Features, Politics, Social Media

A Closer Look at Anti-White Rhetoric

Online controversy erupted earlier this month when The New York Times announced that technology writer Sarah Jeong would be joining its editorial board. Almost immediately, old tweets from Jeong containing derogatory remarks about white people were being shared widely on twitter. The next day, The Times issued a statement defending Jeong’s tweets as a response to online harassment in which she was “imitating the rhetoric of her harassers,” reflecting Jeong’s own statement that she was “counter-trolling” and would not do it again. The Times further claimed it had reviewed Jeong’s social media history as part of the vetting process and affirmed that her hiring would not be affected by the controversy.

The following day, journalist Nick Monroe searched Jeong’s twitter history for the term “white” and found hundreds of tweets from 2013 to 2017. He posted the result in a long twitter thread, also widely shared. Some of the tweets were highly inflammatory, such as: “oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men;” “Dumbass fucking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants;” and “Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically only being fit to live underground like grovelling goblins.” But there were also many tweets that were more casually derogatory, mixed in with apologies. (I suggest going through Monroe’s thread to get a feel for the rhetoric.)

That day, New York Magazine’s Andrew Sullivan pointed out the implausibility of The Times’s defence of Jeong. Her tweets had occurred over a period of several years, Sullivan noted, and were mostly directed at whites as a group, not individual people. No one could reasonably believe this was all a response to trolls. Sullivan argued that The Times’s defence was just a façade, because the prevailing view on the political left is that it’s impossible to be racist to white people:

The editors of the Verge, where Jeong still works, described any assertion of racism in Jeong’s tweets as “dishonest and outrageous,” a function of bad faith and an attack on journalism itself. Scroll through left-Twitter and you find utter incredulity that demonizing white people could in any way be offensive. That’s the extent to which loathing of and contempt for “white people” is now background noise on the left.

In response, Vox’s Zack Beauchamp argued that Sullivan and fellow conservative David French, who also wrote an article critical of Jeong’s tweets, “misunderstand what racism is and how the so-called ‘social justice left’ approaches the world…”

While Beauchamp grants Sullivan’s contention that the social justice left considers institutional power an important component in how racism operates, his main argument is rather that Jeong and others in the social justice left shouldn’t be taken literally when they denigrate white people:

To anyone who’s even passingly familiar with the way the social justice left talks, this is just clearly untrue. “White people” is a shorthand in these communities, one that’s used to capture the way that many whites still act in clueless and/or racist ways. It’s typically used satirically and hyperbolically to emphasize how white people continue to benefit (even unknowingly) from their skin color, or to point out the ways in which a power structure that favors white people continues to exist.

Beauchamp selected a few tweets intended to demonstrate that the way Jeong talks about white people is common on the social justice left. This would be obvious to anyone who has spent time in these communities, he argued. In fact, one of the tweets he reprinted expressed disbelief that The Times didn’t know this. Beauchamp’s defence was echoed a few days later by Vox’s Ezra Klein, who noted that a very similar dynamic occurred on feminist twitter where the line #KillAllMen became popular a few years ago. It made Klein uncomfortable, he noted, but he understood it was satirical.

For someone following the story from the sidelines, this is quite a development. From the emergence of a history of seemingly bigoted tweets from a person hired to The New York Times’s editorial board, to the defence that she was counter-trolling, to the realisation that this type of rhetoric is prevalent on the social justice left, to the argument that—while it is indeed prevalent—it’s not to be taken literally but as clever satire and hyperbole.

*   *   *

Yet, there’s reason to look deeper. In an article in The Atlantic, Reihan Salam offered an alternative perspective to that of Beauchamp and Klein. Titled “The Utility of White-Bashing,” Salam aimed to “look beyond the particulars of Jeong’s remarks to better understand why anti-white rhetoric is, in some communities, so commonplace as to be banal.” While affirming the ubiquity of anti-white rhetoric in progressive communities, Salam suggested it’s driven by motives beyond the simple highlighting of power structures.

Most commonly, he noted, it’s used as a tool by upwardly-mobile white people who “pride themselves on their diverse social circles and their enlightened views,” to distinguish themselves from their racial identity:

It is almost as though we’re living through a strange sort of ethnogenesis, in which those who see themselves as (for lack of a better term) upper-whites are doing everything they can to disaffiliate themselves from those they’ve deemed lower-whites. Note that to be “upper” or “lower” isn’t just about class status, though of course that’s always hovering in the background. Rather, it is about the supposed nobility that flows from racial self-flagellation.

Salam has also seen the same rhetoric used by highly-educated and affluent Asian-American professionals. Ultimately, it’s connected to the same phenomenon, because the aforementioned whites are gatekeepers to academic and professional success:

Think about what it takes to claw your way into America’s elite strata. Unless you were born into the upper-middle class, your surest route is to pursue an elite education. To do that, it pays to be exquisitely sensitive to the beliefs and prejudices of the people who hold the power to grant you access to the social and cultural capital you badly want. By setting the standards for what counts as praiseworthy, elite universities have a powerful effect on youthful go-getters. Their admissions decisions represent powerful “nudges” towards certain attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, and I’ve known many first- and second-generation kids—I was one of them—who intuit this early on.

In other words, anti-white rhetoric, if done in a way that mirrors that of the “upper” whites, helps Asian-Americans prove themselves as part of the elite and distinguish themselves from less-elite Asian-Americans, who just don’t get it. As long as these incentives exist, anti-white rhetoric will continue, Salam argued. (There’s more to his article; I recommend reading it in full.)

Last year, William Deresiewicz wrote a long article about his experiences teaching a semester at an elite college and hearing similar accounts from other elite colleges and universities. His article touches on the same issues Salam’s does, as well as some surrounding context that helps explain them.

Selective private colleges, Deresiewicz argued, have “become religious schools:”

The religion in question is not Methodism or Catholicism but an extreme version of the belief system of the liberal elite: the liberal professional, managerial, and creative classes, which provide a large majority of students enrolled at such places and an even larger majority of faculty and administrators who work at them. To attend those institutions is to be socialized, and not infrequently, indoctrinated into that religion.

These schools possess a dogma, a set of beliefs that are understood to be settled and with which disagreement is not allowed. This dogma is enforced not just by faculty, but by students themselves, who have far more power than previous generations. The result is an environment where disagreement is rare and where students often keep quiet to avoid conflict. Part of the reason for this is that students mostly come from liber upper and upper-middle class homes, thus bringing their beliefs with them.

The dogma centres around issues of identity, especially pertaining to race, gender, and sexuality, and manifests as a fervent desire to protect those whose identities are viewed as marginalised and challenge those whose identities are viewed as dominant. However, there is one category of identity that is often ignored: class. In fact, focus on these other identities helps conceal it:

Altogether, lower-income whites make up about 40 percent of the country, yet they are almost entirely absent on elite college campuses, where they amount, at most, to a few percent and constitute, by a wide margin, the single most underrepresented group.

“Not coincidentally,” Deresiewicz argued, “lower-income whites belong disproportionately to precisely those groups whom it is acceptable and even desirable, in the religion of the colleges, to demonize: conservatives, Christians, people from red states.” (I recommend reading Deresiewicz’s article in full.)

Taken together, Salam’s and Deresiewicz’s view can be interpreted as this: anti-white rhetoric functions as a way for upper-class and upwardly mobile whites and select people of colour to distinguish themselves from less cosmopolitan whites, who also tend to be lower-income. Furthermore, many progressive environments encourage it, especially universities, and it conveniently helps obscure or rationalise their elitism—in part by shifting the focus away from class and in part by painting lower-income whites as immoral and thus unworthy.

(Note that this doesn’t preclude that anti-white rhetoric also functions as a way to satirically highlight racism and other bad behaviours of white people, as Beauchamp and Klein claim; these aren’t mutually exclusive.)

*   *   *

The function of anti-white rhetoric as a distinguisher is interesting. Psychiatrist and prominent blogger Scott Alexander explored this topic in a blog post a few years ago. Alexander argued that terms like “Americans” and “white people” are often used as code words by liberals for stereotypical Red State conservatives, who they consider an outgroup. Consequently, when white liberals use rhetoric critical of whites (and Americans) it seems to be self-critical—and therefore praiseworthy—while in fact just being the standard outgroup demonisation that all groups practice.

