Richard Reinsch (00:18):
Welcome to Liberty Law Talk, I’m Richard Reinsch. Today we’re talking with Mike Gonzalez about his new book, BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution. Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy. He’s had 20 years of experience as a journalist. He’s been a speechwriter in the Bush administration, and he writes widely on national identity, diversity, multiculturalism, nationalism, and related issues. Mike is also a regular contributor to Law & Liberty. It’s his first time on Liberty Law Talk, we’re glad to have you on the program, Mike.
Mike Gonzalez (00:53):
The pleasure is all mine, Richard. Thank you very much for having me on, it’s an honor.
Richard Reinsch (00:57):
So Mike, as you say in the book a couple of times, and I’ll state it here, the book is about Black Lives Matter and is taking you inside the organization, who funds it, what it believes, what its objectives and purposes are, who composes it, who leads it. But in all of that, you are not, and certainly the purpose of this interview is not to dispute the idea that black lives matter, the sentiment or the statement. We are talking about the organization and suite of organizations or allies who are a part of Black Lives Matter, the movement. And so with that said, what are the goals of Black Lives Matter? Or what is it built on?
Mike Gonzalez (01:44):
Let me actually first make a comment on what you just said, because I believe there are four things here that are really quite distinct. The first one is the concept. Black lives matter. The concept is unimpeachable and I embrace the concept and I actually never say “All lives matter,” I say “Black lives matter.” I’m very proud to say that. And that is because black Americans have gone through incredible hardships that no other American has gone through. I don’t need to… slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, et cetera, and incredible discrimination. So “Black lives matter” is a great slogan. Then there’s the movement, and I’m not sure what that means.
I think that means people who turned out to the demonstrations and the marches and were peaceful about it, or who embraced the concept. Then they are the organizations. The organizations are primarily as you very well put, it’s a suite of organizations, but there are two main ones. If you Google Black Lives Matter, Google sends you to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, BLMGNF. That is the premier, the flagship organization, that is itself the coalition. And then there’s the Movement for Black Lives, which is yet another coalition, but very important. It was set up right after Ferguson. And then fourth, there are the founders of these organizations and the founders are all Marxists. They say they’re Marxist, it’s not me saying they’re Marxist.
And then we go into your question, what are their goals? Well, if you listen to the founders and if the journalists listen to the founders, they have been very candid. Alicia Garza, one of the three founders said very clearly to a group of Maine Marxists in 2019. So not that long ago, that what she wanted was “the dismantling of the organizing principle of this society.” Quote unquote. That what she wanted was to change how we’re organized as a society. So for those listening at home, that means not just things that are racist in America, it is everything. It’s your son’s little league game, it’s your daughter’s volleyball team, it is your book club. It’s everything, it’s American lives, it’s our way of life.
And they’re very clear that they’re Marxist. Patrisse Cullors, a second, also a very important former executive director of BLMGNF, and also a founder of Black Lives Matter. She said very clearly, and she states it all the time that her and Alicia Garza are Marxist, and she actually uses the term trained Marxist. And this is a very recent, there’s a very good reason and why she says trained, that’s because she was recruited by Eric Mann. Now that is his word. Eric Mann said he recruited Patrisse Cullors. Eric Mann is a former member of the Weather Underground. That was an FBI designated terrorist group in the ’60s and ’70s. A lot of the members spent time in prison because they tried to use terrorist tactics to bring revolution to America. Eric Mann spent time in prison. And then he set up the Labor Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles, which recruited Patrisse Cullors and trained her in Marxism. Alicia Garza too, was trained in Marxism-Leninism, she has said this herself.
So that is who they are and what they want. They hate capitalism. They say that capitalism is racist and needs to be destroyed and smashed, and they like Marxism-Leninism. So it’s the organizations and the founders, not the concept to which I subscribe.
Richard Reinsch (05:19):
Talk about the ideological structure here. A term we hear a lot, critical race theory, we also hear the term anti-racism. Talk in depth about critical race theory, what it is, where it comes from.
