Mao’s cultural revolution comes to black studies in America

Vincent Lloyd is a progressive, black academic. At a guess, he’s in his thirties, so he’s part of the long second wave of the leftist revolution in academia, which ran roughly from the 1990s to the mid-2010s. Last summer, though, Lloyd came face to face with the third wave of the leftist revolution which, to his surprise, is pure Maoism. He doesn’t say so, but he’s lucky he was only “un-personed” (my word, not his). As the revolution gets more frantic, there will be blood.

Truisms are genuinely tied to truth because they are so darned obvious in what they say. “You get what you pay for.” “Tomorrow is another day.” “Life isn’t fair.” And there’s one that is less commonly stated but is just as obviously true: “Leftist revolutions always eat their own.” As leftism gains control over a society, each subsequent generation is more fervent than the last until, finally, the revolution burns itself out in a welter of blood and death. That’s certainly true for the direction of America’s race-based leftism, as Lloyd learned last summer.

Lloyd has published an essay entitled “A Black Professor Trapped in Anti-Racist Hell.” It’s very long (5,600 words), so I’ll summarize it as best I can. However, I urge you to read the whole thing because it is a distillation of everything that flows from introducing Critical Race Theory to young people.

Image: Xi Jinping’s father, one of the original revolutionaries in 1949, humiliated during a “struggle session” in 1967. Public domain.

In 2014, Lloyd was tapped to teach a seminar about “Race and the Limits of Law in America” at the Telluride Association’s summer program for carefully chosen 17-year-old high school students. Telluride tries to shape its seminars around trends in leftist…er, liberal thinking, something that will matter soon.

Lloyd explains that he views seminars as carefully unfolding events where the students analyze and discuss ideas. To that end, he believes they need to hear opposing voices challenging the ideas so that they can develop a real intellectual understanding. In other words, he claims to support an old-fashioned, Socratic model. Maybe. His ideology is pure CRT:

I am a black professor, I directed my university’s black-studies program, I lead anti-racism and transformative-justice workshops, and I have published books on anti-black racism and prison abolition. I live in a predominantly black neighborhood of Philadelphia, my daughter went to an Afrocentric school, and I am on the board of our local black cultural organization.

In 2014, Lloyd writes, the seminar was a fun event, with the students bonding with him and with other students in the program. He was excited to have the opportunity, in 2022, to do the seminar again, this time adding in perspectives from a post-George Floyd world. Things at Telluride had changed, though.

This time, Telluride offered only two types of studies: “Critical Black Studies” and “Anti-Oppressive Studies.” Lloyd’s class fell into the latter category. For the first time, students were segregated by the seminars in which they were participating so that his 12 students, who were black, Asian, and white, saw only Lloyd and two college students who were hired to spend every afternoon conducting anti-racism workshops.

These workshops were pure CRT, steeped in concepts of systemic racism, White privilege, third-wave feminism, decarceration (ie., ending prisons), etc. The most telling principles Lloyd describes are these two:

  • All non-black people, and many black people, are guilty of anti-blackness.
  • There is no way out of anti-blackness.

In other words, this is a religion without the opportunity for repentance and redemption. The only path to avoid damnation on this earth (for this is a faith without an afterlife) is to show greater extremism than the person next to you. Here’s the endpoint of that attitude:

With guidance from Keisha, a true CRT revolutionary, Lloyd’s students went from bright-eyed, engaged, and anxious to expand their horizons to pure Maoists. The workshops used a finger-snapping technique to show approval for ideas. Ideas that did not engender snaps were never mentioned again, and the students who spoke to silence learned to keep silent. Eventually, after workshop indoctrination, these same students never spoke again in Lloyd’s seminar and, indeed, only the black students spoke.

As for those black students, the workshop trained them to view anything that offended them in any way as harm that needed to be addressed. They were “harmed” when they learned that 60% of imprisoned Americans are white and when they learned that Native Americans had also suffered on American soil. Keisha warned Lloyd that he could not snatch the narrative away from blacks.

There’s lots more to read in the essay, but I can tell you that the seminar inevitably ended when Lloyd, an impure revolutionary from an earlier generation, got canceled:

Each student read from a prepared statement about how the seminar perpetuated anti-black violence in its content and form, how the black students had been harmed, how I was guilty of countless microaggressions, including through my body language, and how students didn’t feel safe because I didn’t immediately correct views that failed to treat anti-blackness as the cause of all the world’s ills.

This is the ideology that has overtaken academia. It is the logical result of so-called “progressivism.” It’s the stuff of Mao, right out of the Cultural Revolution that saw tens of millions of lives destroyed. It must be stopped before concentration camps spring up and people die.

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