The decade's most triggering comedy
Lynette Adkins isn’t exactly the person you’d expect to kickstart a social media conversation about international terrorism, and how Osama bin Laden might have done the right thing by ordering the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For one thing, Lynette Adkins is a recent college graduate whose latest video on YouTube is entitled, “getting hotter & making friends in LA.” And in 2021, Adkins was profiled by The Los Angeles Times, not for her great insights on world affairs, but because of her videos on, “college life, skin and hair care,” including “a tutorial for Black women growing out their natural hair.” Adkins, the Times reported, was mainly successful because she often told her followers — which now number well over 200,000 on various social media platforms — how they could quit their white-collar jobs and become a vapid social media personality like herself.
But just a couple of days ago, Adkins offered an insight into a very different topic. Claiming she was in the midst of an existential crisis, Adkins posted this short video on TikTok:
Tiktokers are now so anti semitic that they’re promoting OSAMA BIN LADEN and the essay where he rants about the Jewish Question pic.twitter.com/X2QV2rLeCi
— Kuleshov (@Kulesh0vEffect) November 15, 2023
She’s having an existential crisis, she says. We’re now a long way from telling black women how to grow out their natural hair. In that clip, Adkins conspicuously doesn’t mention what “A Letter to America” is, apparently because she worried people might not be interested in the document when they learned it was Osama bin Laden’s manifesto justifying the 9/11 attacks.
But in the end, Adkins’ ploy apparently worked. As the New York Post reported, Adkins single-handedly “jumpstarted” a flood of activity on social media, and in particular on TikTok, about Osama bin Laden’s manifesto. Several other outlets also credited Adkins for what happened next. The #lettertoamerica hashtag on TikTok racked up more than 14 million views and on X (Twitter), the same hashtag quickly accounted for nearly 100,000 posts.
The journalist Yashar Ali reported that in thousands of TikToks, people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds responded to bin Laden’s letter. And for the most part, these TikToks involved young people saying bin Laden’s letter has led them to reevaluate their perspective on terrorism, and how it can, in fact, be a legitimate form of protest to a hostile, colonizing power. He uploaded just a small handful of these TikToks. We’ll take a look at a small handful of that handful:
Over the past 24 hours, thousands of TikToks (at least) have been posted where people share how they just read Bin Laden’s infamous "Letter to America," in which he explained why he attacked the United States.
The TikToks are from people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and… pic.twitter.com/EwjiGtFEE3
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) November 16, 2023
Osama bin Laden, the mass murderer of 3,000 people, has opened their eyes. He has enlightened them with his penetrating insights and deep wisdom.
Now for anyone who lived through 9/11 — which many of these TikTok personalities didn’t — it might be hard to make sense of this. Twenty years ago, even the most rabid leftists on college campuses didn’t go out in public and proudly suggest that bin Laden was justified. That would have been unthinkable. Instead, the Left generally agreed that acts of terrorism that kill thousands of U.S. citizens were a bad thing. The mass protests that we saw after 9/11, which began in earnest 2002, were almost entirely in response to the planned U.S. military intervention in Iraq — a country that, it turns out, didn’t have anything to do with 9/11. That was the concern.
Until that point, the country was mostly unified. There was no groundswell of support on the Left in defense of 9/11, on the internet or elsewhere.
So what changed? For one thing, academic theories of “decolonization,” as the reaction to the events in the Middle East has made very clear, aren’t academic anymore. They’ve filtered down from the university system into the mainstream. But as I’ve said repeatedly, “decolonization” is about much more than Israel. And this latest TikTok trend makes that very clear. The ultimate objective of “decolonizers” is the destruction of anything that these zealots perceive as too white.
Decolonization is a genocidal ideology. It expressly justifies the mass slaughter of innocents — white innocents, specifically — on the grounds that no white person can actually be innocent. That of course includes the thousands of people who died on 9/11 — and most people living in the United States right now.
One of the many striking aspects of this ideology is how incoherent and self-defeating it is. If Libs of TikTok’s videos are any indication, people on TikTok would be among the very first to get stoned to death if bin Laden’s version of Sharia Law ever came to the United States. (Which, by the way, is another demand in bin Laden’s letter — the total subservience of the West to Sharia law). Only defeated and very confused people, with a constant connection to other very confused people on the internet, would ever support their own eradication like this.
