“The concept of black lives matter is unimpeachable… but the concept is very different from the movement, very different from the organizations, very different from the founders.”
In this episode, we sit down with Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez to discuss the Marxist ideology underpinning the major Black Lives Matter organizations.
Gonzalez is the author of the new book, “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution.”
Jan Jekielek: Mike Gonzalez, such a pleasure to have you back on American Thought Leaders.
Mike Gonzalez: Thank you very much, Jan. It’s my pleasure to be here.
Mr. Jekielek: Mike, I’ve been reading your book, “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution.” Not a lot of people in this day and age associate Black Lives Matter with Marxism. Some people would say you’re not allowed to make that association. But you have a different story to tell here.
Mr. Gonzalez: You put your finger right on it when you said you’re not even allowed to make that association. Amazon refused to run our ads for the book. The book was published September 7th by Encounter Books, and about six days later, we were informed by Amazon that because the subject matter of the book was highly debated—not debatable, debated—they would not run the ads.
We went back to them and said, “This is a book about public policy and public matters, which by nature are highly debated, and if in a democracy we can not debate public issue, then democracy dies.”
They reversed themselves. They allowed the ads to run. I’m pretty sure [the issue] was the connection of BLM and Marxism. Many people ignore the fact that the founders and the people who led the BLM organizations, especially the main organization, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, are Marxists who were recruited and trained by old communists from an early era. And you’re not allowed to just assert that fact, to quote them.
All I do is quote them in my book, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and state their previous associations and state their goals. What they say they want to do, what their trainers say they want to do, what their founders say they want to do.
Let me just finish by saying that I think the reason for that is that the slogan and the concept of Black Lives Matter is unimpeachable. It’s a fantastic concept. I say “black lives matter.” I don’t even have to say all lives matter. Black lives matter to me. African Americans have uniquely suffered in our history.
I feel like I need to assert that by saying that black lives matter. But the concept is very different from the movement, very different from the organizations, very different from the founders. My book is about the organizations and their founders.
Mr. Jekielek: When we reached out to Amazon, a spokesperson told us that Amazon’s quote, “Policies were not enforced correctly. We will be providing additional training to ensure our teams are clear on our policies.”
This is a meticulously researched book. I see you went to really great pains to catalog absolutely everything. I noticed that. There’s this giant footnote section at the end, which is actually very helpful. Tell me a little bit about the goals. You mentioned that you quote the founders and their inspirations directly.
Mr. Gonzalez: So let me just make a quick reference to the notes at the end. I wanted to do the un-Howard Zinn thing. Howard Zinn wrote this hugely influential book, “A People’s History of the United States,” which makes all these outlandish claims, and he doesn’t have a single, not a single note, nothing. He doesn’t cite anything, any source. I wanted to do the opposite.
Let’s start with Alicia Garza, one of the main founders of BLM. She told a group of Marxists in Maine in 2009, “What we’re talking about is dismantling the organizing principle of society,” We have to dismantle how we’ve organized as a society.
That’s what she wants to do. That is very holistic. That is your son’s little league, baseball little league. Your daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Your book club. Everything is part of systemic racism and needs to be dismantled and something else new needs to be put in its place.
What that is—we can go back to her as a source, when she said to another group of Marxists, this time international Marxists, in 2015, that, “Black lives cannot matter if we have capitalism.” That capitalism is racist and that we have to dismantle capitalism. That is a thought, a concept, that is shared by Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, Melina Abdullah, all the other leaders.
Their biggest intellectual mentor is Angela Davis, who ran as VP on the Communist Party ticket, who’s still around. She goes to universities today, razes her fist and say, “I’m now a communist, and I’ve always been a communist.” And the students don’t know any better, so they stand up and give her standing ovations.
It’s like the same way Brezhnev used to be applauded at the end of one of his long speeches. These students are doing that, not because they’ve been told to. … They think it’s an applause line to say she’s a communist because they haven’t been taught what communism is.
Mr. Jekielek: You just reminded me of this vignette which you offer in the book, I believe it’s in 2017. President Trump has just been elected, and Angela Davis appears on Democracy Now! with others and there’s a conversation. Tell us, just briefly recount that.
Mr. Gonzalez: With Alicia Garza?
Mr. Jekielek: Right.
