Why American Youth Sympathize with America’s Enemies

Written by Hudson Crozier

What’s happening: TikTok is scrambling to censor videos of users, mostly young people, sympathizing with the man behind the September 11, 2001, attacks that killed almost 3,000 people, traumatized countless others, and unified Americans against Islamic terrorism.

The trend: The posts center around the late Osama bin Laden’s “letter to America,” which cites U.S. involvement in the Middle East and other grievances as justification for the attacks. Videos show users “rethinking” their view of America or even declaring, “he was right.”

Why it matters: American values have drastically changed within a few generations, leading to lower levels of patriotism among Millennials and Generation Z. The U.S., promoting freedom and democracy, spent decades fighting foreign enemies that reject those values — as it did after 9/11 — only to see subversive ideologies take root at home.

The cultural revolution: Marxist intellectuals from Germany’s Frankfurt School and elsewhere embedded themselves in American universities in the 20th Century. While the U.S. military resisted communism across the globe, academics quietly pushed “critical theory,” “privilege,” and other left-wing doctrines into classrooms.

  • Swift progress: Former Soviet propagandist Yuri Bezmenov warned in 1984 that “Marxist-Leninist ideas” had already captured higher education. They are “being pumped into the soft heads of … American students without being challenged or counterbalanced,” he said.

Now: Polling has consistently shown rising support for socialism in recent years. Numerous college students, professors, and campus organizations condemn capitalism and defend regimes that have killed millions. “Critical theory” has morphed into critical race theory (CRT), which falsely links slavery to America’s founding and labels the nation a white supremacist state that should be dismantled.

The Palestinian angle: Many on the left now see Palestinian violence against Jews as part of a global fight against oppressive, white, Western “colonialism.” Bin Laden’s letter resonated with the youth by referencing the Palestinian struggle and U.S. support for Israel.

The bottom line: The left’s influence over institutions, especially education, has demoralized America more than its worst enemies ever could. Appreciation for the 9/11 attackers is a natural consequence.

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