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Opinion: The Movement to Destroy a Nation

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A Protester attempts to pull down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square near the White House June 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo: by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
A Protester attempts to pull down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square near the White House June 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo: by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Nation-wide protests weeks after George Floyd’s murder turned into a movement to destroy a nation. Parading as an attack on racial injustice, the movement has turned into an obliteration of history. This week that devastation set its eyes on faith.

Less than one week ago, protesters rekindled the call for removing confederate statues. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in a show of solidarity with the protest mob, removed two portraits of former House speakers who were part of the Confederacy.

From there, the momentum quickly shifted to anyone whose statue is seen as offensive, who may have held racist or politically incorrect views of another era, or who may (or may not) have owned slaves or supported slavery at any time.

Never mind that the qualifiers of what constitutes “offensive” is blurred; the momentum of eradicating history is ruled by emotion, not reason.

Just in the last week, the long list of what’s offensive includes Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Jackson, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, Francis Scott Key and more.

It was inevitable. When you go from a culture that is willing to cancel someone for what they said 10 years ago, why not go for what was said 100 years ago?

Everything is subject to a squinted-eye review based on the strict checklist of virtue extremists.

Now they have come for religion.

In addition to the antisemitism the American Jewish community has been increasingly enduring for the last number of years, protesters also toppled a memorial to Holocaust survivors in a cemetery in California.

COVID-19 measures issued by governors recently banned Christians from congregating in churches. Just weeks later, those same governors had no issue with city-wide protests that brought thousands together.

We’re now at the intersection of faith and history with the desire to eradicate the past.

Noticeably absent from the mob’s radar is Islam, as the intersectional allies of victimhood-claiming Islamists have chosen to ignore the problematic aspects of the religion.

But there’s a lot in Islam that needs to be discussed, as there is in many other faiths and sectors.

In answer to Shaun King, yes, we should talk about the impact of skin-lightening of religious figures. But should we cast the totality of historic aggressions perpetrated by missionaries on indigenous populations as white supremacy, as if there was an orchestrated white supremacist movement through the centuries?

Or do we — as a generation writing what has the potential to be the final chapter of injustice — elevate our own capacity to look beyond this simplistic narrative?

Resting the argument on just a blanket accusation of white supremacy does two devastating things:

  1. Gives far more power to the idea of “white supremacy” than white supremacists actually have.
  2. Further disempowers the authentic narratives of the “other” populations that have long been ignored or whose stories have long been told predominantly through the lens of the victor or conqueror.

There are other ways to talk about critical and overdue issues in human history, but none of the leading influencers or commentators are capable of leading this discussion, as they are proving.

If it feels like there is no stability in this movement and the monstrosity it has become, it’s because there isn’t any stability. If it feels like the goal posts keep shifting, it’s because they have. This is how extremists operate; they’re erratic, illogical, dangerously passionate, and any sincere cause or desire to do good by the few is lost to the movement of the mob.

Whether they come for statues today or people tomorrow, the goal of any extremist movement is to rewrite the narrative by obliterating any other narrative. The goal of this current movement is no different. It isn’t just to level racial injustice; it’s to level America.

 

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Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Clarion Project's National Correspondent.

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