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Archive for the ‘Race’ Category

There has occasionally emerged on the far right self-designated “white nationalists.”  I ocassionally debate them, but I don’t consider myself one of them.  The problem with this view, not least, is that we’re not a white nation.  Historically, we’re a biracial nation.  We brought black people here in chains.   Until 1965 immigration reform, we had small admixtures of Indians and Hispanics, but that biracial reality basically encapsulates the first 400 years of history in North America.  This demographic reality is a problem–and it has undeniably created many problems, not least the Civil War–but it’s a problem chiefly of white people’s making.

What strikes me as problematic among “white nationalists” is the essentialism of their view of minority and white relations.  Yes, it’s undeniable, there is more crime and poverty and general lack of civilization among most minority groups in America.  And, as of late, particularly since the 1960s, there is a great deal of unrest and hostility towards the majority white culture and its people, in spite of the general devolution of formal limits on minority advancement and the general lessening of white racist attitudes.

But the America of 1900 or 1920 or 1941 or 1961 for that matter had these same minorities, and it was in many ways more decent, more stable, and had more flourishing of both black and white than the present.  And this was as true in New York or Detroit, as Houston or Birmingham.   That is, in the past, there were fewer social problems for both groups, and there were widely accepted standards of behavior that were exemplified by the leadership of both groups.  Higher class people wore jackets and ties. Fathering kids (or having them) out of wedlock was considered low class, disreputable, and a fast track to poverty.  There was patriotism.  There was enterprise. There was some segregation, but there was also a great deal of cooperation and mixing, particularly in mid-century.   True, there was crime and poverty, and often more of it among blacks, but criminals were shunned by the leaders of both communities, and poverty was not encouraged by the welfare state and the contempt for labor it breeds.

This past should be scandalous for the white nationalists, who say that our intertwined future as a black and white nation is impossible and that some radical solution of separation or mass expulsion of all non-white groups is required. An expulsion and rejection of liberalism and a restoration of confidence by the majority, yes, and realism too. I consider myself a conservative and a nationalist, but the nationalism I embrace is one that conforms to the distinct and also biracial American character.   I  love real Americans and consider them my brothers.  I’m devoted to America’s historic peoples and their flourishing.  As a conservative, I want to conserve a way of life both tangible and real, damaged perhaps, but not totally out of living memory.  And I see the answers to many of our problems, and the resolution to these supposedly insurmountable racial conflicts, in the answers arrived at by our ancestors in that same history.

The dominant ethos of that history was a flexible, fair, and focused on true merit.  It featured self-confident rule by laws and the best men in the community , guided by some concept of noblesse oblige and respect for birth, with this leadership repeated on a small scale by the elite in each sub-community.  The mostly WASP majority set the tone of society.  They did so without excessive guilt or self-imposed weakness.  They did not apply different or lower standards to blacks or immigrants or others out of a sense of misplaced Christian compassion, even as they acknowledged differences among these groups.  In other words, leadership rooted in moral truth and confidence in the same was the watchword of America’s yesteryear.

Learning history is important to refute the many distortions and defamations of our past that see nothing but whips and chains and segregated lunch counters, while ignoring the economic  and social progress of blacks in that era, as well as ignoring the manifold crack dens, illiteracy, hostility, high crime, race riots, and persistent poverty of that same underclass today.  We may have a Barack Obama, but where is today’s Booker T. Washington or George Washington Carver or Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

Occidental Dissent, an interesting blogger, has recently learned that some of his white nationalist fellow travelers are nasty people, devoid of charity for their countrymen, and in some cases filled with hate and hostility and downright craziness.  This is not true of all of them, to be fair; some merely emphasize what I consider an ahistorical goal of separation that goes too far and is unnecessary.  I hope he looks to our history for the answers, and I hope, unlike some so-called “white nationalists,” he remembers that our first duty in politics, as in life, is to do what is right and true.  This truth includes the truth of Christianity and its teaching that each of us, no matter how poor or incapable or disadvantaged or low IQ or dark complected, has human dignity, and this dignity must be respected, even as we try to create a stable and flourishing social order.  We can be realists.  We can not be demoralized by different levels of flourishing among different group, but that realism must also include the recognition of the real supernatural order and the reality of our Divine Author.

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About two years ago, not long after Channon Christian and Chris Newsome were murdered in a hateful and all-too-typical act of interracial crime–complete with the obligatory rapes–I parted ways with AFF Brainwash on account of my strong language regarding the issue.  We can’t be too passionate on these things, you see.   Budget deficits and the tax code, yes.  Things that happen every day and that destroy lives and worry ordinary people a great deal, they are confined to whispers and the scrawl on bathroom walls.

