Essay #3 on Freedom, This Moment
It took some doing, but I finally did it. I figured out how anti-Whitists (those who claim that every White American is a racist) attempt to justify their baseless and demeaning position. If you’ve been paying attention to academia in recent years, it won’t come as much of a shock. It seems to stem from “definitions” of the word racism like the one below in a textbook used at a major U.S. university (Vanderbilt):
Racism: The systemic subordination of members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little social power in the United States (Blacks, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asians), by the members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites). This subordination is supported by the actions of individuals, cultural norms and values, and the institutional structures and practices of society.
Oddly, this “definition” called to mind Samuel Johnson’s famous statement in 1775 that, “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. In today’s woke environment, the saying might go something like this: “Anti-Whitism is the last refuge of the bigot.” When nothing else will energize your movement or serve your purpose, just claim everybody who’s White is racist. Find a cliché and wrap yourself in it. Bingo.
Aside from — or perhaps because of — its use of terms that are at once squishy and emotion packed, like “systemic subordination”, “targeted”, and “agent racial group”, this “definition” basically says either nothing at all (at best), OR…it codifies and impels the most brazen, expansive, self-justifying bigotry targeting a single race in the history of humankind (at worst). This is precisely the kind of hollow, open-to-interpretation, all-encompassing, victim-enabling, guilt-assigning, virtue-signaling, insidious, far left, woke gibberish we’ve come to expect from American academia. It comes from the same strain of people who crushed pluralism and destroyed freedom of speech on campus, brought us safe spaces, and have gone all out for decades to diminish capitalism and elevate Marxism. It’s clearly been crafted to set the tone of the fray while attempting to avoid precise scrutiny by virtue of its very imprecision. But there’s plenty wrong with it:
- The entire thing is dishonest, a vague hypothesis without the rigor of any factual premise beyond head count (and even that is only implied). It appears to be designed to enable the indictment of the “agent racial group” (which is, of course, obviously guilty) and then open the door to whatever punishment and corrective measures those really in power deem necessary (for example, the repugnant ‘Whiteness Interruption’ training recently given White employees in Seattle’s city government). (Convenient, right? Create a self-serving definition of racism that applies only to Whites, puts them all on trial, convicts them, and then insists they be re-educated, all at the same time…without ever having to take a step beyond the “definition”! No wonder so many of the “aggrieved” take no thought at their own possible biases, acted upon or not; by this “definition”, only Whites are capable of mistreating others on the basis of race. It’s a lazy, disingenuous crock, but in these heady times, whose to challenge it, right?) It thus serves the dual purposes of (i) creating a Pied Piper appeal to groups that see themselves as victims and (ii) giving them a launching pad for any actions they might care to take to rectify supposed racism by Whites. And it’s especially useful for movements needing those racial groups to clothe themselves in victimhood and anger (like the Marxist “Black Lives Matter” organization) to increase the malleability of the “agent racial group”.
(While we’re on the topic of “agent racial group”, let’s do a little “what if” exercise. What if…Blacks outnumbered Whites in America. Would Blacks then be considered the “agent racial group”, with all Blacks being defined as racist simply because they’re in the majority? Would society then be compelled to insist that Blacks admit their racism and rend their clothes in shame, just because they’re Black, regardless of individual actions or societal norms? And would the rest of us then require that all Blacks go through “Blackness Interruption” training to coerce them into acting less Black and more White? It’s all ludicrous, isn’t it? And it’s every bit as nonsensical with Whites in the majority.)
- The author of this “definition” tries to hide its weakness behind words like “relatively” and “social power”. Okay…so, just how much is “relatively little social power”? Is it only 5% of that held by the “agent racial group”? Is it 49% (which would make the “targeted racial groups” still a minority but essentially equal with the agent)? Or is the whole thing nothing more than a CYA exercise designed to create a negative impression of Whites and the supposedly hopeless and awful condition of the smaller racial groups without having to actually quantify or prove anything? Clearly, it’s the latter. Thanks, academia. Your service to humanity is noted.