Mr. Gonzalez: She talks about why Hillary lost and she never mentions Hillary. She talks about the other candidate, Angela Davis, and she says that the other candidate lost because she was not able to understand the moment, was not able to grasp what was happening. And I think that the people around Joe Biden, he doesn’t watch Democracy Now!, he was probably watching The Price Is Right that day, but the people around him understand the moment that he needs to cater to.
So this is why Joe Biden, a career politician who in 40 years never showed any interest in anything woke, now does not even mention the word equality, every is equity, which has now become the functional opposite of equality. This is why he’s signing bills that are race conscious for the first time since LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964.
Angela Davis—this is her métier and has been for decades—was educated by one of the top critical theorists of his time. Herbert Marcuse was her mentor and professor in philosophy.
She understands the moment for the left. She understands why right now the debate we’re having on Reconciliation and the Infrastructure Bill, Joe Biden has sided with the left. Not with the moderates in his party, not with Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, and the moderate democrats in the House.
He has sided with Bernie Sanders and AOC, Cori Bush, and the squad and the far-left of his party. To me, that is captured by that exchange. There’s about a 20 minute exchange between Angela Davis and Alicia Garza. In which, Alicia Garza—one of the main founders and organizers and leaders of the main Black Lives Matter group, with is Black lives Matter Global Network Foundation, BLMGNF—is effusive in her praise of Angela Davis. She says to this communist, “You have taught us so much. I have all your books at home. I read them all the time.”
Mr. Jekielek: There’s another piece to this too, and it’s something that was actually scrubbed from the BLM website. The idea that the organization stands again the traditional nuclear family or seeks to break it up.
Mr. Gonzalez: Right. Dismantle is what they always use, and the term of art they used was, “The western prescribed family,” which is the same thing as Friedrich Engels’ patriarchal family. Anybody who’s married, at least in 2021, knows that is just a perfect partnership. There’s no patriarchy in a family, not in my family and not in any of the families of my friends.
It’s a very interesting group. I think one of these critical race theory professors just recently said that they recognized that growing up in an intact family bestows a conferred privilege in society. But their answer to that was not to promote this model of the intact family.
The answer to that was, again, to dismantle it. That word again, dismantle the family. And this goes back to Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx and the 1848 Communist Manifesto, where they say, “abolish the family.” …
Antonio Gramsci understood it later in the 1920s. Max Horkheimer understood in the 1930s and ’40s and his assistant, Herbert Marcuse, understood it. Old communists, old Marxists that I’m quoting here. In Horkheimer’s case and Marcuse’s, not members of the party. Gramsci was a founder of the Italian Communist Party, but definitely Marxist.
In Horkheimer’s case, he writes an essay in the ’40s describing how the authoritarian personality is given its start in the family. Marcuse borrows from Freud in his, “We should have a liberation. We should do what ever we want.”
He understood, they all understood. György Lukács, the Culture Commissar of the Hungarian Soviet, the short-lived Hungarian Soviet in 1919, whose innovation was to teach was to teach depravity to schoolchildren in the Hungarian Soviet of 1919. They’ve all understood that the family needs to be dismantled. Kate Millett, the feminist who borrows a lot from Engels and quotes Engels a lot in her books.
They’ve all targeted the family because it’s the basic pillar of society. To the point that they even recognize that growing up in an intact family gives you a great benefit and helps you prevent poverty later on in life. What they want to do is equalize to the bottom, to destroy this model.
Mr. Jekielek: We keep hearing about these studies that show if there’s one thing that basically helps someone of any background, any race, whatever, uplift or be successful, it’s having a stable family structure.
Mr. Gonzalez: It’s called the success sequence, and it says that if you graduate, get a job, get married and then have children in that sequence, the chances are that you’re going to avoid poverty and all its intendant dysfunctions, imprisonment, delinquency, all these things are huge. Every time you have the Heritage Foundation and the Brookings Institution agree on something in Washington, you may have something there.
Mr. Jekielek: I want to go back to Angela Davis a bit here because there’s this element of—well, actually, not just Angela Davis, but also one of her mentors, Herbert Marcuse, right?
Mr. Gonzalez: Right.
Mr. Jekielek: And this idea of repressive tolerance, this idea that violence in the name of revolution is somehow justified.
