Re: [sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-Horowitz as Pat Buchanan

From: David Horowitz (
Date: Sun Sep 03 2000 - 23:04:56 CUT

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    > Well Jeffrey the question you raise in typically rude fashion is really the
    > crux of what has trapped people yourself in a sixties fantasy life all these
    > years. It is one thing when you're young to to compare what you see around you
    > to some utopian ideal that has never been and will never be a reality as long
    > as human beings are what they are (and not say genetically transformed into
    > something entirely different). It's quite another to grow old and never
    > appreciate what you have (and what you have been given) compared to what other
    > people all over the world and all throughout history have been forced to
    > endure.
    > Everybody in America is free to leave. Few do. If America's borders were opened
    > tomorrow there would be a flood of brown and black of immigrants to these
    > shores. There is no exodus of brown and black people today to any country
    > whether Canada, Jamaica, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil or some other place.
    > That's because black and brown people (as well as poor people generally) live
    > far better in America, have far more justice and freedom in America than they
    > do anywhere else in the world. What I mean by this (unlike you) is very
    > specific: The average black person in America is 20 to 50 times richer than the
    > average black person in Africa. And freer. And more protected in their
    > individual rights. This is something all Americans should celebrate while
    > working to make things even better. The fact that America is a land whose
    > citizens pledge their allegiance to a country which seeks to provide its
    > citizens with liberty and justice for all is something to be proud of and to
    > teach our children to be proud of. That's the only way that the good that
    > America has done for poor people and minorities can be protected and expanded.
    > Your minority students can be forgiven for not understanding how privileged
    > they are to be in a country that teaches its citizens from the early grades
    > that discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or race is wrong; that has an
    > economy generating more wealth for more people at more levels than any country
    > since the beginning of time. Young people think they know better than everyone
    > who came before them and they still have the illusion that people (and
    > therefore societies) can be remade for the bettter if only they are given the
    > right ideas .
    > You, however, cannot be forgiven for having failed to learn the obvious in the
    > decades you have had to think about all this since the 60s. To go on attacking
    > this system and working to alienate young people from it (thus denying them
    > opportunities they would have if they embraced it), all the while pretending
    > that there is some other system that can produce the ideal justice of your
    > fantasies is simply destructive and, in the end, pathetic. It's time to give it
    > up.
    > Jeffrey Blankfort wrote:
    >> A friend forward this piece of jingoism, worthy of Pat Buchanan, to me
    >> today, in which David Horowitz accuses me of having "a subversive
    >> mission whose agenda is to warn them [my students]against the very
    >> society their parents had freely chosen. The students are addressed not
    >> as members of a free community freely choosing their futures, but as
    >> though they were dragged to these shores (and kept here) in chains."
    >> He based this assumption on my questioning of students who stand for the
    >> pledge of allegiance "if she or he can tell me of any moment in history
    >> where the inhabitants of this land actually enjoyed 'liberty and justice
    >> for all,' and beyond the words
    >> of the pledge, to show me any proof that such was ever intended."
    >> No student was ever able to do so. Now I am making the same challenge
    >> to Prof. Horowitz to see, with his apparent profound knowledge and deep
    >> respect for American history and its traditions, e.g., slavery and Jim
    >> Crow, genocide of the indigenous population, close to 200 interventions
    >> on foreign soil, if he can answer the question.
    >> Perhaps, Horowitz would like to have a public debate on the question?
    >> I'm ready, David. Just name the time and place.
    >> Jeff Blankfort
    >> | July 10, 2000
    >> URL:
    >> The Fourth of July Weekend is normally a time for reflection about
    >> the American Founding and renewed commitment to its enduring legacy.
    >> But in recent
    >> years the anniversary of American Independence has also become an
    >> occasion to reflect on the way America's heritage is under continuous
    >> assault by the
    >> determined legions of the political left. This attack has been
    >> mounted by an intellectual class based in the media and in America's
    >> politically correct
    >> educational institutions. Their inspiration is a set of discredited
    >> 19th Century dogmas masquerading as "progressive" nostrums, and not
    >> even the collapse
    >> of Communism has been able to reconcile their alienated psyches with
    >> the American cause.
    >> These thoughts were brought into focus by three unrelated but
    >> thematically coherent incidents that occurred during the holiday
    >> respite. They include an
    >> Internet post concerning the Pledge of Allegiance as it is taught in
    >> our public schools; a dialogue about "patriotism" arranged by the New
    >> York Times
    >> between neo-conservative Norman Podhoretz and Nation editor Victor
    >> Navasky; and the release of Mel Gibson's epic film, "The Patriot,"
    >> which is about
    >> this history itself.
    >> The ritual of civic renewal is important to Americans in a way that
    >> it is not to the citizens of other nations. Their patria have been
    >> created out of common