A tell-tale sign of genuine self-critique, Alexander noted, is that it’s very difficult to do:

You can bet some white guy on Gawker who week after week churns out “Why White People Are So Terrible” and “Here’s What Dumb White People Don’t Understand” is having fun and not sweating any blood at all. He’s not criticizing his in-group, he’s never even considered criticizing his in-group.

While insightful, I don’t think this is entirely true. In an article in The American Interest, linguist and social critic John McWhorter argued that white liberal discourse on race has become quasireligious, with “uncannily rich” parallels to Christianity: white liberals embrace accusations of racism and confess their white privilege (original sin); and they seek a forgiveness from black people that can never be fully earned (grace). There’s also a substantial element of self-debasement and self-flagellation, McWhorter noted.

It’s also highly performative:

I have seen whites owning up to their white privilege using the hand-in-the-air-palm-out gesture typically associated with testifying in church. After the event I have been describing, all concerned deemed it “wonderful” even though nothing new had been learned.

This contrasts with Alexander’s suggestion that anti-white rhetoric is outgroup demonisation—it’s clear that many white liberals are attempting to engage in self-critique, even self-flagellation. But I don’t think Alexander is entirely wrong either. Consider, as an analogy, a religious person writing an article on the sinfulness of humanity. It’s entirely possible for that article to be both a form of self-critique via acknowledgement of one’s own sins and an outgroup demonisation of nonbelievers, who are much greater sinners and don’t even acknowledge that they’re sinners.

Likewise, it’s possible for anti-white rhetoric to simultaneously be self-critical/-flagellatory and outgroup-demonising. After all, the whites engaging in this are acknowledging their own perceived flaws, but they’re also distinguishing themselves from other whites by doing so. This is well-captured, I think, in Salam’s phrase: “the supposed nobility that flows from racial self-flagellation.” In other words, the process of self-flagellation confers nobility on cosmopolitan whites, thus elevating them morally over other whites who become distinguishable as a lesser class. The more this process is ritualised, the more significant the distinction becomes.

*   *   *

A couple of months ago Andrew Yang, a moderate Democrat and Universal Basic Income proponent whose recent book I reviewed, tweeted out the following:

These were some of the responses:

Yang’s tweet and the linked article are about actual people suffering and dying, many of them living in impoverished communities. These are not messages intended for a private community, they were posted in response to a public tweet. I wish I could say they’re uncommon, but I’ve seen ones like them often enough to know they are not.

In a Medium article last year, Keri Smith describes moving away from the social justice movement. Among the reasons for doing so, Smith writes: “I see seemingly reasonable people wishing death on others and laughing at escalating suicide and addiction rates of the white working class.” This has been going on for a while. And indeed, as Smith writes: “When you believe you are morally superior, when you have dehumanized those you disagree with, you can justify almost anything.”

This is part of the reason why I find it difficult to take Beauchamp’s and Klein’s defence seriously. Does some anti-white rhetoric satirically “capture the way that many whites still act in clueless and/or racist ways?” Sure. But there’s a significant portion of it that—like the above—is hateful and malicious. So when Jeong tweets about how much joy she gets out of being cruel to old white men, is it any wonder many people automatically associate it with the kind of tweets mentioned above, rather than read it as clever sarcasm?

Perhaps what critics of anti-white rhetoric find most distasteful is this: that it often comes from members of the academic and cultural elite, implicitly directed towards lower-income whites for the crime of not being sufficiently cosmopolitan, in a world that’s changing rapidly and where it’s a struggle just to find something to anchor oneself to. This is surely not what social justice is about.

Uri Harris is a writer with a MSc in Business and Economics. He can be followed on Twitter @safeortrue

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  1. Sandy Beach says

    What strikes me about so many people on the left is their sheer hatefulness. Combined with a smug self-righteousness. It doesn’t seem like a healthy way to be.

    • OtherWay says

      They hated the Religious Right so much – they became them. From far away, it is just funny and ironic. On the ground though, these people are outright scary. I suppose arrogance has always been the Achilles heal of intellectuals. These people have it in spades.

      • Charlotte says

        Hi Other Way, I totally agree with your comments, however I bristle a bit at the words “these people”. It is not “they” that are scary, it is their behavior that is outright scary. They, like all of us, are people. All people are capable of arrogance, maliciousness, racism, etc.

        • Mary Purvis says

          Thank you Charlotte. When we choose to denigrate and demonize a group of people based on the color of their skin, social, political and economic class we become the person who drinks poison and expects their enemy to die.

        • egg0 says

          Interesting point, Charlotte. Did you bristle equally and for the same reason at the words “the Religious Right”?

        • DJohn1 says

          Actions are not born absent the actors who enact them. These behaviors are born of the people who behave them. The people who behave these behaviors are individuals, and also come together into coherent groups to enact their behaviors collectively. The collective enactment of behaviors is done by “these people.” And “these people” should receive full judgment and sanction for their repugnant behaviors both individual and collective.

          Evil is real. Judge it. And crush it.

          • Forrest Grump says

            What you’re doing is merely projecting your inner darkness on an ‘other’, alleviating yourself of the moral burden of facing your own shadow.
            ‘Evil is real. Judge it. Crush it’ sounds like the words of fanatic.
            But, if this is your chosen path, enjoy the ride compadre! It’ll end in tears.

    • That’s what irritates me the most about the social justice crowd. They are terribly mean and vengeful, but at the same time love to tell everyone about how “inclusive” they are. Fot all their faults, at least people on the far right know they’re assholes…

      • egg0 says

        For all their faults, the people on the far right know they’re considered assholes by people on the equally far left. They have been known to disagree.

    • Stewie Griffith says

      It’s not the liberal left – it is the fake left, filled with the upper middle class intelligencia.

      Anti-white rhetoric is really just class war. It disempowers the working class, the majority of whom remain white, from arguing against one of the main factors helping to hold them down – the unending flood of economic migration.

      Cries of xenophobia are little more than a cudgel that the upper middle class use in their class war against their fellow citizens.

      • egg0 says

        Fake left? Really? Just for being intellectuals of the middle class? (I say, are we still calling the noble aristocracy the upper class?) Have you a patent on leftness that you can judge the bona fides of these others who believe themselves with every evidence of sincerity to be as authentically left as yourself, or more so?

      • My Comment says

        “Anti-white rhetoric is really just class war. It disempowers the working class”

        True. The desire of the elite overall is to create a more compliant working and middle class. The desire of the Jews is to create a country without a stable majority that is a threat. The welfare of the people is irrelevant

      • Seamus Padraig says

        Bingo. Anti-white ideology is a key pillar of the neo-liberal world order. We see it not only in N. America, but also in Europe. In America, they typically use the historic existence of slavery as an excuse; but in Europe, which never had much (black) chattel slavery, they use the history of colonialism to bash those who oppose immigration as ‘racists’. Unfortunately for the SJWs in Brussels and Berlin, this approach is not working too well in Eastern Europe, whose countries never had overseas colonies. In fact, most of these countries themselves actually were, at some point or another, somebody else’s colonies! This nicely explains the rise of Orbán in Hungary, the PiS government in Poland and Milos Zeman in the Czech Republic. Apparently, Eastern Europeans are the ‘deplorables’ of the EU.

    • I dunno, hateful, smug, and self-righteous sounds like it includes a lot of people. It certainly describes most libertarians I’ve met.

    • (((moldberg)))made me do it says

      So lemme see if i got this straight.
      The minorities that use language similar that against jews in nazi era germany against whites within jew controlled media academia and NGOs in the west today,should be forgiven because they are only status signalling the Brahim whites.And so really whites just brought this on themselves? In fact since whites still have all the power it is the only way nonwhites can gain entry to the cathedral of elites.
      And quillette is different from The daily beast or a Ivy league class exactly how?

