The BLM Movement and Civil Rights is a panel discussion hosted by Hillsdale College, chaired by Michael Anton and covering the topics of “The Appeasement of the Corporate Elites, Inner-City Crime and the Police, and Systemic Racism.
Panel: “The BLM Movement and Civil Rights”
Chairman: Michael Anton Hillsdale College
“The Appeasement of the Corporate Elites” Arthur Milikh | The Claremont Institute
Arthur Milikh: Well, a thank you very much everyone for joining us here and thank you very much to Hillsdale for inviting me, it’s really a great honor. I should say that I’ve long admired Hillsdale. I’m not a graduate of Hillsdale, but I feel that I graduated in spirit which, mind you, is not an accredited degree.
The recent BLM organized riots have been good for business. Not for the businesses of course that were torched looted and forced to close down. The riots we’re good for BLM’s bottom line. I’ve calculated that approximately 10 billion dollars was given or pledged to BLM or black Focus causes by America’s corporations foundations and individuals as a result of these riots and protests. Most notably, Bank of America pledged 1 billion dollars, with a B, over four years to support, as they say, economic opportunity initiatives to combat racial inequality accelerated by the global pandemic. Not only are these breathtaking amounts, but they were given based on three falsehood. The first, that George Floyd was murdered because of his race. The second, that black people are being systematically murdered by cops. And the third, that America has racism in it’s very DNA.
The Left learned an important lesson from all of this, the more they riot the more corporations pay out. Why has there, why has there been so little corporate resistance to this? Only a few have stood up and said this is a shakedown, it’s extortion. In the span of 3 generations, America’s most powerful corporations went from being more or less patriotic to globalist to giving money to revolutionary causes that would ultimately put them out of business. So what happened?
Both our political parties have taken different approaches to courting America’s corporations. The Right had a earnest strategy that spanned for about 30 years, until Trump, and it was basically giving them whatever they wanted, access to the world’s markets, both to break labor unions and sell to our adversaries like China, lax border enforcement, allowing illegals into the country, coupled with high, low-level and high-level immigration, and of course there were various tax breaks. The Right wrongly bet that they could give away the farm and in return produce permanent loyalty and gratitude. Our corporations ended up with all the Right gave them and yet, they ultimately went left. And I think what the left has done is far more powerful, successful, and interesting. First of all, in case you’ve been asleep for the past 20 years, you will have noticed that the left has gained enormous influence over all of America’s major institutions, the press, the bureaucracy, the universities, the culture industries, big tech and many Fortune 500s. Before the left became neoliberal in the 90s, its center of gravity was the working class, and they thought the great evil was corporate power and money. But the new left, which began to emerge in the sixties and seventies, is different. Not proletarian revolution, but the liberation of the so-called marginalized and oppressed of women, gays, and blacks became their goal, and in its mature form today, liberation requires the punishment of the alleged oppressor group who still prevents their identities from flourishing so they claim. And in case you haven’t guessed it, the oppressors are white people as they say. The greatest evil now, in other words, has shifted from money to whiteness. As these ends of changed, so to have corporations become tolerable to the left, and even useful. In fact, for the time being, the identitarian left needs corporate money and political clout to advance its goals. And corporations, by the way, like this new left more than the old left. They understandably fear Bernie Sander’s socialism more than BLM. Bernie wants to heavily tax and regulate their businesses and personal wealth. And in the short term, at least, BLM wants to do the shakedown, force race-conscious policies, but leave them more or less intact for now.
So what is BLM? It’s growth has been nothing short of amazing. It’s only seven years old, but it’s making an enormous dough, getting astonishing more power, and its imitated throughout the world. BLM was founded by three women short after the Trayvon Martin case and then it grew in national notoriety after Michael Brown was shot by the police. But BLM itself is really the tip of the spear of an obscure network. This is what you have to keep in mind. You first learn about its hidden side when you try to donate to it. You can’t actually donate to BLM directly, only to its partner organizations, and I think this is by design. BLM takes on the organizational, the organizing, the rioting, the threatening, the street theater function. They are the shock troops, the main extortion mechanism meant for Primetime TV. And not being able to donate to BLM is smart. If they get labeled as a terrorist organization or is a group engaged in sedition, and the case can certainly be made for that, their assets would be frozen and seized. And since they’re not really a legal entity, but a movement, a network, the money is largely untraceable, and yet it’s tax deductible. Much of those 10 billion dollars pledged or donated largely go elsewhere, and it’s too early to trace it all. But some of the funding, on the face of it, goes to good causes, education for historically black colleges, scholarships, help to black only financial institutions. But another part of the money goes to fueling the race consultant industry, bailing out violent protestors and looters and people who have assaulted the police. Some presumably goes to lobbyists who will lobby on behalf of BLM’s legislative causes. And it may end up going to political campaigns. We simply don’t know. But what’s most important is the broad consideration that all of this is fueling, all of this clout money, is fueling the infrastructure for this kind of form of rioting, protesting, and spreads the moral power of what are truly revolutionary goals and doctrines.
