Thursday, September 14, 2006

The “Grave Evil” of Racial Pride in White Americans

In November of 2003, historian Shelby Steele wrote the following in the Wall Street Journal: “racial identity is simply forbidden to whites in America and across the entire Western world. Black children today are hammered with the idea of racial identity and pride, yet racial pride in whites constitutes a grave evil.” It is with this apparent double standard in mind that I present the following introductory essay to Race and the American Prospect: Essays on Racial Realities of Our Nation and Time, which was written by the late Sam Francis. It gives those of us who are proponents of racial egalitarianism an interesting and essential vantage point that must not be overlooked as we consider the future of race in this country.

If an analogy between the Victorian sex taboo and the contemporary race taboo were to be drawn, the essays in this book are logically the analogue of pornography, or what conventional Victorians regarded as pornography. Every one of these essays deals with race in a way that the dominant culture of the present day rejects, forbids, and indeed punishes by one means or another. Every one of them deals with aspects of race—its reality as a part of the biological and psychological nature of man and its importance as a social and historical force—that contemporary culture is at best reluctant to discuss at all and absolutely refuses to acknowledge as true. At the same time, in contradiction to the stereotype promoted by "anti-racist" forces, not one of these essays or their authors expresses here or anywhere else any desire to harm, exploit, dominate, or deny the legitimate rights of other races. This book is not a tract promoting "white supremacy" or the restoration of forced segregation.

All contributors to this volume are white, well educated, and articulate; several are or have been academics or professional journalists and authors, and what unites and drives them as a group is a common concern that their race today faces a crisis that within the coming century and in the United States and Europe could easily lead to either its physical extinction, its subordination to and persecution by other races, or the destruction of its civilization.

Most readers who continue to believe what the dominant culture tells them about the meaning and significance of race will find this concern bizarre. Even if race does exist as a biological reality, it certainly has no meaning for behavior, culture, intelligence, or other traits that influence and shape social institutions. Moreover, any effort to take race more seriously is either a deliberate and covert attempt to justify racial hatred or injustice, or is at best a misguided enterprise that is all too likely to lead to hatred, injustice, and even genocide, as it has in the past. This is the conventional attitude toward race that the dominant culture in the West today promotes and enforces, and it is precisely from that attitude that the authors of these essays dissent.

The commonly held beliefs about race mentioned above—that it does not exist or is not important and that serious concern about race and racial identity leads to negative and undesirable consequences—are wrong. Yet it is precisely those beliefs that make it impossible for whites who accept them to preserve themselves as a race and the civilization and political institutions their race has created. As black historian Shelby Steele acknowledged in the Wall Street Journal ( November 13, 2003), "Racial identity is simply forbidden to whites in America and across the entire Western world. Black children today are hammered with the idea of racial identity and pride, yet racial pride in whites constitutes a grave evil. Say ‘I’m white and I’m proud’ and you are a Nazi.". Indeed, he made use of the widely shared (by non-whites as well as whites) demonic view of whites to reject and deny any white claim to their own racial identity:

No group in recent history has more aggressively seized power in the name of its racial superiority than Western whites. This race illustrated for all time—through colonialism, slavery, white racism, Nazism—the extraordinary human evil that follows when great power is joined to an atavistic sense of superiority and destiny.

Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, as well as Hispanic leaders Cruz Bustamante and Mario Obledo, have no problem exulting in their own racial identity and the political power they expect such solidarity to yield. They exult in language that is explicitly anti-white, in the most primitive and threatening terms. Yet they are seldom called to account for it. When Mr. Obledo, proclaimed a few years ago, "California is going to be a Mexican state, we are going to control all the institutions. If people don’t like it they should leave—go back to Europe," he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton soon afterward. It is not very likely that a white leader today who said, as Senator Stephen Douglas in a debate with Abraham Lincoln in 1858 did say, "I believe this government was made on the white basis. I believe it was made by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever" would be awarded anything. Douglas’s comment (and many similar ones) expressed a sentiment more or less parallel to Mr. Obledo’s, though Douglas did not go so far as to invite non-whites to leave the country (it was Lincoln himself who did that). Douglas in fact won the election and was the Democrat’s national candidate for president two years later.

In contrast to Mr. Obledo, when Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in December 2002 remarked that the country would have been better off had Strom Thurmond won the 1948 presidential election, he was denounced from both the political right and left and hounded into resigning his leadership position in the U.S. Senate. Mr. Lott had said nothing about race, and there was no evidence he was even thinking about that aspect of the campaign; but he was obliged to engage in protracted and repeated retractions, anyway—all to no avail.

One main reason for the obvious double standard is that non-whites are easily inflamed and mobilized by the slightest appearance of white identity, and their mobilization can have disastrous consequences for institutions—the Republican Party—that seek or depend on non-white votes or market patronage. Yet these are by no means the only reasons why whites "cannot openly have a racial identity."

The truth is that whites deny themselves a racial identity. Mr. Steele can utter sweeping generalizations about "the extraordinary human evil" (ignoring the long and brutal history of slavery, conquest, genocide, and repression by nonwhites in Africa and Asia that persists to this day) in a major newspaper owned and managed by whites because most of the white elite will not question this kind of anti-white opinion. White tolerance of such anti-white sentiment is due to the guilt that is injected into white minds.

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