Flag Burning at the 2016 DNC: an Introduction to the Revolutionary Communist Party

Amidst all of the massive media coverage of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, particularly interesting news to come out of it centered on multiple cases of protesters outside the convention burning the American flag.  Who are these people, what do they want, why are they burning this flag?  The mass media might not be able to (or don’t want to) answer these questions, but Orderly Conduct can and will.  To the untrained eye, one might think that those people are America-hating Bernie Sanders supporters or just plain old anarchists.  They’re neither.  They’re something quite different: members of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP).

You can tell from videos and images taken during the flag burnings who they are simply because they are all wearing the same distinctive RCP shirt.  Also, the RCP has a long history of flag burnings, as their party members were at the center of two U.S. Supreme Court cases that legalized the burning of flags as free speech: Texas v. Gregory Lee Johnson and United States v. Shawn Eichman et al.  While some may feel that being able to legally burn the U.S. flag may seem ironic, it is actually totally non-ironic given America’s democratic principles.  Regardless of how we feel personally about flag burning, the U.S. government protecting those who wish to burn its own flag is a beautiful testament to how good we actually have it here.  What is ironic, however, is how this notion is lost on the RCP, who frequently burn the U.S. flag and wish to instigate a communist revolution.  What is ironic is how people who hate the U.S. for what they perceive it to stand for – a hateful, disgraceful, disgusting country that propagates racism and sexism – these people are nonetheless willing to utilize the U.S. legal system to protect themselves and to create a U.S. political party.  This hypocrisy is but a taste of who the RCP really are.

The RCP publishes an anti-capitalist newspaper and books and they operate out of book stores and several front groups that are meant to raise money for them and their “Chairman” Bob Avakian (think Chairman Mao Zedong, his hero).  The RCP believe in a “new synthesis” of communism that Avakian created, which he insists is totally “scientific”; it will eliminate racism, patriarchy, economic inequality, and almost all forms of social injustice that they feel exists because of capitalism and U.S. imperialism.  Their brand is the notion of “revolution” and Avakian’s image.  Avakian has openly admitted that the RCP has worked very hard to develop a cult of personality around himself, and they have been very successful in this regard – the RCP is widely considered to be a communist cult.

The RCP is also widely considered to be parasitic.  They specifically target uneducated or minimally educated colored youths, exploiting any of their underlying social discontent, fostering their prejudices and offering them false hope, all in an attempt to bolster their ranks.  They’re also almost universally reviled because of their underhanded protest tactics that even isolate them from other radical leftists, who are known to at least grudgingly and passively accept any and all radical leftists since they’re “part of the struggle” against capitalism.  (And therein lies a major weakness behind the notion of solidarity – but that’s a conversation for another time.)  Say you decided that you were going to organize a peaceful protest against police brutality.  How would you feel if the RCP showed up to your protest uninvited, toting big signs advertising their brand and the egotistical, delusional Chairman Bob?  How would you feel if they showed up with megaphones, drawing all the attention onto themselves by spouting hateful rhetoric against cops, all the while hawking their self-published newspapers to anyone who passes by?  How would you feel if they further hijack your protest by whipping people up into a frenzy and then leading them on an impromptu, unpermitted march through the streets, where they will attempt to shutdown roads, tunnels, highways, and bridges?  Do you think they care about the fact that they’re placing people they never met at risk for arrest?  Of course not, because that will be one more person who may feel victimized by “the system”, and who they can then recruit.  This is very typical behavior by the RCP.

The RCP is also quite prolific.  They have many chapters throughout the country and have been known to travel to anywhere that attracts national attention, including the 2016 Democratic National Convention and to Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown was killed by police.  They will go everywhere and anywhere, welcome or not (usually not), especially if it is of a location of civil discontent, and they will incite the locals to “fight the system” in whatever way they deem appropriate – violent or not – all in the name of Chairman Bob and their ridiculous utopian communist revolution.

So if you ever come across someone from the RCP, now you can better contextualize who they are.  Regardless, it would be wise to continue ignoring them and let the burden of their own ignorance and hypocrisy keep them down.

And certainly don’t buy any newspapers from them.

Child Protesters: a Form of Child Abuse?

Perhaps the most important role an individual could play is that of a parent.  As a parent, you are directly responsible for maintaining the health and safety of your child.  If you fail in this task, it is in the best interest of the child to be taken out of your custody.  Sadly, we know that this occurs far too often than it should, but it is right.  It is the law.

What law does not particularly dictate is how parents are supposed to raise their kids.  To do so would certainly be undemocratic and should never be allowed.  If you want to, say, raise your child Christian or Hindu, you should be able to do so.  Just because you are able to raise your child as you see fit, however, doesn’t mean that you aren’t inflicting some type of harm on the kid – a harm that might be outside the capabilities of being stopped by the law.

Parenting should be about naturally cultivating a child’s identity rather than imposing your own identity upon the child.  Think about, for example, how many LGBTQ teens have had to repress themselves because of their families.  The same absolutely can be said for politicized parents; that they may impose their own subjective politics and ideologies on kids who couldn’t possibly have anything more than a facile understanding of complex issues that even their parents probably don’t fully understand.  Politicizing young children can be a sad, yet legal form of abuse.

