Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Recently, terminal…
How “anti-racists” exploit “whiteness” to feather their own political nest.
Recently, terminal Trumpophobe Max Boot went after chronic Trumpophobe National Review for not being extreme enough in their denunciation of “white grievance politics” and “whining” whites, who “can justify everything from a public temper tantrum to a shooting spree,” and expose their belief “that white supremacy is the natural order of things.” Boot counsels “clueless white people” to “get a grip” and tone down the “sense of outrage that white people feel when they fear losing their privileged position to people of color.”
John Nolte on Brietbart humorously dissects Boot’s racialist drivel and the NeverTrump civil war, and John Hirschauer ably defends NRO’s real point. What I find interesting 50 years after the Civil Rights legislation is the continuing use of empty terms like “white.” Such racial categories are left-overs from early 20th century “scientific racism,” which dressed up irrational and self-serving bigotry in the technical terminology and quantitative procedures of real science. Today, they are the instruments of the progressive project of dismantling the Constitutional order at the expense of freedom.
Back in the heyday of “scientific racism,” the category “white” was an incoherent amalgam of superficial physical characteristics like skull shape and skin-color, with subjectively defined inherited “traits”––including vague qualities like “gumption” or “stick-to-it-ive-ness”–– that in fact reflected cultural differences, different social mores, affluence, and geographic diversity. Soon “white” denoted the Anglo-Norman, Nordic, and Germanic peoples, often compressed into WASPs, who comprised America’s socio-economic, political, and educational elite. That same demographic provided the intellectual and political advocates of “scientific racism” and the eugenics movement, which sought to limit immigrants from southern Italy, eastern Europe, and the Middle East, who by the Darwinian laws of nature were incapable of functioning in a politically free, economically advanced society.
These “inferiors,” then, were not considered “white,” even though on the basis of another, earlier classification system equally misguided, they were all “Caucasian,” a word now used as a synonym for the cruder simplicity of “white.” Originally, however, “Caucasians” included coal-black South Asians, lily-white Swedes, and swarthy Semites such as Arabs and Jews. It is testimony to how fluid, politicized, and zany our racial categories are that a self-proclaimed woman “of color” like Congressman Rashida Tlaib is an original Caucasian just like Benjamin Netanyahu or Donald Trump.