    >> bonds of blood, language and soil. Their national identities are not
    >> intrinsic - as America's is -- to a set of abstract principles and
    >> ideas. The singularity of
    >> the American identity lies in being forged through a conscious
    >> commitment to what until recently was still referred to as an
    >> "American way of life." The
    >> construct "American" was defined by the Founding, beginning with its
    >> Declaration that announced the creation of a new nation dedicated to
    >> the proposition
    >> that all human beings are created equal and that they are endowed
    >> with a natural right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. To be
    >> anti-American is not only
    >> to reject the heritage of this past, but a future that is "American" as well.
    >> Until recently, the public schools in America functioned as a
    >> crucible of its citizenship. Immigrants who came to America seeking
    >> refuge and opportunity
    >> were educated in this social contract by their teachers. At the
    >> beginning of every school day, students would pledge allegiance to
    >> the flag of a multi-ethnic
    >> republic that was united into one indivisible nation by the
    >> commitment of all its citizens to a common national ideal. For these
    >> immigrants, public education
    >> was a process of assimilation into an American culture that had
    >> pledged itself to liberty and justice for all. But now this contract
    >> is under siege by radical
    >> multi-culturalists who condemn America and its heritage as
    >> oppressive, and valorize instead the culture of the "Other" - of
    >> peoples this nation is alleged to
    >> oppress. In this perverse -- but now academically normal - view, the
    >> world is turned upside down. The nation conceived in liberty is
    >> reconceived as the
    >> tyrant to be overthrown.
    >> Hows effective is this campaign? A Zogby poll, taken in January,
    >> showed that nearly a third of America's college students declined to
    >> say that they are
    >> proud to be Americans. This can be considered a direct result of the
    >> fact that their left-wing professors, as a matter of course, teach
    >> them to be ashamed of
    >> their country's present and its history.
    >> The Internet post I came across was from a Sixties list, and it
    >> encapsulated the attitude that has caused this to happen. The post
    >> was written by Jeffrey
    >> Blankfort, a photographer who supplied the media with romantic images
    >> of the Black Panthers, during their struggles with law and order in
    >> the 1960s.
    >> Blankfort is now a public school teacher, and an unreconstructed
    >> missionary from the hate-America school of radical thought, perhaps
    >> the most enduring
    >> legacy of his radical generation to the national debate. This is what
    >> Blankfort wrote:
    >> "In the schools in which I have subbed and then taught, very few
    >> students stand for the pledge of allegiance unless coerced to do so
    >> by their teacher. Most
    >> of the students have either African, Latin American or Asian
    >> ancestry. When an occasional student does stand, I ask, in a friendly
    >> manner, if she or he can
    >> tell me of any moment in history where the inhabitants of this land
    >> actually enjoyed 'liberty and justice for all,' and beyond the words
    >> of the pledge, to show
    >> me any proof that such was ever intended."
    >> In other words, for Jeffrey Blankfort and his comrades, gone is the
    >> role of public education as an assimilator of immigrants and
    >> minorities into the
    >> American culture; gone, too, is the task of integrating them into the
    >> opportunities offered under the umbrella of "the American dream." It
    >> has been replaced
    >> by a subversive mission whose agenda is to warn them against the very
    >> society their parents had freely chosen. The students are addressed
    >> not as members
    >> of a free community freely choosing their futures, but as though they
    >> were dragged to these shores (and kept here) in chains. Thirty years
    >> ago no teacher
    >> would have thought to abuse his authority over school children in
    >> this manner. But now educational institutions all the way from
    >> university to kindergarten
    >> have been thoroughly politicized by a "post-modern" left that
    >> respects no institutions and no standards, and for whom everything is
    >> political, including the
    >> lives of small children.
    >> This is an authentic movement of sedition, and it is new as well. In
    >> fact, I have a personal way of measuring just how new. My father was
    >> a Communist
    >> teacher during the Thirties and Forties, unfairly purged in the
    >> McCarthy era from the New York City school system. But not for an act
    >> like this. For he did
    >> not, so far as the record shows, violate his classroom trust; nor did
    >> he intrude his personal political agendas into his lessons. Even
    >> though my father
    >> belonged to a conspiratorial party that took its orders from a
    >> foreign power, it would have been absolutely unthinkable for him to
    >> attack America in its
    >> promise ("show me any proof that such [liberty and justice] was ever
    >> intended") as today's leftists reflexively do.
    >> My father belonged to a party whose slogan was "Communism is 20th
    >> Century Americanism," and he believed it. The socialism of which he
    >> and his
    >> comrades dreamed was incompatible, of course, with the American
    >> founding. But in their minds the future to which they aspired was
    >> going to be a
    >> completion - not a rejection - of the American idea. Accordingly,
    >> they named their organizations after American icons like Lincoln and
    >> Jefferson, men now
    >> routinely demonized by the left as "racists" and (in Jefferson's
    >> case) "rapists." Even though what Communists like my father really
    >> wanted was a "Soviet
    >> Lincoln

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