Mr. Gonzalez: Well, “Repressive Tolerance,” which is an essay that was part of another book, I think written in 1956, is that under the new tolerance, we’re going to tolerate all kinds of speeches except for conservative speech. Because they believed in the superstructure.
They believed that you had a cultural superstructure that functioned well, met man’s material needs, was convenient, was sufficient, had okay profits, and yet it was oppressive. It was very oppressive.
The problem was that people did not understand and would never be able to grasp that they were truly unhappy and oppressed. In the world they envisioned, they could not have anything said that would support or perpetuate that oppressive order, that oppressive superstructure.
So the only speech they would allow was things that would dismantle, would undermine, would rupture the status quo. And that is what we see today with the tech giants and the cancel culture. Although one would say that the left and the hard-left has taken over the institutions for so long now, starting in the late ’60s.
Another disciple of Marcuse, Rudi Dutschke, comes up with the great term, “The long march through the institutions.” The long march is obviously a reference to Mao’s long march in 1930s in China in the snows. But that is a violent long march that Mao has with his communist partisans against the nationalists. “This time,” Rudi Dutschke says, “Let’s have a peaceful long march, take over the institutions.” And Marcuse writes back and says, “Brilliant. This is the only way to go.”
One could say that now that Rudi Dutschke’s blueprint has been put in place for decades, the status quo actually needs to be overthrown. We have reversed roles. Those who see this sudden wokeness and this sudden cancel culture and the fact that you cannot speak your mind in a university setting or you risk losing your job. That you cannot speak your mind in your company, you risk losing your job. You cannot speak your mind in your K through 12 school because you will be isolated and ostracized.
That that is now the status, and that needs to be dismantled, or problematized, to use their language. But, of course, I and people who think like me would never advocate not to let them speak. I would never say we can’t have them explain their views. Now, I want to engage them in debate.
I want the people who believe that Black Lives Matter organizations have a good view of society, the things they want to do is what America needs, capitalism is racist, and we need to dismantle the family, I want them to explain that in the open forum and then allow me to enrage in a debate with them.
In Marcuse’s view, we cannot have that. That betrays a certain inferiority complex or lack of trust in the weight of your words.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, and not even that, and this is what I was leading to, but almost any means can be used to prevent that speech from happening, right?
Mr. Gonzalez: There was, I’m trying to remember his name, the revolutionary, Frantz Fanon. You hear it all the time, people use Frantz Fanon’s, “by any means necessary.” Now, people like me don’t say, “by any means necessary.” The ends don’t justify the means, always.
If the means are dictatorial, tyrannical, criminal, or violate God’s law, the end never justifies the means. But if you were a revolutionary in the mold of Frantz Fanon, then you will use any mean, whether violent or tyrannical, to impose your views.
Mr. Jekielek: We have to talk about the long march through the institutions, but since we’re talking about long marches, awhile back—and I think we interviewed about this—you talked about the connections between certain organizations deeply connected with the Chinese Communist Party, under the BLM umbrella. And you got a ton of flack for that, if I recall correctly. But since then, you’ve been somewhat vindicated. I just want to get you to speak to that a little bit.
Mr. Gonzalez: I just want to make it very clear that these are American groups. I’m talking about the Chinese Progressive Associations, particularly of San Francisco and Boston—both of which team up with Black Lives Matter, both of which try to recruit people to demonstrate, to turn out on the street, for Black Lives Matter.
The CPA of San Francisco, the Chinese Progressive Association of San Francisco is the financial sponsor of two BLM affiliates. One of the being the Black Futures Lab, or was at least at the time that I wrote this and probably still is.
Both the CPA of San Francisco and of Boston were set up by I Wor Kuen, the same group of militants who were set up in the 1970s at the height of the Cultural Revolution to flack for the Cultural Revolution. One the greatest, crazy experiments ever conducted in the 20th century of penury, the Cultural Revolution, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, caused untold suffering, caused untold suffering in China. Activists from I Wor Kuen set up both of the CPAs.
By the way, Alicia Garza herself—way before Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman, which was supposedly the start of BLM—worked associated with the CPA of San Francisco. Her name appears in writings of theirs, I believe as early as 2012, a year before the death of Trayvon Martin.
The association goes back far, at least with the CPA of San Francisco. With the CPA of Boston, which teams up with the Chinese Embassy to hold events together at their localities, they both go to bat for Black Lives Matter.
