U.S.

Beto’s Gospel of Despair

Former Democratic Texas Senate candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke gestures at his midterm election night party in El Paso, Texas, November 6, 2018. (Adria Malcolm/REUTERS)
The America that O’Rourke and too many leftists hate was born not in 1619, but in 1776, conceived in liberty -- not for all at first, but eventually so.

Liberal stalwart Jesse Jackson once led blacks in chants of “I am somebody.” In 2008, an even-more-left Obama rode “Hope” and “Yes, we can!” all the way to the White House.

But today’s Left preaches to blacks a gospel of despair.

In the eyes of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, merica is lashed to its slave-owning past as tightly as Earth is tethered by the Sun’s gravitational pull. And relentless incantations of “white privilege” reinforce that bright coin’s darker side: “black disadvantage.”

Behold the words of flaky far-left presidential wannabe Robert Francis O’Rourke. He goes by “Beto,” a culturally appropriated nickname that his politically savvy father gave him so he eventually could bamboozle El Paso’s overwhelmingly Hispanic voters into believing that the tube-sock-white Robert is actually Roberto and, thus, Hispanic. This poser told the New Hampshire Democratic party convention last Saturday that America in 2019 is defined by its original sin: slavery.

“This is a country that has been defined by foundational, systemic, endemic racism since the very founding of this country,” O’Rourke shouted, his arms typically flapping about, like the late Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic. “August 20th of 1619 — the first time that a kidnapped African was brought here against his will and made to serve as a slave to build the greatness and the success and the wealth of this country, which his descendants would never be able to fully participate in. This is the reality of the United States of America.”

Scorn enough does not exist with which to drench O’Rourke for this utterance.

He depicts U.S. history as, essentially, the live-action version of a film called Four Hundred Years a Slave. The America that O’Rourke and too many leftists hate was born not in 1619, but in 1776, conceived in liberty — not for all at first, but eventually so. This nation fought a war with itself that ended slavery in 1865. It then spent the latter part of the next 99 years evolving toward full legal equality for blacks. Especially since President Harry Truman integrated the armed forces in 1948, America has tried to do the right thing by blacks and has gotten it more right than wrong.

This means nothing to the blame-America Left.

Even worse, O’Rourke and his comrades don brass knuckles and deck the very blacks they claim to champion. As he said, the slave’s “descendants would never be able to fully participate in . . . the greatness and the success and the wealth of this country.” Disgusting.

O’Rourke holistically assaults so much that makes America great, successful, and wealthy, which would not have arisen without the enormous contribution of black Americans. The notion that blacks weren’t and aren’t full participants in America’s triumphs denigrates our pivotal, priceless roles in this land’s past and present.

Thus, O’Rourke, in effect, sacks Harriet Tubman, who could have kept her head down and harvested crops. Instead, she escaped slavery, joined the Underground Railroad, and guided as many as 300 slaves north — to freedom.

He slams Frederick Douglass, a former slave, whose elegant prose and eloquent oratory stirred abolitionists and snapped chains across Dixie.

He slaps Booker T. Washington. Born in bondage, he wrote Up from Slavery, launched the Tuskegee Institute, dined as President Theodore Roosevelt’s guest at the White House (the first black man so honored), and inspired blacks to rise through education and entrepreneurship.

He slugs Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, widely regarded as the twin fathers of jazz, the most quintessentially American art form. Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, and Herbie Hancock are among the many artists who tower over this mighty foundation that O’Rourke neglects.

He smacks Jesse Owens, whose track-and-field triumphs over his “Aryan” competitors humiliated über white-supremacist Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Jackie Robinson, the man who broke baseball’s color barrier, and Hank Aaron, its former home-run king, are AWOL from O’Rourke’s list of American victories.

He smashes Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan, just three of NASA’s black, female mathematicians who, as dramatized in Hidden Figures, enabled John Glenn to orbit Earth and return safely home.

He socks Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five, The Supremes, Diana Ross, and all the other impossibly talented black artists who built Motown and the magic to which people ceaselessly shake and shimmy worldwide.

He spanks hair-care tycoon Madam C. J. Walker, American Express’s Kenneth Chenault, Time-Warner’s Richard Parsons, Merck’s Kenneth Frazier, multimedia tycoon Oprah Winfrey, Johnson Products’ just-departed Joan Johnson, and other black CEOs whose companies produce goods, deliver services, and earn billions.

He strikes senators Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Tim Scott (R., South Carolina), Supreme Court justices Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, former secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, former attorneys general Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, and President Barack Obama — all of whom have served at the commanding heights of America’s government.

For O’Rourke, these luminaries did not “fully participate” in “the greatness and the success and the wealth of this country.” Some on the left apparently see blacks as, essentially, latter-day slaves, still held down by the white man, as if it were 1619. If not the iron chains of the 17th century, they moan, blacks are shackled by the institutional chains of the 21st. O’Rourke’s racism springs not from hatred. He would lynch no one. Rather than loathe blacks, Robert Francis O’Rourke deigns to pity us.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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