The most obvious manifestation of this is forcing children to participate in protests.  While this alone may not be the worst thing in the world for a kid, what needs to be understood is that protests hardly ever offer a comprehensive understanding of the issue at hand.  That is the real problem here: that these kids are taught by their parents from a very young age that there is only one side to every story; that they don’t need to learn all of the facts; that they don’t need to develop a sense of empathy for the other side; and that they never need to objectively approach any issue.  The problem is not so much that the parents bring these kids to protests and make them carry signs bearing slogans they don’t understand, it is that these parents may stunt their children’s ability to think critically.  By all means, that is a form of abuse.

Think about, for example, how many unfit politicized parents there are who hate cops and teach their kids to live by the slogan, “We Don’t Dial 911,” and to never cooperate with police (watch the video here).  This type of mentality teaches kids that all cops are bad, not some.  Being raised from day one under that mentality, what are the odds that those kids won’t one day engage in some type of behavior that forces a police officer to arrest them?  What hope do those children have to succeed in society when they are taught from a young age that society is against them?  Does this seem more like a fair upbringing or an abusive one?

Yet it is legal, and it must be so – thus is the tragedy of democracy.  This is not something that the state should be able to enforce.  Having said that, it certainly is a testament to the questionable character of our education system.  Knowing that we have so many bigots who are willing to infect their children with fear of working with the system, it speaks volumes.  A healthy skepticism is one thing, but a total condemnation of it is counterproductive.  This country should be free, and it should also promote that parents have an ethical responsibility to broaden the minds of their children, not limit them.  We have an ethical responsibility to instill within our children hope and love, not fear and hatred.

And what we certainly should never be okay with are the acts of politicized parents that jeopardize the physical safety of their children.  Think about how many unfit politicized parents exist who willingly jeopardize the safety of their toddler by using the kid as a human shield against police during an act of civil disobedience (see here).  And while that may not be legal, the tragedy there is that even that is not enough to have the state take the child away for good.

It’s hard for us to balance both doing the right thing and being free, but sometimes even when people go too far, we don’t do what needs to be done.  Sometimes there is nothing we can do, other times there is no excuse for not doing more.  Regardless, we have an obligation to raising and educating our children objectively, because they are the ones who will come to fix our mistakes – or make them worse.

The Ties Between “Islamophobia,” Political Correctness, and our Nation’s Security

One of the right’s many criticisms against President Obama and other Democrats is that they believe the Democrats refuse to acknowledge how Islam is at the center of the biggest threat to the safety and security of the United States and of Western civilization in general.  The right’s main talking point here is that Democrats seldom use the term “radical Islam” when they speak about terrorism.

If the right wants to be taken more seriously with regards to this criticism, they should always stress that they don’t think Islam itself is the problem, and that the problem instead lies in a violent and hateful misinterpretation of the religion.  This is the reality and any sensible human being understands this.  Considering that there is a plethora of insensible humans in this country who don’t understand this distinction – and I hope (but do not believe) that none of these particular individuals are politicians – naturally there is some bigotry against Muslims.

This bigotry gives credence to the notion of “Islamophobia,” which essentially means an irrational fear of Muslims.  Muslim groups and leftists in solidarity have taken up this cause with extreme gusto.  I believe that the right should focus less on how Democrats may or may not say “radical Islam,” and more on how these elements exploit Islamophobia.

I believe that the left and Muslim groups use Islamophobia less as a means to combat the bigotry that exists against Muslims in this country and more as a means to shift the attention away from the fact that some Muslims commit violent, hateful acts of terrorism.  Islamophobia proponents refuse to acknowledge Islamic violence for what it is – the biggest threat to the safety and security of this country and Western civilization – because they fear the inadvertent repercussion of possibly making the anti-Muslim bigots feel vindicated.  You cannot cure ignorance with denial, however.  Islamophobia therefore takes little to no steps in effectuating any type of significant, positive change; it doesn’t really bring Muslims and non-Muslims closer (outside of the solidarity leftists), it does nothing to truly challenge or educate anti-Muslim bigots, and it certainly does nothing at all to stop terrorism perpetrated by Muslims.

The most recent example of this exploitation of Islamophobia came at a rally at the Stonewall Inn in New York City.  The rally was held in solidarity with the victims of the Islamic State-inspired mass shooting at the Pulse Orlando Night Club, a LGBTQ haven in Florida.  While most of the focus was on the victims, there were multiple signs about Islamophobia strewn throughout the mass of people, and there was at least one speaker who insisted on talking about the issue of anti-Muslim bigotry.  To say the least, raising the notion of Islamophobia at a rally commemorating the victims of a terrorist attack is inappropriate.  Again, it does nothing to stop an irrational fear of Muslims as much as it simply attempts to insulate nonviolent Muslims from their violent counterparts.  It is somewhat counterproductive.

And of course, Mayor de Blasio, and all of the other local, mostly Democratic politicians in attendance did nothing – in the name of political correctness – to address this inappropriate move.  One cannot help but to wonder that if those politicians are willing to apply this passivity in this instance, is it also possible that their political correctness could in some way be a detriment to the safety and security of this city?

The answer, clearly, is of course.  Maybe it isn’t yet a very severe fault in our nation’s security, but it is a fault nonetheless, one that could possibly grow greater if left unchallenged.  And this is precisely the essence of the right’s criticisms against Democrats who refuse to use the term “radical Islam”.