Mike Gonzalez (05:36):
So critical race theory is really the academic discipline behind Black Lives Matter. It emerges in law schools in America in the late ’70s, and then really gathers strength in the ’80s. It comes from critical legal theory or critical legal studies, which postulated that American racism was… That the systems of oppression, that the inequality was written into the law, by people with money, by the powerful who wanted to perpetuate their power and they wanted to keep it, and they wrote the American laws to do that. Now, black professors and black law students attending these conferences of critical legal theorists agreed with all that, but then they added, “but all these people are white. And what this is, is just racism. And you’re refusing to deal with that.” So they had incredible arguments, and in 1989, they left, they split, they created their own organization called critical race theory, which is the first time that that term is used. It was at a convent outside Madison, Wisconsin. The organizer was Kimberle Crenshaw, a law professor.
Richard Reinsch (06:49):
Did you say a convent?
Mike Gonzalez (06:49):
Richard Reinsch (06:52):
Mike Gonzalez (06:54):
A former convent outside of Madison, Wisconsin. In fact, just a few years later, Richard Delgado, one of the godfathers of CRT, of critical race theory gave an interview in which he said that they were all there, these two dozen law professors, and looking at the crucifixes and looking at the stained glass windows. And he said, “It was an odd place for a bunch of Marxists.” This is Richard Delgado. Indeed, it was an odd place for a bunch of Marxists.
So what critical race theory believes is that racism is not individual, it’s not an individual sin that people commit when they refuse to follow Christ’s dictum to love thy neighbor, when they refuse to love their neighbor because of their race. According to critical race theories, it’s nothing to do with an individual, individual practice or individual beliefs or individual sin. It’s a systemic thing that all of American society is suffused with racism, and has been so since the founding. And then they, these law professors kind of took over or in the ’90s, kind of became dominant in the civil rights domain, within the law schools. They evicted their white colleagues because they… the critical legal theorists, they evicted them and they became dominant. But they had very limited impact on public policy for about 20 years. And then in the last 10 years or so, they begin to really grow in K-12.
They begin to get its grips on education, primary education, secondary education, but then it really explodes with 2020, with Black Lives Matter, which is the subject of my book, BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution. And then it enters all aspects of our lives. This is why we’re all talking about critical race, why I’m traveling the country from coast to coast, I’ve been to 15 cities in the last three months. I’ll be in another 12 cities in the next three months talking about critical race theory, because Americas are up in arms about what is being taught to their children. Now I should add parenthetically, and maybe you want to ask me more about that. That critical legal theory itself is an outgrowth of critical theory, which was born in Germany, in the ’20s and ’30s. And was again, a Marxist group of scholars who believed that they had to criticize and really ridicule all institutions in society, in order to introduce the idea of revolution. So that in a nutshell, the intellectual pedigree of these disciplines, critical race theory, critical legal theory, and critical theory.
Richard Reinsch (09:31):
Critical theory come to this country in the 1930s in the forms of intellectuals practicing it. And when you say it’s criticizing every aspect of society, I assume that’s according to Marxism.
Mike Gonzalez (09:45):
Yeah, no, they-
Richard Reinsch (09:46):
And one of the things they want to do, it seems from what I’ve read is, they want to take things that Americans take for granted and enjoy like consumer behavior and ridicule that.
Mike Gonzalez (09:58):
Yeah. They want to denigrate all aspects of our lives. They sit there, they’re very conflicted. And in the early ’20s, they realize that what Marks and Engels had promised, which was revolutions everywhere, the working class, the proletariat rising and overthrowing the capital as the bourgeoisie, it’s just not happening. It failed in Germany, failed in Italy. It only succeeds in a backwater place called Russia, and it succeeds very temporarily in Hungary. So then they begin to ask themselves, all these communists, “Why?” And they ask them in Germany and Italy especially, where revolutions fail in 1919. And they’ll come up with the same answer, whether it’s Antonio Gramsci in Italy or Maxwell Horkheimer and the Frankfurt School in Germany. And that is, they realize that the worker has embraced religion, has embraced God, has embraced the family, has embraced capitalism and has embraced the nation-state. He’s religious, likes his family and he’s patriotic. And so they think that the worker has false consciousness.
