The Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, has long sought to subvert America. While a number of the groups involved in recent riots have ideological ties to Beijing, what are the deeper connections?
Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez discovered that the Black Futures Lab, closely linked to the Black Lives Matter Global Movement, is being funded by an openly pro-CCP group, the Chinese Progressive Association.
In this episode, Gonzalez reveals exactly what he found, why recent fact-checks of his work have proven inaccurate, and why he believes identity politics is undermining the very foundations of America.
This is American Thought Leaders, and I’m Jan Jekielek.
Jan Jekielek: Michael Gonzalez, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.
Michael Gonzalez: Jan, the pleasure is all mine.
Jan Jekielek: You’ve written a very, very interesting book, just out recently: “The Plot to Change America: How Identity Politics is Dividing the Land of the Free”—a topic we’ve covered quite a bit on American Thought Leaders, broadly speaking.
Before we go there, I want to talk to you about this recent article that you’ve written, finding connection between the Black Lives Matters founder and pro-Chinese Communist Party groups in America. This is pretty fascinating because there have been people alleging these kinds of connections. There’s some ideological overlap, but this is the first time a kind of financial connection was discovered.
Mr. Gonzalez: Yes, the overlap is ideological, definitely. One has to realize that this founder, Alicia Garza, sits atop a worldwide revolutionary network. It’s really a holding company for revolutionary sales. One of the main ones, which she founded, is the Black Lives Matter Global Network.
Now, I have to make clear that nobody is against the sentiment of “black lives matter.” In fact, I think all Americans adhere, at any rate should adhere, to the fact that black lives, of course, do indeed matter. We’re talking about the organizations.
Alicia Garza is one of the founders of these organizations. In 2018, she founded yet another one, called the Black Futures Lab. The Black Futures Lab, if you go to the donate button, says that the money you give will go to the Chinese Progressive Association [CPA] of San Francisco.
The Chinese Progressive Association of San Francisco is an organization that has pushed the Beijing line in San Francisco, that has taken some actions that would benefit the People’s Republic of China, but the main thing is that many of its leaders are members of LeftRoots.
LeftRoots is an organization of the hard Left, in which a lot of people—the Chinese Association, the Chinese Progressive Association of Boston, and its leaders—are also members of LeftRoots. I think that’s where the ideological overlap is with Alicia Garza and the Black Lives Matter organization because Alicia Garza is a Marxist, has said that she needs to smash capitalism, has said this several times.
I just viewed a video this morning of the two other founders, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, chanting, “We have nothing to lose but our chains,” which is obviously straight out of “The Communist Manifesto.” So I think the overlap, the Venn diagram overlap between the Black Lives Matters organizations, Alicia Garza, in groups like CPA San Francisco is this.
Mr. Jekielek: It’s very interesting. So you actually found that there’s a financial connection between the CPA and this new organization that Alicia Garza found.
Mr. Gonzalez: Yes, so the Blacks Futures Lab is a fiscally sponsored project of the San Francisco CPA. I think that a lot of the Black Lives Matters organizations are fiscally sponsored projects of one thing or another because that gives them a degree of flexibility in how opaque they can be in how they spend their money. That’s what the critics have said.
For example, the Black Lives Matter Global Network used to be a fiscally sponsored project of Thousand Currents. Thousand Currents is another funder of the hard Left. It emerged in July—because of research that was done by people here in Washington—that the vice chairman of the board of Thousand Currents is Susan Rosenberg, who used to be a member of the Weather Underground, which the FBI identified as a domestic terrorist organization.
She spent time in prison. Susan Rosenberg’s sentence was commuted by Bill Clinton on his last day in office, and here she is sitting on the board of Thousand Currents. So after this emerges, Black Lives Matter Global Network, which is very media-savvy, became a fiscally sponsored project of the Tides Center, which is also a funder of the hard Left, but at least it doesn’t have Susan Rosenberg on its board.
Mr. Jekielek: So Michael, you mentioned a couple of different organizations. You mentioned a San Francisco CPA and a Boston CPA, obviously, different organizations, what actually ties these groups to the Chinese Communist Party?
