Rod Dreher asks “What are they preparing us for by teaching non-white people to fear and loathe whites?” It’s a good question, and the answer is something to fear.
Once only on social media, now commonplace on the legacy outlets, we encounter near-constant pleas to kill white people, or cancel them, or push them aside. A white friend married to the same Asian woman for decades was cursed at in front of his grandchildren as a fetishist. Late night “comedy” shows openly enjoy speculating what violence Derek Chauvin will suffer in prison. A Barnard College instructor discussed gassing whites in a coming race war. It is completely acceptable in our public discourse to say such things, almost fashionable under grievance theology.
Coupled with the sentiments toward white people is a similar theme against men in general. Twitter from time to time will burp up hashtags like #WorldWithoutMen, with tweets that range between funny-not funny jokes about how women can get by with “more batteries” to outright calls for violence. We can’t help it, having been assured “all men are part of a patriarchal system that stamps all over women,” one big Handmaid’s Tale of woe. Not really much room for practical improvement like when we were just asked to help with the dishes.
Of course, the rules of media, social and anti-social, say this is okay even as they punish those who say exactly the same things but change white to black (racists) or men to women (misogynists). As each outlet cuts out more and more dissenting voices, the anti-white, anti-male pieces expand into more of the bandwidth. Stymied in their attempts to create a legal version, “hate speech,” progressives use economic power to create a de facto one outside the law, Pee Wee giggling how the Constitution can’t stop non-governmental megacorps. Their censorship weapons against hate, however, seem to only point one way.
The Republican Party that millions support for as many reasons is dismissed as “the front organization of American neofascism.” It follows if you exercise certain rights (such as support free speech, own a legal weapon, read this website) you are inherently wrong and evil, not just your ideas. You can’t be persuaded, and you are not worth listening to, only punching. Even two of America’s whitest dads, Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama, demonize many of us as toxic in their podcasts.
Imagine that, a human being wrong simply based on the skin and sex he was born with. There should be a word for that.
Many people are savvy enough to know Twitter, et al., are just acting out and the daily wallop of threats are without merit. We get the desire to out-shock one’s competitors with claims such as “whites are a public health crisis” and the like. We know it’s mostly bull from bindle-toting grifter “journalists” who call themselves wypipologists.
But more and more these angry, hateful performances can cause someone to lose his livelihood over a misunderstood Facebook post, or false testimony about harassment granted cardboard credibility by #BelieveWomen. They can make the jump from online to the real world, with real world consequences. That does alarm even steady people willing to dismiss much as just rhetoric. There is danger from sticks and stones.
Leaving Dr. King’s dream of a world where color does not matter, progressive America is purposefully seeking a return to circa-1950 when color mattered a lot. We are encouraged to hate reciprocally. Progressives believe they can control the monster, so that favoring color (or gender, or political stance) means advantages at work and school for blacks, and whatever nibblers they can attract from the mountain of “people of color” who in many cases see little of themselves in black activism.
The new progressive world damn well intends to base things on color, relying on the most crude and crumbly definition of racism: If the percentage of black (mortgage holders, Harvard grads, inmates) is different than the percentage of black Americans in society, that means racism. So in the real world an institution like Brigham and Women’s Hospital wants to charge black patients less than white, and allocate medical resources on the basis of race to fix whatever disparities they believe are traceable to 1619. They might as well jump to the conclusion and just install separate drinking fountains.
The best arguments will echo those made for affirmative action, that a little bit of “good” discrimination is the bitter medicine needed to correct a bigger problem, with the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection clause set aside for the greater good. How’s that been working out? Seems if it had helped we wouldn’t be here, now.
Seeing color as an essential part of identity is what America spent 160 years fighting against. The progressive reversal is little short of a confession that that idea, including the civil rights movement and Dr. King, et al., failed. Their answer is to declare a mass of Americans must be downgraded, if not eliminated, for others to progress. We will never otherwise get black Americans to make up 13.4 percent of everything, they say as if that goal rivaled the moon shot in the national mind.
This solution validates the worst racist impulse—color matters—and the worst version of a society, that there are only so many chances, never enough to go around, so our group will have to take some from yours. It is essentially a version of the racist theory of white displacement. And it takes nothing more than watching toddlers, or puppies, fighting over limited toys to know how that has to end.
And that is frightening. We saw a taste of what’s to come in the election of Donald Trump. Democrats want to fob that off as a one-time thing, powered by foreign intervention. Joe Biden was supposed to have been the ideological palate cleanser. But Biden is instead fanning the flames in slavish debt to the people who reluctantly voted for him as the lesser of two evils. Open the borders! Gun control! More quotas and empowerment! Reparations!
Biden is at best passively following a pre-written social justice agenda (who knows what he believes himself, or is even aware of), and counting on manipulating the complexity of how we vote to re-elect his party (hence the muscle tussle over Georgia’s voting laws.) He ignores how lousy a candidate and how clumsy a president Trump was—yet the latter still polls high in defeat.
It is most accurate to look at Trump not as an anomaly but as version 1.0 of who we’ll elect someday. Trump said the right words to Americans who felt disenfranchised, and did well with many others despite being often embarrassing. But he dragged around too much baggage from decades of public life and never learned how to get things done in Washington. His opposition meanwhile was comical, clinging like Jack on that Titanic raft to a fully false Russian narrative for three years.
But with eye toward how this has evolved among rightists in Europe, think about the next guy, who is articulate and smart, who can subtly turn the volume knob up or down as needed when addressing angry unemployed workers or impatient suburbanites whose kids can’t get into a good school due to quotas, both groups worn by taxes imposed to pay for the Democratic vision, both groups suffering from rising crime even as leaders call for defunding the police. Think of a Keanu, not a Pompeo.
Put that slicky boy candidate into a world where the media which backstopped Biden is even more granular, where the big guys like CNN matter even less, and new platforms emerge to make Twitter and Facebook less significant. The media’s credibility is heading toward the bottom anyway. Some 58 percent of us already think “most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public.” They’ll still make money off the clicks of their converted cleric audience, but they will not influence others as much.
The kind of candidate likely to emerge from all this will promise to take charge, to roll unwanted change backwards, and will manipulate the newly validated laws which say discrimination by race is what people want. He will find an audience grown larger by ham-handed efforts to impose a partisan rough splash of social change against the majority will.
He will be called a fascist or an authoritarian and he may be so, but he will also be seen as the least bad answer to a system that has already swung way too far from center.
Peter Van Buren is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan, and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the 99 Percent.