I was ruminating all this week, after last week’s post on the practice of ‘othering’ and how common it seems of late that that white people (that is, those of us who are on the paler end of the skin-color spectrum and whose ancestors originated somewhere north of the Mediterranean and west of the Urals) are the piñata of choice among a wide swath of lefty academics, and certain media and political personalities. Last week it was the lefty librarian blogger getting her pantyhose in a twist about all those books by white people in academic libraries, this week it’s students at an Oakland HS (of course – Oakland/SF) demanding that murals of George Washington be painted over, a couple of months ago it was a rather nasty bigot named Sarah Jeong landing a cushy gig at the so-called newspaper of record, in spite of a series of tweets that would have seen any writer of pallor and masculinity reduced to waiting tables and driving for Uber. And now it appears that such concepts as a rule of law, assumption of innocence, conventional good manners and even timeliness are now held to be proof of the iniquity of whiteness. Why should this be so, and why now?
The first reason, and probably the one which is the most widely spread, even among people who are themselves white is that it is currently fashionable. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that a lot of people will do, say, and affect witless things, and wear really, really stupid and unflattering clothes and hairstyles for no better reason than that they believe them to be of the current fashion. Mullets. Polyester leisure suits. White lipstick. Disco. Need I elaborate further? White bashing is currently fashionable.
The second reason – and the one even more reminiscent of a coterie of bitchy middle school girls – is that it is actually fun for that coterie to bully and abuse an individual, or a group who can’t or won’t fight back against a mob intent on hounding them out of school, the public sphere, or even out of life. It’s fun to pile on, to heckle and humiliate, to impress your pals with your vicious wit and wokeness. It’s fun to be part of the mob and go out hurting the ‘other’ – and don’t even try arguing otherwise. You’ll be arguing against human history.
A third reason for white bashing – and this I think is the fallback reason for certain academics and politicians of color, or part-color, or anyway, their non-whiteness – is that by tearing down that which has been accomplished by white Europeans and Americans, they are relieved of any responsibility to accomplish anything themselves. So – erase the American founding fathers, demote western philosophical thought, abolish western technology, smudge away creativity and wealth – and you and where your ancestors came from don’t look to so pathetic, hapless and barbaric, measured against them.
Finally – and I think that this is the reason for only a small, yet malignant minority – there is the pursuit of power, power gained in the chaos which follows upon trashing a society, pushing it beyond sustainability. Wreck the place, bring it all crashing down, and then loot the ruins and live in comfort, behind high walls, or even a pleasant compound in a foreign country. Encourage and facilitate distrust, racial hatred, and eventually civil unrest which would crash a modern democracy? Any tool to hand is attractive to someone like George Soros, to someone who would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven.
Your thoughts? Discuss as you wish.
9 thoughts on “Study in White”
Good analysis, and re your second point: the ‘fun’ (for a certain kind of people) is not only in bullying those who can’t fight back, but in feeling morally superior while doing so.
In Faust, after Gretchn finds that she is pregnant, she is talking with her awful friend Lieschen, who (still unaware of Gretchen’s situation) is licking her chops about the prospect of humiliating another girl (Barbara) who has also become pregnant outside of marriage. Here’s Gretchen, reflecting on her own past complicity in such viciousness:
How readily I used to blame
Some poor young soul that came to shame!
Never found sharp enough words like pins
To stick into other people’s sins
Black as it seemed, I tarred it to boot
And never black enough to suit
Would cross myself, exclaim and preen–
Now I myself am bared to sin!
Yet all of it that drove me here
God! ws so innocent, was so dear!
Plenty of looking for “sharp enough words like pins to stick in other people’s sins” going on these days, along with a lot of preening.
Also, I think the ‘self-hating’ diagnosis for this kind of behavior, which is often asserted, is generally wrong. C S Lewis brilliantly dissected a similar phenomenon in Britain circa 1940:
I think envy and resentment are twin features of the POC who are hating whites. They know the society they came from (even in the US) has not accomplished much that is desirable.
Why do people like the Somalis come here for safety and then endlessly complain ? Why do Mexicans and other residents of the uniformly dysfunctional societies established by Spanish colonialism, complain and set up antiassimilation groups like “La Raza?”
The “Gentrification” agitation is also amusing as blacks resent whites moving into “their” neighborhoods and cleaning them up,. I know that rent increases are one reason but that is not the only one. I grew up in one of the most idyllic places in the Midwest. Today it is so violent and over run by crime that blacks are leaving and moving south, The Tribune had just such an article in 2016.
What happened ? Guess .
One other reason that preference by quotas is king among leftist midwits is that it is easier to count than to read.
To slightly adapt something I posted elsewhere, a little while ago it struck me that the modern progressive left’s recasting of the class-struggle concept in racial terms made inevitable the identification of class-enemies with race-enemies. The only major differences between what their ideology is rapidly becoming and actual Nazism are the specific races being vilified and, more importantly, the belief that the wellspring of the supposed evil is past crimes by members of those races instead of some inherent attribute of their heredity.
However, the lack of any explicitly defined means of expiating those historical sins, and the infinitely elastic and ever-expanding definition of “privilege,” life advantages which supposedly accrue solely from those past crimes, render this difference moot as a means of escape for current or future members of the “bad” races. They are inherently tainted in the minds of hardcore progressives as surely as any Jew was in the minds of devoted National Socialists.