      I don’t know who you morons are trying to fool, yourselves undecided whites, cucks,? But you’re not fooling anyone but the already fooled.Whites going back a thousand years at least have has a status signal called graciousness,noblesse oblige,paternalism.Like our christian beliefs and many of our less old traditions like enlightenment values these were slyly corrupted over the decades by cultural middlemen jews to serve their own purposes. This canard that all progressivism is the same is simply another jewish misinformation campaign. Whites are indeed a progressive race the only progressive race, as builders we ever seek refinements even in our civilizational foundations. within the european premodern isolation this was an advantage.It expanded the usable human capital defrictionalized class struggle, higher trust allowed larger more complex civilizations and economies.Ans this attracted of course the parasitical race.Having pushed too far too often this parasitic race over the ages refined a sort of insidious reinterpretation of european values.You can tell the difference from brahmin leftism and jew leftism easily. The brahin variety is always seeking to improve something, to relieve suffering, increase justice. The jew variety is always wrecker leftism. Oh its often got a white progressive cover but when looked at carefully you see that’s the bait the jews use to lure in the white camouflage while the real work is wrecking.Examine any leftist cause you will note some worthy ideal that is put out front and which the whites involved will earnestly believe and sound convincing in its promotion, then you will see in the fine print, in the law suits, in the money trail what the real aim is.
      Imagine if the new york times had just hired Andrew Anglim for its new editor after a decade of ever increasingly militant pieces on Jew privilege,the problem with Rachel’s,- oh we could write volumes on the jew owned media 100 year campaign on european civilization> would Quillette be so sanguine and thoughtful.You’re fooling yourselves and the cucks you’re married to, but we have reached that point the eternal return where jews have again overreached their talent and are about to be routed.There’s no way this civil war doesn’t happen you’re undone by our good will and your treachery.You have engineered hundreds of millions of low IQ high aggression third worlders and turned the east asians against us (and yeah for the record Asians are signalling to get into the elite its just not whites they are signalling its jews) So while the vast majority of whites dont understand its jews behind this, the war will start out as red/blue and quickly devolve into white non white.The bloodshed worldwide will be historical armageddon will be an understatement and its all on the hands of those who engineered such a immoral and stupid idea as multiculturalism in the west and only the west. So that blood after it is over will have to be accounted for, even though it will be mostly third world blood because whites are quite capable once they get down to business, once that business is over they will demand an accounting and there’s just o way in hell in that environment where there is no longer a control on thought an speech that jew crimes will not come fully to light.Trust me israel if it still exists at all will be more of an easy target than a refuge.

      There is only one way and only one way to avoid this fate for all mankind. jews change course 180 degrees and begin to use all the power and wealth they now use against whites in favor of white nationalism.yeah its not going to happen but dont say you weren’t given a chance. currently you have the moral authority and power and wealth to declare yourselves white and guilty of the treason you are and sincerely admit and apologize as a few of you have and use the same jew lawyering and fast talking to unwind multiculturalism in the west not stop it but completely reverse it. This could be done humanely all the non whites could be repatriated legally at least if not more legally as they were brought in. But only if jews were on board.without them it will be civil war, because whites have no choice the call is for our extinction. i realize you think we are going gently into that good night you always do and you’re always wrong.If it goes the hard way I for one will vote to have every last jew no matter what percent eradicated from the earth. On the other hand if you were by some miracle to find your italian roots i would stand with those of you wishing to become white.

      • Charlotte says

        Shame on you for your ignorant and divisive commentary about Jewish people. It’s demonization, once again, plain and clear. I do not agree with your summary in any way, shape or form.

      • ~Most “white” people do not see things exactly the way you see them, no matter what you tell yourself. Most “white” people do not want “white nationalism”. “White people” want respect and fair treatment and just because “white people” might be tired of being vilified, that still doesn’t mean they want white nationalism.

        ~There is nothing “christian” in your particular “beliefs”.

        ~Just like most “white people” do not think like you do, most “jews” are not fundamentally malevolent puppet masters of world affairs. I wont say none are, but I’m just saying MOST would giggle at your suggestion that they are world movers in the way you believe.

      • egg0 says

        Sorry. Stopped after “jew controlled.” Catch you next life, maybe.

      • mersouled says

        @(((moldberg)))made me do it: you got lost. go away, this is not the right place for you!

    • egg0 says

      You are correct, of course, Miss Beach; but I cannot summon in myself primarily a concern for the health of the smug self-righteous haters.

    • Michael says

      Don’t forget about about their complete lack of self-respect. What else can be behind the self-flagellation so common among male feminists and white social justice warriors. These people have been taught to hate themselves and their culture. They have no respect for themselves so it’s impossible to respect them or anything they have to say.

    • Simon Johnson says

      Whilst this is true, I infer from your comment that you believe this is unique to the left?

  2. Amy Chua, an professor of Law at Yale Law School, also explored this division between “upper” whites and lower-income whites in her book Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations, a book worth a read.

    • I loved Amy Chua’s book. Highly recommend it as well!

    • is that the same Amy Chua who wrote in Foreign Affairs (Tribal World) VOL 97 number 4?

      What a ridiculous Identitarian piece of claptrap- both her ‘analysis’ of Afghanistan and Vietnam both reflected her simplistic explanation of the failures of both wars and exposed the limitation of her ideological straight jacket- apply a tribal/racial explanation no matter how much of a stretch (Viet hatred of chinese or Pashtun hatred of Tajiks) whether relevant (or even factually relevant or true) when a simpler explanation was at hand (Nationalism? AntiColonialism?) would more simply explain historically?

      You see the same thing reading Jacobin magazine- Whatever the issue, there is just ONE way to view reality, in the case of Jacobin it is the issue of Marxist analysis and Class and AntiCapitalism, with the identitarian left it is WMP and race/gender ‘oppression’ – just another ideological black box,

  3. Lincoln Dunstan says

    Talk to JBP about group politics,…you may find it interesting!!

    • Persius says

      Can you maybe point me to some? Have not heard Peterson on this. Thanks

  4. Patrick says

    It’s obvious and has been for quite a while that poor, working class, and poorly educated, defined as second rate colleges, whites are the new other.
    What’s new and what’s really troubling a lot of seemingly sympathetic writers is more and more and more of this rather large cohort is gaining awareness of just what it means to be the other.
    This large group contrary to what, for the most part, well intentioned people describe, is not full of drug addicts, drunks and manual laborers.
    There are plenty of skilled craftsmen, middle class college graduates, and solid family men who identify with this group. No more than that they consider themselves the group.
    Over the last decade or so they have had their political consciousness shaken awake, and, not unlike other woke groups, they are angry.
    This latent anger, for the most part still inarticulate, is what really fosters the concern of sympathetic voices. They sense the anger, and understand the danger if it finds a strong voice and is unleashed.
    In this regard Trump maybe a blessing in disguise as he is much to vulgar to give voice to this buidding anger. The most he can do, and for now it’s sufficient, is poke at the common enemy without ever naming him.
    But who comes next?

    • TarsTarkas says

      Trump ‘much too vulgar’ to give voice to this budding anger? Sorry, he is the face of this anger. He rode it to the Presidency. And if his hysterical opposition keeps on treating him as an illegitimate President who must be overthrown at all costs, keep on treating the citizens who voted for him like bigoted dirt who deserve only to be deprived of life, liberty, dignity, and their employment and savings, he’s going to grind THEM into fertilizer in the mid-terms and in 2020.

      • NickG says

        if his hysterical opposition keeps on treating him as an illegitimate President who must be overthrown at all costs, keep on treating the citizens who voted for him like bigoted dirt who deserve only to be deprived of life, liberty, dignity, and their employment and savings, he’s going to grind THEM into fertilizer in the mid-terms and in 2020.

        We can but hope!

    • Doug Deeper says

      And what about the active and operative anger on the left which already has potent voices in Keith Ellison, Maxine Waters, the entire mainstream media, the democrat socialists, ID politics leaders, the entire academic community, all of Hollywood, need I go on. And of course, they have their growing armies of brownshirts: antifa, BLM – whose violence is fully supported by these countless leaders.
      Is anyone worrying about this NON-latent anger which has already been unleashed in countless venues on campus and in the public square?
      This is the real and present danger- the rationalization that leftist violence is justified on those who have been dehumanized by the left.
      Sounds like the socialist fascist movement is in full gear, and everyone is worrying about our craftsmen revolting – the only ones who keep much of the country running for these leftists.