- The term “systemic subordination” suggests that everything that everyone in the “agent racial group” does is designed to hold “targeted racial groups” under their thumbs. That is as patently stupid as it is insulting, both as a premise and in practice. Everyday White Americans in 2020 have far more to worry about than how they can oppress…anybody, either by overtly discriminating against them or by withholding opportunity from them. “Systemic subordination” is a ridiculous, self-serving formulation of a deeply-Marxist trope and simply isn’t done, period, by the vast, vast majority of White Americans.
- Even sicker is the notion that White People, en masse, go around “targeting” minorities, or that their institutional structures and practices are crafted to single out and somehow punish or exclude minorities. (No, wait. I get it…that’s what the 360,000+ Union soldiers who died during the Civil War — a conflict that, by its end, was ALL about ending slavery in this country — were doing…maliciously targeting racial groups with “relatively little social power”. And that’s what President Lincoln spent his last hours doing. And that’s what President Trump was doing with the First Step Act, opportunity zones, his efforts to make school choice available to Black children in the inner cities, and deeper, broader, more enduring investment in HBCUs. And that’s what little White kids do as they walk to school every day hand-in-hand with their Black friends, or as they sing songs about Jesus and loving one another in church on the Sabbath…you know, back before our Democratic masters banned school and communal religious practice.) Targeting? The only ones being targeted systemically in all this are White Americans via anti-Whitism and ridiculous “definitions” of racism like the one used in that Vanderbilt text.
But it turns out that such bigotry — like all bigotry — is its own refutation. No one can know the heart, motives, or intent of even a few people sufficiently well to determine if they are racist or not. And claiming out of hand that all the millions of members of a given race are racist — without knowing all of their hearts, motives, or intents — is clearly systemic bigotry.
With bigotry being both ignorant and definitionally unsupportable in any form, it’s tempting to let the storm pass and leave the bigots to bask in their 15 minutes and then fade to irrelevance. Unfortunately, bigotry is a form of assault that grows if left unchecked (note that it’s now moved from the law enforcement and civic spheres in the U.S. to the religious realm, with largely “white” churches being vandalized across the country); and, like any other attack, it almost always causes damage that serves a selfish purpose of the bigot. Thus, it cannot go unanswered. Fortunately, since anti-Whitism is pure bigotry on its face, going to the trouble of refuting each rung in the bigot’s ladder is less important than getting to the bottom of the charade itself. The “why” of the bigot’s charge is far more important than the fallacious, dishonest details of the preposterous and unprovable accusation.
Still…to show how ludicrous anti-Whitism is, I decided to allow myself the luxury of finding and addressing just one illustrative sample from the bigot’s toolkit. I located source material in an article published on Medium.com under the condescending title, “Yes My Dear, All White People Are Racists.” Its author is someone named “Marley K.”. I pulled up Marley’s article, all set to learn what makes ALL Whites racist, and what, therefore, justifies anti-Whitism. Then I planned to come up with a brilliant counter-argument and present it for the world to see. But I came away disappointed. Instead of a blow-by-blow indictment of White people, with a multitude of defining examples of White “systemic subordination” in all its gore and stink, all I got was…a big nothing burger. Here is what Marley tried to pass off as evidence:
“First, learn what racism is, and what it’s not. [Here Marley references the racism “definition” from Vanderbilt.] I need White people to understand that all White people are racist.
Admit it, and let’s move onto the business of repairing and healing the country. We can’t do it without you.
Yes my dears, all White people are racists. All. Of. Them.”
Wow, I thought. That’s a lot of periods. But is this what passes for analytical depth, coherent thought, and persuasive argument on the part of today’s anti-Whitists? Probably so, I concluded, as it seems to emerge straight from that wellspring of scholarship, logic, and the scientific method…American leftist academia. (And, as if the argument could possibly be any shallower, Marley doubles down on it a bit later, stating that, “All White people are racist and the fact that you need a special out like a “Not All White People” label is disheartening because it says to me you are racist”. Wait, what? I thought I already was. Oh well…good job, Marley. Way to cover all your bases.) It’s one thing to manufacture fully unsupported conclusions that don’t hold up under even the slightest scrutiny (because there’s nothing to scrutinize); it’s entirely another to simply parrot the slander du jour while making no case at all, and then repeat it over and over as if simply saying it makes it so. (Unfortunately, I checked other anti-Whitist “thought leaders” as well, and no one made the case any better than Marley did. So, Marley K., at least you come by it honestly.)