So as you rightly put it, because of the Third Reich, they come here, Columbia Teachers College offers them a place where they can gather and work. And so people like Maxwell Horkheimer the director of the Institute. We call it the Frankfurt School, but it’s really called the Institute for Social Research. It was first of all going to be called the Institute for Marxism, then they realized that that was too upfront. They really tried to hide their Marxism, but they’re Marxists. If you read Horkheimer and for my sins I do, you realize that they themselves say it, they admired the Soviet Union. So they come to America and they hate America. They hate America even more than they hated the European worker. They think this place that offers them this salvation… But they’re very curious about America, but at the same time, they say, “Well, the Americans are a bunch of boobs. They go to their movies, they’re happy. They have their Hi-Fi sets, and they have this split level homes.” I’m quoting Horkheimer there. And Horkheimer before he dies, by the way, he gives this interview in which he says, “Look, capitalism is better at producing material reward. The material needs of the individual are better taken care of by capitalism. And that’s what makes capitalism so dangerous because it prevents revolution.” And so that is really their work, is to denigrate all the institutions, the family, capitalist system, which they think is irrational, even the nation-state in some ways. They want to get all these out of the way.
Richard Reinsch (12:38):
It’s critical legal theory itself, I think as you were alluding to. Kind of a straight Marxist critique of the law rooting it in power and wealth, and it’s on behalf of that class, the capitalist class that our laws have been written and enforced. And critical race theory changes that in many respects, not changes it, but inserts race as the explicit motivation.
Mike Gonzalez (13:03):
Richard Reinsch (13:03):
And that’s what we’re dealing with now is, race becomes the prism through which we understand all of American life and institutions. Trying to also get a grip on the ideology behind BLM is, to my mind what they do with history. In the sense of, it’s just a battle of narratives. And heard Nikole Hannah-Jones say this about the founding, “We are contesting the dominant narrative with new facts.” But the facts aren’t really facts, they’re interpretive methods to sort of change thinking. So history itself becomes very plastic.
Mike Gonzalez (13:38):
Yeah, no. They try to undo, and I’m going to paraphrase Aristotle here. Aristotle had this great maxim that says that, “The only thing that’s denied to the gods is to undo what has been done.” Well, they tried to undo that, they tried to do what has been denied to the gods. They tried to say, “No, these facts didn’t happen. Or these facts are going to be interpreted in this other way.” Another old maxim, “He who controls the past controls the future.” So they tried to reinvent history along their lines alone. But when they do that, you mention Nikole Hannah-Jones, they just plainly lie.
So when Nikole Hannah-Jones says, “well, the revolution was fought because the colonist feared that the mother country Britain was going to take away the institution of slavery.” That is just an outright lie. She gets that from a court decision, the Somerset decision in London, in the ’70s. In which a slave who had been brought by an American planter to London, is found not to be a slave. But that’s just a minuscule, that did not matter at all. That’s not the reason… It came after the 1760s with John Adams, called The Revolution of the Mind. By that time the wheels are going. So Nikole Hannah-Jones, is a complete fabrication, that this is what motivated the revolution. And yet they say it. The New York Times had to actually retract that part because it was so embarrassing. But you’re quite right when you talk about critical legal theory.
What the critical theorists did in the ’60s, is that they strongly influenced the New Left, cap N, cap L, especially Herbert Marcuse. And out of that ferment, grew critical legal theory. In fact, the godfather of critical legal theory, Duncan Kennedy said in an essay quote, “I was very influenced from the beginning by the two strands of confidential thought, the critical theory, the Western Marxist and post Marxist strand, which include Herbert Marcuse” et cetera. So he is a, strongly Duncan Kennedy and the other critical legal theorists, influenced by critical theory, but they just apply it to the law. They say, “Yes, this is super structure,” which is a big thing for the critical theorists. It’s almost like the movie, The Matrix. There’s a super structure that is oppressive, but the critical legal theorists say, “It’s written into the law.” You’re quite right. What the critical race theorist do, their innovation is to say, “It’s race.” And race is the big thing in America, as we know. So they look at everything through that lens.
Richard Reinsch (16:13):
Give us something else, another term we hear a lot, structural racism, systemic racism. How are they defining those?
