Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism
After a black nationalist attack on a Jewish supermarket in Jersey City, a member of the Jersey City Board of Education defended the murder of two Jewish people and a Latino employee.
“Drugs and guns are planted in the Black community,” Joan Terrell Paige ranted on Facebook.
The two Black Hebrew Israelite killers, the former community organizer wrote, “went directly to the kosher supermarket. I believe they knew they would come out in body bags. What is the message they were sending? Are we brave enough to explore the answer to their message? Are we brave enough to stop the assault on the Black communities of America?”
While some Democrats called on Joan Terrell Paige to resign, others defended her hatred of Jews.
The Hudson County Democratic Black Caucus argued that “her statement has heightened awareness around issues that must be addressed.”
“She said nothing wrong. Everything she said is the truth,” declared Carolyn Oliver Fair, the head of the North Jersey Chapter of the National Action Network. The NAN is Al Sharpton’s organization and has been addressed by every important Democrat from Barack Obama to Nancy Pelosi to Elizabeth Warren.
Virtually every 2020 Democrat has appeared at the National Action Network including Warren, Andrew Yang, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders despite its ugly history even before Fair’s support for murdering Jews. Sharpton had been the central figure in the Crown Heights Pogrom, he has a history of anti-Semitic slurs, and the NAN has blood on its hands.
Unlike many contemporary hate groups, the National Action Network has the unique distinction of being the destination of choice for every major Democrat and for its role in the murder of 7 people.
Those were the 7 who died in the Freddy’s Fashion Mart fire, 5 of them Latino women, who were killed when a black nationalist gunman ordered everyone who wasn’t black to leave before shooting others and setting the store on fire. The worst racist hate crime in New York City was preceded by Sharpton denouncing the store owner as a, “white interloper”.
Morris Powell, who had been on trial for breaking a Korean woman’s head during a previous protest, had headed the National Action Network’s Buy Black committee. Powell had chanted, “Don’t give the Jew a dime”, outside the store and praised the killer as, “A Black Man who struggled for his people to be free.” The New York Times headlined its piece on the black nationalist killer as, “A Life of Resistance.”
The sympathetic profile of a racist monster who murdered seven people would never have been run about Dylann Roof or Robert Bowers. Nor would a racist massacre have been described as “resistance”.
But the New York Times quoted an Imam in the Believers Mosque in St. Petersburg who praised the racist arsonist as “the type of person who would encourage people to get involved.” A former senior advisor to the Mayor of Tampa and Democrat campaign consultant described the killer as one in “a long line of people who thought it was up to them to stop talking, stop begging and start acting.”
Those comments closely echo Paige’s justification of the Kosher market attack. It’s why it ought to surprise no one that she has not resigned from the Jersey City Board of Education. And isn’t likely to.
Instead, John Flora, a Democrats running for Congress, defended her and urged other elected officials to “be prepared to demonstrate empathy. Was she still processing the event? Did it traumatize her?”
Flora is running for Congress on a bold platform of the Green New Deal, gun control, legalizing drugs, abolishing the electoral college and hating Jews.
With the backing of local Democrats, it appears that Paige isn’t going anywhere. And Democrats won’t stop appearing at National Action Network events. Not even after the murders of 7 and 3 people.
The underlying problem is that the Democrats don’t oppose racism or racial nationalism. They believe that under circumstances, such as a Jewish store in Harlem or in Jersey City, it might be justified.
They have one standard for white nationalism and another for black nationalism.
Had Dylann Roof been a black man shooting up a synagogue, we would be reading about his “life of resistance” in the New York Times.
The tragedy of the Jersey City attack taking place on a street named after Martin Luther King is that while there are streets in every major city named after the civil rights activist, civil rights has fallen to identity politics. Where civil rights called for equality, identity politics is nationalism and supremacism.
Identity politics invents its own history around an epic struggle between the righteous violence of the oppressed and the dehumanized ‘other’. This rhetoric isn’t limited to Joan Terrell Paige. From the 1619 Project to movies like Get Out, its vision of a massive racial struggle suffuses our politics and culture.
“The power of domination and exclusion is central to the belief in being white,” Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote in Between The World and Me, “and without it, ‘white people’ would cease to exist for want of reasons.”
To be white, according to the recipient of a MacArthur ‘Genius’ grant, was to be evil. White people could not exist as other than oppressors. Oppression was not a system; it was a race. White people were irredeemable except by their destruction. Between The World and Me was racism taken to its genocidal extreme. It was also a New York Times bestseller that won the National Book Award.
