It’s rare that the Left ever manages to be consistent in its application of its rules, especially those concerned with its favorite new pastime, canceling. But occasionally, it makes noises that sound like calls for consistency, like the time leftists canceled Woodrow Wilson . . . at Princeton, of all places.
Generally, however, the leftist portrait of the past is one of alleged right-wing terror, with brave and mighty liberals stepping in to advance the cause of peace, justice, and equality as the march of history demands. It turns out, however, that history is more complicated than any of that. What happens when history, as the Left tells it, eclipses even those liberals?
Herewith are the top 10 left-wing icons that need to be toppled according to their own logic:
10) Senator William J. Fulbright. The man for whom the Fulbright Scholarships are named, and a mentor of Bill Clinton, was a Dixiecrat. Fulbright was, among other things, an active participant in the effort to filibuster the 1964 Civil Rights Act. How can any person of color receive such a scholarship without being triggered? Clearly, these scholarships need to be renamed.
9) W.E.B. DuBois. DuBois was a serious scholar and intellectual, as well as a founder of the NAACP. Like so many Progressives in the early 20th century, however, he subscribed to eugenics, and embraced some truly awful ideas. “The Negro has not been breeding for an object; therefore, he must begin to train and breed for brains, for efficiency, for beauty,” he wrote.
8) Margaret Sanger. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was also close to the eugenics movement. She even spoke to a Ku Klux Klan meeting in the 1930s. Sanger is, in fact, already starting to be canceled. One New York City clinic already has taken her name down.
7) Cesar Chavez. Chavez was an advocate of workers in California, particularly Hispanic workers in agriculture. For that reason, he often opposed illegal immigration. Illegal immigration, he realized, was bad for workers who already were working in the United States. California, therefore, should cancel its Cesar Chavez holiday and remove any statues to him that exist.
6) James, Duke of York. The future James II of England, and the brother of King Charles II, was one of the founders of the Royal Africa Company, the company that brought England into the slave trade. Clearly his name is a trigger. New York, New York. New York State, New York City, the New York Times all need to change their names.
5) Karl Marx. Marx is perhaps the lefty philosopher of lefty philosophers. He was also a racist, harboring, like so many other intellectuals in the 19th century, deeply racist views. Perhaps DuBois’ reading Marx is one of the things that led him astray?
4) Che Guevara. Who’s more hip than Che? His iconic image still makes Progressives swoon. Yet he, too, was a racist and a homophobe with an abiding love for violence and bloodshed. Clearly, his image has to be removed from countless shirts, buttons, posters, and statues.
3) Barack Obama. Sure Obama was a Progressive icon who pushed through certain left-wing priorities as president. But he also paved the way for the election of Trump. More important for the purposes of this list, he fostered a boys’ club atmosphere in the White House that made female staff uncomfortable. Moreover, he casually mocked disabled people in his everyday conversation. Such a man is no one’s hero in our woke moment.
2) Lin-Manuel Miranda. With the popular success of “Hamilton” on Broadway, Lin-Manuel Miranda has become a living Progressive icon. He was a regular performer at the Obama White House. How left-wing is he? He’s a huge fan of Oscar Lopez Rivera, a leader of a Puerto Rican terrorist group that murdered several New Yorkers. When Obama pardoned Rivera at the end of his presidency, Miranda promised him a special showing of “Hamilton” in Chicago. Yet Miranda has failed to follow through on his lefty priorities. Apparently his new play, “In the Heights,” has people of color in mostly background roles. And the people of color in his cast are, like Miranda himself, light skinned. Clearly, Miranda has to be given more than a warning for such heresy.
1) Joe Biden. He’s in the Oval Office now, but for many many years he was a Democratic senator from what had been a border state. In fact, one can easily view Biden as the last Dixiecrat. When he was campaigning for president in 1987, before he had to quit the campaign in disgrace when he was caught plagiarizing British leader Neil Kinnock, Biden bragged about his Delaware connection. Campaigning in Alabama, he said that they should vote for him because Delaware was on the South’s side in the war. If that isn’t worthy of cancellation, what is?