Mike Gonzalez (16:22):
So that is really the apex of critical race theory. As I said, they believe that racism is systemic, structural. It’s built as Richard Delgado says, “Into the little things that we do in everyday life.” And so it’s the little things we do in everyday life that need to be replaced. The power struggle needs to overthrow the way we just organize as a country. That is very similar to what the BLM founder, Alicia Garza says, that we need to get rid of the organizing principle of society. So it’s not just racist laws or racist events, for which we have very strong laws already, by the way. We have the civil rights act. And if an employer can be shown to have acted in a racist manner, to have made a racist decision, he or she can be prosecuted and rightly so. We need to strongly prosecute people who have acted in a racist manner in the public sphere, where it is illegal to do so. So we do have very good laws already, thank God. Until 1964, we had legally imposed racism. In the South, even if you wanted to sell a sandwich at a lunch counter to a black person, you couldn’t because the law forced you to say, “No, I can’t.” We changed that, and thank God for that. With the promise that we’re going to have color blind policy hence forth. The critical race theorists hate that part of the Civil Rights Act and Civil Rights Movement. They hate the promise of color blindness, and so does BLM. They want to have color conscious policies.
Richard Reinsch (18:09):
So this is interesting too, as I read some of the literature from critical race theory, it seems to me with the Civil Rights Act, the way they’re reading it is, it still protects capitalism. And what it’s saying is, we have these competitive markets for jobs, education, incomes, and sometimes there are these breakdowns, there are baddies, they discriminate on the basis of race and we’re going to help correct for that and make that difficult to do, and we’re going to punish it if it happens. But it’s still preserving the structure. And I take it, and this is like the intersectionality point, it’s increasing the ways in which wrongs can happen. We’re not really about that, we’re about something else. We’re about saying that, “Well, racism is actually so embedded that we need to really get inside the government and remake it and remake how it interacts with the economy, civil society,” et cetera.
Mike Gonzalez (19:06):
Yeah. Again, to quote Delgado, he says that, “Racism happens in the ordinary business of society.” But by the way, all critical race theorists and all the founders of Black Lives Matter, hate capitalism. And this is not just the founders of Black Lives Matter, but this includes the retail practitioners of critical race theory, Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, they’re all on the record as saying that capitalism is racist and bad. And that is because they say that capitalism rewards the wrong criteria, that we have to change their criteria. It’s not punctuality or hard work that we need to reward, we need to reward other areas of life, which they never really define. This is the old criticism of capitalism. For example, somebody who can hit a curve ball has a contract for $400 million, or somebody who’s able to come up with an option to a new option or a put, can make millions and millions of dollars. Whereas a teacher has a salary that’s $50,000. They say that is unfair, that’s a result of capitalism. Obviously you’re looking at a skillset. The people who can hit a curve ball are very, very, very few. And as long as there are thousands and thousands of fans, including myself, are willing to go to a ballpark, that person who has the ability to hit a curve ball is going to make a lot of money and should be rewarded. But they’re at war with that system.
Richard Reinsch (20:43):
On this point, on Black Lives Matter in this… The way I think of it is like, it would be a racialized socialist system as I read this work. And it’s the structural racism licenses tremendous power to get to that point. I wanted to just think for a minute about, you’ve written this book and you said, you’re traveling a lot and dealing with critical race theory in the schools. Black Lives Matter this time last year looked ascendant, looked powerful, had a Democratic party unwilling to criticize it, unwilling to link it to any of the violent protests that were happening. Although, I think the linkages were obvious, you talk about those in the book. Seems to me though, that’s not the case a year later, in the same way. It does seem like a lot of Americans, including a lot of minorities have confronted this and don’t like it, and the progress has been halted, even though there’s still these ongoing attempts to do things. But seems to me a lot of Americans have woken up. And that was my worry last summer was, where is everybody?
Mike Gonzalez (21:53):
Well, there’s two things here. One is, we’re very much living with the effects of Black Lives Matter in the summer of 2020. We have what I call the twin legacies of 2020 and Black Lives Matter. One is the critical race theory, which has now in invaded all aspects of our lives. That is a direct result of the summer of 2020 and Black Lives Matter. The reason why your daughter, her AP Spanish class just spent the whole semester studying systems of oppression in Guatemala rather than Cervantes, that is a direct result of Black Lives Matter. The reason why many people listening to us right now will be dragged by HR into a quote unquote anti-racism training program in their places of work, which are quite racist or break the law themselves, that is a result of Black Lives Matter. So that’s one legacy.