Mr. Gonzalez: Well, there were both created by I Wor Kuen. I Wor Kuen was a hard-Marxist, militant organization in the 1960s, which created the San Francisco CPA in 1972. Then some of the IWK people created the CPA in Boston in 1977. They’re separately registered and separately run. Its members are connected through organizations such as LeftRoots, which is a Marxist organization.
The CPA in Boston has done events with the Chinese Consulate in New York, but the events have taken place in Boston, and the CPA in San Francisco has taken steps to defend the People’s Republic of China. For example, they were part of an organization in 1977 that urged the Department of Justice not to investigate Chinese spying in America, this spying by China. And they used the specious pretext that this was racial profiling.
I must say that in this particular instance, [they] combined with a group that was for affirmative action, which shows that they’re not really working in the interests of Chinese-Americans. Chinese-Americans are one of the groups that is worst affected by racial profiling in university admissions. In fact, Chinese-American parents are very activated all across the country, in fact, trying to fight racial preferences.
Mr. Jekielek: You mentioned to me when we were speaking offline that you had three lines of evidence that show the connection.
Mr. Gonzalez: I have [what] I just mentioned. Now then there was the fact that Alex Tom was part of an excursion organization trying to bring people in China and the United States together. I looked at it, and it looked like he was trying to find leftist Americans, trying to put them together with the most leftist elements within the People’s Republic of China.
And then there was the third instance in which the CPA San Francisco joined a letter to the Biden campaign, saying we want you to beat President Trump in the election, but we urge you not to engage in any China-bashing. And if you engage in any China-bashing, this is going to cost you at the polls. The letter actually said that. I have no idea why an organization such as this would go to bat for the People’s Republic of China, telling a candidate not to engage in criticism of China.
Mr. Jekielek: That’s really, really interesting. There’s been a fact-check of sorts that was published recently about your article, which as it became popular, as it gained some traction on social media, [exposed] that there is this connection. What is your response to that?
Mr. Gonzalez: The New York Times is very eager to hide the Marxist roots of the Black Lives Matters organizations and its founders. What I said is, look, it’s no surprise. The New York Times covered for communists in the Soviet Union in the 1930s when they denied the genocide in Ukraine. The New York Times also covered for communists in Cuba when Herbert Matthews went down there and described the rebels as democrats who were not Marxists in the least.
The New York Times is now engaging in the same practice here in the United States by trying to describe Black Lives Matter as a movement that is not Marxist at all.
This is parsing issues here because, obviously, the people who turn out to demonstrate, people who are outraged by the manner in which George Floyd died, are not Marxist. They’re just outraged by the death of a fellow American. So they go out and demonstrate, … but the way they’ve been manipulated by these organizations is the issue here.
These organizations, as I’ve said in The New York Times, cannot deny this as much as [they want] to. Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors especially are Marxists. They say that themselves. Patrisse Cullors, for example, trained at the Labor Community Strategy Center, which was founded by Eric Mann, another former member of the Weather Underground. He calls that center a center for revolutionaries, a center where he trains revolutionaries. She trained there for many years.
Alicia Garza also has said many times that capitalism has to be smashed because capitalism is racist, which is the opposite of the truth, obviously. Capitalism is just a fancy word for “I bought something, I have bought this cup with the sweat of my brow, and you want to buy it; we both agree on a price and both walk away happy.”
In other words, [capitalism is] another word for freedom, right? It’s actually a Marxist word for freedom. It’s color-blind. It’s the least racist thing at all. It lifts up all people.
But yet Alicia Garcia says this, and as I said earlier, I believe there’s a video of Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors chanting, “We have nothing to lose but our chains,” which is out of Karl Marx.
Also, all three of them praise JoAnne Chesimard, who now goes by the name of Assata Shakur, who is number one on the FBI wanted list, who is a fugitive for having killed a cop, who fled prison and has been given asylum in communist Cuba—wanted by the U.S. They praise her all the time, all three of them.
