So I was reading an article by the NYT about what “The alt-right really means” and they were talking about a guy named Spencer, who is supposed to be something of a “White Nationalist,” according to them. And while the Times to that point had been leaning towards “this is bad” while they were admitting “this is happening, accept it and deal with it” they did say the following about him:
Mr. Spencer, 38, directs the National Policy Institute, which sponsored the Washington meeting. Despite its name, the institute has little to say about policy, although it has called for a 50-year moratorium on immigration. What it mostly does is seek to unite people around the proposition that, as Mr. Spencer put it, “Race is real, race matters, and race is the foundation of identity.”
The Times, it seems, is attempting to put forth the idea that Spencer is a Racist…because of his position on race, that it is real, that it matters, and that it is the foundation of identity. With the presumption that “this is bad.” And normally, one would agree with them.
Except that Spencer is espousing the position on race that the Political Left, especially the Progressive Left, has held for Decades.
The only difference, at this point, is Spencer’s Race. Spencer is White. But where the Times and most other publications calling themselves “news” these days are perfectly okay to say that “the Black race is real, Being Black Matters, and being Black is the foundation of Black Identity.”
There is no obvious catchall word for them. The word “racist” has been stretched to cover an attitude toward biology, a disposition to hate, and a varying set of policy preferences, from stop-and-frisk policing to repatriating illegal immigrants. While everyone in this set of groups is racist in at least one of these senses, many are not racist in others. Not many of the attendees at the Washington gathering favored the term “white supremacist.” The word implies a claim to superiority — something few insisted on. “White nationalist” is closer to the mark; most people in this part of the alt-right think whites either ought to have a nation or constitute one already. But they feel that almost all words tend to misdescribe or stigmatize them.
“Everyone in these groups is Racist.”
Well, see, that’s pretty interesting to me. According to the Times, everyone in these “alt-right groups” is “racist.” Why? because they believe Race is Real (a tenant of political leftism), that race matters (a tenant of progressive leftism), and that race is the foundation of identity (intersectional progressive leftism).
So you have a bunch of white people, embracing Leftist Ideologies, and they’re… right wing racists.
They’re racists for believing the same things about race that a great deal of blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, and other ethnic groups (whose beliefs are affirmed and supported by the political left as good). Hel, they’re racists for believing they as a people should have their own nation…when the existence of other ethnic nations is not only supported by the Political Left, it is insisted upon.
So really, why the double standard? Why is it good for everyone but Whites to believe about themselves the same things it is good for any other people to believe about themselves, according to the Political Left?
Mr. Spencer speaks of Mr. Trump’s campaign as a “body without a head” and considers many of his policies “half-baked.” But for him, that is not the point. “Donald Trump is the first step towards identity politics for European-Americans in the United States,” he said.
Well, given that the political left and so many others have celebrated Identity Politics as good, noble, and the right way to do things…I’m not sure they have room to complain when those good, noble, and right ways are embraced by white people. I mean, you can’t sell something as good to “everyone,” and then get upset when everyone decides to embrace it.
Now, I am not personally a fan of identity politics, but if it’s going to be “game at the table” then I suppose I have to play it. Or at least, I can’t get mad when other people play it, and play it to win, even if I’d rather sit out.
And I don’t think Spencer is wrong here. If the game is “identity politics” then…whites have the right to play it as well. The cannot be excluded from the table simply because of their race. That is racism, and they have every right to fight against racism against themselves, the same as people of any other race.
The Vanderbilt University political scientist Carol Swain was among the first to describe the contours of this worldview. In her 2002 book, “The New White Nationalism in America,” she noted that young people were quick to identify double standards, and that they sometimes did so in the name of legitimate policy concerns. “I knew that identity would come next,” she recalled. “It had to come. All they had to do was copy what they were hearing. The multiculturalist arguments you hear on every campus — those work for whites, too.” Mr. Spencer, asked in an interview how he would respond to the accusation that his group was practicing identity politics in the manner of blacks and Hispanics, replied: “I’d say: ‘Yuh. You’re right.’ ”
The political left invented the sword, as it were. Now they are terrified and shocked that their foes would learn to make it their own.
Those who never learn their history are doomed to repeat it, it would seem.
There is no such thing as a perfect weapon, capable of harming one’s enemies but never harming one’s self. Every weapon can be used by any one. And when a weapon is as so open to exploitation as Identity Politics inherently is, where it is all about race, the legitimacy of race as an identity, and that one’s place in society is to be defined by one’s race…the sword was always going to be picked up and used to defend those it had been used to try and kill.
Professor Swain’s analysis does not just pertain to radicals. It is a plausible account of what is happening in the American electoral mainstream. The alt-right is small. It may remain so. And yet, while small, it is part of something this election showed to be much bigger: the emergence of white people, who evidently feel their identity is under attack, as a “minority”-style political bloc.
Now, I’m older than I might like to be, and that means I’ve been around to see this happen. Bit by bit, race by race, people were carved into political blocs and invested with a racial identity, a racial identity that was validated time and time again…
Except for “white people.” These people were denied the legitimacy that was granted to every other race. When ever it was attempted, they were scorned and scoured from civilization. For them, to do the same thing as every other race, was an act of evil….even if it was an act of good for everyone else. More and more, they were put into a “political ghetto” and denied right after right, fair treatment after fair treatment. And as the push for identity politics got stronger and stronger, and whites have been more and more vilified…this was inevitable.
And I’m not going to say it’s bad. I mean, I don’t think it’s good, but then I don’t think any part of Identity Politics is good when it comes to any group, period. But if that’s the game, then by all means I cannot fault people for playing it simply because they happen to be White. They’ve got as much legitimacy to do it as anyone else.
And given that legitimacy…in some ways I hope they win. Because I have studied my history, and I’ve seen what the attitudes, language, and even actions that they have been facing turn into when said maligned group loses the political power needed to defend itself.
And this world has had enough genocides for my liking.