Just moments before I proceeded to write this article, a colleague of mine sent me a link to the Facebook wall of Tim Wise, a white self-avowed “anti-racist.” I will not bother relaying Wise’s tirade of a post. Rather, it is the article to which he links that is of interest.
The latest edition of The Atlantic refers to the National Policy Institute (NPI), a small think tank that met in Washington D.C. this past weekend for its annual conference. NPI describes itself as “an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.”
Wise, a white man who has made a fortune from finding “white racism” and “white privilege” in every nook and cranny of the Western world, a Social Justice Warrior (SJW) who has been a tireless defender of Black Lives Matter, describes NPI members as “white nationalists and racists, at best, Nazis at worst.”
According to The Atlantic—a fiercely anti-Trump outfit—more than “200 attendees” were “saluted” by the organization’s president, Richard Spencer, who exclaimed: “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”
The article states that while “the parade of speakers discussed their ideology in relatively anodyne terms, putting a presentable face on their agenda,” after “journalists had already departed,” NPI’s president, Richard Spencer, “rose and delivered a speech to his following dripping with anti-Semitism [.]”
We need not be interested in defending Spencer or NPI in order to defend the truth against a larger narrative, a noxious fiction that the left has been at work crafting for decades.
This piece from the left-leaning Atlantic appears to be but another example of the “fake news” that we have come to expect from ideologically-driven propagandist organs, the not-so-subtle partisan editorializing that passes itself off as journalism and that got Donald J. Trump elected as the 45th President of the United States of America.
Consider: If the 200-plus NPI attendees were little Hitlers, as Tim Wise and the writers at The Atlantic want for us to think, then why haven’t we any photos of everyone at this conference giving a Nazi salute? In the single photo that the The Atlantic does provide, a photo of no more than a dozen people at best, only one-sixth of them—two—have their arms lifted.
And it’s hardly clear that they intended to emulate those Nazis from yesteryear who saluted Der Fuhrer.
Recall, the anti-Trump corporate media has been whistling this same tune from the time that Trump was leading in the primaries. Photos of Trump rallies circulated in which scores of attendees were featured with arms lifted in air. This, the scandalously dishonest media wanted for us to conclude, proved that Trump—Trump, one of the most visible and famous men in the world, a man with a public record extending back three decades, a real estate mogul who had a long-running, top-rated NBC television show!—was the new Hitler and his supporters Brown Shirts.
When Laura Ingraham, a Fox News contributor, veteran nationally syndicated talk radio host, and the mother of adopted children from the Third World, spoke at the GOP’s Convention back in July, this same media circulated photos of her with an outstretched arm. The message was the same: Trump and his supporters are Nazis, fascists, racists, etc.
So, it’s not unfair to ask the experts on Racial Correctness: What is it that distinguishes in awfulness Richard Spencer and his ilk from those of us who the Tim Wises and Atlantics of the world have been demonizing for well over a year?
We can go even further.
The left has been sounding off on the interrelated themes of “institutional racism,” “unconscious racism,” and “white privilege” for decades (In fact, Toni Morrison attributes Trump’s victory to a “fear” of the “loss” of “white privilege”). By the lights of this thinking, all whites are “racist,” even those with the best of intentions toward those of other races. All whites need to be “mindful” of their “privilege,” i.e. of their obligation to better the plight of peoples of color—even when the latter, on an individual basis, may be better off than them.
For roughly a half-of-a-century, the same kinds of people who are decrying Trump and his supporters as “fascists” and “racists” have been referring to America as “AmeriKKKa.”
Let us, then, refine our last question: What makes such “white racists” and “fascists” as Spencer and NPI any worse than such “white racists” and “fascists” as Tim Wise, Martha Raddatz, Jeffrey Zucker, Anderson Cooper, and every other white person?
Are some Nazis, white racists, and white fascists better and/or worse than others? How is the AmeriKKKa to which the left’s been referring since the 1960’s any different now than it was in the first week of November, before the election of Donaldus Maximus?
Spencer gave a speech “dripping with anti-Semitism,” according to The Atlantic. This same press has been leveling the same charges of “anti-Semitism” and Nazism against Steve Bannon ever since Trump appointed him to a new cabinet position last week. Scores of Jews have leapt to Bannon’s defense, revealing the charge for the slander that it is. The point, though, is that as far as the left-wing media and the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC) have always been concerned, anyone and everyone to their right is of a piece with NPI, and America has been AmeriKKKa long before it catapulted Trump into the White House.
So why listen to anything they have to say now?
The answer is that we should not listen. There probably hasn’t been a single political candidate that has been demonized to the extent that Trump has been. Americans voted for him, I am convinced, not in spite of this, but because of it. Citizens have tired on being reduced to one-dimensional caricatures, “racists.” For years, they have felt as unjustly besieged as Trump had been unjustly besieged this last year.
Their vote for Trump signified a backlash (or whitelash), a threshold of patience, a policy of tolerance for abuse that had reached its expiration date.
No more, the Deplorables said.
This is what the Democrat left still doesn’t seem to have figured out. It still hasn’t realized that its aggressive racial identity politics finally, at long last, backfired. The more it continues to squirm in the trap of its own making, the more it continues to scream “racism” and the like at its opponents, the more it will diminish its odds of winning back the power that it has lost. As of now, assuming that the left continues to indiscriminately brandish the “R” word, Trump can rest assured that his second home will be on Pennsylvania Avenue for the next eight years.
And the left still hasn’t come to terms with the fact that the likes of Richard Spencer—who self-describes as an “identitarian,” not a “white nationalist” or “white supremacist”—are also the products of its own agenda of identity-politics. As long as blacks, Hispanics, and the members of other non-white groups continue, and are encouraged to continue, to organize in terms of what they take to be their racial self-interests, whites promise to grow in racial consciousness and organize similarly. Trump’s victory may (in part) have been the first somewhat explicit move in this direction.
For the good of their party and their country, those on the left and in the Democrat Party need to radically rethink the path that they have forged for the last 40 years.
They need to reverse course quickly.
Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.