But none of these people uploading this nonsense to TikTok actually came up with this idea on their own. For a long time now, many commentators have lamented that “the schools are failing” and asked,”What are they teaching these kids?” and so on. But the answer has always been pretty clear. This is what they’re teaching. Schools have succeeded in creating exactly the sort of people they set out to create. They may not be explicitly defending bin Laden, but they are spreading a deep hatred of white Western civilization. They’ve taught that colonization is an abject and eternal evil, with no positive upshot whatsoever. They’ve told students that the very idea of policing is a white supremacist concept intended to victimize black people. They have taught that “whiteness” is a sickness, a cancer, that must be eradicated. This is the actual language used in schools. Of course they’ve said the same thing about fundamental concepts like biology, as well. Schools want students to grow into adults who hate this country and everything about it. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing right now.
At the same time, the blame doesn’t entirely fall on the university system. For one thing, it’s probably not a coincidence that this trend is taking off on a Chinese social media app. As hard as this may be to believe, there are consequences to allowing millions of kids to spend their entire day ingesting content from an algorithm controlled by a communist adversary. In a follow-up video, the woman who apparently started this whole trend on TikTok, Lynette Adkins, went on to acknowledge that TikTok has a role in reprogramming Americans.
Here is the video so that no-one will have to click and enter the den of scum which is TikTok… pic.twitter.com/L5uDaq1aJR
— Assaf (@AssafTheGeek) November 16, 2023
Young people, Lynette Adkins says, “have been so programmed to think a certain way.” And now, she says, “TikTok is undoing all of that. It’s crazy to watch in real time.”
That’s an understatement. It may be the only true and useful thing that Lynette has ever said on her various social media channels. And apparently, it’s the last thing she’s going to say. As of this morning, Lynette’s videos on TikTok — including the one I just showed you — are all inaccessible. Her account apparently doesn’t exist anymore. It’s not clear whether TikTok took her account down, or if she deleted her account herself. We reached out to her for an explanation, and she didn’t respond.
For its part, TikTok is claiming to be outraged by all of this. They’ve suppressed any videos that use the term “Letter to America” or “Osama bin Laden.” If you try to search for it, you’ll get a warning about “community guidelines.” And the company has put out statements saying they’re horrified that this letter has resurfaced. And they’re not the only ones saying that. The Guardian, which hosted a version of this letter on their website for the past 20 years, deleted the letter from its website in response to all the traffic from TikTok. And of course, in response, interest in bin Laden’s letter only grew from there, because you can’t delete anything from the internet. If you try, you just encourage more people to seek it out. Which is why the Guardian’s decision to delete the letter was ridiculous, and did more harm than good.
You can interpret these reactions from TikTok and The Guardian however you want. You can choose to believe that a social media platform controlled by the Communist Party of China is deeply upset that American youth are talking about how bin Laden was justified in taking down the Twin Towers. You can choose to believe that social media mercenary Lynette Adkins, for some reason, decided out of the blue one day to promote this whole idea.
But no matter what — whether you think this is just the latest successful Chinese propaganda effort or not — one fact remains, which no amount of online censorship can change. The truth is that, after 9/11, there were scattered reports of celebrations that broke out in response to the violence. Most of those reports are unverified and disputed to this day. But if another 9/11 happened today, it wouldn’t be hard to find people celebrating. All you’d have to do is look at any college campus, or go on TikTok. That’s the harshest reality to contemplate. Everyone was basically on the same page after 9/11 — everyone was sad, everyone was angry. And that was the last time we would all be on the same page about anything. If a similar attack were launched today, we would not even be able to all agree that it’s a sad thing.
That fact is now unavoidable. It’s unavoidable because of an ideology that both parties have been subsidizing in the university and public school systems for decades. This is an ideology that our leaders have done nothing to combat, for all the years it festered. So now, instead of our young people looking up to great authors or public servants — people with good moral character — they look up to tedious social media “influencers” like Lynette Adkins. That’s as humiliating an indictment of a society as you can find.
But for China, which controls TikTok, it’s fantastic news. Xi Jinping just promised at the APEC Summit that there will be no “hot war” with the United States. What he didn’t say is that he won’t need to launch a hot war in order to weaken, delegitimize, and ultimately destroy this country. All he needs is an army of useful idiots who want to destroy Western civilization from within.
And if there’s anything we can learn from what happened on TikTok this week, it’s that Xi Jinping now has that army. And it’s bigger and dumber than he could have possibly hoped for.