CRT strikes again

Critical Race Theory and its offspring, BLM, have struck again — this time in Europe, at this year's European soccer championship (rescheduled from 2020 due to COVID-19), where the anti-racism gesture of "taking the knee" has become very popular.  The gesture spread to Europe in the aftermath of the police murder of George Floyd last year.  Euro 2020 is giving the taking the knee symbol its official consecration.

But the scenario is quite variegated.  There are teams that always kneel (e.g., England, Belgium, Wales), teams that never kneel (e.g., Hungary, Russia, the Netherlands, Spain, France), and teams that kneel only if the other does so first (e.g., Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Portugal).  As if that were not enough, Denmark does not kneel but applauds those who kneel.

Italy, in turn, is yet another special case, since its national team changed its mind along the way.  In fact, when Italy played Wales in Rome, on Sunday, June 20, five Italian players took the knee, and others stood, but eventually — after fierce protests by former prime minister Enrico Letta and many other leftists — the team stated that they will kneel "as a gesture against racism" ahead of the match against Belgium at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Friday, July 2 — in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 — "in solidarity" with the Belgians, although they "don't share" the Black Lives Matter campaign.  A typical Italian-style compromise.

Equally, if not more, laughable is what is happening in England, where there have been boos and jeers from lots of home fans as England players have taken the knee in warm-up games against Romania and Austria.  "Booing is a way football fans can communicate dissatisfaction," said Andrew, a football fan who was at both the above-mentioned games and joined in the booing when players took the knee.  He told BBC's Radio 1 Newsbeat that he booed to show his objection to what he sees as "an identity politics agenda that focuses on black people and skin color, when as far as I am concerned we are all England fans regardless of color."  In response to the booing from fans, the F.A. (English Football Association) asked the Wembley Stadium staff to play loud music at kickoff during England's remaining Euro 2020 matches to drown out the boos.  As a result, the booing was less noticeable in the subsequent fixtures against Scotland and the Czech Republic.  In addition, the Football Association has also warned England fans that anyone caught singing "discriminatory or disrespectful" songs — the F.A. will employ spotters in the crowd for this purpose — will face being banned from subsequent matches. 

It's somehow as if Critical Race Theory has become the E.U.'s equivalent of China's Cultural Revolution, and BLM's agenda is the most crucial social problem facing the old continent.  It's a substantial, if not complete,  victory — in a climate of awkwardness, coercion, censorship, and ridiculousness at the same time — for cultural Marxism and its derivates.

Maybe this kneeling stuff is a metaphor for our "revolutionary" time.  Perhaps what amazes most about our 21st-century revolutionaries is that, as Victor Davis Hanson puts it, they are "top-down revolutionaries" and that "none of their agendas, from open borders and changing the Constitution to critical race theory and banning clean-burning fossil fuels, is ever favored among a majority of the population."  They are "multibillionaires with flip-flops" with "the absolute power and desire to censor how half the country communicates — or cancel them entirely."  Furthermore, "they don't flock to campus free-speech areas," and this for the simple reason that "they are the campus administrators who ban free speech."  They hate dissent, truth is their enemy, and fear is their weapon.  "Sixties paranoid revolutionaries warned about George Orwell's 1984, but our revolutionaries are 1984."

The fight will be long and tough — in the U.S., where  Critical Race Theory is fast becoming the new institutional orthodoxy, as well as in Europe, where Marxism was born and where the "long march" of  Cultural Marxism to overthrow Western civilization through the destruction of its pillars began.  One of these pillars is culture.  Social engineers like Antonio Gramsci, the theorist of "cultural hegemony," and the members of the so-called School of Frankfurt (Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, and others) insisted that in order to destroy capitalism, it is necessary to influence the masses through their culture.  Now this vast program is being carried forward, perhaps most prominently, by Critical Race theorists and anti-racist advocates.  We'd better take this into account.

Samuel Robert Piccoli is a blogger and the author of the books Being Conservative from A to Z (2014) and Blessed Are the Free in Spirit (2021).  He is Italian and lives in the Venice area.

Image: Damitry Pukalik.

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