Last week, Democrat leaders in the US House of Representatives, draped in matching stoles made of culturally appropriated African kente cloth, literally bent the knee to the new religion of intersectionality and permanent racial conflict.

For nine long minutes, the Democrats, normally scornful of overt displays of religiosity, struggled to keep their balance as their aging, arthritic knees buckled before TV cameras.

The ostensible purpose of this widely ridiculed exercise was to pay respect to the memory of George Floyd, the 46-year-old African-American man who lost his life, apparently due to a heart attack, as he was aggressively pinned to the ground by members of the Minneapolis police department and begged for help.

Yet what the Congressional Democrats were really doing was enacting a religious ritual, demonstrating their new allegiance to the far-left ideology of intersectionality.

Coined by the black feminist Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989 and developed by the author bell hooks, intersectionality was originally a critique of mainstream “cisgender” feminism as being too white, too upper-class and too heterosexual to speak to the problems faced by black and brown women.

Over the decades, however, intersectionality has evolved into a comprehensive ideology of racial and sexual conflict in which all of life is explained through the lens of permanent oppression.

Every problem experienced by allegedly marginalized groups – from black and Latina women to gays and lesbians – is said to originate with “systemic“ racism or sexism, regardless of evidence.  

“[A]ll of the binary dimensions of oppression are said to be interlocking and overlapping,” explains the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, describing the intersectional religion.

“America is said to be one giant matrix of oppression, and its victims cannot fight their battles separately. They must all come together to fight their common enemy, the group that sits at the top of the pyramid of oppression: the straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied Christian or Jewish or possibly atheist male.”

Over the past decade, this fringe ideology, once confined solely to the gender studies departments of mid-tier universities, has become more and more mainstream.

Now its dogmas are repeated ritualistically by politicians such as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer but also, increasingly, by “woke” CEOs such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, American Airlines’s Doug Parker, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, General Motors’ Mary Barra, and many others.

Robert Johnson, the billionaire founder of the Black Entertainment Network, announced June 1 that the amount of money white Americans should pay to the descendants of black slaves is $14 trillion.

Observers have remarked that the ideology of intersectionality has all the hallmarks of a non-theistic religion. That’s because it appears to be based on blind faith, not evidence.

Numerous academic studies have failed to find evidence of widespread racism in America’s police agencies.

An analysis of all 1,003 fatal shootings by U.S. police in 2019, compiled by the Washington Post’s Fatal Force database, shows that in 2019 police agencies shot and killed 405 white suspects, 250 black suspects and 169 Hispanic suspects.

The overwhelming majority of those shot, however, both white and black, brandished weapons – either guns (601), knives (173) or vehicles being driven at officers (65).

How many unarmed suspects were killed by police?

The answer: 14 unarmed black suspects and 25 white suspects. In addition, most of the black suspects killed by police were shot by black police officers.

In contrast to the 250 black suspects killed by police in 2019, a staggering 6,237 black men and 1,168 black women were murdered in 2018, almost all (93%) by black criminals.

Thus, the evidence shows that the primary threat to the life and safety of black people comes not from the police, as the advocates of intersectionality allege, but from a small number of vicious criminals.

The overwhelming majority of America’s 37 million black citizens are peaceful, law-abiding people who just want to raise their children in safety, but they are preyed upon by a violent criminal underclass that kills 29 times more black people every year than cops do.

“Of the more than three hundred people killed in the streets of Baltimore last year, just about all of them were African Americans,” says black sociologist John Hudgins. “The shooters (killers) were most likely black as well… We must realize that some black people are a much greater threat to other black people than the Ku Klux Klan or the White Citizens’ Councils.”

Yet according to the intersectional religion, the answer to the epidemic of murder among blacks is to eliminate the police entirely – a radical proposal that polls show the overwhelming majority of Americans (65% to 16%) vehemently oppose.

One enlightened disciple of intersectionality – Minneapolis’ City Council president Lisa Bender – told CNN that women who call the police when criminals break into their homes in the middle of the night are doing so out of “a place of privilege.”

Make no mistake: this isn’t politics anymore. This is blind faith.

Indeed, there are literally dozens of videos on the Internet that illustrate this, with self-identified Black Lives Matter activists forcing cowed liberals to literally kneel in their presence , enacting ritualistically the alleged advantages of whiteness (such as having a father in the home), and chanting the tenets of the intersectional creed .

June 2, Bethesda, Maryland. “Justice for George Floyd” demonstration.

And at about the same time that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were bending their knees to the gods of intersectionality, a number of prominent journalists were forced out of their jobs – at the Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times, to name two – merely for allowing articles to be published that were critical of looting and rioting in America’s cities.

Free speech and a free press, apparently, are yet more examples of “white privilege” that must be jettisoned in the intersectional new world order.

“Speech is a luxury of class,” K-Sue Park, a legal scholar at UCLA, told The Guardian newspaper in May.

Of course, for national Democrats like Pelosi and Schumer, the rituals of the new intersectional religion seem no more sincerely embraced than Chuck Schumer’s annual donning of a yarmulke or Nancy Pelosi taking communion.

The ritualized bending of the knee seems more a cynical calculation in the Democrats’ never-ending quest for political power – a fact not lost on many black observers.

As a political party, the Democrats were the original defenders of slavery and racial segregation in the South – and, for more than 180 years, they have acted as though they can tell black Americans what to do and how to think.

Joe Biden, their current candidate for president, displayed this same arrogance during an interview May 22.

Slipping into a widely mocked “blacent,” Biden declared that if any African-Americans were having trouble deciding if they were voting for him or for Donald Trump, then “you ain’t black.”

Yes, black lives do matter… and U.S. police appear to use lethal force, against both white and black suspects, too often.

Yet the Democrats cynical embrace of the religion of intersectionality – their advocacy of permanent racial conflict — is an insult to everything America’s black leaders have fought for over the centuries.

From Frederick Douglass to Martin Luther King, Jr., America’s black leaders have challenged Americans to live up to their country’s cherished ideals of freedom and equality , not dismiss them, as the advocates of intersectionality do, as illusions.

Robert Hutchinson

Robert J. Hutchinson is the author of many works of popular history, including, most recently, What Really Happened: The Lincoln Assassination (2020). https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1621578860