The other one is a huge spike in crime, in homicides that we’re seeing in our cities. And we put anywhere between 25% and 35% in 50 to 75 largest cities in America, where a lot of Americans live, especially impoverished Americans, that is also the result of Black Lives Matter, and studies substantiate that. So the America that we live in today has made worse and inferior because of Black Lives Matter. Now, what you said is exactly right. A lot of Americans are saying, “No, we don’t like this.” That’s the reason why you see these divisive conflicts arising from coast to coast. Because Americans who are quite attached to Liberty uniquely, exceptionally attached to Liberty, say, “No, we don’t want our lives torn up this way. And we don’t want the system thrown out this way. And we don’t want the foundations of America to be pulled out from under us.” And so opinion polls have shown that support for Black Lives Matter has steadily declined. But that is because a lot of people like me, a lot of people… not just me, a lot of people have been writing this, but not the press, that the journalist not writing this. So I have two people whom I blame for the fact that many Americans still do not know the truth about Black Lives Matter. One is the mainstream media, they did not cover Black Lives Matter.
And the other one is the political class. The Republican party has not been great in this. Yeah, they’ll pound the table about Antifa. And that’s because Antifa is… We don’t know Antifa as well, but it looks like there’s a lot more white than Black Lives Matter. Antifa doesn’t have Black Lives Matter in its title, but Antifa doesn’t have anywhere near the power that Black Lives Matter does. Black Lives Matter has a curriculum now that is being taught in the majority of the countries 14,000 school districts. Black Lives Matter has a bill in Congress. Black Lives Matter is partnering with the musical Hamilton. So even though we hear less about it and there’s less support, we’re living in a Black Lives Matter world.
Richard Reinsch (24:53):
It’s interesting too… I didn’t know it’ll be in majority of school districts, that’s interesting. One of the things that’s worked in their favor I think, in a sense of the systemic racism point is, there are pretty stark differences between whites and blacks on wealth differences, income differences, health differences, private property ownership, home ownership, things like that. And we can debate the causes of that. You and I probably agree on the causes, but that’s not what most people in official positions of power are willing to accept. And that seems to give rise to saying, “Oh yeah, this is systemic racism.”
So I guess one question is, how do you deal with that point? We can talk about causes, we can try to make the arguments, but it’s difficult to break through in that regard. And something else is this point about crime, that BLM has always been associated with, has latched on to. The violent crime, mass incarceration and these differences in incarceration rates between blacks, and primarily black men and white men. How should we think about that?
Mike Gonzalez (26:06):
Well, that’s one of the reasons I wrote my book and it’s all in my book, I want to expose all of this. Look, if we want to solve all these problems, we need to talk about them. We need to talk about the causes of the disparities. First of all, we need to disaggregate black, we need to disaggregate the data and whites. We need to look at for example, if you disaggregate from country of origin, you realize the Nigerian Americans and Ghanaian Americans have a much higher income per household than white Americans. Professor at Columbia University, Van Tran who does very interesting studies, looking at the second generation West Indians in New York.
Why second generation? Because they’re the children of immigrants. The immigrant is the first generation. So they don’t have an accent. They have what Van Tran calls zero visibility as an immigrant and 100% visibility as blacks. So in other words, they’re going to encounter racism. If there’s a racist store owner and they’re walking into the store, the store owner is going to be chasing them around. If it’s a racist policeman, the policeman is going to be harder on them because they’re black. However, the second generation West Indians that have been looked at by this professor at Columbia in New York, have closed the gap across eight measures with whites and not completely, but a great deal.
And why is that? He’s looked at the family structure. Not only is the family intact, but the parents are very strict. They live in the same neighborhoods in New York, they live in the same inner city neighborhoods and yet they force their children to come in. When the lights go on the children, come in, they succumb less to peer pressure. There’s a number of reasons why they do better in the cultural indicators. And then you have also to look at black Americans, native black Americans with intact family. Again, the measurements improve vastly. So you have to disaggregate… You have to look at that and white Americans, and look at white Americans with intact families and white Americans with no family, the father is not there. All they did is this functions that we know about, they don’t do very well. Family dysfunction in this structure of family is an equal opportunity killer, is color blind.