      • Joe C says

        What happens when the media, left leaders, media and Hollywood start advocating for the left-Brownshirt violence (ANTIFA, BLM, etc), they can’t even publicly denounce it anymore – what happens to the moderate right, or even the center when they have no choice to fight back? What is going to happen when we come to that point of no return?

        • Then good people, of all walks, will find out how much courage they really have and will get each other through a world gone to hell and come out on the other side. Like people do.

      • Burt Reagan says

        Outside of a few confused talking points (gender wage gap, et al), Sanders has been great in this regard. He’s always been for working class people, regardless of color. He’s tough, principled, and he’s never appeared to be a mean leftist at all. That’s why there was some ostensibly puzzling crossover with Trump’s base, though I don’t think that would happen again given what Trump has unsurprisingly proven to be. I say, more like Sanders. I don’t even think his policy ideas are that crazy, but I know what people mean when they think he’s radical. I think he’s just old left, like my parents. He’d never, ever engage in anti-white jerk language. I kind of like the old left. My parents don’t have the slightest idea what intersectionality means, but they were legit civil rights activists back when it mattered. Real liberal Democrats, not the perversion that has emerged since.

        Obviously, Sanders has a far left contingent, but he also brought in a lot of very non-leftist people like me (and everyone I personally know) because he very consistently tells the truth. I find that to be totally unprecedented in my political lifetime. In this sense, I’m a single issue voter. Be honest. And I just can’t accept that something like single-payer or medicare for all is crazy. Sorry, I can’t. Capitalism is for cheeseburgers and fancy cars and computers, not human health.

        The left needs to take the lessons from the Sanders revolution, maybe tone it down on policy, and explicitly include everyone. I agree that, given the state of universities and online discourse, this might be impossible. But I’m not totally hopeless.

        • Maria Jamison says

          What has Trump “proven to be” that is at odds with Bernie voters now alienated from a left still co-opted by moneyed interests and the establishment elites?

    • Maria Jamison says

      I’m an undereducated middle class white who thinks Trump’s crudeness (+winning of course), the EXACT kind of response the SJW merit.

  5. Your last couple of paragraphs really illustrated how serious this is. Working class white people, who are still a minority of the population in America, are openly scorned based on immutable characteristics by those in positions of power and influence and they are dying of unnatural causes, and even that fact is publicly celebrated. That’s no laughing matter.

    • egg0 says

      Certainly not; although membership in the “working class” is far from an immutable characteristic. Many people are in it for one part of their lives but not another.

    • Phil Garber says

      Keep an eye on the ongoing birth rate within this group. As we get deeper into the Trump term (or terms) in office, I expect it to turn up and the death rate to go down.

      The present or absence of hope, sense of wellbeing and group/national self esteem should have a real world impact on these measures.

  6. Mark says

    The Regressive Left have become the Religious Right. Let’s smash their church of identity politics. Peterson is leading the way, showing us the antidote to identity politics: Individualism.

    • Asdf says

      The religious right was trying to promote things that lead to good life outcomes. What’s the worst that could happen if you listened to the religious right? Had a little less casual sex? Settled down and started a family? Didn’t waste time and health on hedonistic pursuits? The horror!

      What is the social justice left trying to accomplish? If we take as given that negative outcomes for minorities are mostly the result of immutable traits (genetics, etc) and that there doesn’t seem to be much “structural racism” that can be found once you get rid of disparate impact as evidence, we are left with no upsides to “social justice”.

      All the religious right wanted was for you to form a successful family and live a fulfilling life. The social justice left is driven almost entirely by negative emotions like pride, hatred, avarice, and social climbing. These could not be farther apart.

      • augustine says

        The religious right is always trying to build their in-group rather than destroy the out-group. The new Left seeks the destruction of the other rather than reaching out to them for converts. They are very far apart indeed.

      • egg0 says

        I must tell you, Mr. Asdf, that you may take that as a given but a great many others do not. Even of those, some think that “social justice” (your quotes) does not in provide a real upside to women or people of color; but, of course, some think it does.

        • Asdf says

          There is at least short term upside to looting the outgroup for the looter. It’s just that it’s unjust and the looted should fight back.

      • Simon Johnson says

        The religious right. Let’s see:

        – Didn’t want to abolish slavery
        – Didn’t want to allow women to work
        – Didn’t want to allow women to vote
        – Wanted to keep black people segregated from the rest of society
        – Don’t allow women to choose what they can do with their bodies
        – Want to refuse homosexuals the same rights as others.


        My goodness you people make me laugh.

        • Qwirk says

          Quite the list.. too pat to be of use. I cite one historical counterexample, Wilberforce. “Religious” and an opponent of slavery.

          Contemporarily,. Larger US churches tend to be faithful… Not, er, religious.

          • Ted Reagan says

            One could counter with the many examples of religious figures claiming natural disasters are punishment for allowing gay people to live unbothered. Falwell did this quite famously. Still, I think it’s fair to recognize that very many religious people really do just want to have good, happy families and to do good. We *have* seen remarkable gains in terms of openness and inclusion. But I’ve never had any need for it as an adult. And my personal experience with the church growing up was not one of inclusion and magnanimity. There were, to put it plainly, a lot of unfriendly, judgmental jerks. Never mind the roving, serial molester who directed our church summer camp. It took three decades to lock that prick up. Childhood friends suicided. Real nice system.

            But, sure, in a perfect world, with the most charitable possible interpretation, religious communities just want to live healthy, fulfilling family lives. Fine.

          • augustine says

            “There were, to put it plainly, a lot of unfriendly, judgmental jerks.”

            Are Christians who are jerks more worthy of public criticism than other types of jerks? Are Christians and other religious people more likely to exhibit jerk behavior than others?

        • Catholic Church taught against slavery forever:

          Pope Eugene IV, 1431-1447 https://tinyurl.com/y9y5tfnl
          Paul III, 1534-1549 https://tinyurl.com/ydaqn9rr
          Gregory XVI, 1831-1846 https://tinyurl.com/y9g48tjz
          Leo XIII, 1878-1903 https://tinyurl.com/yczrl7vj
          Pius X, 1903-1914 https://tinyurl.com/yd7pq5ed

          “Allowing” women to work? Women have been doing that for a long, long time. Medieval women ran businesses, religious sisters ran hospitals and orphanages, etc. But “allowing” women to work and arranging things so they’re forced to work, and socially pressuring them to work are different things. And as to voting, how do you think women got that right? By voting it in?

          What homosexual rights are you talking about? The right to marry? Homosexuals’ rights with re. to marriage have always been exactly the same as heterosexuals’ rights: each could marry someone of the opposite sex, and neither could marry someone of his own sex. Exactly equal. Marriage is the institution (and a Sacrament, BTW) that has the having and raising of children as its purpose. It’s not about luv, though ideally love is involved.

          Abortion is murder. Hiding that fact behind “women’s rights to do whatever they want with their bodies” doesn’t make it less so.

        • Asdf says

          Christianity was fundamental to the abolishment of slavery. Slavery is a very natural outcome of materialism, as the materialist ideologies of the 20th century showed.

          I can think of no Christian doctrine that said women shouldn’t work. Nor any laws stating as such being pushed. I do know that having a stay at home mom was high status in Christian circles because of the well documented benefits it brings. It’s also something many many women desire. You can’t blame someone for having a different status ladder then you.

          Support for women’s suffer age varied by country and circumstance. In many countries women’s suffer age was pushed by conservative parties because it was assumed based on data at the time that they would vote conservative. There doesn’t appear to have been any specific attitude on women’s sufferage beyond opportunism of the moment.

          Civil Rights was a fundamentally Christian movement. This was very obvious and a conscious decision of civil rights leaders.

          Modern “social justice” goes far beyond civil rights and is opposed by all sorts of groups for all sorts of reasons. Even MLK had a very poor approval rating in both north and south at the time of his death because he switched to social justice in his last years. His assasination essentially allowed people to freeze his image in the mid 60s and project onto him what they wanted.

