"Well, look what's happened. Look what started to seep in, beginning and probably even with candidates during our administration. We stopped showing up at the Polish American club. We stopped showing up, and we all went to you, the really smart people. We had a new kind of coalition we were putting together. College-educated women and college men and boom, boom, boom and so on."
Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, New
York Times, January, 2020.
A couple of interesting articles came my
way this month. One was by high profile author Bari Weiss. Weiss
argues in the Tablet that there is an as-yet-unnamed phenomenon
at work in America culture that is dangerous to Jews. Some call this phenomenon
"wokeness" or "Social Justice Warriors" or
"anti-racism" or "political correctness." Weiss denounces
Trump, but is wary about this phenomenon, embraced to the bosom of the
article is by Tom Zoldak, who, unlike Weiss, is not famous. Zoldak is
writing in Intellectual Takeout. Though Weiss is Jewish American and Zoldak is,
I would guess, Polish American, they both send a very similar message. Today's
Democratic Party is not what it once was. The previously mentioned, as-yet-unnamed
phenomenon has taken over the Democratic Party, and it is hostile and dangerous
to Polish Americans, as it is to Jews.
Here's a quote from Zoldak's piece:
"Biden supported NAFTA and Most
Favored Nation trade status for Communist China, which resulted in thousands of
American factories shutting down, causing millions of American manufacturing
jobs to disappear. Biden also supported the Iraq War, a misadventure planned
and executed by the type of Republicans who have endorsed his candidacy. That
fiasco killed thousands of Americans and grievously wounded many more,
devastated the ancient Christian communities of Iraq, and wasted hundreds of
billions of dollars that places such as Scranton could have used.
Now Biden is embracing critical race
theory and the concept of 'white privilege.' This latest project of 'the really
smart people' promises to work out as well for the people of northeastern
Pennsylvania as Biden's earlier brainstorms did. It is absurd to describe
Eastern European immigrants who came to northeastern Pennsylvania with nothing
as 'privileged.' Their families were serfs in Europe, and the work they did
once they came here was always hard, often debilitating, and sometimes deadly.
Mining anthracite coal put bread on the table, but also put coal dust in lungs.
Polish immigrants like my friend's
grandfather worked long days deep in anthracite coal mines without masks,
respirators, or other basic safety equipment. They would not see the sun, or
their children, for months – except on Sundays for Mass – yet they showed up
every day, on time, without complaint. My friend's grandfather died from black
lung complications at the age of 57 – true senior citizen status by NE PA
standards in the 1970s. His remaining retiree buddies toasted his memory with
nickel beers at the Polish Club in Dupont, PA, the same type of club Biden
admits the Democrats abandoned for the 'really smart people.' Now he wants to
abandon their descendants by accepting the theory that what their families have
earned in America is the result of an unfair and underserved 'privilege.'"
Here's a quote from the Bari Weiss piece:
"By simply existing as ourselves,
Jews undermine the vision of a world without difference. And so the things
about us that make us different must be demonized, so that they can be erased
or destroyed: Zionism is refashioned as colonialism; government officials
justify the murder of innocent Jews in Jersey City; Jewish businesses can be
looted because Jews 'are the face of capital.' Jews are flattened into 'white
people,' our living history obliterated, so that someone with a straight face
can suggest that the Holocaust was merely 'white on white crime.'
This is no longer a fringe view. As the
philosopher Peter Boghossian has noted: 'This ideology is the dominant moral
orthodoxy in our universities, and has seeped out and spread to every facet of
American life— publishing houses, tech, arts, theater, newspapers, media,' and,
increasingly, corporations. It has not grabbed power by dictates from above,
but by seizing the means of sense-making from below.
Over the past few decades and with
increasing velocity over the last several years, a determined young cohort has
captured nearly all of the institutions that produce American cultural and
intellectual life. Rather than the institutions shaping them, they have
reshaped the institutions. You don’t need the majority inside an institution to
espouse these views. You only need them to remain silent, cowed by a fearless
and zealous minority who can smear them as racists if they dare disagree.
It is why California attempted to pass
an ethnic studies curriculum whose only mention of Jews was to explain how
they, along with Irish immigrants, were invited into whiteness.
It is why those who claim to care about
diversity and inclusion don’t seem to care about the deep-seated racism against
Asian Americans at schools like Harvard.
It is why a young Jewish woman named
Rose Ritch was recently run out of the USC student government. Ms. Ritch stood
accused of complicity in racism because, following the Soviet lie, to be a
Zionist is to be nothing less than a racist. Her fellow students waged a
campaign to hound her out of her position: 'Impeach her Zionist ass,' they
It is why the Democratic Socialists of
America, the emerging power center of the Democratic Party in New York, sent a
questionnaire to New York City Council candidates that included a pledge not to
travel to Israel.
It is why Tamika Mallory, an outspoken fan
of Louis Farrakhan, gets the glamour treatment in a photoshoot for Vogue."
I sometimes call this as-yet-unnamed phenomenon
"Team Anti-Western Civilization." I write about this phenomenon for
Front Page magazine; you can find those pieces on my other blog, here. A recent piece on Team
Anti-Western Civ is here.
What Weiss and Zoldak describe is nothing
new. It's been going on for some time. Barack Obama, two-time president of the
United States, gave voice to it in 2008, specifically targeting the very Pennsylvania
Bohunks Zoldak champions. At a San Francisco fundraiser, Obama said,
"You go into these small towns in
Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest … they get bitter,
they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them
or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their
I'm a lifelong, registered Democrat,
child of two registered Democrats. I oppose Trump. To my great regret, I cannot
vote Democrat this fall.
My choice doesn't matter; I live in a
blue state, and it will go for Biden who, by all predictions, is set to win.
Poles and Jews have reason to be wary.