The Unbearable Whiteness of Being
In some ways the Leftist notion of race as a social construct has some basis, if not in biological reality, then in how societal conceptions of race in America have proven to be somewhat elastic. What I mean by this is “white” is often used as a proxy for success, and the cultural trappings of “whiteness” are affixed to those who: a) achieve or are perceived to have achieved a certain measure of financial success, and b) assume a certain set of characteristics and behaviors attendant with or at least projecting said success (examples include: manner of speech, manner of dress, building a nuclear family, and attending college). These characteristics and behaviors are endemic to affluent and middle-class white-majority communities, and to a lesser extent in working-class communities. Whiteness as a very broad biological definition is any person of core indigenous European genetic ancestry, such as the Latin, Celtic, Teutonic, Slavic, and Nordic sub-groups of the European continent, and excludes the alien Roma, Ashkenazi Jews, and Turks. The Sami people remain a bit of an enigma, but the Uralic Komi were discovered in 2013 to be a distinct genetic population separate from Europeans. With these few exceptions and contestations, the distinct ethnicities under the umbrella of “whiteness” share a common genetic bond, and anyway, the categorical hair-splitting of white ethnicities is tangential to our present discussion: whiteness as a uniquely American social construct.
Simply enter “Whiteness in America” in the Google search bar, and you’ll be assailed by results all demonizing whites to varying degrees. Despite its conflation with success, which you would think would be a positive, it appears the general consensus, even among many whites, is that “whiteness” is a bad thing, something to be ashamed of. White Guilt, which is basically Catholic Guilt, but racial, holds that whites fanned over the globe, extinguishing utopian native societies wherever they went, installing slavery, genocide, and oppression everywhere their ships anchored, and that this is something for which whites must now pay a penance. This penance usually involves dissolving your unique cultural identity and yielding all of your power, after which you must prostrate yourself before Michael Eric Dyson and beg for absolution. There are terrible sins of colonialism and exploitation for which you must atone, even if you or your ancestors never owned slaves, lived in the Jim Crow South, or have never even had a substantive interaction with a black person. So to recap, whiteness is a marker of success if you exhibit “white traits” in your accession to a higher income bracket and more posh zip code, but success also implies ill-gotten gain and exploitation of some kind, even if you are dirt-poor, and for this, you must begin every sentence with an apology.
Oddly, though they purport to detest binary structures, the post-colonial, Cultural Marxist Leftist mélange seem to view an awful lot through this prism. In the antebellum South, the “one drop rule” stipulated any amount of “black blood” was justifiable grounds for slavery, and more largely, this “contamination” signaled the possibility of savagery, even in the presence of “civilizing white blood.” Curious, then, that in our modern society we are told to recognize bi- or multi-racial individuals as “people of color.” One, this phraseology makes no grammatical sense, and two, using these kinds of characterizations, from a Leftist perspective, would seem to be “problematic” as it actually reinforces the notion of the “one drop rule,” something you’d think they’d be keen to de-construct. White Nationalists are not conflicted here because this perfectly conforms to their worldview. Nonetheless, this exposes a glaring blind spot in Leftist thinking. Indeed, many on the Left, particularly in each insular ethnic community, encouraged by multi-culturalism and imported to feed the Democrat vote machine, regularly attack others for “not being [insert identifier here] enough.”
The conception of “whiteness” has long been subject to revision in the American context. Middle Easterners and North Africans are classified as white by the U.S. Census Bureau, and Latin American whites, such as most Argentines, are classified as Hispanic. Asians were recognized by the Census Bureau as white until the 1980s (and Tariq Nasheed still considers them “honorary whites”). In the late-19th and early-20th centuries, Madison Grant’s Nordic Theory gained a substantial amount of traction. In The Great Gatsby, Tom Buchanan was reading The Rise of the Colored Empires by “this man Goddard,” a combination of Grant and Lothrop Stoddard. “Everybody ought to read it,” Tom explained. “The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.” Incidentally, most of the people brought to America as indentured servants were very poor Borderlanders, to use Colin Woodard’s term from the great book American Nations, for Celtic and Anglo-Saxon people from the historical lands of conflict in Britain—northern Ireland, southern Scotland, and northern England. In light of the events of Bacon’s Rebellion, the Tidewater aristocracy sought to create a stronger bond with the Piedmont farmers, most of whom were former indentured servants and white slaves, on the basis of racial solidarity; a much greater emphasis was placed on race by the slave-owning class in the hopes that the class division would not appear so pronounced to the hard-scrabble whites. At the same time, however, the “white trash” was often simultaneously denigrated by this New World landed gentry and frequently pitted against the imported blacks.
Now a quick note about Bacon’s Rebellion. In light of the “migrant” situation in Europe, among many, many other issues, the pronounced sex imbalance in places like Sweden is one of the driving factors behind rape going up by an astounding almost 1,500% (!); by admitting huge numbers of fighting age men, many of whom implausibly have been classified as children for asylum purposes, the Nordic countries in particular have opened a veritable Pandora’s Box. Not only are these men culturally, linguistically, and ethnically estranged, they are, for lack of a better term, sexually frustrated, and are acting out their violent psycho-sexual impulses on the women of these countries. Obviously much of this also has to do with religious ideology and abysmal socialization, in addition to complete disregard for basic human rights, but it is illustrative of the kinds of “powder-keg” situations that occur when people perceive themselves as marginalized and have no ameliorating factors, such as female companionship and the ability to start a family. The men of Bacon’s Rebellion were not going around raping women—after all, they weren’t the products of familial inter-marriage over the course of centuries, nor were they Mohammedans—but I would argue the severe paucity of eligible women coupled with hardscrabble farming conditions allowed frustrations to boil over in ways they otherwise wouldn’t have.