          They don’t allow them to kill other human beings so they can indulge in casual sex. They also hold chastity as a high status behavior, and most social statistics back up that chastity leads to better life outcomes. I know of no laws telling people what they can and can’t do with their bodies outside of committing murder. If you have decided that a fetus isn’t a life understand you are going down the road of dehumanization. It’s not all that different from saying blacks aren’t real human beings.

          Which rights? Anti sodomy laws got repealed long ago. Gays who wanted to be a couple have been able to shack up for a long time. The (not all that important) legal issues surrounding marriage could have been resolved by civil unions. And it’s not as if many gays marry and stay monogomous anyway.

          What the religious right wouldn’t do is hold the gay lifestyle or gay community in high status. And why should it. The social statistics are atrocious. The behaviors, on display in parades in most cities, are awful. There is little to like about how the gay community conducts itself. You can’t force people to hold that behavior as high status.

          What your really saying is the the religious right doesn’t hold behaviors you like as high status. Well, get over it.

  7. Elizabeth says

    Very astute observation that anti-white rhetoric is really anti working class/poverty rhetoric. The disadvantage and social dislocation of poor white communities in rural America is a huge issue that no one seems to care about because they are white. The HBO documentary “Meth Storm” is fascinating and sad. These families are totally socially disconnected and dysfunctional from drug abuse, (living lives as if not more disadvantaged and impoverished as any of the poorest remote Aboriginal communities in Australia for example, which are impoverished communities I personally am very familiar with). The drugs are brought into America by Mexican mules and are making the Mexican cartels rich. In the critical race theory model it’s the Mexican drug dealers who are the oppressed and the whites from Arkansas the oppressors. But the facts don’t fit this model at all. Here the American meth addicts are the oppressed at the hands of the Mexican drug cartels. The left-liberal model of racism has no explanation or relevance in this situation.

    • egg0 says

      It should be obvious to you, Elizabeth, that there are many people who care about it. In particular, that caring supports the Trump phenomenon. That this may not be caring about it wisely is another matter.

  8. Peter from Oz says

    The elites are not left-wing, but a mixture of left and right. The right wing tend to be more in business and the law rather than academia and the media. However, in Oz and the UK the right wing mainstream media actually sells more than the left. I t would be good if a few more right wing papers and TV operators opened in the US.

    • Martin28 says

      In the US, the right-wing elite group that you speak of is very small, and it depends on how you define “right wing.” They are not into identify politics, at least not explicitly, as are the left. They are rapidly losing power, as you can see from John Scnnatter, Papa John, a billionaire who has been “unreasoned” and completely isolated when he used the “n-word” in a non malicious way, quoting somebody else. Nobody in this so-called “right wing” elite group came to his defense or had the power to left wing mob at all.

    • Qwirk says

      Most practionere of law in the US run left. Glen ReynolsR / instapundit has posted surveys in this

  9. sorethumb says

    An “upper white” can issue a stinging rebuke of the racism of a “lower white” when the “upper white” is one of David Goodhart’s “anywheres” talking down to a “somewhere” on the subject of immigration. The “upper white” is a shining example of someone without prejudice and of good character (until he loses his car park). In the same vein an ethnic complains of another ethnicities racism and you can sense invidious attitudes but he isn’t racist because he is the one pointing the finger. That’s because ethnocentrism doesn’t feature in the vernacular of the left?

  10. Anthony says

    Racism has always had it’s “value” as a strategy of otherizing and explaining away the injustices of the world. The radical left are not immune to it’s allure. A lot of work has been done to unravel the ethical horror that racism represents, so the radical left had to perform a linguistic parlor trick – they redefined what “racism” means so that they can easily adopt openly racist attitudes while simultaneously claiming to be free of, and absolutely against, racism.

    This allows them to openly spew hateful, bigoted garbage towards whole groups of people based on their skin color, ethnicity or gender and simultaneously think of themselves as people who are fighting oppression and racism through the (western) world.

    How they can live with this level of cognitive dissonance I’ll never know. I suspect most of them don’t really think about any of this stuff, they just copy and repeat what’s cool and socially acceptable.

    • Saturn Black says

      Jordan Peterson has done some good talks explaining their ideology and how they justify the horrors, but the best one I found was Claire Lehmann’s talk from CIS on “Marxist conflict theory.” It pays to know your enemy – these aren’t some cute little kittens who are just ripping apart your curtains for the fun of it. These are killers who only spew hatred because the law still (barely) protects the right. With the political imprisonment of Tommy Robinson and the police charging Lauren Southern to protect her, we won’t be safe much longer.

    • egg0 says

      Cognitive dissonance really troubles very few of us–even or perhaps especially among intellectuals, who are expert rationalizers. Hearing cognition at all is usually classed as synesthesia.

  11. Saturn Black says

    Yeah I imagine a lot of people would be quite surprised to realise that these lunatic lefties genuinely want whites, and especially white men, dead. It shocked me when I first encountered it, but now I can better understand where their neo-Marxist ideology is headed. It’s the same sort of “dancing on the grave” of whites that is springing up in that anti-white South African political party, as people in western countries now celebrate male suicide.

    It’s almost amusing when you see someone not in their group come along and try to debate them. They don’t realise that the left has no interest in debate – they want to silence you and I’m sure they would kill you for challenging them if they thought they could get away with it. People are so naive to the level of animosity and hatred displayed quite openly by the left… they think it’s a joke because they don’t see what the left’s end goal is: total power, cultural revolution and the complete destruction of western values. I’m not sure there is any way we can avoid war at this point because they are completely at the mercy of their ideological possession and not at all willing to compromise.

    I think the best thing is to try to educate yourself and understand them on as deep a level as possible (they’re not overly complex, just very deceptive), reduce soy in your diet if you’re a male and prepare for the coming battle. Fortunately for us they are usually frail and quite often female so in terms of outright strength they don’t stand a chance (see that Antifa girl who got punched in the face by a big conservative guy at an American protest – you almost feel bad watching her go down).

    Excellent article.

    • Anthony says

      Please don’t fall to this level of discourse with them. The far left has to be defied with calm, cool logic, not violent fantasies of an impending civil war. If you really think that’s what they’re after (they’re not) then fanning the flames of hatred will burn you too.

      It’s mostly a very vocal minority, who holds key positions in social media and the press, which makes their idiotic ideas seem way more common than they are. You can really tone down the amount of SJW noise in the world if you just stop using Twitter for a while. It gets really quiet really fast.

      Most people still realize that skin color is a pretty bad indicator on whether anyone is “trash” or “garbage” or whatever the word supplanting “cockroach” for them is right now. It’s just noise.

      • Asdf says

        They won’t be a minority for long. Non-whites are always going to vote for them in the majority because they are given hand outs and power is exchange. Once the country is majority nonwhite there will be no check on their power. Check out what happens in countries where whites or Asians are a minority. They become a kind of second class citizen.

      • “The far left has to be defied with calm, cool logic”

        How is that working out? Calm, cool logic pointed out that the NYT hired a bigot. The NYT didnt care and denfended her.

        Tribal politics is the name of the game and it is very likely that white people are going to start playing by those rules.

      • Saturn Black says

        Burying your head in the sand doesn’t make the problem go away Anthony.

      • peanut gallery says

        @Anthony Yeah, I don’t think it helps to get too hysterical. At the same time, knowledge of history shows the path to pogrom is being laid. Progressives are skeptical of free speech and think speech they dislike is “violence.” If they curb the first amendment enough, it’s easy to see speaking for the 2nd amendment to be “violent.” Removing tools of resistance is a step in the path to murder. There’s no guarantee this will happen, it might just seem worse than it is, but I think the “it can’t happen here” mentality is deadly wrong.

        The fascists and communist’s fighting in Weimar Germany were minority groups until one took over. It’s hard to view events when you’re in it. I can’t tell the future, but I think the real danger will be when the pendulum swings back.

