‘Canceling’ America

by | Jun 15, 2020 |

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One of the most insidious social developments in America in recent years is what they call the “Cancel Culture”. If people don’t like you, or what you say, they simply ‘cancel’ you. They ‘cancel’ your speech, your book, your name, your voice. And they get you fired.
Today’s latest actors in this arena are members of Black Lives Matter and the people with whom they demonstrate, who want to “cancel” the police. And anyone who disagrees with them risks getting ‘cancelled’, too. 
You don’t like my flag? Cancel it.
You don’t like my face? Cancel it.
You don’t like my opinion? Well, just cancel me!
And it isn’t just that they cancel you. Using social media, they lobby all their friends and followers to cancel you, too. If they don’t like you, or what you say or do, or what you stand for, they simply want you gone. You no longer exist. And all their friends and followers agree. 
These are the snowflakes who simply can’t stand that someone has an opinion that is different from theirs. These are the demonstrators who demand that the rest of us accept what they believe to be true, no matter how false it is, or unrealistic it is, or dangerous it is, or how opposed to it we are.  Free speech is wonderful, but it is just for them. 
This is where tyranny begins. And it leads to the kind of totalitarianism that we saw in Nazi Germany and in the old Soviet Union, and that we see today in Xi Zinping’s Communist China and in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.  
In China today, the government controlled media is calling what is happening in Seattle and the nationwide demonstrations, “America’s People’s Revolution”. Do you remember how that turned out in China? 
In the course of the ten years between 1969 and the death of its founder, Mao Tsetung in 1979, one-and-a-half million people were murdered by the government. Millions more, particularly the elderly and those considered to be the “intellectuals”, like university students and their professors, musicians, poets, and scholars, were targeted, hunted down, harassed, attacked, and tortured. And if they survived, they were ‘re-educated’. Their possessions were stolen or destroyed by government thugs, and their homes were appropriated and repurposed for others. Leaders of the opposition were purged and everyone was required to participate in mandatory “re-education” programs, which were enforced universally. 
That is what the Chinese leadership thinks is beginning to happen now in America. And they are eager to see us suffer the consequences. 
The demonstrations and riots that have erupted in America over the last few weeks did not start spontaneously, although they began when the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis cop triggered a furious reaction across the country. These demonstrations are the result of a decades long campaign by socialists and anarchists, who have been determined to redefine our society to fit their mold, beginning with the hijacking of the education of our children. 

These demonstrations, and the riots and looting and destruction that accompanied them, were planned, and just waiting for the opportunity that would set them off. The death of George Floyd was that trigger.

The riots have died down considerably now, but the non-violent demonstrations continue, and the demonstrators are demanding many things. Key among their demands is the defunding of the police. In an op-ed in the New York Times, Mariame Kaba (@prisonculture) made it quite clear: “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police – Because reform won’t happen.”
But abolishing the police is not just a bad idea. It is suicidal for America. Where would anyone get such a horrible idea? Don’t they understand that if we lost our police, our streets would be so dangerous, that no one – black or white – would be safe? 
Here’s what we have not taught our children. That history is what made us who we are. History teaches us how far we have come in our journey that we call civilization. That is something we should celebrate, not destroy!  
The history of mankind is long, and often unredeemably cruel. But if we don’t learn from it, and appreciate how far we have come over the centuries, we will make the same mistakes over and over again. This is what the socialists and the progressives and the radical left are counting on; and this is what they have done to our children – and by extension, to America. 
So, as a result of having received such a defective and deficient education, our children, these products of our inattention, having grown up, have joined radical causes that are, at their core, anti-American. Our adult kids, now embrace these movements, and load their speech with vile invectives, throwing in the F-bomb between every other word. They weren’t taught the rich language that a meaningful education would have provided them and that could have given them the weapons of language to promote their cause. Instead, their language is raw, inarticulate, and full of hate and venom.  
There is no question that there are basic, systemic inequities running through our country that penalize people of color. And they impact every aspect of their lives. We call these inequities ‘racism’. And it’s long overdue that we address them. 
But as we look at potential solutions, we must also take into account the reality of human frailty. There will always be ‘racism’, and ‘anti-Semitism’, and anti-LGBTQ, and much more. There will always be some people who hate other people for any reason at all, or for no reason at all, but only because of the personal animus that they have been taught from the cradle. And no amount of noisy demonstrations or ‘canceling’ those whom they hate is going to change human nature. 
But ‘canceling’ the police is the worst solution to the inequities that people of color receive from our society, and it will not increase our community safety or make life any easier for Americans of color. 
The demonstrations that have now taken over our city streets are growing. They began in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed; and they spread to cities all around the country – places as large as New York City and as small as Des Moines, Iowa. In Seattle, Washington, demonstrators took over a six-block section of the city, including an entire police precinct. They called it an “autonomous zone” and named it CHAZ. And then in Atlanta, Georgia, two weeks after the killing of George Floyd, another black man was killed by a white policeman outside of a Wendy’s restaurant. That became the next flash point for riots and demonstrations, and within 24 hours, that Wendy’s was burnt to the ground. 

