It was the Western States Track-and-Field meet, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, and it had become one of the biggest high-school track events of the year. The 1600 meter run began at 3:00 in the afternoon. Jonas Hayat from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was the favorite, but there were other serious contenders as well, foremost of whom a young man named Lucien Meyers, of Cheyenne, Wyoming. These two had never faced each other head-to-head, but their fastest mile-times were less than a second apart. Thus there was a great deal of excitement and speculation surrounding this contest today.
It was a windless afternoon. The desert sun slipped behind a flame-like pile of clouds, and the air hung hot and breathless. The milers gathered at the starting line as the first fleck of blood appeared on the skyline. A wave of fiery electricity ran through the stadium.
Demarcated with glowing-white lane lines, the rubbery track was the color of candied yams. The runners were lean and loose-limbed and lightly clad, and when the starting pistol popped and the race was underway, Lucien leapt like a rabbit into the lead. Jonas kept right on his heels. Coming down the backstretch and into the second turn, the two of them had distanced themselves fifteen meters from the clustered pack of runners behind. After the first lap, Jonas surged and went ahead of Lucien, but Lucien, strong and fierce-looking, glowering in the afternoon light, hung right behind him and showed no signs of fatigue or intimidation.
All at once chaos erupted as something completely unexpected took place.
While Lucien ran right behind Jonas — almost, it seemed, biding his time to strike — and while Jonas thundered down the backstretch, both men lithe and stupendously fit, a runner from the clustered pack behind, one who was neither in uniform nor in nearly as good of physical condition, one who’d been hidden deep within the pack, broke away and shot forward suddenly, emerging from the back and in a fantastic burst of energy came now to within striking distance of Lucien and Jonas. He had wiry arms and long wild hair which was as black as jet. He wore a loose tank-top patterned with stars and stripes. It was Kristy Reed.
Jonas and Lucien finished the second lap in 2:03, a scorching pace at this altitude, with Kristy one second behind them. All three men were sweating, pounding, panting. Kristy swung out into the second lane and drew almost even with them. Both Jonas and Lucien sensed a challenger, though neither fully turned to see this challenger’s face. Both sped up in unison, yet they were unable to shake Kristy Reed, who hung on, doggedly. It was at this point that race officials, alarmed and murmuring over what to do about this outsider, this outlier, this outlaw, realized that Kristy was not an official race registrant. He was a bandit runner.
The leaders were coming into the third lap when race officials sent people out onto the track to stop and capture Kristy, who in response sped up and went farther to his right, out into the fourth and fifth lanes, slightly ahead of Lucien and Jonas now, but fifteen feet to the side. Lucien and Jonas were meanwhile running stride-for-stride, shoulder-to-shoulder. The stadium crowd stood up in unison. The subsequent roar of the crowd swept out in an electrifying tidal wave of sound. In the next instant, the pistol exploded announcing the final lap. It was a chaotic moment with a great deal of confusion and shouting, all of it directed at Kristy Reed. Mayhem seemed on the brink of breaking out. Lucien, still a half-step behind Jonas yet far from vanquished, only at this point saw that race officials were chasing a runner off the track. Lucien turned his head. He at once recognized Kristy Reed and also at once he understood precisely what was happening. Only now did Jonas, looking to his right, realize it as well, and Jonas too recognized Kristy Reed from all those years ago, but it was Lucien who yelled:
Lucien he was not, however, yelling at Kristy, as many at first supposed. He was yelling at the throng of race officials swarming the track.
“Hey!” Lucien shouted. “Hey! Let him run the motherfucking race!”
Race officials paid no attention to Lucien but continued their pursuit of Kristy Reed, who, coming around the first turn into that final lap, dodged and sped up, slowed down and then burst forward, slipping this way and that, moving in a manner that was totally unorthodox and unexpected, now going farther outside and then darting back in, more race officials descending upon the track to catch him. At that point, Lucien Myers also did something unexpected: he broke out into the far lane and forcefully elbowed away several race officials.
“Let him run the race!” Lucien yelled through his ferocious breath.
But by then it was already over: Kristy was off the track and now sliding like water through an opening in the fence, and then he was loping across the stadium parking lot, away from the race officials who could not capture him or stop him from running. Lucien swung back inside to match Jonas coming out of the backstretch and into the final turn, but by now against such a fast and fit competitor he’d given up too much ground, and Lucien was unable to catch him. Jonas won the race by a full two seconds: a 4:06 mile, at 2,000 feet elevation.
Yet for all the chaos the bandit runner caused, it was what took place immediately after the race which proved the most chaotic and controversial thing of the day.
