The scene Americans awakened to over the weekend could have been out of an ISIS propaganda video: images of protesters in Portland burning bibles and American flags.
The bible and flag burnings were part of the continuing protests at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland. Those protests, which turned violent after midnight, were met by no police presence or the federal officers stationed inside the building. The violence continued for two and a half hours, with protesters prying off wood from boarded-up buildings for fodder for the fires, battering the door of the federal building and throwing garbage in front of the building’s exits to try to provoke a response from the federal agents inside.
The crowd finally dispersed by about 2:30 am Saturday morning.
I don’t know what burning the Bible has to do with protesting against police brutality.
Do not be under the illusion that these protests and riots are anything but an attempt to dismantle all of Western Civilization and upend centuries of tradition and freedom of religion.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 1, 2020
The video of the bible burning (linked in the top tweet above) immediately went viral and garnered more than 1.8 million views and thousands of retweets before it was taken down by Twitter.
Again, we ask as we did in Part I of this article: In light of the bible and flag burnings, what do the protesters in Portland want?
As noted by commentator Victor Davis Hanson, “The war no longer pits radicals against conservatives, but often socialists and anarchists against both liberals and conservatives.”
“The scariest trait of the current revolution is that many of its sympathizers haven’t changed much since the 1960s. They may be rich, powerful, influential and older, but they are just as reckless and see the current chaos as the final victory in their own long march from the ’60s.
“In the ’60s, radicals rebelled against their teachers and professors, who were often highly competent and the products of fact-based and inductive education. Not so in 2020. Today’s radicals were taught not by traditionalists but by less-educated older radicals.”
Hanson also notes that “corporations are no longer seen as evil, but as woke contributors to the revolution.”
Probably the most alarming trend coming out of the current unrest is the race baiting.
“The ’60s protests were for racial assimilation and integration to reify Martin Luther King Jr.’s agenda of making race incidental, not essential, to the American mindset,” writes Hanson. “Not so with today’s cultural revolution. It seeks to ensure that racial difference is the foundation of American life, dividing the country between supposed non-white victims and purported white victimizers, past and present.”
This brings us back to the bible and flag burnings by the Portland protesters, reminiscent of one of the most famous book burnings in modern history, that of the Nazis in 1933 in Berlin.
“Along with the Nazi ideology that there existed a superior race of people came the idea that there was one true cultural and ideological canon; that which didn’t fit was consigned to the fire,” noted Time magazine in a review of HBO’s adaption of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.
“’The old goes up in flames, the new shall be fashioned from the flame in our hearts,’ Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels told the crowd then.”
The message behind burning bibles (a stack of which had been brought to the protest for this purpose) along with American flags couldn’t be more clear: The movement was calling not only for the destruction of the foundational principles of American society (as represented by the bible), but America itself (as represented by the flag).
The leaders of Black Lives Matter are self-avowed Marxists. While not a centralized movement like BLM, Antifa’s emerging leaders appear also to subscribe to Marxist ideology.
It is likely that many supporters of both the Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movements do not share these sentiments (i.e., the moms, grandmothers and veterans out protesting with these groups in Portland, for example). Rather, they take both movements at face value – namely, the stated opposition by Antifa to neo-Nazi groups and the opposition to systemic racism by Black Lives Matter.
This is also evident in the many peaceful protests by diverse crowds of Americans following the horrific killing George Floyd.
Yet, historically, it is known that leaders of ideological (particularly Marxist) revolutions look for ways to create divisions between people to foment hate and strife, with the ultimate goal of pitting one citizen against another. In the chaos and resulting in-fighting, the revolutionary leaders emerge victorious. (A good lesson in this strategy can be found in Yugoslavia, whose bloody civil war between 1991-2001 was sparked by revolutionary leaders fomenting strife between the country’s ethnic groups. It is more than concerning that the events leading up to that civil war are hauntingly similar to what is currently happening in America.)
It is also worth noting that the Marxist and anarchists currently using the race-baiting card in America know they will have ample help sparking a conflict from other equally dangerous extremists, namely white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
In fact, we can assume that all of these extremist groups have been waiting for just the right set of conditions to ignite what Clarion has dubbed the “War of Extremes” (see our video below).
The extremist leaders of Antifa and Black Lives Matter understand that the legitimate reasons for their causes (anti-fascism and anti-racism) are powerful draws for ordinary people looking to genuinely improve America.
Yet, now that their cards are clearly on the table (as witnessed by the bible burning and their willingness to use violence to get what they want), it will fall on the shoulders of the “ordinary” people to take back these movements from their extremist leaders and work together to continually improve the unique experiment in history that is called the United States of America.