These are Obama’s Riots!

We’ve seen social revolution before, but this is the first time a sitting president, his advisers, union supporters, and a supporting media have endorsed it with such vigor. Rudy Giuliani said it best: Obama owns Occupy Wall Street.” Here are his extended remarks:

“This is a very dangerous movement, and it’s ironic it’s happening under a president who promised to unify us. Barack Obama owns the Occupy Wall Street movement, it would not have happened but for his class warfare. . . . Barack Obama praised it, sympathizes with it. As it gets worse and worse, I believe this will be the millstone around Barack Obama’s neck that will take his presidency down.”

Irony has nothing to do with it. Obama’s goal has always been social disruption, class warfare, and institutionalized envy. The late 1960s and the early 1970s protestors hoped to bring down the government of the United States using the War in Vietnam as a catalyst. Obama and his supporters are using social and economic discontent to do the same thing.

The timeline and tactics are not new. They begin with the youngest members of society who have little to lose because they don’t any economic skin in the game. In the 1960s, Columbia University and other major universities were marked by student sit-ins. The catalyst for student rebellion that swept the nation in the tumultuous decade was the Berkeley “Free Speech Movement” (FSM). The FSM was decidedly anti-establishment, painting university personnel as “repressive autocrats lurking behind a benign mask of liberalism.”1 Authority was questioned at every opportunity. The police were described as “pigs,” accomplices of the establishment rather than enforcers of the law that was supposed to apply to everyone without distinction.

The counter culture decade of the 1960s was described as the “decade of anger and rebellion.” While most channeled their anger in constructive ways, some went off the deep end and turned to violent measures. Sit-ins led to explosions when anti-war activists planted a fertilizer and fuel oil bomb at Sterling Hall, home of the University of Wisconsin’s Physics Department and the Army Math Research Center. The explosion killed a graduate student. Violence begat violence when four students were killed by National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University on May 4, 1970. Student protesters had set fire to an ROTC building and thrown bottles at police.

By the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a resurgence of left-wing radicalism that led to further violence. On May 7, 1967, just weeks before the Newark riot, Greg Calvert, a member of Students for a Democratic Society, described its members as “post-communist revolutionaries” who “are working to build a guerrilla force in an urban environment. We are actively organizing sedition.”2 The SDS was a growing radical movement made up of college students. The rhetoric of the SDS was at its core anti-government. “SDS organizers denounced ‘oppressors,’ ‘exploiters,’ and ‘the Al Capones who run this country.’ The university was depicted as a ‘colony’ of ‘the military-industrial complex’ and a ‘midwife to murder.’ ‘Imperialism’ was offered as a convenient scapegoat for every frustration and failure.”3 A keynote speech at a 1962 SDS convention praised the freedom riders, not for furthering civil rights but for their “radicalizing” potential, their “clear-cut demonstration for the sterility of legalism.” The speaker continued:

It is not by . . . “learning the rules of the legislative game” that we will succeed in creating the kind of militant alliances that our struggle requires. We shall succeed through force—through the exertion of such pressure as will force our reluctant allies to accommodate to us, in their own interest.4

Tom Hayden, a former SDS organizer and strategist, member of the California General Assembly, and one-time husband of Jane Fonda, intoned the following in 1967: “Perhaps the only forms of action appropriate to the angry people are violent. Perhaps a small minority, by setting ablaze New York and Washington, could damage this country forever in the court of world opinion. Urban guerrillas are the only realistic alternative at this time to electoral politics or mass armed resistance.”5

Tom Hayden’s anti-government, revolutionary rhetoric bordered on the fringes of sedition and treason. His speech inflamed so many radical extremists that some blame him for agitating fragile race relations in Newark, New Jersey, causing nearly a week of rioting in the summer of 1967. While Hayden was not directly involved, he seemed to approve of using violence as a way of “shattering the status quo.” The August 24, 1967, issue of The New York Review of Books includes an article in which Hayden wrote:

The role of organized violence is now being carefully considered. During a riot, for instance, a conscious guerrilla can participate in pulling police away from the path of people engaged in attacking stores. He can create disorder in new areas the police think are secure. He can carry the torch, if not all the people, to white neighborhoods and downtown business districts. If necessary, he can successfully shoot to kill.

The guerrilla can employ violence effectively during times of apparent “peace,” too. He can attack, in the suburbs or slums, with paint or bullets, symbols of racial oppression.

These tactics of disorder will be defined by the authorities as criminal anarchy. But it may be that disruption will create possibilities of meaningful change. . . . Violence can contribute to shattering the status quo, but only politics and organization can transform it.6

Civil unrest and purposeful destruction of the nation’s infrastructure and authority institutions was the order of the day in the late 1960s. “On September 3, 1968, The New York Times reported that the city of Berkeley was declared to be in a state of civil disaster; the city authorities invoked emergency police powers, and the campus of the university was placed under curfew rules.7

Obama is hoping for social unrest. He and his Leftist cronies want more control of the economy. They want to bleed it for some larger purpose. I believe Obama is deliberately sabotaging the economy. He knows that tax cuts work and deficit spending is a fiscal drag on the economy. It’s hard for some to fathom, but I believe that Barack Obama has a long-held grudge against American ideals that he inherited from his anti-American parents and his radical friends who groomed him for the Senate and the presidency. The 1960s have been reborn in Barack Obama.

  1. Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter, Roots of Radicalism: Jews, Christians, and the New Left (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), 18. []
  2. New York Times (May 7, 1967). Quoted in Eugene H. Methvin, The Rise of Radicalism: The Social Psychology of Messianic Extremism (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1973), 497 and The  Riot Makers: The Technology of Social Demolition (New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1970), 27. []
  3. Methvin, Rise of Radicalism, 504. []
  4. Thomas Kahn, “The Political Significance of the Freedom Riders,” in Mitchell Cohen and Dennis Hale, eds., The New Student Left (Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press, 1966), 59, 63. Quoted in Rothman and Lichter, Roots of Radicalism, 13. []
  5. Quoted in Methvin, Rise of Radicalism, 505. []
  6. Quoted in Riot Makers, 51. []
  7. Feuer, The Conflict of Generations, 479. []
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