      • egg0 says

        You make orthogonal arguments, Anthony: for denial (“they’re not [after genocide]”) and prudent irenic pretense (“fanning the flames of hatred will burn you too”). That is, not only do you deny the bloody intentions of the opposition–as to which you are right about some, wrong about others–but also say that, even if they are bloody, Black should not fan the flames of hatred, for the sake of his mental or moral health.

        But as to the latter: if Black is correct, does not his physical life and health, and his liberty, and those of his family and civilization, come first?

        • Saturn Black says

          egg0 – I know I’m correct because I keep seeing innocent people being led to the slaughter. They lose their careers based on false allegations and some end up killing themselves because they’ve been coddled all their lives and never had to face real adversity. To think that war must involve guns is naive. Killing someone indirectly through character assassination and shame is both effective, legal and socially encouraged.

          The only way to survive and thrive in this environment is to develop your own killer instinct and show no mercy to any vulnerable leftist who crosses your path. I have no intention of breaking any laws so long as the rule of law applies. Once the police start to lose their power it will be time to tool up and learn how to use a gun. Until then, just mirror their tactics and stay out of trouble.

      • Well Said… People who care about Western Values come in all colors and backgrounds. We cannot let a bunch of fools at either extreme drag us off the cliff with them… No to Violence. Yes to Individual Rights and Freedom.

      • Seamus Padraig says

        “It’s mostly a very vocal minority, who holds key positions in social media and the press, which makes their idiotic ideas seem way more common than they are.”

        Sure, they’re just a minority; élites, by definition, always are. But they have money–big money–and power behind them. How do you think they got their jobs in media, academia, etc? Because they are busy pushing a ‘post-nationalist’ agenda that is extremely congenial to those interested in spreading globalization. Do you really believe, for example, that Jeff Bezos bought WaPo because he needed the revenue from it? No, he’s using it as a mouthpiece for an oligarchic agenda.

  12. Thomas Maigret says

    FWIW, the “fewer births than deaths among whites” is a statistical artefact created by the classification of the children of minority-white mixed marriages as perpetual nonwhites. Richard Alba and Sandy Darity have taken it apart in a number of articles. Death rates have increased substantially, which is terrifying, but they haven’t risen above birth rates when children from these unions (especially Hispanic-white marriages) are accounted for.

    This brings up the important observation that interracial marriage rates increase towards the low end of the income scale. Those awful racist hillbillies hate minorities so much, they eagerly marry and produce children with them. Surely there’s a Cogent Social Sciences article out there somewhere that athletically explains this apparent discrepancy.

    • Thaddius Russel sort of talks about this. He said that the “Racist Southerner” is a myth. Basically he argues that Southerners are more likely to use racial slurs, but they tend to live among minorities is a less segregated fashion. That is White, Black and Mexican people tend to be neighbors whereas the Northern white (or big city inhabitants in some cases) like to devry racism from their lily white gated communities.

    • Those awful racist hillbillies hate minorities so much, they eagerly marry and produce children with them.

      Same here in the U.K. where you’ll find many more dual heritage kids on the council estates than among the middle classes – who will preach about racism even while they relocate further and further into the suburbs so their own kids won’t mix with black kids.

      • Indeed, and see also the England football team. You could pick a pretty good team from just mixed-race players (white/black).

    • Saturn Black says

      “Progress” to the left means killing all white men. They say this openly and nobody takes it seriously.

      I don’t give a shit about progress, I just want to remain alive. If it’s either me or them, I will kill them first. It’s called self defence, and protected under Australian law.

      • Simon Johnson says

        “I don’t give a shit about progress, I just want to remain alive. If it’s either me or them, I will kill them first. It’s called self defence, and protected under Australian law.”

        So you’re almost the definition of a sociopath.

    • Asdf says

      You can’t fight hate with ineffectiveness. There’s nothing along the lines of karma based on how you treat others. People play defect when it makes sense to play defect, and sometimes that even happens when you play cooperate.

      Someone always has the power. The strong do as they please. The weak suffer what they must.

    • egg0 says

      That may be just a bit overstated, Mr. Sobolewski. For example, if I am not gravely mistaken, Polish freedom-fighters fought both the Nazi and Soviet invasions with far less than an ironic detachment.

      However, I think it is fair to say that hate is inappropriate to our internal politics. Our fellow citizens should not be our enemies.

  13. Martin28 says

    Interesting to see so much analysis and debate over Jeong’s motivation. This is a form of privilege, based on her race and who her prejudice is aimed at. When somebody who is white says something that could be construed as racist, the American media and elite don’t think it is important or acceptable to consider motivations AT ALL, even when the statement was clearly not made in a malicious way or aimed at anybody—individual or group. Exhibit A is Papa John. Nor is it acceptable to consider alternate meanings to any statement. Exhibit A is the woman who tweeted about AIDs in Africa. This double standard cannot be dismissed as ironic, it is destroying people’s lives.

  14. Last year, I think, brilliant memers crafted the greatest meme thus far: “Its ok to be white.” It was then that we learned that to many people dont think that it is ok to be white.

    Basically, this Sara Jeong stuff is old news. We have known for a long time that many would prefer white people just not exist. Particularly in the media and academy.

    Lets not forget a CNN writer also tweeted “Abolish White People.”


  15. Pingback: A Closer Look at Anti-White Rhetoric – Foggytown's Micro Blog

  16. What appears to be carefully left out of this piece is the ethno-make up of the thought leaders in these institutions promoting anti-white rhetoric (and policies). I’ll cut to the chase, they’re Jewish. Jews are 2% of the US population, 6% of the highest performing students but 25% of admits to Ivy League schools.

      • No. Jews are massively over represented among academics, media, entertainment, elites. Jews are our thought leaders. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with noticing this.

    • This is really inappropriate and anti-Semitic. At the very least, this comment seems to be trying to stoke anti-Semitic sentiments by relying on that old racist adage that “a Jewish cabal controls everything.” And by the way, Louis Farrakhan from the Nation of Islam also promotes this racist ideology.

      There are Jewish people who undertake this neo-liberal identitarian rhetoric just as there are non-Jewish white people (I was one of them for a while) and non-white people who undertake it. People from many backgrounds have embraced it as a neo-liberal alternative to a Leftist politics and have utilized it to consolidate a managerial elite class of “race relations administrators.” Please read Adolph Reed, Jr.

      • Meh. Whether of the left or the right Jewish elites favor one common policy – mass non-white immigration into formally white nations while insisting on an ethno-state, Israel, for Jews. Weird, huh?

  17. ga gamba says

    Yesterday commentator BFF posted a link to U Penn professor Adolf Reed Jr’s article Antiracism: a neoliberal alternative to a left.

    Reed is a leftist critic of identitarianism and states tools used such as “disparities discourse” are hallow and ill suited: “… disparity is an outcome, not an explanation, and deducing cause simplistically from outcome (e.g., treating racially disparate outcomes as ipso facto evidence of racially invidious causation) seems sufficient only if one has already stacked the interpretive deck in favor of a particular causal account.” He adds the, “garbage in, garbage out effect in studies that rely on large-scale aggregate data analysis; gross categories like race may mask significant micro-level dynamics that could present more complex and nuanced understandings of causality. Put another way, if you go out looking for racial effects in data sets that are organized by race as gross categories, you will be likely to find them, but that will not necessarily lead to sound interpretations of the factors that actually produce the inequalities.”

    In a youtube interview Reed says identitarians “dress up” their ideology as (far) leftist but really it’s “safely embedded” in the existing structure. Their radicalism is cosplay. Identitarians don’t find the injustice of inequality unjust, rather “what’s unjust is how inequality is apportioned amongst different ascriptive groups.” Hence, identitarians are content to perpetuate injustice so long as it’s directed at others who they deem deserve it, chiefly the white underclass. This is the difference between ending injustice (a goal of the traditional left) and reversing injustice (a goal of the identitarians).

    “Black Powerites”, which are an identitarian group and likely the most influential, “generally depended on ruling class largess for realization of their programmatic objectives.” Reed calls this “militant begging” and “aggressive panhandling”.