So it depends on how we look at the data and how we look at the cultural indicators, and then we’ll have a much better picture. But in terms of mass incarceration, as I’ve mentioned in my book in 2019, the percentage of black Americans who were being put in prison had been declining at a much faster rate than that of whites. So that was improving just as we entered the year of 2020, after the harrowing death of George Floyd, and the deft use of that video by the Black Lives Matters organizations.
Richard Reinsch (29:16):
Excuse me, you have an interesting history in the book which I was not aware of. The Soviet Union forms and pretty quickly they were thinking about ways they can infiltrate countries. This is a missionary… communism being a missionary ideology. And one way they think they can penetrate America is through the injustices that black Americans had experienced. And they start reaching out to intellectuals first to try to find ways to build inroads. And as I read your book, I took you to be making the point that this is just a common problem in America, the racism that we’ve had. And it becomes a source of… It’s been very difficult to deal with. But it becomes a point of infiltration. And it’s been there, it predates Black Lives Matter. As you pointed in the book, you go back to the ’70s and the ’60s. You have an interesting chapter, “Then the ’60s Happened,” in terms of a change in thinking amongst intellectuals about how to use race, or what racism should mean in the law. So this is ongoing, but the point being, I think is… your point being, it’s not about the racism. Racism is the entry point to increase or demonstrably increase socialism in American lives and thinking.
Mike Gonzalez (30:45):
Yeah, that’s an excellent point, Richard. Actually thinking back to the ’20s, right after the Soviet Union is created. And they really see huge potential, they actually want to divide America into black America and white America, and they invite black intellectuals… Let’s not forget that at the same time, you have the Harlem Renaissance, which had seen incredible outpouring of writing of music, of a population that had been enslaved just a few decades earlier, shows what it can do once it’s free. All these great… Langston Hughes is a good writer, and yet they become enamored of the Soviet Union, and then he goes to the Soviet Union.
W.E.B Du Bois, a very insightful black writer also becomes in love with the Soviet Union. In fact, he applies to join the party right before he dies in the ’60s, he goes to see Mao and everything else. However, rank and file black Americans have no truck with this, they don’t want it. All they’re asking for is for their white compatriots to accept them into American life. They want to be accepted. They don’t like communism. They understand that communism is going to destroy their families, it’s going to destroy their livelihoods. So there’s a rejection.
And in fact, the Soviet Union in the ’50s ends up giving up. It realizes that black America has been a complete failure and it gives up this idea of dividing America. It has won only intellectuals. And just like it does with white Americans, by the way. It won only intellectuals. Rank and file families, whether they’re black or white of Americans say, “No, thank you” to the Soviet Union. In the 1960s, following the Cuban Revolution and the Cultural Revolution in China, we have a lot of American students do become radicalized. But also they’re radicalized by the fact that the critical theorists are here. Marcuse, the guru of the new left. And then you do have the Black Panthers. You have the Weathermen, you have Students for Democratic Society. You have all these radical groups running around, the Black Liberation Army, that are quite the Malcolm X, that are quite Marxist and quite revolutionary in their outlook, Stokely Carmichael goes to Havana and so forth.
And that is really the people from that era go on to influence Black Lives Matter. Let’s not forget that the intellectual mentor of the Black Lives Matters organizations founders is none other than Angela Davis. Angela Davis is the grand old Dame of American communism. She runs on the communist party ticket as vice-president twice. She still goes to colleges, universities, she’s still around and she’s very active. She goes to college and universities, she says, “I’m a communist, and I’ve always been a communist.” And these poor college students from Santa Barbara to UVA stand up and give her a rousing standing ovation because they don’t know any better. And she was a student of Marcuse, Herbert Marcuse at Brandeis. So there’s a direct link between the critical theorists and Black Lives Matter through Angela Davis. Which as, I pointed out in my book, BLM: The Making of a new Marxist Revolution.
Richard Reinsch (34:01):
You talk about the ’60s happened, you have a chapter call that. What do you mean? How did that change?