This unrest in our country needs to end. America cannot be allowed to descend into lawlessness. What is happening in Seattle is anarchy, and it cannot continue because if it is okay in Seattle, it will also be okay in Atlanta, Georgia, and Omaha, Nebraska, and Princeton, New Jersey. 

In Seattle, the helplessness of the city’s Mayor is pathetic. She is fighting with her Police Chief, who wants to send her officers in and end it. The Mayor has hesitated. But if they don’t end it – and soon – it will spread and it will be much more difficult to shut it down. Because ‘canceling’ the police in cities throughout the country is the fastest path to anarchy.  
The story that Black Lives Matter is trying to tell is complicated. Of course, there is a current of racism running throughout our country, much of it just under the surface. It doesn’t make sense, and it’s wrong, but if we think it will die out naturally because of a few protests, we will be very disappointed. 
Human nature is what it is. It is not likely to change in our lifetime or ever. But what is possible is to limit the access that racists have to impede the progress of equal rights and opportunities for all Americans. And that is doable. Social pressure, law, and civil determination to make us better will all help. 
Still, the reality is that black men, women, and even children are still being harassed by police in every state, and many black adults will tell you that they are consistently pulled over disproportionately in traffic stops.  Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) describes himself as a “person who has faced racial profiling by police, been pulled over dozens of times, or been speaking out for YEARS”, proving that skin color is the main thing that make the lives of black Americans so challenging here in America.
Utopia does not exist except in the minds of dreamers. What is needed, in my opinion, is a total review of police policies in departments throughout the country, at the federal level, so that there will be one set of rules for all police officers in every city. And our police forces throughout the country need to go through retraining to reinforce what is appropriate and allowable, and what is not. 
But ‘cancelling’ them will only be to our great detriment. That tactic has become the latest method of attack on the core of our national soul by people who refuse to learn history or learn from it. And it is clearly not the answer.

Law and order is at the heart of our nation’s ability to offer liberty to all Americans. And it must be preserved through responsible policing.  

We did not choose to be born white or black or brown. Our skin color was an accident of birth. It’s time we grew up and accepted the responsibility of who we are and what we stand for. We Americans should stand what our founding fathers so carefully drafted in our Declaration of Independence, that “All men are created equal, and that they are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights and that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. 
It may seem trite to say, but however they viewed the world then, the words they risked their lives to write still ring true. And it is up to us to view them through 21st century eyes and apply them to life as it is today. And that means including every American in that vision. 
Our responsibility today is to support our country and what it offers to ALL Americans, no matter what the color of their skin, their religion, their gender, or their political preferences. The anarchy in Seattle must end. The violence on the street must end. The war against the police must end. And the violence perpetrated by the police must also end. We will NOT cancel America. There are solutions to all of these problems. It is our responsibility to find them and end the crisis now, before it escalates into a real war. America is better than this.

Ilana Freedman

Ilana Freedman is a veteran intelligence analyst with more than thirty years in the field. She was trained in Israel, where she lived and worked for sixteen years. After returning to the U.S., she served as CEO of Gerard Group International in Massachusetts, providing major corporations and government agencies with intelligence-led support for their homeland security programs. Her global network of specialists and field assets has provided her with an ongoing resource of critical, real-time intelligence and domain expertise. Today, Ilana is an independent consultant and author of hundreds of articles on terrorism and the geopolitical landscape. She has written four books on Islamic terrorism, and is currently working on a comprehensive book on China - past, present, and future.

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