There is a profound ignorance of history among many in the race grievance industry. The Civil War was about slavery, as the dominant narrative would have it (even though only a few percent of Southerners owned slaves, and not all of the slave owners were white), not states’ rights or an agrarian honor culture versus a moralizing urban one (which even then was taking in huge quantities of immigrants to satisfy the demand for cheap, unskilled labor). The writing was probably on the wall, as the Union eventually wore down the Confederacy through sheer force of numbers, yet despite sharp regional divides in the country, an over-arching view of American exceptionalism proved to be a very strong glue indeed. Once the frontier closed, the mills and factories were fully staffed, and major thoroughfares were established, it became clear the near-insatiable demand for foreign labor would need to be tamped down dramatically.
There have been certain pinch points, such as the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, which slowed the tide of immigration and allowed for further assimilation centered on a broader policy of isolationism. It’s no surprise that in this forty-year period, once the United States bounced back from the Great Depression and a savage World War that the nation’s prosperity spiked. There was also no such ideology as multi-culturalism—you were expected to assimilate. Cultural homogeneity and a united purpose fueled the post-war boom until things began to unravel in 1964-65 with a flurry of often-unconstitutional legislation, the Great Society programs, and untrammeled immigration from the Third World; no one should be surprised that real wages have been essentially stagnant since the early 1970s, growing at 0.2 percent annually, depressed primarily by mass unskilled labor immigration. It was also right around this time that the Frankfurt School tumor in higher education began to turn malignant, poisoning the discourse with the post-modern, post-colonial, Cultural Marxist, neo-feminist jargon.
The need to critique the demonization of the Other forms much of the bedrock of this post-colonial, post-modern, everything-is-a-dominance-hierarchy view, and yet there is an almost universally accepted view on the Left of whites as indistinguishable and homogenous, united in their privileged position as beneficiaries of cultural appropriation, enslavement, and exploitation. In this model, it’s irrelevant the Arabs dominated the global slave trade, or that two-thirds of all African slaves in the so-called Age of Exploration went to the Middle East, not across the Atlantic, or that the male African slaves in the Middle East were castrated so they could not reproduce, or that China started importing black slaves from Arab slave traders in the tenth century, or that slavery has been practiced since the dawn of humanity, or that whites used to enslave whites (the Irish were the Vikings’ favorite target) and sell them to other whites or Arabs, or that Arabs used to enslave whites captured on raids across the Mediterranean and from American trading vessels even into the nineteenth century, or that white indentured servitude across the Atlantic may have been for a “finite” period of time, but was far more savage and fatal than African slavery, or that Russian Empire serfdom, which lasted into the twentieth century, was by its very definition slavery, or that there are thirty million slaves today in Africa, not to mention the women of sharia-compliant nations or the lowest of the Indian caste system.
The only reason these limousine Democrats and Cultural Marxists in the academy have the privilege to sit around and over-intellectualize is because of the unprecedented wealth and prosperity the West has experienced since World War II. They don’t have to get out and labor in the fields or in factories, and they haven’t had to worry about a foreign invader coming over the hills to rape and pillage, until of course the virtues of multi-culturalism necessitated we bring in a fresh influx of barbarism. Instead, the “cultural elites” broaden the definitions of rape and violence because they’ve never been confronted with the imminent threat of it—and they still have their gated communities to protect them now while the rest of us suffer the consequences of America’s browning.
There is a curious quirk in the modern Leftist conception of race, however. In many ways it does have historical precedent, but again, the ignorance of this tradition obviously hasn’t precluded its gaining traction. The oppressor/oppressed paradigm based on white privilege and exploitation of all non-whites evidently doesn’t extend to Ashkenazi Jews or Northeast Asians, nor does it, apparently, encompass many success stories from the Indian subcontinent or Nigeria. This is very simple, of course—these groups are living proof the model of race-based discrimination is obvious bullshit. If the Japanese can go from internment camps in the 1940s to out-earning whites on average, a rational person would conclude there’s something deficient in the model (though according to the Census Bureau the Japanese were white at the time, so maybe that explains it). We’re over fifty years on, and instead of having a positive effect, affirmative action (which is in violation of Title VII and is unconstitutional, by the way) has had, at best, no positive economic effect on the communities it purports to help. All it’s really done is sow resentment among whites and Asians who are bypassed in the name of equity, and weaken the talent pool a business has at its disposal, not to mention perpetuate a culture of walking on eggshells in the name of HR-enforced “sensitivity.”
There doesn’t appear to be a credible answer for the twin gigantic Yellow and Hebraic Privilege elephants in the room on the Left. Is it possible certain population groups like the Japanese and Ashkenazi Jews earn more money because they have far higher average IQs than, say, Gambians or Haitians? Why is there such a disparity in Nobel Prize winners, for example, between a relatively tiny minority, the Ashkenazi Jews, and a much larger one, the blacks in America? All these questions, and so many more, the world may never know…