Civil rights had battled against legal inequality. But black nationalists had rejected civil rights. There was no point in fighting for legal equality, when the source of inequality lay not in law, but in the reality of race. Instead of racial integration, they demanded racial separation. The shooting spree at a Kosher market on Martin Luther King Dr. and the response to it is a painful reminder that the Democrats rejected civil rights then and continue to reject it today.
Most people of all races do live in a world in which we are judged by content of our character on an everyday basis. But we are governed, politically and culturally, by a system closer to Coates’ vision. Our political and cultural establishments have accepted the immutable differences of race. The old racial formulas of superiority and inferiority have not been rejected, but reversed with systems of privilege.
And a current of racial violence is either outright justified, excused or consciously overlooked.
If race is morally, rather than physically, immutable, then it is not our deeds that define us. White people, regardless of their deeds or hearts, are the eternal oppressors, and black people, likewise, are the eternal victims. Context is irrelevant. The shooters of the Kosher market were heroes striking back at oppression. The tired mother at the cash register, the young man who helped the poor, and the immigrant working to support his daughter were oppressors. Their killers were their victims.
That is not just what the shooters, or a Jersey City Board of Education member, or Sharpton’s National Action Network organization, or a Democrat running for Congress believed. It’s based on ideas that have been mainstreamed in the curriculums of colleges and schools, in newspapers and bestselling books.
“Whiteness cannot exist without blackness, so until white people are willing to give up whiteness, you will never see an end, really, to racism that is built on antiblackness, and I don’t have hope for that. It is really the oldest American value, and it continues to be so,” Nikole Hannah-Jones opined.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is the architect of the New York Times’ 1619 Project. The racial revisionism of the 1619 Project envisions all of American history as a titanic struggle between whiteness and blackness, between the racial polarities which define everything. Or, as Jones put it, “the whole conceit of ‘The 1619 Project’ is that you can look all across American life at things that you think have nothing to do with race or racism and actually trace them back to slavery and anti-black racism.”
The 1619 Project does for race what Marx did for class, treating everything, from history to daily life, as a conspiracy of whiteness. Like Coates, Jones argues that whiteness is inherently racist and that racism cannot end until whiteness does. Coexistence is impossible. One must destroy the other.
Like Coates, Jones is a MacArthur ‘Genius’ grant recipient. The McArthur Foundation is as white as the New York Times. Or the Ford Foundation: a heavy funder of black nationalist causes. Why are fundamentally white institutions, the legacy of men like Henry Ford, John D. MacArthur, and Adolph Ochs, helping spread a racial poison that strikes down victims in Brooklyn, Monsey and Jersey City?
It’s the same reason why the candidates at the top of the 2020 Democrat dogpile, in which not a single minority candidate has a realistic chance, have embraced identity politics to an unprecedented degree.
Racism is not a conspiracy by whiteness against blackness. Or the other way around. It’s power.
Democrats have used racial hatred for two centuries to appeal to a fractured electorate convinced of its own superiority and the unfairness of the system. That the electorate shifted races is a minor detail. The truly important thing to understand is that since 1828, the Democrats have gained and held on to power by convincing narrow groups that the deck is stacked against them and that only they can save them.
This poison killed numberless black and white people across two centuries. It also brought countless wealth into the pockets of the politically connected. From slavery and segregation, to the fire at Freddy’s and the shooting in Jersey City, countless acts of racial violence were perpetrated so that Democrats could keep their hands on the pork and graft that really makes government, local, state and federal, run.
Radical politics added an ideological motive. But all politics, whether radical or moderate, from the Dixiecrat to the Communist, is ultimately about the acquisition of money and power. Racism, white or black, is just a means of tribalizing the struggle for money and power by playing on racial fear and hate.
The Founding Fathers had sought to make it difficult to exploit the government to acquire money and power. The new war on the “dead white men” is waged by living men and women who want both.
That is the truth lurking behind the 1619 Project, behind the elevation of Coates, whose work is featured at The Atlantic, a publication funded by Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’ widow, and the fourth wealthiest woman in the country. Black racism in America is funded by rich white lefties.
The victims of identity politics, killed and wounded in random lynchings, are the collateral damage of progressive racism. A few dead people, in this case Jews, are a small price to pay for power.
The rise in anti-Semitism is not mysterious. It is what happens when political factions back fringe groups convinced of the fundamental unfairness of society and the need to bring it down, whether it’s black or white supremacists, or Islamists, as weapons in a political war for control of the country.
There are two kinds of racism. One may be innate to people. The other is stirred up, funded, and promoted by political factions. America’s worst moments, contrary to revisionist history like the 1619 Project, was not caused by any innate hate, but by political conspiracies using racism to gain power.
People are dying in racial violence across the country so that the Democrats can win elections.