Members of a culture usually have an attachment to that culture. But what happens when the members of that culture–including the cultural elite, and including the educators who transmit that culture–begin to loathe the culture that formed them? The culture unravels.
That almost never happens, but it seems to be happening today. It isn’t just the current protests and the vandalism of public monuments. The Black Lives Matter movement has brought to the nation’s consciousness the profound and enduring evil of racism. But the effect has not just been to inspire the broader public to address the problem–though, hopefully, that will happen–but to delegitimize all of American history. The iconoclastic outbreak isn’t stopping with Confederate monuments; rather, it has broadened out to include the destruction of all American monuments. But long before this turmoil, schools and universities have been vandalizing and demonizing pretty much every aspect of American culture, not only because of race but for many other reasons.