In the absence of any empirical basis for anti-Whitism, and only a vapid and useless “definition” of racism to work with, the only thing left for me to do was noodle through the big “why” question…why is the bigoted tripe of anti-Whitism being bandied about like it is? What is the anti-Whitists’ intent, or, perhaps better-asked, what is their pay-off from the anti-Whitism scam? Is it so we can “heal”, as Marley posited? If it is, then making ad hominem attacks against 200,000,000 people — the vast majority of whom are good, kind, decent, and charitable, and have done nothing “systemic” to harm anyone, ever — seems an odd way to start. No, there must be something else, I reasoned.
After sifting through a mass of info out there across media (no offense, Marley, but I needed more material to work with), I distilled it all down to three principle objectives for this ugly bigotry. The first is the very direct, immediate, and enabling target, with the other two being designed pay-offs that are dependent on the first:
Objective #1: Guilt-trip and cancel White Americans — Most in this group cherish and appreciate the U.S. system of government, a democratic republic based on individual liberty, the rule of law, free enterprise, ownership of property, and unlimited opportunity, having the nuclear family as a cornerstone when possible. They do this unapologetically, and usually with gratitude (rather than guilt), and they do their best to make it work. Most of them understand the blessing under which they live in this great land. So attractive is the American system that it continues to attract hundreds of thousands of immigrants annually — many, if not most of them, non-Whites — and has allowed most of them to live their own lives and make their own choices, as well as enjoy the fruits of their labors. Maybe it’s precisely because most Whites do try hard to make it work that today’s social justice warriors find them so objectionable. After all, if that Seattle anti-Whitist training teaches us anything, it’s that success is to be avoided, and failure is always somebody else’s fault. (Yet, interestingly, not all members of the “agent racial group” in the U.S. are successful; there were more than 18 million White Americans below the poverty line in 2018, more than twice as many as Black Americans, albeit at a lower percentage. So, does that mean financially-successful White Americans are systemically subordinating poor White Americans? Is a poor White American family of four that earns right at the poverty line less racist than one that earns a dollar more? And if, simply because they’re white, they are all equally racist against black citizens, how do you explain the fact that the nearly 10% of Whites in poverty have lower incomes than 80% of Black Americans? The mind boggles…) Whatever the justification, or even if there’s no justification at all, anti-Whitists know that guilt works. And far too many White Americans seem only too happy to beat themselves senseless with it and contribute to their own cancellation (to the detriment of everyone in all “social groups”). And that’s what the anti-Whitists want and need, first and foremost.
So, why on Earth would the anti-Whitists want a weakened, self-flagellating, reticent White population, when one that is knowledgeable and confident and eager to work as equal partners with Black Americans is clearly preferable (if comprehensive solutions are to be found and implemented, and mutual trust is to be finally achieved)? Objectives #2 and 3 provide the answer.
Objective #2: Secure a massive reparations payment for the Black slavery that ended over 150 years ago — There’s no doubt that White slave traders and owners made bank off of Black slaves, and many treated those slaves despicably, horribly. But if Black Americans today think someone owes them cold hard cash for those long-ago atrocities, they’re going to have to stand in line. Limited reparations have been paid by the U.S. government in the past, some to Native Americans and some to Japanese Americans interned during World War II. But many others, such as Irish immigrants, Jews, Mormons, Italian immigrants, Polish immigrants, non-Japanese Asian Americans, Latin Americans, etc., have also suffered extensive discrimination, indignities, and even violent death in the U.S., sometimes at the hand of the government itself (or at least with its tacit approval). Almost everyone who lives here has multiple ancestors who were discriminated against and suffered monetary loss as a result. To this day, it’s not uncommon for members of every one of these other groups to face some form of discrimination or disregard by somebody else based solely on who they are. Yet, none of these other groups had hundreds of thousands of American soldiers die in the effort to emancipate them, paying for the sin of slavery with their blood; and none has demanded monetary compensation from their fellow citizens.