Mr. Jekielek: Let’s go back to this long march through the institutions. It’s kind of incredible how quickly in 2020 so many different institutions, organizations, corporations effectively went woke, right?
Mr. Gonzalez: Yeah.
Mr. Jekielek: It’s hard for a lot of people to fathom. Was this here all the time? And you make the case in the book that it’s BLM’s indelible ability to organize and fund raise and mobilize that’s actually responsible for this.
Mr. Gonzalez: The media never talked about how the thousands and thousands and thousands of demonstrations and the hundreds of riots that we had 2020 were organized or promoted by Black Lives Matter GNF, by the main BLM group. But yet, they were very much at the center of it.
And then what we see starting in 2020 is this huge outgrowth, this huge invasion of critical race theory trainings and curriculum in everything, in all aspects of life. In K through 12 schools, in the military, in the houses of worship, in your places of work. To the point that Americans today are up in arms about this, figuratively.
They just don’t want this. They have risen in opposition to their children being indoctrinated and having critical race theory implemented in a way that breaks the Civil Rights Act, Tile VI and Title VII, and the Constitution, the First Amendment.
Because this is compelled speech. They tell you that racism is systemic in America, that racism is not an individual act and that white people have privilege and have a benefit from a white premium, and you have to believe this.
They’re not teaching you that some people believe this and other people believe the opposite. They’re teaching you this. They’re separating people. They’re separating students by affinity groups, and workers. Again, illegal, again so a violation of the First Amendment, violation of the 14th Amendment, equal protection under the law.
The bills that Joe Biden is signing, where farmers can get loan assistance but only if they’re not white, violates equal protection under the law. A judge threw it out and said, “Absolutely not. You cannot. This is unconstitutional.” Rightly so.
The reason why we have had this huge and sudden invasion of critical race theory in our lives is directly the result of 2020 and the BLM year.
Mr. Jekielek: As you read, you’re stunned at how successful, effective, and thought-out this whole organizational structure is. It’s beyond what a lot of people imagine. Frankly, for a lot of people, these 12,000 protests and I think it’s 633 riots that you document were almost a spontaneous thing. That’s how people see it.
Mr. Gonzalez: They think it was spontaneous. This is the way the media sold it, that it’s spontaneous. And yet BLMGNF in its 2020 Impact Report was meticulous in bragging about the fact they sent out 125 million emails, which had an open rate of 63 percent. The average open rate for nonprofits is 25 percent. They said that they had 25 million people show up at their website in the second half of 2020, and that their actions produced at least 1.2 million actions. They don’t explain what those actions are.
Mr. Jekielek: But it’s a lot of actions.
Mr. Gonzalez: It’s a lot of actions.
Mr. Jekielek: You don’t think this is just bluster to get more funding?
Mr. Gonzalez: I don’t think so, no. Obviously they’re very opaque, but if they say they sent out 125 million emails, well, let’s at least quote them. The media never does.
Mr. Jekielek: This is another interesting question, the way the media—we’ll call it the corporate media or the legacy media, and frankly, actually, all media—treats Black Lives Matter very much with kid gloves for some of the reasons we discussed a little bit earlier. But more so in some cases, you’ve argued, running cover for various actions.
Mr. Gonzalez: Yes. They’re covering for them. Again, BLM is a wonderful slogan and a lovely concept. Red ideas matter would have been a more accurate description but wouldn’t have been as catchy. That helps sell this social justice narrative of Black Lives Matter. The media called it a racial reckoning, a year of racial reckoning. You Google that and you get hundreds of thousands of hits.
But when you Google Black Lives Matter, just Google Black Lives Matter, Google doesn’t take you to concept. It doesn’t take you to a definition of a concept or an idea. It doesn’t take you to a movement because you can’t grapple with a movement. What is a movement?
It takes you to the organization founded by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, that’s the first hit that Google takes you to. It’s like the moment in Miracle on 34th Street when the lawyer wins the case because it shows that the post office has been sending mail to Kris Kringle in prison.
Mr. Jekielek: You describe Americans effectively being under a spell, and that’s interesting. I’ve been reading things that are pointing in this direction, people writing about some kind of mass delusion. You’re calling it being under a spell. What does that means and how does that work exactly?