Jan Jekielek: Given what you’ve told me already about the connection between the CPA and BLM, what is The New York Times trying to say here?
Mr. Gonzalez: The New York Times is trying to obfuscate the fact that the CPA in San Francisco, which has taken pro-China stands, is the fiscal sponsor of a BLM organization because there’s an ideological overlap.
LeftRoots is not just left of center; LeftRoots is a very hard lefty organization that groups people around the world who want world revolution. When you publish in LeftRoots, when you meet at LeftRoots, when you speak of LeftRoots, you’re a bona fide charter member of the hard Left.
Mr. Jekielek: In this article [about] fact-checking the fact-checker, you actually cite our columnist Trevor Loudon, who I think describes the CPAs as Maoist organizations. Can you speak to that? What does that mean?
Mr. Gonzalez: I mean from the beginning, that’s one of the main things. So the CPA was founded by I Wor Kuen in 1972. We have to remember 1972 was the height of the Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution lasted in China between 1966 and 1976; 1972 was more or less a halfway point.
This organization was founded to support the PRC in the United States, especially in San Francisco, obviously in San Francisco and its very large Chinatown, to convince the American public to switch recognition of China from Taiwan to the communist People’s Republic of China. They were inspired by the revolution.
Again, at the height of the craziness of the Cultural Revolution, they found inspiration in this. It’s coincidental, or perhaps not, that many people are comparing what we’re seeing in our streets today to the Red Guards of that time of the Cultural Revolution. They’re saying that we’re going through the same type of cultural revolution, and we’re seeing this, for example, with the struggle sessions that are being held in Maoist Cultural Revolution terms.
We now we have the same things in the anti-racism trainings, which are nothing but struggle sessions, in which people must confess their sins. People must be made to atone for things they haven’t done, for sins they haven’t committed—the idea of collective sin or the sins of one’s ancestors, carrying the sins of one’s ancestors.
Anybody who understands anything about religion understands that you do not commit the sins of your grandfather. You do not carry them with you.
But I’m very happy to note along those lines that President Trump has banned the struggle sessions at least from the federal work force although I heard the State Department persists in going ahead with one of the struggle sessions.
We’ll see whether the administration is able to stop them. I think that they should be gone. Especially corporate America has embraced these things in a rush to show good intentions, as have other elements of our society. These are things that are straight out of the Maoists’ playbook.
Mr. Jekielek: You mentioned this idea that the sin is actually tied to identity in this construct, basically the color of your skin you’re born with, what gender you are. Let’s jump to your book now because your book actually speaks directly to these things. It’s not surprising that you’re writing on this topic. Tell me about your book.
Mr. Gonzalez: I call it “The Plot to Change America” as a title, “How Identity Politics Is Dividing the Land of the Free,” because that is the tool that is used to change America, right?
Identity politics is a tool. Identity politics divides the country into groups that are based on either race or ethnicity, or sex, or sexual orientation, or gender identity, or even disability status, anything that confers a claim of victimhood.
Then you can use this victimhood to demand attention, respect, dignity, but reward, compensatory justice, restitution, all these things. This does two things. First, it puts victimhood on a hamster wheel, where the hamster never tires. The hamster keeps running because if you derive everything that is good—respect and attention, rewards—from your degree of victimhood, you don’t want to do anything to solve your victimhood.
Number two, though, and that’s the important thing to the people who want to change America. This is the number two thing: The important thing is these grievances become a catalyst to change society because the promises hold that the victimhood will end when these collectives change the country.
They say the country is structurally racist, institutionally racist, systemically racist, and therefore all the structures, all the institutions in the system—the system being a word for the way everything works—have to be changed.
So it’s not a coincidence that all these people despise capitalism, despise freedom. They despise all of, most of our natural rights. The right to, free speech is connected to how much money you have. Now that they did the right to property, they especially dislike that one, you know. The right to freedom of conscience is another one they go against.
So what they want to do is take us from a country that is based on natural rights—the rights of legitimacy from natural rights and the belief that governments are instituted among men to protect their natural rights—into one where the collectivities replace the individual as the agents of social change, as the agent of everything.