So, while I get the understandable Black anger and resentment, in part because so many of us in other groups have also suffered loss through discrimination, I humbly submit that the way forward already exists, and it’s not through shaming the rest of us into handing you money (the Democratic Party has done that for the last sixty years, and look where that’s gotten you). The way forward is one that a vast number of Black Americans have already taken to get past historic negatives. And that is to look forward and take advantage of the individual liberty, rule of law, free enterprise, ownership of property, and unlimited opportunity — having the nuclear family as a cornerstone when possible — that are part and parcel of the American dream and experience. This template for advancement is available to every U.S. citizen, by right and by law (how’s that for systemic?), and it has empirically and consistently proven to be the best environment in the history of the world for minorities to elevate themselves and their families economically, socially, and politically. So, do that, and don’t say it can’t be done, because millions of your Black brothers and sisters have succeeded before you. That’s a really positive, healing thing! (And, whether you want to accept it or not, a great many of us in the “agent racial class” have stepped up to assist in a variety of ways in the past, and are eager to do even more in the future to help make this “positive, healing thing” more of a reality for you. It just doesn’t begin with us destroying ourselves...) Protect the system, improve it, and leverage it, for your own good and for the good of others, especially your children and your children’s children. Don’t bankrupt it!
If you won’t take me seriously because you see me as ‘just some White guy trying to sneak out from behind his unrelenting racism’, trust instead the words of two eminent Black Americans, writing on the website 1776unites.com. The first statement is from Clarence Page, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, syndicated columnist, and senior member of the Chicago Tribune editorial board in his essay entitled, “A Dream as Old as the American Dream: Embrace Black Patriotism over Victimization”:
“We must disrupt the long-held stereotypes of black people as helpless bystanders in their own history. We have had entrepreneurs, skilled tradesmen, military officers, inventors, organizers, and many others who responded to adversity by marshaling resources, building local enterprises, and creating jobs. We organized and acted to defeat slavery, segregation, and deprivation, and then we persevered to build businesses that included banks, hotels, small factories, and a black-owned railroad…Our historic victimization must never be forgotten, but it is best remembered through the stories of our groundbreaking victories over oppression through faith, courage, talent, persistence, ingenuity, and hard work.”
The other quote is from an essay penned by Jason D. Hill, a professor of philosophy at DePaul University. The essay is entitled, “The Moral Meaning of America: Two Parallel Narratives”:
“America encourages human beings not to search for their origins, but, rather, their destiny. It is the first nation in human history where — in spite of lip service to hyphenated identities that are purely symbolic — human beings have been driven to flee their origins and remake themselves through a process of becoming a new specimen, often a radically new man or woman.
Identity makeovers are fully possible only in the United States of America. The social reality that thoroughly suffused an “Untouchable’s” life in India has no existential counterpart in the United States, a country where most Americans are properly unconcerned with the term and the nefarious caste system it denotes. The “Untouchable” lands in America and is perceived as South Asian and, more or less, nothing more than that. Her socioeconomic mobility in America, her associations, and her right to forget from where she came are within her powers. Whereas, in her native India, she was stamped with the mark of closure and social completeness, America grants her the freedom not just to become, but to wipe her social slate clean in order to become, in order to realize her not-as-yet-self. America grants her a philosophy of life that is itself a disclosure of possibilities.”
Objective #3: Dismantle the current U.S. form of government in favor of Marxism/Communism — There are individuals and groups in America actively working for her demise, knowing full well that such failure would most damage those already least well off (we know this in part because they’re pushing hard for the elimination of police departments nationwide, even though every fact and every bit of history shows that doing so radically increases crime and death in Black communities; we also know it because of the cold, hard fact that the introduction of Marxism has decimated “the peasants” in every country where it’s been introduced). These are parties that long for the U.S. to become Marxist, a system that has failed, and failed its citizens, everywhere it’s been tried.