    In some of my previous comments posted in Quillette I’ve discussed globalisation, enterprise, and trade. Now I’m going to link this to what Reed and Harris state. White elites play along with identitarianism because this allows them to differentiate themselves from the wrong thinking white underclass. They are the moral rich, the enlightened aristocrats. Much of the professional class (of any race) is largely protected from the consequences of globalisation, such as factory closures and the ruinisation of single-industry towns, whilst enjoying many of the benefits, such as lower prices and a wide array of dining options, as well as a constant supply of undocumented household workers – maids, nannies, and other staff – willing to work cheaply and off the book. Globalisation also reduces inflation, which economists identify being an important cause of wealth destruction. Who do you think is most concerned about preventing wealth destruction?

    Those leaving the ruined industrial centres as well as many of the new immigrants, legal or not, flock to the few remaining centres of economic expansion, which increases the value of the property owned (and rented) by the wealthy. Urban areas that were once derelict are gentrified by the artisan class (who need the wealthy for their patronage), soon followed by young professionals (who often come from economically ruined areas and working-class backgrounds) looking for affordable housing and small business owners seeking to make a go of it. This drives the urban underclass further away from the urban neighbourhoods of great wealth they had abutted, which enhances the elites’ safety, improves their quality of life, and increases their wealth.

    On the surface my comment may seemly align with Socialists’ views. I think they have misidentified some of the causes and their cure will end capitalism’s creativity and vigour, which even Marx recognised exists and even admired. One of our problems is globalism and its so-called free trade treaties. They are not free. It is managed trade. And it’s managed to benefit the professional class most and the working class least. What consolation is a $400 flat panel monitor if your well-paid blue-collar job is gone? Do you think the capitalist owners (and their employees) of a US steel mill want cheaper imports? Of course not. What about GM? It’ll have mixed thoughts. It’ll appreciate cheaper imported steel, yet it takes a severe beating from the influx of foreign cars. And retailers? They’re pleased by ever growing supply of ever cheaper goods irrespective of origin.

    The trade treaties are the progressive stack in action. It created tiers of countries: least developed, developing, and developed. The least developed and developing (hereafter LD&D) are allowed access into the developed markets without an immediate quid pro quo. “We’ll open later, in a few decades.” They were privileged and protected because of special pleadings: “It’s not fair a poor country opens its market.” Yet, economists universally agree genuine free trade is a good thing. Further, when LD&D reciprocate, the number of local people able to afford products from the developed world is initially small though growing over time. Bengali ship breakers are not threatened by some Ford pick ups on the road. Under genuine free trade, displaced US steel workers move to other industries that are experiencing growth due to increased exports. “But America didn’t build small right-hand drive cars for the Japanese market.” True, because it was locked out the post-war Japanese market by a bundle of tariff and non-tariff barriers. After the LD&D’s acquire competitive power in the foundational industries such as textiles, garments, and steel they move up the valued-added chain whilst still protected by import barriers. “It’s not fair that our new car industry has to compete against the established marques. They have technology and know-how. It’s like a baby competing against an adult in mixed martial arts’ octagon.” Analogy is a weak form of analysis. As they acquire these new skills they export those products to developed markets displacing the autoworkers and appliance manufacturers. And on it goes. With industrial jobs perishing what’s a young person to do? “Go to university!”

    Who negotiated and wrote these treaties? The professional class of lawyers, accountants, merchant bankers, bureaucrats, and academics. And who is hired to represent and advise the LD&D companies exporting to the developed world? Many of the same people. Academics and uni administrators gain a new pool of local students (who are borrowing from banks), overseas students who pay the highest fees, and foreign benefactors to endow chairs and fund new studies departments.

    Many of these activities are rent seeking. A group of influential people create laws, subsidies, loopholes, and other exemptive measures that undermine equal treatment under law and a group of their cohorts have the know-how that, for a large fee, will aid you weaving yourself through this tangled mess of spaghetti. Politics and bureaucracy is the maintenance and expansion of systems that cater to special pleadings.

    Mine is not a condemnation of regulations. No one is to dump mercury in the river is an excellent rule. So to is stop at the red traffic light. Don’t annoy your neighbours by blasting music at 3 AM is terrific. However, “Let’s have the government guarantee the loans of people who haven’t even saved any money for a home downpayment” is as a stupid a policy as is “Let’s build stadiums for the sports teams owned by billionaires.” “But it’s for the people!”

    I’ll give you a few examples of special pleadings and their distortive effects.

    Did you know by US law Ferrari may only build 10,000 cars per annum? “But Ferrari is an Italian company. How can this be?” To evade fuel mileage law Ferrari agreed to limit production, thus it needs to earn as much off of one car as possible. The result is the cars they build maximise horsepower, which uses more petrol, and they also incorporate some of the best, and most costly, safety features in the world. Many of these cars sell for millions of dollars. When a Ferrari crashes it dissipates much of the force away from its occupants thereby protecting them. This does nothing for the poor fella in the EPA-compliant Chevy who was hit by a Ferrari racing down the road at 200kph. Who buys Ferraris?

    “The people of American Samoa have dismal prospects. Let’s create jobs for them.” OK, so the US government tried to jumpstart development by giving trade preferences, i.e. a distortion. Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese garment manufacturers saw this as a way to evade quotas and tariffs, and also the opportunity to label lawfully their garments as “Made in the USA”, so they set up factories, and, finding few locals wanted to work there, imported Filipinos, Vietnamese, and Chinese workers. (Actually, the local workers didn’t want the wages offered. Rather than increase the wages that the law of supply and demand dictates, the factory owners wailed about the need to import workers.) Often the workers borrowed money to travel to American Samoa. The textiles were still woven in Asia, and the bolts of fabric were shipped to Samoa for garments to be sewn. Almost all machines, materials, and even the workers were from abroad. Once the trade preferences ended the factory owners packed up and left. Today thousands of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipinos are stranded on Samoa without work, depend on handouts and charity, overburden local services, and petition the US government to allow them to emigrate to the US. Now lawyers are trying to sort out the mess and track down the former employers. At least someone is getting paid.

    The workers need a living wage! To which some owners complain legitimately, “I can’t afford that.” Hmmm… what to do? OK, those of you who have fewer than 20 employees don’t have to pay the higher wage. Because everyone knows it’s the number of workers that dictate whether a business is profitable. To which the business employing more than 20 counters, “Hold on moment. You’re giving small businesses a competitive advantage with no consideration of their profitability.” The result? A mishmash. Fewer workers want to work for the low-waged employers, which arises because of the distortion and its mitigation. Some larger employers downsize or use automation to receive the dispensation – they probably get a tax write-off for the automation. Other business relocate outside the legal boundary. Others that have to stay put pass on at least some the increased cost to the customers. Look at all the special pleadings, the bouncing back and forth to counteract each distortion, and the implementation of a nonsensical “compromise”.

    “I want my children to breathe clean air. Get these smokestacks out of here!” And they relocate to China because you still want the stuff that comes out of the factories with the smokestacks. You may have improved air quality locally, but globally it’s still the same. Some other parent’s child is breathing the polluted air. How moral you are. “OK, require the LD&D’s apply stringent air pollution standards.” To which they protest: “But you white people got to pollute recklessly in 1800s. It’s our turn now.” In 30 years the Chinese will relocate their smokestacks to Botswana because it’s their turn.

    Jeff Bezos is now the wealthiest man in the world in part to special pleadings and their distortions. Internet retail was exempted from sales tax, which gave it a competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar shops. Then he pled for subsidies and tax exemptions to build warehouses. “Gosh! High Street retail is dying. How did that happen?” He was not the only Internet business granted this privilege, and I think the business model is strong enough that it never needed these privileges, yet in the mid-90s there were gobs of elites declaring we need to support the Internet and to this day Amazon is receiving subsidies. To reverse the sales tax exemption required everyone to march off to the Supreme Court. Professional elites getting paid again.

    Capitalism has become of whack-a-mole game of special pleadings and distortions, often at the instigation by or at least through the connivance of elites. Socialism is not a solution because you not only forfeit the benefits of capitalism, you also lose the checks and balances whilst distortions energised by steroids and methamphetamines are applied, as we see presently in Venezuela, which is not an anomaly. Plus, toilet paper is a wonderful thing… until you get an e-toilet.

