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Archive for the ‘Racism’ 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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Obama’s supporters are not even trying to hide their unusual and extreme degree of esteem for the President.  Consider this overwrought guest column in today’s Orlando Sentinel by Florida A&M  law professor Jeremy Levitt:

The far right and its right-wing brethren’s most recent barrage of indignant and visceral attacks against President Barack Hussein Obama has led me to conclude that the scourge of anti-Obama fanaticism is nothing more than foolish racism masquerading as patriotism and phony Christianity. . . .

The U.S. president is the head of state and government, as well as the highest official in the country and commander in chief of the armed forces. He is not only the most-influential and -recognized political figure in the world, but also the living embodiment of our democracy.

While I believe that it is healthy to constructively engage and criticize government, the far right has shamed our nation by attacking President Obama with unpatriotic idioms and schemes.

As a close follower of presidential politics, I do not remember another time when an American president was so unpatriotically maligned by Americans [ummm, did he forget all that Bush=Hitler Stuff?], namely, right-wing politicians and media, and the millions of Joe and Judy plumbers who would disown Jesus if they knew he was African, and Obama if he were the Second Coming. [I can assure you, he’s not, but I suppose we have to consider that he might be according to Levitt.]

The truth remains that right-wing anti-Obama rhetoric around abortion, health care, education, gun control and foreign policy are cowardly coded smoke screens intended to mask fear and racism.

Whether it is the birthers movement, gun-toting right-wing anarchists, bigoted congressmen, hate marchers or garden-variety dogmatists, the fact remains that Obama won the election. [Notice, this important historical occurrence does nothing to calm this crazy man down.] . . . .

I would remind the far right what the Apostle Paul wrote, ” … there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Hence, Obama is the U.S. president and leader of the Free World because he was appointed by God.

Need I say more?

This is more than over the top.  It’s in lunatic territory.

Has anyone before called the President the “living embodiment of our democracy.”  Americans have long cherished their Constitution and the electoral process, vowing to be a loyal opposition and to glorify the process and the laws, so that we are a “government of laws, not men.”  Levitt is peddling the alien “Fuehrer Principle,” the idea that one man is so wise, so englightened, someone called by destiny to lead us to peace and prosperity such that any opposition to him is evil and irrational by definition.

And the stuff about God-given authority has a kernal of truth, but we in America also believe in God-given rights.  But when it comes to a black, liberal Presdient, all of a sudden the folks telling us just a few years ago that “dissent is patriotic,” sound like Joseph de Maistre defending the House of Bourbon.   The explicitly racial triumphalism of Obama’s supporters is unique and scary, and it may be their undoing.  Would that it were so!

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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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I wrote way back when that Obama’s insecurities about his identity and deference to his party’s left, in particular on “black issues,” may be his undoing. It will radicalize conservatives. And it will be out of touch with the moderates whom he must court to remain effective and get reelected.

So why might Obama say something like what’s below?  It seems politically suicidal, positioning him with all the grievance mongers and scab-pickers like Al Sharpton, Sheila Jackson Lee, John Conyers, and the whole rest of that useless group of flatterers.

Could it be because he heard this kind of nonsense for 20 years and really believes it?

As when the reality of his church was revealed, Obama must again be asked and again explain:  who is the real Barack Obama?  Is he the postracial healer?  Or is he the “race man” who is simply a more effective Jesse Jackson that aims to help his group because of group and tribal loyalty and has little interest in the country’s welfare as a whole?

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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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I’m amazed that Republicans are so frequently accused of race baiting. They’ve put a black man in charge of their party, given speeches in Spanish, disavowed most of our history, and even made some noises in favor of diversity and mass immigration, particularly under Bush. Even so, everyone from Al Hunt, Maureen Dowd, and Frank Rich are ragging on the Republicans in explicitly racial terms.

Look at these old, out-of-touch, white guys. What do they know about Latinas and women and life? They’re on the wrong end of history and don’t even know it. How dare they try to preserve their existence and power? How dare they think like a tribe, even as every other group thinks tribally? How dare they even think like self respecting individuals! And, of course, in the liberal competition for who hates his privileges and insider status and people the most, white journalists try to outdo one another in their self-loathing (though this is more accurately described as exquisite hatred of their hick cousins and high school gym coaches and the frat boys that didn’t like them in college and now have made so much money in business).

Consider Al Hunt today:

What endures, however, is the spectacle of middle-aged, white Republicans instructing the first Latin female nominee about the irrelevance of race, gender and life experiences for a judge. Even Graham, one of the more enlightened lawmakers, a strong immigration advocate and a thoroughly modern Republican, didn’t get it.

