"Can you believe what’s happening?" It’s a comment I’ve heard a dozen times per week since the Left exploited the tragic death of George Floyd and the instability of the pandemic to start a viscous culture war in America. As a result, our public discourse and many of our city streets battlegrounds are marked by dangerous ideas and dangerous people.
One need only look at the death toll in America’s cities in the last two months, the skyrocketing crime, the vandalism, the boycotts, and the hate speech in the name of tolerance, to see the results.
The Left’s attempt to divide us isn’t about improving black lives or any lives. It’s political warfare. To win the battle of ideas, they want to separate us from our humanity. It’s a time-tested strategy used by oppressive regimes throughout history. The Nazi’s tagged Jewish businesses and branded people like cattle. The Communist Chinese forced people to wear uniforms to further remove their individuality. That was the most benign of their abhorrent tactics.
Similarly, behind today’s well-funded and coordinated efforts to divide America, is a strategy to strip away what makes us who we really are — our stories.
We are all stories. We are stories we write every day until we’re called home by the Almighty. We are not black faces and white faces. We are a million shades, from grey to gold.
All of us have good within us and all of us have parts of ourselves that we're not proud of. All of us have a story. All of us have some form of struggle or conflict that we have faced that shapes who we are. If we are lucky, those things help us grow, change and improve. If we are lucky, those stories, still unfinished, give us an opportunity to serve one another, to protect American freedom and continue to advance a caring nation dedicated to the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
To the far Left, Democratic leaders and corporations who have capitulated to angry mobs and the politics of the Black Lives Matter movement, those stories don’t matter. From a tactical standpoint, skin color, is the best way to define and divide people. It’s worked for centuries.
Dehumanizing people makes them numb to attacks on their individual rights. It devalues life itself.
Our souls define us. Our values define us. Our works define us. Those, not skin color, fill the chapters of our stories.
Those who define us by skin color or race are no better than the segregationists and true racists who, fueled by blind hatred, sought to impose their will over blacks or Jews or Christians throughout history. Those efforts almost always had deadly consequences and led to the violent suppression if not outright attempts to eradicate cultures.
The left in this country and those who amplify their message in Democratic Party, the media and the Big Tech platforms that divide us, aren't interested in our stories. They’re not interested in who we are. Their aim is to focus on what we are in the most superficial sense.
They want a cold, almost robotic segregated America where people are defined not by the content of their character but by the color of their skin or some other classification imposed by elites.
The insidious nature of the Left’s insatiable push to label and classify everyone ignores those personal histories in favor of tactics that have their roots in segregation. It can also be seen clearly in the divisive cancel culture.
Historical and pop cultural figures also have their stories. They remain relevant, despite being denigrated by Democrats and the Left bent on rewriting history to their liking.
The real Aunt Jemima, Nancy Green, also had a story. Born into slavery, she ultimately became a wealthy woman and icon of her time traveling the nation and advocating for equal rights.
The statue of Lincoln in Emancipation Park has a story. It was paid for be freed slaves, dedicated by Frederick Douglass, who even at that time referenced Lincoln’s complex legacy. It depicts a slave breaking his own chains and preparing to stand, not kneeling before Lincoln as has been suggested in the press.
The Columbus statue recently thrown into Baltimore Harbor has a story. It was erected to celebrate Italian immigrants, dedicated by both Democratic and Republican leaders and symbolized the contributions those of Italian heritage have made to the fabric of America.
Americans must oppose with every fiber of their substance, the abasing and insidious effort to categorize them like colored blocks and political pawns, rather than human beings.
Those are hallmarks of oppression. Any official, political party or movement that wraps themselves in this type of behavior must be viewed as a threat to all of us.
Tom Basile has been part of the American political landscape from Presidential campaigns to local politics. He served on the Bush-Cheney 2000 Campaign, and also served in the Bush Administration from 2001-2004. As Executive Director of the NYS Republican Party and has held a range of senior-level communications roles in and out of government. His new book "Let it Sink In: The Decade of Obama and Trump" provides a look back at the 2010s to prepare us to defend freedom in the 2020s. His critically-acclaimed book, "Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq" (Foreword by Amb. John R. Bolton), chronicles his time in Baghdad fighting media bias and driving coverage of the Iraq war. In 2011, he was featured in Time Magazine's Person of the Year spread about political activism around the world. Basile is an adjunct professor at Fordham University and runs a New York-based strategic communications firm. He is a member of the New York Bar and sits on a number of academic and philanthropic advisory boards. Learn more about him at TomBasile.com or follow him on Twitter @Tom_Basile. Read Tom Basile's Reports — More Here.
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