Communist activists took ample advantage of the media presence in Cleveland this week, organizing a flag burning stunt outside the Quicken Loans Arena that captured the attention of the national press.
The Revolutionary Communist Party appears to be responsible for organizing the spectacle. The group consists of a bizarre coterie of radicals seeking to overthrow the United States government and create what they hope to call “The New Socialist Republic in North America” in its place. In the words of their spokesman, “The Revolutionary Communist Party is organizing for an actual revolution to get rid of this system at the soonest possible moment.”
The group’s website is a sprawling labyrinth of communist ramblings that creep into Unabomber territory at times. Basic fonts and bright colors invite visitors to explore various manifestos on oppression and imperialism and revolution, dense documents that sound like they must first have been scrawled furiously on loose leaf through the haze of marijuana smoke in a Berkeley coffee house.
For instance, here’s a series of bullet points linked to lengthy ramblings listed under “RCP Speaks on:”
In the aftermath on this week’s flag burning stunt, the group published an interview with its national spokesperson Carl Dix under the headline “One Flag Burns—Two Futures Clash.” Dix attended the event and was eager to speak about the experience.
“It was a statement that America was never great,” he proclaimed, continuing on to ask:
What was so great about the slavery and the genocide that this country was founded on? What was so great about Jim Crow segregation and lynch mob terror? What’s been great about the theft of land from Mexico, the thieving of the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba? What’s great about the degradation and violence that women are up against in this society? What’s great about the murders by police that get presided over? And what’s great about the way that they paint that flag on the side of bombs that are dropped on villages in Pakistan and places like that which destroys hundreds of people, incinerates them?”
Dix referred to his comrades as “agitators” and “revolutionaries,” and to the American flag as “the red, white, and blue rag.”
He summarized the message “RevCom” intended to send byway of its demonstration, explaining their goal was to show, “Capitalism-imperialism isn’t the only way to organize society. That there’s a way to organize a society where power is in the hands of the people—and the main right that they have is to get rid of the exploitation and oppression left over from this capitalist society, after the revolution has overthrown this system.”
While the organization remains comfortably on the fringe, it is not totally isolated. In the past, it has worked with Cornel West and had op-eds and interviews published in the popular Huffington Post.
But while these revolutionaries are busy burning the American flag, flag sales are spiking, according to a recent report.
Unfortunately, however, rates of patriotism are dropping quickly among the youngest Americans. Gallup recently reported that the 18-29 age block is the least proud to be American. College graduates are significantly less likely to express “extreme pride” in their country than nongrads.
Conservative student activists need to understand the importance of their mission to help their peers recognize and appreciate the beauty of the United States. Now is not the time to step back and let campus radicals prey on their disillusioned peers. The Cleveland flag burners are not representative of the American mainstream, most Americans are still proud of their country—but freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction and the barrier is getting thinner every day.