Well, the victims are still gone, and their families are still grieving, but at least some small measure of justice took place as the first of these four predators, Letalvis Cobbins, was found guilty today.

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It’s not too hard to figure out what “teachable moment” now means: one more chance to remind white people that they’re insensitive, don’t get it, and can’t understand the horrible plight of black people in America that is “worse than ever.”

Violence to Enforce Jim Crow–Teachable Moment

So this makes the Gates Affair the perfect teachable moment for Obama: see everybody, racism still happens, even to fancy professors in their own homes.

And the Beer Summit is supposed to teach something else important: Obama is the nation’s best interpreter of teachable moments, because he alone can teach this racial reality to whites in a nonthreatening way that an obvious race hustler like Al Sharpton cannot.

Gates Arrest–Teachable Moment

But there is one kind of event that might otherwise be a teachable moment, that has become an unspeakable and unrecognizable moment. A moment that cannot be named. A moment that teaches nothing and from which nothing can be learned. A moment that is not important or relevant in any way for race relations or anything else. And that moment is when black criminals victimize white victims.

The Duke Rape Hoax is the archetypal teachable moment. It was supposed to show privileged white guys secretly victimizing blacks and provided a chance for everyone (including whites) to show their good moral sense by climing on the bandwagon of condemnation. The story’s falsehood was a minor detail.

A few months later, the murder and robbery of a white UNC co-ed by black thugs, was most definitely not a teachable moment.

Eve Carson’s Murder–Not a Teachable Moment

More recently, Professor Gates’ very brief and minor scrape with the law, the kind most people would be embarrassed about, has become a nationwide “teachable moment.” Contrast how much less news there has been about Lily Burk, a beautiful young girl still in high school,  who at the age of 17 was murdered by a black “man,” a man who had been in and out of prison his entire life before he kidnapped Lily, robbed her, and then slashed her throat.

Lily Burk’s Murder–Not a Teachable Moment

It’s an absolutely sickening story, but we’re not supposed to learn anything from it. It’s just a “collision of two worlds” according to the LA Times. It does not tell us anything negative about blacks in general, nor does it serve as one more data point in reminding us that blacks commit seven times more murders than whites. It cannot serve to remind us that blacks more crimes against whites than whites commit against blacks, even though blacks are only 12% of the population.  It’s not even an indictment of a justice system that, far from imprisoning “too many black men” as we’re often told, does not imprison enough of them, as shown by the numerous other atrocities committed by recidivists. These murders are just a “collision,” i.e., an event without moral meaning or social significance.

Looking at crimes like this as relevant evidence pointing to a disturbing and repetitive pattern is not allowed. Such insights are unspeakable and therefore unteachable. Our knowledge of them is reduced to samizdat, spoken of in back alleys of the internet like American Renaissance or Vdare. The race of these crimes’ perpetrators–usually apparent enough from the m.o.–can only be found if a photograph is present in an early news story. Suspects on the lam are never identified by race; they’re just “men” in sweatshirts and sneakers and other useless identifying information.

The contemporary language of racism, which repeats a narrative of black victimization and white oppression, is incomplete without discussing the explosion of black crime and the concomitant white victimization of recent decades.  This is the unspoken anxiety that many whites feel and discuss quietly with one another, but are taught to deny, feel ashamed of, and never to mention among mixed company.  It’s not “teaching” anything to repeat the racism narrative that we all began to recite as early as elementary school. It’s propaganda, plain and simple, complete with suppression of alternative viewpoints, willful blindness to inconvenient facts and patterns, and condemnation of dissenters.

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Obama has decided to weigh in on a local law enforcement matter in great detail.

I am loving this incident. And I think it shows what we all should have figured out about Obama during the election: in a contest between justice, reasonableness, and the public interest and the pet issues of the “black community,” he will always choose the latter. Why? Because he’s insecure in his blackness, and his choice of being “all black” is an important identity issue for him. It’s why he chose his wife. It’s why he moved to Chicago. It’s why he was a community organizer. It’s what he wrote about in his first book. It’s why he doesn’t say he’s “biracial.” And it’s why he went to that cauldron of anti-white and anti-American hate called Trinity Church for nearly 20 years. I imagine it stung him deeply when, in spite of being visibly black, to have guys like Bobby Rush or other locals he campaigned among say, “who is this white-talking Harvard boy.”

He’s never recovered.

More secure blacks like Bill Cosby or local columnist Darrell Owens feel more comfortable in deviating from the black conventional wisdom. Obama’s never done this wholeheartedly, and this was obvious when he dropped the rhetoric of post-racialism in his campaign and went down to the 2008 Sharpton/Jackson organized protest in favor of the Jena Six during the primaries.

