Who Benefits From the Destabilization of the U.S.?

COMMENTARY Progressivism

Who Benefits From the Destabilization of the U.S.?

May 20, 2024 4 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Mike Gonzalez

Angeles T. Arredondo E Pluribus Unum Senior Fellow

Mike is the Angeles T. Arredondo E Pluribus Unum Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.
Pro-Hamas protesters toss pallets and other debris to form a barrier between them and police in Irvine, CA, on May 15, 2024. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

Any organization devoted to the big lie—i.e., that America is “systemically racist,”—is by definition in opposition to America as it is presently constituted.

U.S. enemies supporting and benefiting from the street mayhem are not all domestic.

We should be equally reminded to ask of those subverting our peace and undermining our institutions: “Cui bono?” It’s not people who wish us well.

“Cui bono?” asked the ancients, whose wisdom we’d be foolish to toss aside. For by answering the question “Who benefits?” we may ascertain who is committing the crime that ails us.

The crime in question is the mayhem being visited on the college campuses and streets of America. Today the cause is Gaza, but our revolutionaries are nothing if not opportunists. This month they will disrupt graduations, but once campuses close for summer, they will head elsewhere and take up other causes.

It could be climate change, or police defunding, or the low-hanging fruits of race and sex.

These issues all roll into each other now with such ease that they have become an “all-encompassing omnicause.” That’s a term Mary Harrington used at UnHerd, after noting that Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager usually haranguing us about the planet, has now taken to donning a Palestinian-style keffiyeh.

Like thousands of other Americans, I attended a university graduation this week (in my case, at Columbia), and I can attest that the demonstrators who disrupted the proceedings were a small minority whose antics were generally met with shouts of “Sit down!” But a determined small minority can tear society to pieces. The Bolsheviks were a small minority.

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So who benefits from this destabilization of America across several fronts? Its adversaries, of course. The list is long, because of American power and unique (exceptional) attachment to liberty, and it includes foes both foreign and domestic. Unsurprisingly, they often work in tandem.

The domestic enemies of the United States and its Constitution are well known. Any organization devoted to the big lie—i.e., that America is “systemically racist,” has a “regime of white supremacy,” or an “oppressive social order”—is by definition in opposition to America as it is presently constituted. Destabilization is one way to obtain the desired change.

The above phrases all come from the introduction to Critical Race Theory, The Key Writings that Formed the Movement, the foundational textbook of critical race theory. The impact the critical race theory discipline has had on how the omnicause is articulated cannot be overstressed.

Take Black Lives Matter. The different organizations operating today under that banner—the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (once the most powerful), BLM Grassroots (probably the most powerful now), the Movement for Black Lives (a vast umbrella), BLM Los Angeles (the first chapter), etc.—were spawned by individuals who were recruited by older, deeply ideological Marxists and trained on destabilizing society. They express their Marxian analysis of American society—their resentment of the U.S.—in the language of critical race theory.

No organization has done more to dismantle America as it is presently constituted than BLM. And to the surprise of no one paying attention, BLM chapters were an early and enthusiastic supporter of Hamas’s terroristic and orgiastic attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Nor should it be surprising that the fiscal sponsors of the groups organizing today’s campus protests, such as Students for Justice in Palestine and Samidoun, are also philosophical and even fiscal backers of the different BLM entities.

But U.S. enemies supporting and benefiting from the street mayhem are not all domestic. China, America’s rising 21st-century adversary, and Cuba, whose sclerotic revolutionary rulers have been consumed with anti-American resentment for more than six decades, are two communist outposts implicated in the protests.

A new report by the Network Contagion Research Institute analyzed “the activities and foreign connections” of the Shut It Down for Palestine movement, “an anti-capitalist, anti-police, and anti-government protest movement that emerged after October 7,” the day of the Hamas massacre in Israel. Organizations “operating under the SID4P umbrella are members of the ‘Singham Network’ donor portfolio.”

That network is tied to Neville Roy Singham, a half Cuban, half Sri Lankan tech entrepreneur who was born in the U.S. and resides in Shanghai. A former member of radical Marxist groups, he sold his software company for $785 million in 2017 and now donates generously to Marxist causes. 

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Various publications, from the New York Times to the Free Press, say he has close connections to the Chinese Communist Party—something Singham denies.

But the NCRI report says that three of the Singham Network’s affiliates—the People’s Forum, the International People’s Assembly, and the ANSWER coalition—“serve as the conduit through which CCP-affiliated entities have effectively co-opted pro-Palestinian activism in the U.S., advancing a broader anti-American, anti-democratic, and anti-capitalist agenda.”

One of the leaders of the People’s Forum, the Dominican Republic-born Manolo De Los Santos, has received training in Cuba and meets regularly with the regime’s nominal president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, writes Mary O’Grady at the Wall Street Journal.

De Los Santos gave a rousing speech to more than 100 “masked and keffiyeh-clad activists” at the People’s Forum Manhattan office hours before they headed to Columbia to take over Hamilton Hall, according to Washington Free Beacon reporter Joseph Simonson, who attended via Zoom. De Los Santos urged the demonstrators to “give Joe Biden a hot summer” and “make it untenable for the politics of usual to take place in this country.”

The activists were then trained on “new methods of resistance” in a breakout session. “A few hours later, activists smashed the windows of Columbia’s Hamilton Hall and barricaded themselves inside,” noted Simonson.

We are constantly reminded that peaceful protests are constitutionally protected speech. But we should be equally reminded to ask of those subverting our peace and undermining our institutions: “Cui bono?” It’s not people who wish us well.

This piece originally appeared in Restoring America by the Washington Examiner

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