Mike Gonzalez (34:10):
Well, as I said, I think that the… First of all, there’s Vietnam. Second of all, blacks have had it with segregation in the south, and they’re quite rightly demonstrating and marching. And all of a sudden these suburban white kids in the north are seeing on TV what is taking place, and they rightly don’t want to ignore it anymore. And then there’s the Vietnam war, which is kind of leaderless and Johnson just gets us further into it, without really any plan for success. And that provides a spark for, I think, a lot of radicals to come in and try to revolutionize Americans. The leaders of the Weathermen look at Che and look at Fidel Castro, and they say, “These are white law students or white medical students who are able to revolutionize an entire society, we can do the same thing here.” Of course, they can’t. And they proved to be the keystone crux of terrorism. But they, as I said, I think their main influence… Because they failed to revolutionize America. America does come through, but now the people they have intellectually influenced are changing us more deeply than they ever dreamed in the ’60s.
Richard Reinsch (35:30):
Thinking about this moment that we’re in, what do you make of the success of Black Lives Matter in the suburbs? I know we’ve been talking about it. You’ve been describing it with a Marxist analysis, has having built on a Marxist analysis, I don’t dispute that. But what do you think is going on in say wealthy suburbs? I think about the one I live in where we had Black Lives Matter protests, which were just basically white kids. What do you think is going on there? Is this a feeling of religious like characteristics, of this movement filling a need in their lives, a void in their lives or what’s going on?
Mike Gonzalez (36:06):
Yeah, that’s a good question. I do discuss in my chapter on the ’60s, the manipulation of white guilt. And I think that a lot of people looked at the harrowing death of George Floyd, this awful nine minutes captured on film or video rather, and they were… Nobody looked at that and came away not disgusted by it. And I think the message that Black Lives Matter wants is social justice, has resonated because it has been filtered by the press. The press will not mention any of the things I mentioned in my book. They will not mention that the Black Lives Matter leaders are Marxists. They never mentioned that they want to completely change the American system, American society. The press just says that what they want to do is discuss history for the first time, that people like me, we don’t want history to be discussed. That is a complete canard by the way. And not only do… I want more history to be taught.
I want Frederick Douglass, I want even W.E.B Du Bois, even though I disagree with him, I want him taught. I want American students to learn more about this, not less. And I tell you that I’m in close contact with everyone in my space. And I don’t know anybody who says, “No, history should not be taught.” Whether it’s the history of slavery or segregation or Jim Crow. So I think that the people in the suburbs, good Americans, my neighbors, who pitch Black Lives Matter signs on their lawns, in many ways, they’re completely unaware of what is taking place. They completely unaware of who they are, the Black Lives Matter leaders, they lead busy lives. They don’t want their lifestyle to be upended. They don’t want their lifestyle to… If they did, they would just sell their big houses in the suburbs and share the money with the poor. So that’s not what they want. They don’t want their lives to change, they just want social justice.
What they’re embracing though, when they embrace Black Lives Matter, the organizations, is something that will have very nefarious consequences on everybody. Now, there are people who, I don’t know how, make the case and say, “Well, you have to differentiate the leaders and the organizations from the movement.” The movement is a formless word. What matters is the organizations. They have millions and millions and millions of dollars. They have a bill in Congress, they’re making real change in America. The Soviet Union had a great term for people who just went along and refuse to believe that the Soviet Union was evil, they called them useful idiots. That’s a harsh term to use for people who are well-intentioned but misinformed today regarding Black Lives Matter. But there is a certain link there to the old Soviet term.
Richard Reinsch (39:05):
Essentially, one of the ways, something that we’re seeing now, federal courts turn back this attempt… and I think this is directly related to BLM, the Biden administration through the agricultural department. Making loans available to farmers who are minorities, but not to white farmers who may be even more financially disadvantaged, who knows. And the court system said, “Well, you can’t do that. We have laws here about discrimination, what it entails, how to prove it. And you’re offering this loan to someone just on the basis of skin color, without even proving the discrimination or any of the ways we tried to have evidence for that.” So that’s just one sign of… And it’s quite striking to me to think about. And a lot of state governments have done similar things. So we really are dividing ourselves up by race at that point., if that were to continue.
Mike Gonzalez (39:59):
This is a ginormous step backward. This is something that is very serious and we must really be very aware of, and it’s also a direct result of Black Lives Matter. Because this is the first time since the end of Jim Crow that we have the US government not affording Americans equal protection under the law because of their race. We decided as a country that we’re going to stop doing that. We decided as a country that the Plessy era did not work, the separate but equal did not work, that discriminating on the basis of race did not work.