Jonas Hayat’s father, whose name was Moges, had come to the United States of America at age seventeen, totally alone, a poor Ethiopian boy, who’d learned English on his own and who’d worked and ran his way through college. Moges Hayat was, as he himself thought of it, the living embodiment of the American Dream. He’d risen from poverty and had worked through countless difficulties and hardships, and he’d succeeded. Moges had thus come to form certain convictions about the United States of America and about freedom — convictions which Moges conferred upon his entire family. Moges, in short, instilled within all his children his appreciation for the United States as a land of opportunity, but more than that: Moges being a well-read and thoughtful man gave his children an explicit philosophical defense of human freedom, his understanding historically grounded and learned.
Jonas’s fame, meanwhile, had grown to gigantic proportions, and this was accompanied by much media attention over the very real possibility that Jonas would be the next high-school runner to break the four-minute mile. So it was that day in Las Vegas, Nevada, after Jonas won the 1600 meter race at the Western States track-and-field meet, when he was being interviewed by a television crew, Jonas, half Ethiopian and half New Mexican, said on live television, in response to a direct question from a reporter and in front of a crowd of thousands, the following words:
“I believe that all lives matter. I believe also that the bandit runner is a great runner and should be allowed to participate.”
Upon hearing which, the crowd fell silent as though stunned, and the crowd remained silent for some time.
Then many in the bleachers and on the sidelines began to hiss at Jonas and boo. Others began to heckle him.
“Do you believe, then, that on 9-11 ‘all towers matter’?” the television reporter asked Jonas, at last.
“I believe the facts speak for themselves,” Jonas said, “which means that all police brutality should be exposed, opposed, and protested. All of it. Around the world, the news media has created a feeding frenzy with data twisted, manipulated, and ultimately fabricated and artificial, and in so doing, they’ve created much greater strife and division, all of which was totally unwarranted: twisted data that the overwhelming majority of people have accepted unquestioningly and uncritically. I do not sanction any authoritarian brutality against any other individual human being. I categorically condemn all of it, no matter the race or sex or gender or nationality or racial pedigree of the victims. Authoritarianism and police brutality is morally reprehensible and absolutely wrong. And still the facts remain: out of every ten-thousand white people arrested for violent crimes in America, four of these white people are killed. Out of every ten-thousand black people arrested for violent crime in America, three are killed. Every single instance of brutality and injustice like this should be equally condemned and equally fought until justice is served and injustice abolished. The Center for Policing Equity, which is a left-leaning organization if ever there was one, divulged and then hid — that’s right: hid and buried — that police are forty-two percent less likely to use lethal force when arresting black people and other minorities than when arresting whites. FBI statistics show the same thing, though the FBI never buried or hid their information. It was just that nobody bothered to look at it or report on it.”
The crowd erupted now in white-hot rage, and rapidly security guards escorted Jonas off the infield and into the locker room beneath the stadium, though not before Jonas had said one final thing into the booming microphone.
“Ignore the propaganda,” Jonas said. “Question everything. Think for yourselves.”
The following Monday, the Las Vegas Sun ran a long article entitled “Why ‘All Lives Matter’ is a Racist Statement.”
The article specifically referenced Jonas Hayat — “the young runner of high-school naïveté,” as the writer of the article phrased it.
Two days after that, in response to this very article, the Las Vegas Sun received the following letter, approximately equal in length the original article and written as a reply to be published.
The author of this article was Jonas Hayat’s father Moges Hayat. It read thus:
Critical Race Theory evolved out of a 1930’s Frankfurt School ideology called Critical Theory, which was, as it described itself, “a social theory consisting of a Marxist-Hegelian critique of society and culture seeking to reveal and challenge power structures.”
Critical Race Theory uses the same terms to described itself but adds “Racial power structures, especially white supremacy and the oppression of people of color.”
Critical Race Theory’s power-structure paradigm is taken directly from Karl Marx, who himself obsessed over “economic power structures” — who, indeed, could not get over the fact that when individuals are left alone, alone and free to exchange voluntarily with other individuals who are also acting voluntarily, many among them will through this voluntary process grow wealthy. Through their work and their focus and their effort, they may very likely, in fact, earn excess capital, which they can then save or reinvest, and as a result of which, they will often become even wealthier.
Neither could Karl Marx get his head around the idea that in a free society, wherein exchange is voluntary, the determining factor of the success of any and all businesses, no matter how small or large the business may be, is always the consumer, who either will or will not pay money for the goods or services being offered. As long as a society remains free and voluntary, the consumer is the one in control — because the consumer can choose to shop here or there or not at all.
“According to the Marxian view,” wrote the economist Ludwig von Mises, “human society is organized into classes whose interests stand in irreconcilable opposition.”
This Marxian view is known as the “conflict doctrine,” which stands in stark contrast to the classical-liberal doctrine known as the “harmony doctrine” or “harmony principle.”
In a society where human cooperation and human coordination is voluntary, all rights-respecting individuals are allied.
Classical-liberal thinkers long ago refuted the conflict doctrine — demolished it, in fact — and they did so by specifically detailing and codifying the ways in which business-owners, investors, and workers in free societies are not pitted against one another but the precise opposite: they’re natural allies in a vibrant and harmonious and voluntary system, a healthy system, in a free and flourishing society.