I suppose I skipped a step, since the modern hard-leftist would respond that the things they’re struggling against: “whiteness,” privilege, oppression, are all aspects of culture not of race, so they’re not recasting it in racial terms. The problem with that argument is that progressive notions of “culture” are rapidly converging with what looks very much like the 19th Century concept of “race” (remember “the French race,” “the Belgian race,” etc?). They’re busily recreating all the bad, old beliefs about group heredity independent of any grounding in biology.
This makes those ideas more rather than less dangerous, because while primitive, over-expansive beliefs about actual heredity had to give way in the face of advancing biological science, these ideas are free to become as unbounded, as absolute, indeed as cosmic as can be satisfyingly rationalized by the word-salad emanations of academic cultural Marxists.
I do think that there is a certain degree of self-hate involved – and that is a meme carefully nourished and encouraged over the last … gee, how many decades … in the primary and secondary educational system. A meme taught and encouraged in schools at every level, and now we are seeing the bitter fruit of the bitter, negative tree that a**holes like Howard Zinn planted and coaxed to fruition. What better way to destroy a child by demolishing their self-confidence, their belief in themselves, that they are good and able, capable of independent thought and action. Now picture this being done to a whole race … no, several races. The confidence, self-assurance of several classes of American students has been systematically destroyed. The white kids are being fed the drip-drip-drip of their original vicious sin. The black kids are being told — irrespective of the damage being done to themselves when they buy into the urban thug culture — that their failures in life are all someone elses’ fault.
I’d despair, totally – but there are enough kids escaping from this educational malpractice. My daughter got assigned Zinn’s textbook when she had a brief essay in higher education. She objected to the lecturer, and he said, “Oh, don’t pay any attention to that a-hole. It’s assigned for this course, but you can skip reading it – just pay attention to the lectures.” This morning, when I was on my way to the gym, I gave a ride to the grandson of my next door neighbor, who is of color. Nice lady, retired civil servant, still working part-time as a home-care assistant. We’ve seen her grandsons grow up. They are nice, responsible, hardworking kids: the eldest worked like a champ, at one of the fast-food franchises, and surprised his mother when he drove home one day in a brand new car (a very sensible Mitsubishi) that he had been able to purchase himself. Second son has not quite got to the point of being able to get a car of his own, yet. He will, eventually. But he walks every day, about 3/4th of a mile to his fast-food job. His parents raised him right. If he and his brothers had ever been tempted to do the thug-life thing, his grandmother would have taken over the whomping when his mother and father got tired.
Let’s do the thought experiment: suppose a large uninhabited island were found in, say, the South Pacific, and you were in charge of establishing a civilization and a nation on it.
What demographic would you choose?
When whitey ran Detroit, it was an industrial powerhouse surrounded by neighborhoods full of quite nice homes, and possessing public amenities that were the envy of the world.
Democrats and their minority clients took over those neighborhoods, full of neat little homes and gardens, and turned them into post-industrial wastelands filled with the debris and detritus of ruined lives. The city is effectively dead, killed by the cultural attributes brought by those minority clients of the Democrats, and the Democrats own political corruption. It wasn’t anything done to them; it was all self-inflicted, self-created. They moved into neat little neighborhoods formerly belonging to prideful Polish and Bohemian immigrants, whose children were now doctors, and turned those prim and proper little paradises into full-on ghetto nightmares, all on their own. Culture, my friend, culture–The Poles and Bohunks had it; their replacements had… Something else. Something inimical to civilization.
As Detroit went, so too will go America.
I didn’t start out as even vaguely “racist”. I bought into the whole shtick they were selling my generation, about how the evuuuuul white male was oppressing and destroying the potential of all those poor little brown peoples.
Know what I’ve concluded? Most of those people have about as much innate capability for conducting themselves in a civilized manner as stereotype would project, and the reality of what they’re bringing us is on display in Detroit, Chicago, and the rural areas of California. Soon, everywhere, as they take over. Everything I was carefully indoctrinated with, as a child and young adult…? Lies. Absolute, utter lies, intended to cozen the dominant culture into giving everything away, in order that the resultant chaos would allow the termites in the woodwork to finish their mission, and take over.
We’re basically recapitulating the story of the Roman Empire as the productive regions of the Empire got swamped by the incoming barbarians as the central authorities lost control of the borders. Only difference here is that the tribes coming in are coming in with the full support and malfeasant desires of the powerful, who are too stupid to comprehend what they are doing, eating out the substance of the modern-day equivalent of the yeoman small farmers that were the lifeblood of the Empire.
The whole thing is going to end in tears, and then chains. I look forward to the entire shoddy edifice crashing down on the elites, and being able to tell them “Told ya so, ya dumbasses…”.
The really amazing thing to contemplate? This was all done by our own kind, our own elites, who basically betrayed us by destroying the cultural commons we all thrived in. The replacement? Who knows what it’s going to look like, but I doubt it will be as kind to its dissidents and self-hating saboteurs.
I never realized until very recently that in Chicago (and other cities?) street gangs have replaced the functions of the mob, but if anything they are far more politically connected and powerful than the mob ever was. Also, the mob was torn to pieces by the feds, and yet as far as I can tell no one is willing to touch the gangs, and it’s hard to see how fear of being accused of racist isn’t the obvious reason why. And yet objectively one has to say that it is absolutely shameful, immoral, and absolutely, positively, undeniably racist, that the nation turns a blind eye to the disgraceful state of black neighborhoods and schools, all of which are completely run by Democrats.
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