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Editor’s note: This essay is adapted from the new, “Mao’s America: A Survivor’s Warning,” by Xi Van Fleet.
The year 2020 was a watershed moment in American history. The outbreak of a pandemic brought ashore to us from the Chinese Communist Party and the death of George Floyd created the perfect storm. This storm delivered a heavy blow to America, a blow so severe that America now appears to have been possibly changed forever.
Suddenly, many Americans awakened to the realization that they hardly recognized their own country anymore. Overnight, it seemed new realities were being forced upon them, challenging everything they believed to be true.
Many awoke to find that they have become oppressors for being born White. Others found that they must now consider themselves hopelessly oppressed and incapable simply because they were born non-White. Many are bewildered that reality and common sense no longer mean anything.
During the riots in the summer of 2020, viewers were told they were watching mostly peaceful protests while buildings were burning in the background. No one now is sure how to define a woman and everyone must now believe men can have babies. Parents were dumbfounded through Zoom classes what their children are being taught in public schools — that America is an unredeemable, racist country.
Americans have found themselves strangers in their own country. What is happening? Why? For what purpose?
But wait… I have seen all of this before.
Like most Americans, I also felt like I was hit by a storm. Unlike most Americans, this storm hit me once before, more than 50 years ago, when I was only 7 years old, just starting school in China.
The storm was Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). It lasted 10 years, covering most of my school years.
Overnight, we were told the country we lived in was rotten to the core and needed to be dismantled. Instead of looking for racists, we were ordered to look for “counterrevolutionaries.” Just like the term racist now has an ever-changing, fluid definition, such was the term “counterrevolutionary.”
The term was applied to anyone Mao did not like, anyone we thought Mao would not like, anyone who dared to question, and anyone who was not enthusiastically participating in the revolution. Everyone frantically joined the ranks of the revolutionaries. To be left out meant ending up an enemy of Mao. People turned against each other in search of enemies and in defense of Mao.
Cancel culture ensued, and on its path anything that was not pure Maoist was literally destroyed. Statues were toppled by mobs. Books and art were burned. In the course of the Cultural Revolution, artifacts, symbols, traditions and customs of 3,000 years of Chinese civilization were removed from our daily lives.
By the death of Mao in 1976, up to 20 million lives were lost, and China as we once knew it was burned to the ground by the flames of the revolution.
Back to 2020 in America, this storm not only shocked me, but also enraged me. But instead of crying on the couch, I took action. I did so because I know full well how America, my beloved adopted country, could also be burned to the ground like China was if we don’t stop it.
For the first time I took the giant step and joined the fight in defense of our children, and in defense of America. I went to a school board meeting in my hometown of Loudoun County, Virginia, to deliver a one-minute comment. In those sixty seconds, I drew the parallel between critical race theory (CRT) and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and warned the audience that CRT is Marxist.
The video of my speech went viral. Invitations started to poured in, asking me for interviews and speeches.
Through the interactions with the audience, I soon realized that most Americans do not know much about the Chinese cultural revolution and communism in general. That explains why so few have recognized that the root of today’s “woke revolution” is Marxism followed by communism.
I finally became convinced that I should take up the challenge to write a book.
In this book I tell the tale of two cultural revolutions: one driven by Mao and the one that is unfolding in today’s America. Using my personal experience and extensive historic research, the book demonstrates the stunning similarities of these two revolutions and that history is being repeated here today.
This book also tells my personal story — as a child growing up under communist rule, as an immigrant who learned to understand and believe in American exceptionalism, and as a proud citizen who made the decision to fight against the rising authoritarianism in America — and how I overcame fear and reluctance to get involved in the conservative movement to save America.
This book intends to alarm you, enrage you, pull you off of the couch, push you into action, and inspire you to join the fight for the survival of America.