghoulish gun-grabbing angle wasn’t achieving its purpose came when longtime Democrat loser Bob Shrum took to the MSNBC airwaves to decry the “horrors” which could have occurred had someone been able to shoot back at Roof. Snickering and ridicule on social media ensued, and the gun-grabbers were done with their day.

But while it’s ever clearer that America has no more appetite for leftist policy arguments in the wake of tragedies than she does any other time (so much for the efficacy of crying “Wolf” 24/7/365), what we’ve learned from Charleston is while the Left is increasingly a spent political force it is achieving a staggering level of cultural hegemony. And it is that advantage which is the real driver of the Charleston aftermath.

The demand for removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state capitol grounds in Columbia has no substantial nexus to Dylann Roof’s terroristic act. Yes, Roof photographed himself with the stars and bars prior to mounting his assault on civilization. He also photographed himself burning the American flag, and sported a jacket with the historical flags of white-dominated South Africa and Rhodesia, neither country of which he ever visited. The lunatic manifesto he posted online offered little reason to believe Roof understands any of the Civil War history or the meaning of that flag; he only knew he needed to blame someone for his failing life, and finding white trash tribal politics punctuated by the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia just happened to fit the bill.

But since that flag has long been on the Left’s hit list, the connection was close enough. And within days not only had South Carolina’s governor Nikki Haley joined a consensus of that state’s political class in calling for the removal of the flag but most of the nation’s major retailers — Walmart, Sears, Amazon, and e-Bay included — banned it from sale.

The flag is anything but a hill to die on, of course; an argument could be made that for people of legitimate good will it represents culture and heritage apart from racism and slavery and those whose ancestors fought and lost in the Civil War use it as a symbol of their family’s suffering. But the offense the flag offers to those victimized by the Confederacy and the lingering injustice Southern society inflicted under its banner — and the exclusive banner of the Democratic Party, it ought to be remembered — is enough for a more than credible argument to take it down from public display outside of museums.

But soon it was monuments and statues — Nathan Bedford Forrest in Tennessee, Jefferson Davis in Texas, Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard in Louisiana. Now the South is to be denied even its history — and the lessons that history might teach. All must come down, the demand goes, because that history is a racist one and it must not be spoken of, much less celebrated.

The preservation of Southern history, heritage, and culture might not seem like much of a cause to many of our readers, and that’s fine. But the same crowd howling about the racist rednecks in South Carolina and Mississippi is also demanding that students at UCLA not be taught that America is the land of opportunity, for that is also racist and thus offensive. At Cal-Berkeley, traditional American mantras about meritocracy or our country as a melting pot are now unacceptable. At Cal-Irvine the American flag itself is offensive. So are crosses on display in public places, or dogs or the smell of pork in Dearborn and Minneapolis. Or churches wishing to specialize in intersex weddings. Or “manspreading” males on New York subway trains.

This isn’t stopping at the Confederate flag. It accelerates with each victory the cultural Left achieves. And never, ever is there a price paid for its aggression.

At some point, the rest of us are going to have to exact that price. The stars and bars can go, and if Bedford Forrest, who may have been a singular cavalry officer but did, after all, serve as first Grand Wizard of the Democratic Party’s 19th-century terrorist arm, goes with it that’s not an unbearable loss to anyone’s heritage. But while we’re scrubbing the bad baggage from our culture, can we have a merciful end to the painfully stupid leftist obsession with cop-killing racists such as Mumia Abu Jamal, communist terrorists like Bill Ayers, and psychopathic Marxist white supremacists like Che Guevara? How about, as Victor Davis Hanson suggested, an end to racist Leftist institutions like the Congressional Black Caucus and La Raza? If we’re to crack down on the cultural cachet of the Old South, can we conduct a similar purge of the New Black Panthers?

Perhaps as a small token of exchange we could see a prosecution of Al Sharpton for his well-known tax evasion? Is that so awful a price?

A price must be exacted. The Left cannot be allowed its double standards and guilty pleasures on the way to unquestioned cultural dominance. If traditional America must perish under Alinsky’s Rule #4 (“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules”), then so must the Left.

It’s either that, or this cultural war will ultimately give way to something more unpleasant. There is a point, which is coming, at which the unity and fellowship seen in Charleston in the past week will no longer be possible.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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