What they want to do is take us into central planning, central planning being where the government really decides everything for us. If you don’t have your own property, if you don’t have your individual agency, the government becomes the one that orders society.
That’s really at the end of what they want: to take us to a model that is completely un-American in the sense that nothing that the founders conceived allows for such a thing.
Mr. Jekielek: So individual agency has no place in this.
Mr. Gonzalez: No individual agency. In fact, they are very specific about this. Robin Diangelo, who’s one of these who wrote “White Fragility,” one of these anti-racism training [texts]—her book is on the bestseller list—but all of them emphasize it from the beginning.
By the way, this is a feature of the system that they say, yes, the individual can improve his lot. They accept this. The individual through hard work, in the application of his faculties, will improve his lot, can change his status, can go from working class to middle class, can even become rich.
But that is not what they want. They don’t want the individual to become better, to improve his lot in life. What they want is to change society through collective action.
Mr. Jekielek: Run that by me again.
Mr. Gonzalez: So they say, specifically, in seven different ways, but I’ll give you a version of this: It doesn’t matter if the individual can improve his lot in life through hard work. They accept that that is the case.
Mr. Jekielek: Okay, but they don’t care.
Mr. Gonzalez: They don’t want this because that is the individual joining the system they dislike. I explained this in my book thoroughly and in many of the chapters. When the individual improves his lot—Antonio Gramsci wrote about this as the theory of cultural hegemony.
Gramsci came to understand that even though Marx and Engels had promised that the working class would be revolting everywhere and overthrowing the bourgeoisie, this never came to happen because the worker had accepted the cultural givens of his oppressor, had accepted religion, had accepted the economic system and accepted the family structure, had accepted religion.
The workers had accepted all these things. They had false consciousness, in the words of the communists, so they had to go through consciousness-raising struggle sessions.
Again, struggle sessions: This is what we see. It’s about changing your consciousness. It’s about replacing all these ideas that you have accepted. When the individual joins the system and improves his status and improves his family status, is no longer poor, becomes middle class or even wealthy, the individual has then joined the system.
All these people, from Gramsci to Marcuse, to Angela Davis, to Robin Diangelo, to [inaudible], to Patrisse Cullors, they all say that they accept the individual can do this, but they don’t want this. They don’t want the individual joining the system. They want the individual to join the collective to overthrow the system.
Mr. Jekielek: I think you mentioned earlier that a lot of the people who are participating, who have participated in the Black Lives Matter protests are not people who understand what they’re actually getting behind with this.
Mr. Gonzalez: I would imagine that. I don’t know because many, many young people today say they actually don’t mind Marxism. I don’t know if they understand what Marxism really means. I think they think it’s Denmark or Sweden, which it’s not. These are capitalist countries, filled with billionaires.
I would imagine that the vast majority of the people joining the protests are just outraged, as I said, by the video they saw, by the idea that this could happen to an American. They didn’t like what they saw, and rightly so, rightly so, right? That was it. That was a very harrowing video. Anybody would be outraged by it. I don’t think they understand what these organizations and their leaders say they want to do.
Mr. Jekielek: What you described earlier, accepting the existence of agency but basically denying it and saying, we can’t have any part of that—that’s very counterintuitive, and it’s an abstract concept.
Mr. Gonzalez: They don’t want to deny agency. They want to transfer agency from the individual to the group. So you stop being an individual, and your relevance is as a member of a group, as a Hispanic, or as an African-American, or as an Asian-American.
Let’s not forget, by the way, and [I] devoted several chapters to this in my book, that Hispanics and Asian-Americans had two categories that were created by these activists. They came into being, and these activists really intimidated the bureaucracy in the ‘70s.
[As] I described in my book “The Plot to Change America,” they intimidated the bureaucracy into creating, officializing, these categories, putting them so they finally get the big win: OMB, the Office of Management and Budget, issues Directive number 15.