Mr. Gonzalez: Well, people are acting, not so much this year as last year, as though they were under a trance. You still have an element of that. Look we had, for example, Salem in this country in the 1690s. It lasted over a year in which people actually thought there were witches. A couple dozen people were executed, including an old man who was crushed to death with heavy stones. Others were thrown in the river to see if they would float. We have had moments of mass delusion, and I think this is trance-like state.
We actually had a period in which the numbers were getting better, much better in the sense of the proportion of the prison population that was made up by black men. It’s still too high. It’s still out of proportion to the numbers in the population. But it was decreasing, that proportionality was decreasing, which I think is a very welcome thing.
The number of people who were being put in prison was also decreasing as a result of the fact that the crime rate was also decreasing.
Now we’ve had the opposite. The FBI just made it official last week that the homicide rate, the murder rate has gone up by 30 percent. It’s the highest increase in the history of the United States. That’s an additional 5,000 people murdered. And if you look at the fact that black Americans make up about 54 percent of the victims of homicide, that’s a lot of extra dead black people as a result of what happened in 2020. But prior to that, all these indicators were improving.
To extrapolate from the horror and death of George Floyd—that everybody saw and nobody came away from watching that video untouched by it—that things are actually getting worse and that we live in an oppressive society, that America is a dictatorship, as Eric Mann, the man who trained Patrisse Cullors, says that, “It’s a nonsense.”
We have problems. America’s not perfect. Nothing on Earth is ever going to be perfect, news break. But to say that we’re living in an oppressive society, that the superstructure is oppressive is to lose contact with reality. And yet this is what people have been saying since 2020.
Mr. Jekielek: And a lot of well-meaning people.
Mr. Gonzalez: Good Americans, good Americans.
Mr. Jekielek: Yes. And you see Black Lives Matter flags. People, as you mention, of course agree with the sentiment because it’s unimpeachable. It’s a good sentiment.
Mr. Gonzalez: But they don’t send their money to a sentiment. They send the money to an organization. When they put up a sign on their lawn, they are supporting the organizations not the concept. You have to wonder, I’m not a psychologist, but is this virtue signaling or are their true feelings being manipulated? These are different things.
If you have true feelings for your fellow Americans and you want real justice to come to them and you have people who are manipulating your views, that’s one thing. But if you are just cynically virtue signaling. “I went to Harvard and I’m a lawyer, and I want to make sure that all my neighbors I support all the right causes.” If that’s the reason you why you put up that sign, that’s pretty cynical.
I hope that is a small percentage, and the fact that people’s’ feelings and guilt are being manipulated amounts for the lion’s share.
Mr. Jekielek: Let’s talk about the money, because definitely the Black Lives Matter organization pulled in a lot of money in 2020, stunning amounts of money for organizing. Some of it from small donors, like maybe the kind that both groups that just described, but then also some pretty massive money from philanthropists, foundations.
Mr. Gonzalez: … A lot of it from Nike and companies that you have to wonder why they’re giving Black Lives Matter so much money. But also a lot of it is from philanthropic foundations that have been supporting leftist causes for a long time.
Mr. Jekielek: And just to be clear, it’s not always direct. The way this money flows, it’s a bit opaque.
Mr. Gonzalez: Well, it’s incredibly opaque. You give your money to ActBlue, which then takes a cut and gives the money to, for example, the Tides Foundation, which is the financial sponsor of BLMGNF. So ActBlue is one layer, then the money goes to Tides Center.
BLMGNF has no need, no legal need, to be transparent with what it does with the money. Or you have Warren Buffett’s family, his son Peter. Or the Soros, his son Alexander. Or you have the Alliance for Global Justice, which was actually started by people who were in Nicaragua. And somebody needs to say, “No, go back to your country and change your country.” And sure enough, they have, or they’re attempting to. These are all longtime supporters of the left.
Mr. Jekielek: You do mention in the book that for a lot of these big donors, clearly the money was raised very much through capitalist means. It’s money that comes from capitalism being employed, but being used to effectively subvert capitalism as a goal.
Mr. Gonzalez: Yes. I believe it was 1972 when the grandson of Henry Ford, Henry Ford III, finally walked out of the Ford Foundation, left them a letter saying, “All this money that you use for anti-capitalism causes was created by capitalism, and I think you should be aware of that.”