So, who are these people and groups…I mean, outside of academia? To name just a few, you have “the squad”, Democrat Party Congresswomen such as Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who claim the U.S. is irredeemably oppressive and are aggressively lobbying for it to be dismantled in favor of Marxism. Then there’s Bernie Sanders, the avowed Socialist who almost won the Democratic Party presidential nomination twice, along with many of his followers, who are even more aggressive in their efforts to destroy the American system and have clearly pushed both the Party and its 2020 presidential nominee Joe Biden to the extreme left. And the “Black Lives Matter” group (BLM) is another. This last one was founded and is staffed by organizers and fundraisers who readily admit they’re Marxists. Contrary to their public persona as a benevolent group that simply supports Black advancement, BLM is clearly bent on violently getting its way, re-writing American history by tearing it down (you see these efforts on TV every day), and, ultimately, re-structuring America. One of BLM’s priorities is to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another”. This is pure, transparent, proven-to-fail Marxist doctrine, designed to replace the nuclear family with the collective (i.e., the state), with all the life- and liberty- and wealth-sapping dependencies that come with it. Furthermore, BLM is largely built on lies, such as its claim that its commitment and actions are in response to “the rampant and deliberate violence inflicted on us [Blacks] by the state”, an assertion that is blatantly and transparently false by any honest measure. Another of its inciting claims is that a young Black man named Mike Brown was murdered in cold blood by a police officer who hunted him down in Ferguson, Missouri several years ago…in spite of the fact that aggressive, exhaustive investigations by both a local grand jury and President Obama’s Justice Department proved conclusively that Brown was the aggressor and the cop was defending himself. Lies like these and exaggerations of abuse are intentionally used by BLM to stoke the flames of aggrievement, a hallmark Marxist tactic.
Tellingly, BLM and the other individuals and groups mentioned here (and others like them) are fervently anti-Whitist, and they use that ruse as a blitzkrieg to immobilize White Americans and get them to acquiesce. If you need evidence of this, look at the way BLM hastily shook down dozens upon dozens of U.S. corporations in those first emotional weeks immediately following the death of George Floyd (and then ask yourself where the half-billion dollars has gone).
So that’s it. Literally destroying free America and flipping it to state-controlled Marxism/Communism is the endgame of anti-Whitist bigotry. It is the crown jewel of the movement’s objectives, the one that gives energy and a raison d’exister to the others. It all starts as a false, blanket indictment of Whites in the form of a specious racism “definition”. Having no lucid argument and devoid of facts, it then defends itself against any White Americans who object by screaming that they must be even worse racists (yes, Marley, you followed the script). And it ends with every American giving up the best, most egalitarian, aspirational system of free government in the history of the world in exchange for Marxism and its always-failed system of central planning and armed repression. (If you really, really can’t think of any examples of this, ask the tens of millions of dead peasants and intellectuals in Russia and China how Communism went for them; or talk with an aging Cuban exile in Miami; or maybe text someone languishing in modern-day Venezuela to check out how Chavez’s and Maduro’s brand of Marxism has made their lives “better”.)
In short, the bigotry of anti-Whitism is designed and purposeful, more so than most forms of bigotry. That makes its perpetrators bigots — willful ones at that — people who, according to Merriam-Webster, “regard or treat members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance” — just like Whites are now being treated (and it’s already gone beyond the defamation stage…check out the vicious sucker punch thrown by a Black man in the face of a 12-year old White boy in Cape Girardeau, Missouri the other day; there’s already been far worse, and more is on the way as the anti-Whitists continue to ramp up). This bigotry is not just a state of mind, it is active in a negative, vicious way, and it has consequences. Thus, anyone who claims that anti-Whitism (and White acceptance of it as being legitimate) is a necessary pre-condition to national healing is either delusional or intentionally lying. Both are inexcusable, and neither will lead to something better than what anybody has right now.
And that is by design, of course…because the willful bigots who are so feverishly pushing anti-Whitism today have no intention whatsoever of healing anything tomorrow.