Police work is hard work with lots of competing interests. There’s no doubt they sometimes make mistakes. Obama’s problem, and the problem of every major black leader in America today, is that they continue to side with the crooks instead of giving the cops some latitude whenever the crooks are black.

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Occasionally we’re exhorted by the left to have a “national conversation on race.” But more often this “conversation,” when described, resembles the kind of conversation you might have with your wife when you forget her birthday.  It’s always a one-sided affair, a catharsis, an extension of the kind of self-flagellation we’ve undertaken among America’s traditional elites since the watershed social revolutions of the 1960s.  I’ve written about this before, at length, here and here.

Eric Holder, the first black attorney general serving under the first black president had this to say regarding the likely contents of such a conversation:  “Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. Though race related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race. It is an issue we have never been at ease with and given our nation’s history this is in some ways understandable”

We’re cowardly all right, but not quite how Holder says.  Holder does not hint at a single black failing or shortcoming.  Nor does the media.  Nor do our college professors, HR “professionals,” movies, books, jokes, comedians, or anyone else.  In Holder, there’s not hint of Bill Cosby’s atypical call for black Americans to find some pride in their earlier, austere morality emulating the best in the broader American society, a more proud example that we see in such varied figures as Booker T. Washington, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Jackie Robinson, or the many distinguished success stories of blacks in the American military and business.  For Holder, that history and the present-day conversation are all one long J’Accuse, and he won’t be happy until every white knee has bowed.

I”m reminded of Tocqueville’s remarks on why times of progress–such as the material and legal progress of black Americans since the 1960s–often do not create greater comity and social solidarity, but rather increased resentments and friction by the erstwhile oppressed:

Going from bad to worse does not always mean a slide into revolution.  More often than not, it occurs when a nation which has endured without complaint–almost without feeling them–the most burdensome laws rejects them with violence the moment the weight of them lightens.  The regime destroyed by a revolution is almost always better than the one that immediately preceded it and experience teaches us that hte most hazardous moment for a bad government is normally when it is beginning to reform.  Only a great genius can save a rule who is setting out to relieve his subjects’ suffering after a long period of oppression.  The evils, patiently endured as inevitable, seem unbearable asa soon as the ide aof excaping them is conceived.

So, conservatives should not be so terribly surprised at the anger, venom, ingratitude, and general demandingness of the Michelle Obamas, Eric Holders, and Al Sharptons of the world.  They are angry that they are not on top of the world, that their half-accomplishments are not given the same respect in the real world as they had from brain-dead, indoctrinated educators, inclined towards projection in the case of their less successful coethnics, and fueled by a one-sided tribal storytelling that is enabled by various parties among the majority.  Obama’s words and life until becoming president suggest that he offers the healing of surrender, which is bad enough, though his true agenda is shifting, unclear, and wrapped up with his incredible ego and will to power.  It could be worse or better, but hopes for saccharine healing seem highly unlikely, not least because the one group of supporters he can’t stand up to will always accuse him of selling out, which is a very painful charge to level against this sometimes insecure and thoughtful man.

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Daniel Larison makes a very strong point:  the world does not like the US because of its policies, and the symbolism of an Obama presidency will do little to heal the rifts and unavoidable tensions with the rest of the world:

As I have said before there is scarcely a more disrespectful, condescending attitude towards the rest of the world than the assumption that they can be bought off or won over with something as superficial as a U.S. President with a mixed racial background.  If the Obama fans actually believe their candidate has some legitimate policy changes to introduce, that might be a reason for other nations to respond favorably to him, but on the whole the changes on offer are, like so much else in this campaign, symbolic and aesthetic.  In the end, Obama fans project their own fantasies about “racial reconciliation” into the international sphere, implicitly likening the majority of the world to our minority populations, which is to belittle them a second time.  This relieves them of the obligation to critique seriously U.S. foreign policy, which is the source of some significant part of anti-U.S. animus, since they have already concluded that America’s reputation can be repaired in some measure simply through the election of one man. 

It sure doesn’t help that Obama knows he’s weak on foreign policy and sometimes plays the hawk, like an in-over-his-head manager playing the tyrant to rattle and silence his subordinates.  His appearance and background will do little to help him with counterparts ranging from China to Pakistan to Russia, and his lack of experience and interest in foreign affairs will provide an additional burden if he becomes the President.  George W. Bush is a good example of this problem in action: he could care less about world affairs before he became President, he’s been unduly influenced by idealistic-sounding idiots like Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, mucking things up mightily because his ability to think critically about the sometimes conflicting advice he’s getting is severely compromised.

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