Again, I’m not a psychologist. I don’t really understand what motivates somebody who’s made money in a for-profit company, the thing the commoners hate, profit. The fact alienating labor, alienating surplus value, that’s what profit is, and that’s the thing they hate the most. Well, all of that money was created by surplus value, and yet they’re using it to kill the system that produced it.
Mr. Jekielek: What’s really interesting is that a lot of these policies advocated by the BLM organizations, ostensibly, the idea is to alleviate poverty. They’re supposed to basically create actual social justice. But you argue that they do the opposite.
Mr. Gonzalez: Well, when you look at the surplus murders in 2020, which the media, The New York Times and The Atlantic and the rest of the media are trying to say, “No, this is COVID.” No, it wasn’t COVID. The rest of the world had COVID. The rest of the world had lockdown. The rest of the world had people losing their jobs, the misery that came with COVID. They haven’t had an increase in the murder rate. In fact, in England, the murder rate went down.
And it’s been documented how in the cities where Black Lives Matter held protests, between 2014 and 2019, the murder rate went up in these places by between 1,000 and 6,000 addition murders. Again, as I said, before, African Americans make up 54 percent of the victims of homicide.
I don’t know how you’re helping black lives if black lives end up being murdered at a higher rate because of your actions and CRT. It’s the fact that, as I said earlier, having an intact family is the sure-fire ticket to [success]. It’s not a guarantee that you’re going to succeed if you have an intact family, but boy is it helpful, the statistics show.
And yet, Black Lives Matter wants to dismantle the family and, I suppose, adopt other models. Well, what has been shown to work is a mommy and a daddy working in tandem with each other—he helping her, she helping him, and they’re both helping their children. And if you want to dismantle that, the basic unit of society, how do lives matter to you?
Mr. Jekielek: What would you say was the most surprising things you learned as you were researching this book and you were researching all these different relationships with these organizations?
Mr. Gonzalez: The fact that they’re so candid about admitting things and the media is so reluctant. Well, not even reluctant. The media just will not cite them or quote them. They minimize, overlook the things they say about themselves. Or PolitiFact saying, “Well, Marxism today means looking at life through an economic lens.” That’s just a falsehood, an outright falsehood by PolitiFact. I look at life through an economic lens and I am no Marxist.
That was astonishing to me, and it still continues to astonish me, the fact that they’re candid about what they want to do and who they are, and the media is so un-candid. In fact, they want to do the opposite. They want to make who they are opaque and what they want to do opaque. They hide it.
Because I was a journalist for 20 years—and the fact that they don’t report on this. Or when they report, they say, “Well, Marxism today just means things through the economy.” No, that’s not true. The Wall Street Journal does that. The Wall Street Journal is not communist.
Mr. Jekielek: Your background is that your family comes from here, and you come from Cuba.
Mr. Gonzalez: I was born in Cuba and I lived in Cuba for the first 12 years of my life. I have a firsthand experience with communism. I also have a firsthand experience with fascism. We moved to Francisco Franco’s Spain, where I lived, where I experienced a fascism-light.
Franco, in his waning years, the oppression was there, but it was not freedom. And then I experienced freedom in this country at the age of 14, and I fell in love with America ever since.
But as a foreign correspondent, I also lived in many, many countries. I’ve lived at least a year in seven countries. I covered Korea and lived in Korea, for example, in the early ’80s and early ’90s as Korea was making the transition between a military-ruled, conservative dictatorship to a democratic society.
I’ve been around the block a couple of times, and I’ve been able to contrast and compare, and that has aided me greatly in my analyzing our lives here.
Mr. Jekielek: Numerous people who have lived in these communist systems basically are saying—for example, there’s people I know who are saying that you see elements of the Cultural Revolution even in what we’re seeing today. And other people say, “Okay, how could you possibly say that? So many people died.”
Mr. Gonzalez: Yes, very much so. The fact that I covered China helped me a great deal. I lived in Hong Kong for 8 years. I got to read up a lot, studied the Cultural Revolution, the struggle sessions. I think that was great aide in my being able to recognize the anti-racism trainings that our corporations are going through now, which are very racist in themselves, as a form or descendant of the same common ancestor of the struggle sessions that Mao had in China.
Mr. Jekielek: And so how is anti-racism training racist?