The old government offices will then have to categorize people as either Hispanic or Asian-Americans, and you create what is known in the industry as the ethno-racial pentagon: whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans. Then they put them on the census in 1980.
But let’s think about who Asians are. Asians are people as varied as Americans, with ancestors in China or India or Sri Lanka or the Philippines or Korea or Japan or Indonesia—people with very different backgrounds, very different histories, very different everything, very different cultural habits, very different cultural indicators.
The same thing for Hispanics: You have people who are Mexican or Cuban or Argentine or Dominican, people who can be of African descent, people who can be of European descent, people who can be of Native American descent or a mix thereof, according to the country, the society they come from, and with very different cultural givens.
So these categories are artificial to begin with. Never mind the sexual categories, the 57 that … the city of New York recognizes, apparently. No, I think New York [has] 37. So membership in these victimhood categories has the agency now, rather than the individual acting on his own, as an individual, a member of his family, a member of his community, and an American.
Mr. Jekielek: How is it that this very theoretical idea actually came into the mainstream?
Mr. Gonzalez: Antonio Gramsci, the founder of Italy’s Communist Party, is thrown into prison by Mussolini in the 1920s, as a prosecutor says, to stop his brain from working.
That’s a really awful idea. We know from the example of St. Paul and many other people that you do a lot of hard thinking and good writing in prison. So Gramsci comes up with this idea of cultural hegemony. The worker buys, so we have to change the consciousness of the worker.
Then the next step is the Frankfurt School. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno write a book in 1937, which comes up with the idea of critical theory.
Critical theory becomes the tool by which you effect the change in the cultural hegemony with the counter hegemony because critical theory is nothing but an unremitting attack on all the norms and traditions of the West, everything from the family, everything that Gramsci had discovered the worker had adhered to.
Then critical theory criticizes all this. They pretend that they criticize everything, that they also criticize communism, but as Martin Jay, who wrote a very sympathetic history of the Frankfurt School, as he himself notes in his book, no, they don’t really criticize the Soviet Union, even though it’s at the height of the purges, at the height of the genocide and the famines. They criticize, really, only the West.
Then people like Herbert Marcuse, who is a critic, who’s also of the Frankfurt School, comes to the United States. He noticed that he’s despairing also [of] the American worker, right? The American worker is a boob who just likes his hi-fi, likes his split-level home, and his refrigerator, and is never going to revolt.
But then he notices the riots that are happening in the ’60s. Many hundreds of riots took place between ’65 and ’71, and he says, ah, it’s with these identities, with people of other colors, that we’re going to have the agents of change. He then introduces this idea, so these will be the new agents of change.
Then you have the other activists that are very influenced by these writings, demanding the creation of categories. Now you may say, well, who reads Gramsci these days? Well, critical theory is taught at all levels at the university today. It has different versions: critical race theory, critical legal theory; ethnic studies are part of this.
Angela Davis has called black studies, African studies, the intellectual arm of the revolution, and she knows what she’s talking about. She knows that this is how you change minds. Let me just do some genealogy here, by the way. Angela Davis was directly taught by Marcuse. Marcuse was a professor. Marcuse was taught by Martin Heidegger.
Martin Heidegger was a member of the Nazi Party in Germany, and his major subject was Nietzsche. He was a friend of Nietzsche’s sister. In fact, Nietzsche’s sister makes him the curator of the Nietzsche archives in the 1930s.
Nietzsche is the one who invents this idea that there is no truth, there are only narratives, that what is good is what the master class lights in front as beautiful, and what is bad is what the master class finds ugly and bad, and they impose this on the lower class, whom they have a right to rule.
So this is a direct line from Nietzsche to Heidegger to Marcuse to Angela Davis. And who do Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza claim as one of the most important mentors—Angela Davis. You should see how effusively Alicia Garza thanks Angela Davis, in a video, for the work that she has done to influence her thinking.
Angela Davis spent time in prison for her association with the killing of a cop. She was let out on a technicality in the early ’70s. She toured Havana, where she was lionized. She was given the Lenin Peace Prize by East Germany, the most repressive regime behind the Iron Curtain.