To go back to that, which is exactly what CRT and BLM wants, it would be… In fact, I think most Americans would say, “No, you’re quite right. A judge in Florida said that the Raphael Warnock amendment that president Biden so unwisely signed into law was unconstitutional, and you can make these decisions based on pigmentation.” And thank God for that. And I hope that every time this is tried again, a judge will step in and say, “This is little matter of the constitution, you can’t do that.”
Richard Reinsch (41:15):
So it seems to me, it’s interesting sort of that parts of the ideology, trying to find legal application. So it seems to me like defund the police has already proven to be a failure, as we knew it would. Seems to be in the bluest of jurisdictions that it’s being turned back. And even those leaders in those cities, while they might say defund the police, they’re also trying to recruit more police, the articles that I’ve read. But something like this, like making loans available, you can sell that as, “Well, we’re trying to help people who are the victims of past discrimination,” something like that. And that might actually work. So it seems there’s different parts of the agenda that might have greater or lesser amounts of success.
Mike Gonzalez (41:56):
Well, it didn’t work. Because we could say, “If you can show how somebody was discriminated against and he incurred a loss because of the discrimination, we can make him whole,” but you have to have evidentiary rules. We have to be able to prove that this happened, in which case somebody broke the law and we’re going to make a right. That is different from a blanket, “We’re going to give Oprah Winfrey this benefit, and we’re going to give Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio this benefit, that we’re going to deny some poor sharecropper in Alabama because his ancestry came from Northern Ireland.” That just doesn’t sell.
With regards to the defund the police, I visit the Black Lives Matter site fairly often. They’re putting up all sorts of videos on how successful they’re being in stopping the building, not just the prisons, but the building of prison hospitals and prison psychiatric wards. What do they think they’re doing? They’re very proud of this. So they’re proud of the fact that they’re stopping the building of hospitals, where are sick prisoners going to go? What they want, and Patrisse Cullors is very open about this in a video she made just a few months ago, is they want to not just defund the police, they want to end the prison system and they want to end the court system, and no society can live like that.
And we also have the rogue prosecutors in American cities, in San Francisco, in Boston, in LA, in many different places, even nearby in Virginia, which the police are making fewer arrests because they’re pulling back, surprise, surprise, because of the criticism they’ve come under. But when they do make arrests, the prosecutors are putting these people back onto the street. They’re not prosecuting, they’re not charging them with anything. Do you want to know why have a 25 to 35% increase in the homicide rate? There is a pretty good reason why. So I think even though politically to say defund the police… And by the way, Cori Bush just made a video two weeks ago, this Congresswoman who’s a BLM supporter saying, “No, I want to defund the police. We need to get rid of the police.” So I think we’re living, even though we may not know it, we’re living in a BLM world.
Richard Reinsch (44:29):
That’s interesting. So as you have traveled and thought about these issues a lot, what do you think is key to getting beyond this moment?
Mike Gonzalez (44:38):
I think exposure of the issues, was just the reason I wrote my book, BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution. I think to prove to people… I think that’s already succeeded, as you put it yourself earlier, support. The polls show that yes, especially among white Americans and this Americans who designated themselves as Hispanic, support for BLM has dropped substantially. I think that we need to continue to do this work. I think we need to have a real reckoning in America. Not the false faux racial reckoning, that the journalists, that the media class tried to pretend that we had last year. We need to have a real reckoning of who we are as a country. What do our would be leaders, people who want to lead us, what are they saying? Do they think we’re evil? Do they think that we’re systemically racist? Do they think we need to overturn the system? We need to put them on the spot and then make them accountable. And so I think that that is the way. First, we need to have a revolution of the mind, so like the colonist had in the 1760s when Britain had intolerable acts, and then we need to act on that revolution of the mind. Once we change minds, the politicians, even the bad politicians will do the right thing. That’s a Milton Friedman quote. “We can’t expect just the good politicians, we need to create such an environment in which the bad politicians will do the right thing.”
Richard Reinsch (46:05):
All right, Mike Gonzales. We’ve been talking with the author of BLM. Thank you so much for your time today.
Mike Gonzalez (46:11):
Thank you very much.