The Black Book of the American Left: Volume I: My Life and Times

“A key to understanding the mentality of the left is that it judges itself by its best intentions, while judging its opponents – America chief among them – by their worst deeds.”



Barbara Kay
FrontPage Magazine

…Horowitz was, like so many other Jewish sons and daughters of his generation, a “red diaper” baby. His parents were staunch communists to the end of their days, undeterred even by Khruschev’s 1956 unveiling of Stalin’s paranoiac purges and wholesale decimations. Clinging to the post-Stalin wreckage rather than swimming away altogether, Horowitz championed the resurgent New Left’s neo-communist shibboleths at Berkeley, ground zero of the counter-cultural 1960s, for several years co-editing Ramparts, the left’s most important student literary and political magazine.

The pivotal moment in Horowitz’s ultimate break with the left was the 1974 murder by the Black Panthers of Betty Van Patter, a fellow activist personally recruited by Horowitz for administrative work at an Oakland, California community center, understood by Horowitz to be wholly devoted to disadvantaged black children, but in fact a shell for laundering criminal Panther activity.

Van Patter’s dawning comprehension of that truth marked her, as a potential witness, for doom. She was murdered on orders from Elaine Brown (now a darling of academe) under the direction of then-exiled Panther leader Huey Newton (chronicled in the essay “Black Murder Inc”).

Although technically blameless, Horowitz never got over the shock or his sense of guilt for enabling her involvement with the Panthers…

…Van Patter, though, has greater importance as the existential bright line between innocence and knowledge. Not just knowledge of evil itself, but the knowledge that good people are prepared to ignore evil in the name of ideology. Horowitz was stunned that Betty’s murder and other acts of thuggery by the Panthers could be glossed over by his friends – and even, passively, by her own daughter – on any grounds, let alone those of historical racism. But they were. “I had believed in the left because of the good it had promised. Now I learned to judge it by the evil it had done.” …

…In a recent interview, Horowitz said he believes “Obama has awakened [conservatives].

They’re getting it.” He also said, “I am an optimistic person.”…




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