So, what are these doctrines? Well, BLM, you guys have probably heard this expression, BLM is anti-racist. And I think that this is, it drapes itself in very sophisticated jargon, this theory, but I think it’s actually very simple and it boils down to just a few very simple points, and the way to kind of get to them is not by going to be BLM which is very obscure about what it means, but by turning to a nationally-renowned New York Times best seller who has the most prestigious position at Boston University succeeding Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel in this position and his name is Ibram Kendi. You guys have probably heard of him and he, despite all of these honors, all this money, is among the marginalized, as he claims. Now for him racism means racist ideas and racist policies that promote racial inequalities. I’m going to try to break this down very quickly for you. It’s actually very simple. So what it means is that all the policies or laws are racist if they don’t lead to complete parity among groups. So for example, there must be complete parody among racial groups of home ownership, of median salaries, incomes, college and high school graduation and also parody in bad things like arrests, criminal conviction. If there are disparities among groups in these things, that means there’s racism in the system. And so if there’s racism in the system there are two options of what to do. The first is get rid of policies. Get rid of laws, regulations, whatever it might be the produce these disparate outcomes. So, for example, get rid of SAT scores, get rid of policing, get rid of criminal penalties, get rid of credit scores for mortgage loans. That’s the first option. And the second option, and this is the more radical one, is that you must intentionally discriminate, these are his words, you must intentionally discriminate against the oppressor group. As he says, the only remedy to past, present and future discrimination is discrimination against the oppressor. Now, of course, we have to get rid of racist ideas too, not just policies. This means, boiled down, this basically means never making judgments of a group’s behavior according to the standards of American civilization, because those standards are merely white standards. For example, it is racist to say that there’s something wrong with teen pregnancy. The National Museum of African American History and Culture recently chimed in on this note and announced that things like work ethic, scientific thinking, grammar, politeness, be on time, I’m basically quoting them, are all actually tools of white supremacy. And, regrettably, in their hatred of the alleged oppressors, they constantly mistake things needed for any free society, like intact families, or the rule of law merely for whiteness. That’s one of the main confusions in their mind. Oppressors minds who operate on the basis of these standards must be cleansed through bias training and hate speech regulations. What is being asked for in this theory is simply impossible, and it’s this. The standards of civilized life cannot be imposed onto any marginalized group, but, at the same time, there must be perfect statistical parody among all of these groups. It’s simply not possible. And if it isn’t already clear, corporation have an obvious role to play here. Justice would demand giving jobs to the marginalized and putting them in high position of influence. The transfer, this transformation is, is in the midst of taking place, but it’s pretty clear that if it advances these corporations will likely fail.
But behind these theories there’s one very ugly implication and the implication is this, that the marginalized, because of their marginalized, marginalization, are fundamentally superior, both intellectually and morally, to their oppressors. They’re morally superior because, as Kendi says, it has been a gift, that’s a quote, it has been a gift to be marginalized because it allows him to understand justice, who deserves what, in a way that oppressors simply cannot. He, in other words, is pure and blameless morally. And it means, fundamental, intellectual superiority, because the oppressor, you see, cannot understand the culture or the psychology of the marginalized. But the reverse is not true, the marginalized can perfectly understand the oppressor’s white fragility, white superstructures, his CIS genderism. And so you see, you may already kind of see this, but if you want to implement these kinds of theories, these kinds of theories of racial superiority, racial purity, you have to have tyranny. That’s, there’s no other way to achieve this. And a it’s not even clear, but I will kind of add one thing, which is that its not even fully clear that these people believe in these theories. And it may just be that they are really animated by animas and hatred. Now you may say that these theories are full of contradictions, in a way they’re silly, why have they had such a degree of success in imposing themselves onto, well, the University’s obviously, but corporations in particular, and there’s an answer to that.
The BLM, and the organizations that are part of it, have a kind of shakedown structure and it goes like this. It was started by Al Sharpton in the eighties and nineties, put its perfected itself since then and I’ll give you the example from Louisville, Kentucky. and this is form one of their websites, they say, first you have to identify the target businesses, Kroger, KFC, Humana. Then you have to demand that they issue statements in support of BLM. If they don’t, then you target the CEOs and CFOs, the C-suite to force them to do that. If they resist, and they may will, they will resist, then you get the local and national press corps to diride them as racist, you swarm them on social media you agitate inside of their companies with sympathetic employees who in turn will agitate with the leadership. You target HR departments. Um, all of this has been perfected and works almost to a T. And these old school, you know, libertarian thoughts that CEOs are these Titans who are free to act in any courageous and bold way that they want is simply not true. This leverage is very strong. But this isn’t all of course, a there’s one last thing that really makes this possible and that is white guilt, the, the, the, the white guilt that has been issued forth into society has been imposed through the press, through universities, onto many corporations and CEOs is deeply felt, and what it basically means, what this doctrine of white guilt basically means is that white people, the oppressor group, is born with a sin, with an original sin, which is privilege. But unlike original sin, it can never be expunged. One must perpetually apologize, give more and more grants, listen, be quiet, and succumb to this kind of rule. and then there’s this other kind of CEO that, I suspect believes regrettably, that the left will probably win over the long haul and I might as well tether my wagon with them and give money to them. That’s the other kind of cynical decision.
I’m running out of time but I want to propose a couple of solutions. First, this has been an experiment for the left. They wanted to see how far they can take white guilt in destroying and tearing down America and in a way they have succeeded. They’ve learned how to socially engineer these kinds of situations and to make good on them next time. Next time this comes about, I suspect that there will be, if there isn’t push back, there will be some desire to pass reparations legislation which they already written, which is already prepared to go, or to implement anti-racism federal bureaucracies or on the state and local level.
One last thing, to conclude. This doesn’t have to be the case. Corporations can stand up. They can go to the press and they can say shakedowns are un-American. We are being extorted. The IRS too can investigate where on earth is all of this money going. What’s it actually being used for, and the President, of course, can do a gambit something like this, he can say to the corporation’s, you have contributed to riots that have burned down, turn down American cities demand your money back from BLM.
Thank you very much.
“Inner-City Crime and the Police” Wilfred Reilly | Kentucky State University
“Systemic Racism?” Robert Woodson | The Woodson Center