Mr. Gonzalez: Well, when Ibram Kendi, the most famous anti-racist, says, “We need to have discrimination now; we have to discriminate in the future and forever,” he means racial discrimination. That’s racist. When you separate kids according to affinity group, [it’s racist]. By the way, let’s understand what affinity means. It means race or national origin or sex. That is racist, disgusting and illegal. That’s not allowed by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
That or to say to a white child, “By your very nature, you perpetuate systemic racism.” Or to say to a black child, “Reading and writing, love of literacy, punctuality, sitting at your desk and learning, these are white things. You should not culturally appropriate these.” That’s untrue, racist, would have made the Grand Dragon of the KKK blush 20 years ago if he had said it in public. And yet is being said in public now all the time by people who call themselves anti-racist.
Mr. Jekielek: The idea in critical race theory, which you’re describing here, is that race is socially constructed. Yet at the same time, it seems to be an indelible stain on certain groups.
Mr. Gonzalez: Yes. They address that directly. I think Kimberlé Crenshaw or it was maybe Cheryl Harris or Patricia Williams, I forget, who actually write about this. They all do and they square the circle. They say, “It’s true that it’s socially constructed, and yet it has an impact.” This is when they start walking away from postmodernists because they understand that postmodernism just means nothing is really and we can deconstruct everything.
Race is a construction, an artificial construction, and yet it matters greatly. It’s the end-all of everything. It’s the alpha and the omega of life. And so they themselves, every time somebody sells you a contradiction and tries to say it’s not either or, but it’s this and that and they’re both opposites, your cognitive system should experience system shutdown.
Mr. Jekielek: Mike, as we finish up here, you mentioned earlier that you feel like this year is not as intense as the previous year, I guess in terms of people being enthralled by this ideology or responding to this ideology. How do you chart a path forward there?
Mr. Gonzalez: Let me be clear, we live in Black Lives Matter America. Their curriculum, because they have a curriculum, is reaching out to the country’s 14,000 school districts. They have a bill in Congress. Critical race theory has entered all aspects of our lives. We live in a post-2020 world.
At the same time, the polls show very decidedly that support for BLM has really tanked, especially by people who identify as white or identify themselves as Hispanic, but also to a lesser degree by African Americans. Because the truth is getting out, despite the best efforts of the media, about who they are.
It’s also the fact that, for example, one of their leaders has brought many houses. That was in the news. I have less interest in that. People on the radio, TV interviews want to talk to me about this all the time. I’m not interested in a grift. Besides, that is a very hollow tradition by communists.
Andropov and Brezhnev had their dachas, had their countryside houses. If Patrisse Cullors wants to have her dachas in Oakland, I’m not [very interested]. This is just a grift. I wouldn’t write a book about a grift. I think the ideological threat is very real and that concerns me more and that’s what my book is about.
Mr. Jekielek: You’re telling me that people are waking up, coming out of this spell as you described it. What is the best course of action for people who have woken up, so to speak?
Mr. Gonzalez: Well, I think for people to wake up they should read my book. You should buy my book, give it to others and loved ones for Christmas. What I aim to do with my book is shine the spotlight that the media will not shine. The best thing to do is to expose the truth, to do what Milton Friedman said, to change the climate of opinion.
And if you change the climate of opinion in a positive way, even bad politicians will do the right thing. But if the climate of opinion is against you, even good politicians will do the wrong thing. They bob in the surface.
What I try to do is change the climate of opinion by exposing the truth about critical race theory. About critical theory as well, which is the earlier theory, and about Black Lives Matter, who they are, and that keep me busy enough. But I think the country is already [waking up]. As we see, the race theorists and Black Lives Matter are experiencing a level of opposition from parents and average American that we didn’t see last year.
The difference between ’21 and ’20 is that the American people are saying, “What? No. No, you’re not going to say that to my little girl. My little girl wanted to be a lawyer before you came and told her that because she’s black, she will never be able to go to law school or the system’s rigged against her.
That’s not what I want, and I don’t want everything to be seen through the lens of race.” We should be beyond that. We should do everything in our power to be beyond that, to get beyond that. This is a ginormous step backward. So I think that that is what we’re seeing, and I’m very hopeful to play a part in that.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, Mike Gonzalez, such a pleasure to have you on again.
Mr. Gonzalez: Thank you, Jan.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
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