From Substack’s “Common Sense with Bari Weiss“. a piece that asks whether the Khmer Rouge will relax their vendetta against moderate centrists and independent iconocloasts under Biden, or turn it on all the more. Plus a discussion with Megyn Kelly, who notes that Weiss, when working at the N.Y. Times, was faced with a situation in which she had to offer “full submission” to woke orthodoxy or else.
Weiss: I voted for Joe Biden. I think that he is past his prime. I also think he is an eminently decent and kind man. That fact that his decency seems positively refreshing is a tragic sign of where we are. But it does. And I welcome it. But…
Will the Biden administration make the case that America is good?
That’s not sarcastic or rhetorical. And it’s not a question about what’s in Joseph R. Biden’s heart.
I mean: Will his administration embrace the new re-understanding of America that shot through the streets [last] summer and issues forth daily from the mouths of our elites? That view goes like this: America was born for the purpose of upholding white supremacy and it remains irredeemably racist. Our founders were not primarily political geniuses but slaveholders who wanted to find a way to hoard their property. And while the rioters may have gotten a little out of hand, they weren’t wrong to target statues of men like Lincoln.
To take a stand against the teardown; to insist that, America, for all its flaws, remains a source of hope on Earth; to suggest that our founding date is 1776 and not 1619; was to out yourself as some bigoted troglodyte.
Will the forces that insist that America is unexceptional control the bounds of discourse and policy in the Biden administration? Or will the White House stand up for the basic tenets of liberalism, like the free exchange of ideas, even — especially — the ones they don’t favor?
Will neo-racism be normalized?
A few months ago I spoke to a Trump administration official who confirmed that the president wouldn’t know what Critical Race Theory was if it smacked him in the face. Nevertheless, in September of 2020, Trump passed an executive order banning training for federal agencies and federal contractors that relies on this ideology.
Time Magazine was far from alone in spinning Critical Race Theory as “an indispensable and widely accepted tool for properly understanding the state of the nation.”
That’s not true.
Critical Race Theory is a threat to the most basic foundations of American life, including, but not limited to, equality under the law. It asks us to define ourselves by our immutable characteristics. It pits us against one another in an endless power struggle. It rejects Enlightenment tools of reason and scientific discovery as tainted. And it undermines our common humanity.
On his first day in office, President Biden rescinded Trump’s executive order. That’s not a good sign.
Do we still believe in Dr. King’s dream, in which we are all judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin? Or do enough of us now believe in a kind of collective guilt, that skin color determines our place in a new caste system?
For the past few weeks I’ve been talking to teachers and parents across the country about the takeover of American schools by this illiberal ideology, which disguises itself as “social justice” and “anti-racism” but indoctrinates children as young as kindergarten to see everything and everyone through the lens of race.