This country is still 78% white or so. The shame of it!!! It is only not more so because of deliberate reengineering of our demographics that favor immigrants from the Third World–whether educated and productive or illiterate and diseased–versus our more easily assimilated cousins in Europe. But this white majority is just a shameful legacy to the unappeasable left. It’s not just slavery that’s shameful to the left; it’s that our country has an historical people that is still in the majority and that still produces wealthy, ambitious, and productive people that become senators, run companies, and continue to reproduce. You thought Obama might chill them out? No such luck. People like these Senators and Bill Gates and all the successful folks who have better test scores and safe neighborhoods and successful lives and successful children remind affirmative action babies like Sotomayor and Michelle Obama that they’re not so sharp or talented or capable, and that even if they are, most of their relatives and cousins and neighbors growing up are not. (Barack on the other hand is quite talented and sui generis.)

Pretty soon I expect to see editorials with titles like Can’t All the White People Just Die? Indeed, someone at the LA Times nearly said that the other day in discussing elderly voters.

I’m reminded of the disillusioned response of the author Bertolt Brecht to East Germany’s brutal suppression of worker strikes in 1953.

The Solution

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

Republicans are often accused of perpetuating Nixon’s Southern Strategy and being race-obsessed, but if they were Bush and then McCain would not have been their candidate. The most dominant and common tribal, race-obsessed, and vengeful racism in America today is found among black and Hispanic activists who make no bones about their anti-white agenda. Would-be lackeys like Rich and Hunt and the like think they’ll somehow be spared the raw end of the deal if they simply shout most loudly at their coethnics. The question is whether the very individualistic and non-tribal majority will start to put two and two together as to their destiny as tomorrow’ hated minority. We can’t all get the sonderkommando gig that Al Hunt is apparently gunning for.

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Like the old legal privileges, tax immunities, and public honors accorded to aristocrats, from an early age, black Americans of any ability are taught in today’s America that they are special, immune from public criticism, and entitled to accomplish less at work and in school to succeed.  We’re told publicly (and quite unbelievably) “they need to work ‘twice as hard,'” but this is clearly false, as evidenced not least by the lower test scores and lower grades needed for blacks to get into elite institutions, and later in life by the intense mentoring, lower expectations, and tolerance for bad behavior in the work place.

Michelle Obama is a product of this system, getting into Princeton and Harvard Law School throug a combination of her successful brother’s athletic prowess and her race.  But she was no longer the class success (salutitorian) as she was at her much less challenging South Side high school; she was uncomfortable at Princeton, studied a “gut” major (sociology), and almost certainly could not pass the bar exam the first time around (as evidenced by her late admission to the Illinois Bar a year after graduating).  She later left “Big Law” after refusing assignments she thought she was too good for. She ultimately got a cushy job (six figures) matchmaking “community activists” with the University of Chicago Hospitals, making more than $300K annually when her husband was elected Senator. She’s still very ungrateful.

University of Chicago has always been a brainy place, where students actually care about learning, are intellectually curious, and do not suffer fools.  There’s nothing in her personality or life or words or anything else about her to suggest she’d have done well there.  During my time there, there were always a good number of “high average” local students–black and white–who did not really fit in and either dropped out or muddled through, not quite sure why so many of their peers were at the library at 11 pm on a Friday. The school has  also has been in many ways a compassionate place, where every year hundreds of students volunteer in soup kitchens, tutoring local students, and generally reach out to the largely impoverished and black local community.  But the school did not send an invitation to Michelle wrapped with a pink bow, so she’s pissed off to this day. At a commencement speech delivered this week at UC Merced, she remarked:

The context: Many of the UC Merced graduates were the first in their families to earn college degrees, and Mrs. Obama said, “By using what you have learned here, you can shorten the path perhaps for kids who may not see a path at all.

“I was once one of those kids. Most of you were once one of those kids,” and then told the students how she grew up just a few miles from the University of Chicago.

“Yet that university never played a meaningful role in my academic development. The institution made no effort to reach out to me — a bright and promising student in their midst — and I had no reason to believe there was a place for me there.

“Therefore, when it came time for me to apply to college, I never … considered the university in my own backyard as a viable option.”

She really knows how to hold a grudge!  It’s sad that her “inspirational” vignettes always come down to “don’t let the man hold you down.”  The minor indignities of life always appear in her speeches:  her weak test scores, her feelings of alienation at Princeton, and now her beef with her very generous employer of many years.  This is, nonetheless, understandable.  She has an inflated and demanding sense of entitlement, coupled with the vague sense of inferiority–these, the contradictory traits that always accompany unearned privileges.  Why else the $400 sneakers and heavy debt load in the 90s and now the somewhat hard-to-accept makover of herself as the First Mom?  She’s a combination of the Real Housewives of NY and Omarosa, a pretty disagreeable (but all too familiar) character that would be causing her husband a lot more problems but for a very compliant and well trained media.

One of the Obamas’ achilles heels might be the habits formed from years of navigating the relatively calm water of liberal, guilt-ridden whites in academic settings.  The Obamas are used to being accomodated and coddled, but as soon as they are challenged the barely suppressed anger comes out, particularly in the case of the more choleric and resentment-driven Michelle.

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