So when I say they’re Marxists, I’m not making any of this up. If Angela Davis goes to universities today, where she fills auditoriums, and she tells the students, I’m a communist and I have always been a communist, they rise up and clap.
Mr. Jekielek: So basically, you’re saying that what was once class struggle is now turned into race and many other categories of struggle.
Mr. Gonzalez: Class struggle has been left behind because it didn’t work. You can change your class. The individual can change his class. That was the problem. Well, you cannot change your race, your country of origin—and get ready for this—your sex. You cannot; these are immutable traits. So you put the locus of this in these immutable characteristics.
But then another important thing happens. Marcuse is mentor also to Rudi Dutschke, who’s a German revolutionary, and he’s the one that comes up with the idea of the “long march through the institutions,” which Marcuse blesses and says this is the right thing to do.
The long march is obviously a reference to Mao and Mao’s Long March with communist partisans in the ’30s. They did end up defeating the nationalists in 1949, as you know.
But what Rudi Dutschke says is that we’re going to have a long march through the institutions that is peaceful. We’re going to take over the institutions, the commanding heights of the cultural institutions, and therefore influence society.
The Left today is in charge of the academy. The Left today is in charge of the media, and the Left today is in charge of the entertainment business, with few notable exceptions—obviously, present company excluded. The Left has done a wonderful job of marching through the institutions.
Mr. Jekielek: I think the last chapter in your book talks about why all this matters.
Mr. Gonzalez: That’s the penultimate chapter. It matters because, first of all, this is not just alien to the American system. It is the antithesis of the American system. The American system, as I said, the founders of the country and the framers of the Constitution in 1787, base their ideas on people like William Blackstone, whom they quote, on John Locke, whom they quote, or Montesquieu, whom they quote, and their ideas of natural rights that we have gone over—a few of them.
These are rights that are discoverable by us through our faculty of reason, that we can find in nature, that we know we have these rights, that when we think about them, that we’re born with them. In fact, Jefferson says in the Declaration that it’s God himself that has endowed us with these rights.
You don’t have to be a Christian or a believer. You can just say they’re in nature, they precede government, they’re pre-political, and they base everything on that. They have from Montesquieu the tension, the division of power among the different branches. In the half from Blackstone, the idea that the law either ratifies or violates natural law, that man’s law can either ratify or violate what is natural law, what is actually true.
So identity politics, Marxism, and all these theories that are disclosed in my book are the antithesis of this. They believe, they view with Kant, that man has rights that are given to him by the government. The government is the originator of rights. We speak of the Enlightenment as if it had been something that happened in the 18th century that was monolithic. You have several enlightenments.
America is based more on Anglo-Scottish ideas and Anglo-Scottish thinkers although they borrowed from Montesquieu, obviously, and what this is based on is more of the continental enlightenment, Kant and Diderot, thinkers who were either ambivalent about God or really, really hated God, hated religion. And then it goes through Hegelian dialectics, Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and all that. It is a very continental thing.
Even though they may not know it, they’re also following dead white men. These are all European ideas.
Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. Your final chapter is actually “Now What?” if I recall correctly.
Mr. Gonzalez: It’s solutions. I’ll be frank with you. I see my main job—and with my book—is exposing all of this, right? I expose what is happening. I say, look what has happened. The vast, overwhelming majority of Americans do not know this has happened.
And then I say, you know what kind of a problem this is? Is this a problem of a factory poisoning a river? Well, the first thing you need to do is shut off the factory, shut off the pipes. They’re spewing these toxins into the river. And then after that, you go and you clean up the algae, you clean up the water.
The factory in this case is government. Government was forced to create these categories. Government, through the courts, created the racial preferences of affirmative action in everything from university admissions, to government contracting, to hiring, and so forth. We need to get rid of all these things that create and then encourage group creation if we’re going to get rid of groups in group-thinking.
Mr. Jekielek: When you say to get rid of groups, what do you mean exactly?
