Time and geographical distance have a way of making ugly history seem like an impossibility in our own world.
While few can imagine themselves as complacent Germans or obedient Nazis during the Holocaust, the truth is that many simply don’t read the writing on the wall — except those who have been through it.
Xi Van Fleet, a Chinese immigrant who fled Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, is seeing it happen all over again with the way concerned parents who speak up at school board meetings are being bullied, silenced and painted as domestic terrorists.
“When I was in China, I spent my entire school years in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, so I’m very, very familiar with the communist tactics of how to divide people, how they canceled the Chinese traditional culture and destroyed our heritage,” Van Fleet told Fox News in a recent interview.
“All this is happening here in America.”
Indeed it is. In recent months, the Loudoun County School Board in Virginia has become ground zero in the culture war being waged for the hearts and minds of children in public schools.
Parents spoke out about the destructive critical race theory curriculum, but things came to a head in early summer after two parents were arrested at a meeting about gender-confused children using their preferred bathrooms.
The authorities ultimately shut it down as an unlawful assembly, and video of the arrest went viral and became the impetus for a memo issued by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
In it, he said that federal law enforcement “takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate.”
BREAKING: Attorney General Merrick Garland has instructed the FBI to mobilize against parents who oppose critical race theory in public schools, citing “threats.”
The letter follows the National School Board Association’s request to classify protests as “domestic terrorism.” pic.twitter.com/NhPU03YOYq
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) October 4, 2021
As it would turn out, one of those parents arrested at that meeting was not an agitator; rather, he was Scott Smith, a father whose daughter was allegedly brutally raped in the girls’ bathroom by a boy in a skirt, The Daily Wire reported.
The school board was trying to cover up his daughter’s plight so as not to jeopardize their preferred agenda, and they got an added bonus in Smith’s arrest that supplied the convenient scapegoat needed to shut down all outside debate from parents.
This is precisely what Van Fleet, whose son graduated from Loudoun County High School in 2015, is sounding the alarm as she sees tactics being used that are right out of the communists’ playbook.
“I have to say, this will backfire. If intimidation works, America has fallen a long time ago,” Van Fleet said. Let’s hope so.
Intimidation has been always popular and effective in implementing authoritarian rule, but social media has turned it into an easy go-to for political enemies, who can now use footage like the video of Smith’s arrest to make their point.
If the footage and the arrest taken out of context are enough to mobilize the Department of Justice, there’s no telling where this will end.
“I do have a question: What’s [the] next step? Is the Tiananmen Square crackdown the next, or the parents who one day risked their lives just to speak out for the children? That’s why I’m here,” Van Fleet said.
Totalitarian takeovers don’t happen overnight, and many people don’t bother to connect the dots that come along slowly.
Like victims on the Titanic who let near-empty lifeboats go by as they stood on the deck of their “unsinkable” ship, so many people sit on the sidelines thinking totalitarian regimes can’t take over America.
But these brutal regimes don’t start with re-education camps or gas chambers; they start with social pressure and silencing the opposition before moving on to officially outlawing dissent.
Do you think an authoritarian takeover could happen here?
So-called progressive ideas are crammed down and take hold, even if they may not be popular at first, because opposing them comes at too high of a social price. Then they’re codified and opposition is criminalized.
The last stop is the authoritarian takeover that always ends in bloodshed and misery, but by then the people are too powerless and broken to put up a strong resistance.
There will eventually be a point of no return if Americans aren’t careful, and Van Fleet is using her firsthand knowledge to warn us. Our choice is to listen to her now and push back, or there will be no choice left at all.