Critical Race Theory does not know this.
Critical Race Theorists are now calling for the defunding of all police while at the same time remaining ignorant of the fact that in order to achieve even a tiny fraction of their stated politico-economic aims would require a massive and unrelenting police-state and policing apparatus.
Because Critical Race Theory inherited the conflict-doctrine from its ideological predecessor and accepted its power-structure premise without any critical questioning whatsoever, Critical Race Theory, like Critical Theory before it, doesn’t know the insurmountable refutations that knock the legs out from under their entire ideological worldview.
The heartbreaking truth about the history of racism and human enslavement is that it’s existed across all races and all major cultures, and it has existed since the dawn of humankind, on every continent of the planet: Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Jewish, African, Asian, European, Mayan, Aztec, and all the others.
As long as there have been human beings, there have also been purveyors of force enslaving their fellow human beings, and this abominable practice is not confined to a particular skin color.
African slavery was not ever nor is it in the current era — and it does still exist in parts of Africa — a more “benevolent form” of slavery, as one American academic recently described it. This is sheer unfathomable nonsense.
No matter how fashionable it is to loathe America, one should not ever, in the interest of truth and accuracy at the very least, neglect to mention the full context of facts — as, for this same reason, one should not ever forget either all the Native Americans who owned slaves — whether Cherokee, Comanche, Muskogee, Apache, Osage, or any of the others — nor of course should one neglect discussion of the black people in America who also owned slaves.
The African slave-owners who sold to Islamic and European slave-traders obtained their slaves through paternalistic arrangements and unmitigated violence, which included brutal subjugation and African chiefs using African slaves as human sacrifices. Africans were for millennia used as plantation slaves in Egypt, Sudan, Zanzibar, and many other African countries, and the number of people enslaved within Africa itself vastly exceeded the numbers sold and exported. This is a fact easily verifiable. Why does no one take the time to verify it?
Powerful tribes, moreover, like the Bantu and the Yao, routinely enslaved members of weaker tribes, and the Ashanti and the Fanti tribes later became inland suppliers for the Islamic and European slave-traders who, for fear of violence as well as disease, were loath to enter Africa’s interior.
Here, too, is something else you will under no circumstances be taught or told today concerning the monstrous injustice and immoral institution of slavery:
Precisely because slavery in Africa was indigenous and entrenched, the African slaveholders found it very simple indeed to cooperate with Islamic slave-traders and European slave-traders. Why, specifically? Because, in essence, these tribal African chiefs were merely relocating their fellow African human beings, whom they’d already enslaved.
So entrenched had this practice become on the continent of Africa that when Western societies like Great Britain and the United States began, at last, and for the first time in human history, legally abolishing slavery, tribal leaders in Gambia, Congo, Dahomey, and other African nations, which had prospered so much under the slave trade, sent delegations to London and Paris to vigorously protest the abolition of slavery.
Most important of all, one should not ever — and I mean ever — neglect to categorically condemn the many races and governments who right now in the present day legally sanction, support, and still practice slavery, the overwhelming majority of which governments are in one way or another Marxist or Neo-Marxist, and the overwhelming majority of which people are non-white.
One should furthermore condemn these barbarous institutions unflinchingly, as one should equally condemn the regimes who enforce and uphold these institutions, irrespective of the color, class, creed, nationality, sex, sexual-orientation, gender, or race of those in power. Because humans are fundamentally defined not by race or blood or nationality, which are entirely unchosen and therefore entirely outside the realm of human virtue which requires choice, but rather by individuation and the rational faculty, and this is precisely why the enslavement of any other human being by any other human being, totally apart from race, class, sex, sexual-orientation, creed, country, or gender, is a moral crime.
I ask all people who have attacked my son, Jonas Hayat, because he believes that all lives matter, I ask you to stand up immediately and with greater stridency and passion publicly and loudly condemn these current slave-practicing regimes — I demand it. And I demand also, for the sake of justice and accuracy, that these regimes be condemned with an even greater fervor than the fervor and rage directed against my son Jonas, and in the hatred and fractional history given about America, which among the very first of nations legally abolished slavery through a principle so powerful that this principle alone must always be returned to if full freedom is the goal: the principle of rights.
I look forward to a loud and unapologetic denunciation and condemnation of present-day Libya, North Korea, China, India, Pakistan, all of which countries indeed still practice slavery on a widespread scale right now, and a small sampling of which runs thus: at least one-hundred-sixty-seven countries still have slavery, affecting about forty-six million people. Six of these countries, however, have significantly higher numbers:
India (18.4 million)
China (3.4 million)
Pakistan (2.1 million)
Bangladesh (1.5 million)
Uzbekistan (1.2 million)
North Korea (1.1 million)
The Las Vegas Sun did not print or even acknowledge Moges Hayat’s reply.