Mr. Gonzalez: Getting rid of the categories, the categories of identity politics. Sorry, I should have said categories. And by the way, this was completely what the civil rights movement demanded and was fought for, which was to have color-blind government.
Amazingly enough, [in] Kennedy’s executive order 10925, in 1961, the first mention of affirmative action, he instructs federal contractors to make decisions without regard to race, national origin, or sex.
And then within a few years, through alchemy by his successor, LBJ, it turns into making decisions that are based on race, national origin, or sex. So this is a complete reversal of Kennedy’s original idea in what the civil rights movement was about.
Mr. Jekielek: Today, we have a lot of people who are concerned, and concerned probably because they’re just learning about all this, for example, the president calling out critical theory in the federal government.
Critical theory is something that I think most Americans just haven’t been familiar with, myself included, until somewhat recently, in recent years. So the question is, what now? So we have to shut off the spigot?
Mr. Gonzalez: Yes.
Mr. Jekielek: But what can the typical person who has become concerned about this do?
Mr. Gonzalez: The typical person ought to know that even though he or she is not interested in critical theory, critical theory is interested in her. Critical theory has completely taken over all of the universities, is taught at different levels, and through many different ways. The anti-racism training, the struggle sessions that workers are forced into doing is a result of critical theory.
Everything that we see happening today is the direct result of critical theory. If you have a son or granddaughter in a university, they’re studying critical theory. The chances are great that they are. In fact, from now on, to graduate from the California State University system, you have to have taken a course in ethnic studies. Ethnic studies are a form of critical theory.
So everybody who goes through the California state system will have had to study critical theory. The individual should speak up. The individual should say, “No, I don’t want my children to be taught this”— just gaining understanding of this, rather than everybody wanting to show their good intentions, everybody wanting to be a good person.
What Americans need to understand is that virtue-signaling is not the thing they should aim for. Virtue-practicing is practicing real virtues. We have the moral virtues that we practice—hard work, delayed gratification. All these things are really what is important, not virtue-signaling. That will not get you anything. That will not make you a better person. That will not make a better system. That will not give you a better society.
Mr. Jekielek: Before we finish up, you actually lived in Hong Kong for a number of years. You were the editor for The Wall Street Journal there.
Mr. Gonzalez: I was the editor of the editorial page.
Mr. Jekielek: Right.
Mr. Gonzalez: The Wall Street Journal in Asia. Yes, I’m horrified by what has happened to this great city. I lived there four different times under two different British governors, Wilson and Patten, and then under the two Beijing-appointed rulers, CH Tung, and Danny Chang. I didn’t think it would happen this quickly, that the communist government would start going back on its promise of one country, two systems that it would destroy.
So Hong Kong is a wonderful city. Hong Kong has a very high standard of living, higher than most American cities. Hong Kong is a free place where natural rights were respected. So the idea that anybody is going to tamper with this goose that laid the golden eggs for 150 years is horrifying.
And I guess this will drive home the point to anybody who had any doubts that you cannot trust the Chinese Communist Party. And the Chinese Communist Party is obviously in charge of mainland China, suppresses the rights of 1.2 billion Chinese, and is very busy now trying to suppress the rights of 7 million Hongkongers.
Mr. Jekielek: So is this what prompted you to research these possible connections between pro-CCP organizations and BLM?
Mr. Gonzalez: No, not really. I understand the nature of communism. I was a foreign correspondent for 15 years, living mostly in Asia and Europe. I have done some reporting in Latin America as well. I am very concerned about what is happening to our country, especially in the year 2020. And I want to make sure that everybody understands what is really at stake here, what is being done, by whom, and why.
Mr. Jekielek: So in one sentence, what is at stake?
Mr. Gonzalez: At stake is our freedom, our liberty. Are we going to continue living as Americans with the greatest prosperity and the greatest liberty ever known to man? Or are we going to trade this in and act passively and allow it to happen?
Mr. Jekielek: Michael Gonzales, it’s such a pleasure to have you on the show.
Mr. Gonzalez: The pleasure is all mine. Thank you very much.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.