Praise be to Jussie Smollett for making Black History Month the success we were all hoping for. By now, you’ll have heard about the appalling fraud he perpetrated against the American popular consciousness, a hate crime hoax at once so audacious and so laughably obvious that it represents the apotheosis of a genre I’ve been cataloguing for fun for the last half-decade. Other people have knitting or Sudoku; I keep a tally of progressive hoaxes. Dorky, I admit.
But what you probably don’t know is that Smollett isn’t just the exemplum perfectum of social justice and its insatiable appetite for lurid horror stories, real or imagined. He’s something more: The inevitable, gruesome, twenty-first century millennial product of a radical communist household. And this biographical revelation explains almost everything about how he looks at the world, and what led him to self-immolate in the way he did.
Intellectual history consists largely of showing who was talking to whom and tracing the effects of influential thinkers’ and activists’ ideas. Guess what? You can draw a straight line, through real people, from Herbert Marcuse to Jussie Smollett. It turns out that his mom was, and remains, best friends with Marcuse disciple Angela Davis, the Communist Party candidate for Vice President in 1980 and 1984.
And by Communist, we of course mean “Russia-backed”—not in the speculative wet-dream-CNN-Trump-scandal sense of being backed by Russia, but in the actual, bought-and-paid-for-by-red-
Angela Davis’s candidacy for Kremlin-funded communists disappears and reappears from her Wikipedia entry all the time. You never know if it’ll be there on a given day. Perhaps that’s because Davis is now somewhat embarrassed by her past as a Communist Party member. Not because it was dangerous and insane, you understand, but because it wasn’t extreme enough. In 2009, she laughed and sneered as she told the head of the NAACP that she really struggled over whether to join the Communist Party because she considered it “so conservative … I wanted to do something more interesting and radical.”
Davis wistfully added that she still sometimes imagined “the possibility of moving beyond the democratic socialist arrangement.” In the same interview, she explained how she was followed by the FBI from the age of six, and taught by her Communist Party parents never to speak to the authorities. Who headed the Communist Party when Davis was six, and died a couple of months after her ninth birthday? That would be Josef Stalin.
Davis was a fan of Jim “Kool-Aid Killer” Jones and hated Solzhenitsyn’s fellow dissidents in Russia. Progressives are regularly mystified when her pathological hatred of Israel presents her with hurdles to professional advancement and various gongs. Needless to say, Davis is now making a living on the diversity circuit on college campuses. These days she’s a professor emerita at UC Santa Cruz, in something called—I kid you not—the “History of Consciousness Department.” She’s also, naturally, a former director of the university’s Feminist Studies department. That’s when she’s not hosting the Smollett family for lunch on Mother’s Day.
Communism isn’t the threat it used to be, despite the best efforts of a few ludicrous Democrat congresswomen. Maybe because it’s hard for North Korea to field a powerful enough army when all they have to eat is grass. But its ideological descendent, third-wave feminism, is busy tearing apart American society. I’ll get in trouble with everyone editing this magazine and just about everyone reading it for saying so, but feminism, the social incarnation of Marxist thought, is way more deadly than communism.
When Marxism became comprehensively discredited as an economic system after the Cold War, its fans in the academy began looking for ways the oppressor/oppressed dynamic might be put to use elsewhere. They discovered there was an almost inexhaustible supply of imaginary social problems that could be examined through that lens. Thus women, minorities, gays and other supposedly marginalized groups were handed victimhood scripts with which to fight their “oppressors.”
No matter the complexities of individual circumstance, the oppressors were always the same: white Western heterosexual male Christian capitalists – just coincidentally the same people economic Marxism had tried and failed to conquer. Hence the birth of what even the Left-wing Atlantic has described as contemporary victimhood chic.
Today’s social justice loonies almost make you wistful for the days of the old hard Left. At least those guys enjoyed a drink and a laugh. Their offspring, the so-called “red diaper babies,” aren’t beyond saving. The most famous one of all is our own David Horowitz. But they do need intervention, lest their parents’ communism metastasize into something even worse. Assuming it’s not already too late.
As Allan Bloom writes in The Closing of the American Mind, feminism has destroyed classic texts far more comprehensively than any previous theoretical lens, because it tears down the great books’ heroes and heaps scorn on their erotic bonds with the women who love them. And as we’ve seen from the last decade of wage gap mythology and moral panics about campus rape culture, driving the sexes apart destroys entire civilizations far more effectively and irrevocably than furious Marxist literature and a few barmy communist activists.
Stripping society of the very idea of virtuous manhood and heroic masculine ideals is just about the only sure-fire route to unraveling everything good about that society, which is why modern feminism and bog-standard Marxism still exist in intricate symbiosis. Communism agitates for control of the means of production. But feminism demands control of the means of reproduction—a far more powerful resource. Communism merely wants to turn women in to workers, but feminism tells them that motherhood is beneath them. Marxists hate success, but feminists hate life itself.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Jussie Smollett’s father, who died in 2014 after a long battle with cancer, doesn’t play a very influential role in the story of his early life, and that Smollett, who was raised “in the orbit of the Black Panthers,” therefore turned out to be a gay crypto-communist. Nor that his family, all of whom lent their voices to the self-destructive and ultimately pointless Black Lives Matter movement, moved into roles in the entertainment industry with heavy social-justice overtones.
Little is known about Smollett’s father, a Russian-Polish Jew, but if he too was cozy with the Bobby Rush-Fred Hampton Chicago Panthers—the New York Times is too coy to tell us in its admiring profile of the family—then his father was cozying up to an organization with roots in a notoriously violent street gang called the Blackstone Rangers. What we do know is that the largest presence in young Jussie’s life was his mother and her female friends, women like Angela Davis. Jussie lists Panther founders Bobby Seale, Huey Newton and Julian Bond as some of his mother’s closest intimates.
Smollett’s a very specific kind of homosexual sociopath I recognize from the mirror—I mean, from my years on the gay scene. He’d be first in line to join the SS or the KGB (the latter, probably), because he loves the sexy uniforms and he doesn’t give a shit about other human beings. If he’d learned from a strong, positive masculine role model the heroic manly virtues of courage, integrity, resilience, honesty, hard work, self-sacrifice and personal responsibility, he would never in a million years have considered the slimy, disreputable and pathetically transparent maneuver with which he ended his career.
No one talks enough about the damage overbearing, misandrist mothers and delinquent or weak fathers do to children, but it’s there for all to see in America’s great maladies: gangs, runaway gayness and Gender Studies. Each stem from a twisted understanding, or an absence, of responsibly channeled manliness. The reason black boys in America do so poorly, even relative to black girls, isn’t racism—otherwise you’d have to explain why boys are on the receiving end of it when girls aren’t—but the lack of dads in their lives.
Marxist feminism’s systematic expulsion of masculinity from the realm of aspirational values produces grotesque results. Feminism votes men into irrelevance and degradation, scorning fatherhood, depriving children of male role models as they unwind the protective institutions of civil society. Women have been subverting the labor market for decades, which hurts both sexes. This is particularly the case in the entertainment industry, where compensation is pegged to successful attention-seeking. That’s a girl thing: Men are supposed to compete on skill.
Jussie Smollett wanted more money, but he didn’t know how to compete for it honorably, because his understanding of the jobs marketplace was distorted by both feminism and communism. Rather than go for a big-paying movie role, or brush up his acting or singing, he decided to cast himself as a victim of oppressive forces. That’s a direct product of the communist-infused social justice milieu in which he was reared.