    As an equity movement, identity politics is merely a way to further extend and entrench the game of special pleadings and distortions. It has all the participants fixate on what privileges, real or perceived, were granted to whom and then appeal for further distortions. Whether the distortions are coming in one direction or going in another the professional elites are getting paid because they maintain managerial and interpretive authority in the political economy. They’ll take your money, power, and freedom as you genuflect to them in appreciation. Genuine reform would be to apply and enforce laws equally. Having city, county, and state governments agree they’ll no longer subsidise businesses would be a good first step.

    • @ga gamba

      Glad you got use out of Dr. Reed’s work! If he were a gay man and about 20-30 years younger, I’d probably try to marry him!

      “Hence, identitarians are content to perpetuate injustice so long as it’s directed at others who they deem deserve it, chiefly the white underclass.”

      Interestingly enough, Dr. Reed has another interview on YouTube with Dr. Jared Ball in which he talks about how “broke white people are racialized” in relation to poor black people. I’m not sure if I completely agree with him, but it was definitely an interesting interview:


      Another really great bit of analysis from Dr. Reed’s work hinges on this idea, often thrown around by the left neo-liberal identitarian people, is that white people (particularly “working class” white people) have a deep psychological investment in racism and white supremacy which prevents them from being in solidarity with people of color. It’s kind of a foundational theme within the discipline of “Whiteness Studies.” They claim that this argument is supported by the work of W. E. B. Du Bois, but Dr. Reed and some other Leftist scholars like Dr. Kenneth Warren and the late Dr. Judith Stein have published probing scholarship debunking this claim.

      I’ve got a book in my queue called “Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America”
      by Sheryll Cashin. Her central argument is that *place* not *race* should become a determining factor in college admissions decisions. “Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life” by Barbara and Karen Fields is also one that I am anxious to read.

      Since the 2016 election, I’ve been going out of way to find Leftist critiques of the brand of politics encapsulated by the above piece on anti-white rhetoric. I’ve also looked at Center and Center Right narratives, but I find them to be reactionary sometimes – not all of them, of course. Dambisa Moyo, though I differ with her on economics, has some really spot-on analysis.

      I’m not interested in analysis that criticizes progress for black people, women, LGBTQ people, et cetera but want an analysis that builds upon that progress by actually addressing income and economic inequality. I also think that people across the ideological spectrum incorrectly view the left wing neo-liberal identitarian bent as a natural extension of the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Rights Movement, the LGBTQ movement, et cetera. Not so.

      And it’s always very interesting to see liberals and progressives (across racial/ethnic groups) equate entire demographic groups with progressive politics (i.e. black people are always liberal or progressive). This really is so far from the truth. There’s even an interesting book by Tasha Philpot called “Conservative but not Republican” about how some black people are quite ideologically conservative and how there has actually been an increase in black conservativism but there has not been a corresponding increase in black people voting for Republicans.

      I actually wrote to Dr. Reed to thank him for his writing, and he responded with some very encouraging and validating words about how his writing is precisely aimed at reaching Leftists like myself who are questioning the identitarian narrative, which he calls “corrosive” and “counterproductive.”

      Sorry for another long-winded response. Maybe I need to write something for Quillette since it seems I have quite a bit to say.

      • ga gamba says

        You’re very ageist. 😉

        Thanks for the reply. Yes, that was the youtube interview; I botched including a link, so appreciate you doing so – I wish there were a preview comments function here. You and I differ on the economics because I think there’s much to celebrate, and even cherish, about capitalism – I’m very DIY conscious. I hope I’m not the only person in the world who feels this way. 😛 But in its present state many reforms are needed, but not to the extent of tossing the baby out with the bathwater.

        I recall reading Obama was reluctant to endorse equal marriage because he was worried about how black Christians would take it. If polling data, and common sense, is correct, then indeed blacks are not a monolithic bloc of progressives. (Losing my Cool by Thomas Williams is worth a read about a person falling into the very limiting trap of “this and only this is our/your identity.” No good reason to snooker yourself or others. Similar is the documentary Afropunk about the black kids who took a different path and caught grief for it.) Blacks just vote as a near monolithic bloc, which is ultimately what politicians and their influential vote-delivering clients care about. I think this voting pattern is due to actual and perceived economic distortions they see others benefitting from, and their thought, sadly justified, that they too need distortions. “Since the deck is stacked, might as well get a dealer who’ll stack it my favour.” If the system is not reformed in ways as I mentioned earlier, then, yes, throwing their lot in with the identitarians is understandable. That said, working class whites are not a monolithic bloc either. I was amazed to learn the folks living in the trailer parks are not Warren Buffett. Darn you Hollywood for misleading me think it was all Beverly Hills.

        Appreciate the conversation. Look forward to reading your article to be published here. Get crackin’.

        • Asdf says

          Blacks vote for whoever gives them free stuff. Not just physical stuff but also social power, etc. all other issues are unimportant to them. They don’t care about non black related social issues like gay marriage.

          The justification is “I’m being discriminated against.” However, poor black outcomes are a result of poor black genetics, not racism. One can see why blacks would never admit that, but it would be enough to make whites stop feeling guilty if they were allowed access to these facts. Regular Whites can never be allowed to stop feeling guilty and vote as a block because then all the power yielded by elite whites over them would evaporate.

          Blacks: act in self interest, understandable morally but still against interests of whites

          Elite whites: evil and selfish. Use blacks to keep down whites for their own selfish aims

          Regular whites: too divided and afraid to coordinate against elite white/black coalition. Need better coordination points and backbone

          The biggest problem facing white working and middle classes is underclass dysfunction. Safe neighborhoods and good schools, key to any kind of upward mobility or life worth living, mostly come from pricing out the underclass. The underclass being basically hopeless no matter what system we enact because of shitty genetics. Given avg IQ of 85 at least half of blacks are underclass, with higher then average impulsiveness/violence even after adjusting for IQ.

          So let’s take a practical example. In Baltimore the property tax is a sky high 2.4%, twice the county rate. This money then gets handed out by the black city government to blacks. A favorite method is housing assistance, which makes it easier for blacks to afford rent in your neighborhood.

          So let’s say your part of the white middle or working classes. You work hard to try to save up and buy a place in good neighborhood, but your taxed to death to give rent assistance to the very dysfunctional black underclass your trying to separate from. The guy next door plays loud music all night, there are lots of thefts in your area, and you kid gets beat up by Jamal and school. This is a real life example from the daycare women for my kid that moved to the county to get away from black dysfunction.

          Why wouldn’t you vote against this. You don’t benefit from this program (despite meager earnings you means test it of it because you work). It’s got nothing to do with this woman being a white supremecist.

          The scarce goods in our society aren’t material (even the poorest can get a flat screen) but sociocultural. And relative income is how we separate ourselves from underclass (mostly black) dysfunction.

          Blacks can only hope for handouts. Whites want to make it on their own because on average they have a real chance. There is just too great a gap in life incentives to reconcile these groups.

          If you don’t believe in genetics you’ll say that social spending will raise blacks up to white standards and so there is no conflict of interests. I’m not going to argue that here, I’m taking genetics for granted in making my case.

          • ga gamba says

            I’m not going to disagree with you that genes play a role, but it’s not the sole reason. I try to avoid a univariate analysis. About 15% of the population have IQs low enough that doing anything productive without regular supervision and intercession is very difficult. Yet, we can find even those with Down’s Syndrome lead fulfilling lives.

            Black individuals, just like everyone else, have IQs that are distributed from low to high. Millions of black Americans were able to live fruitful and successful lives long before Johnson’s Great Society, and they did so whilst undergoing very horrible and even murderous treatment, some places worse than others.

            I understand why many taxpayers, in particular those who are middle income, feel resentment about the welfare state. But, let’s not ignore there are also very wealthy people who are great beneficiaries of government largesse in the form of subsidies, tax breaks, loopholes, and other distortive mechanisms. If we’re going to attack welfare abuse and fraud, and rightly so, we ought to also attack those programmes that put a lot of unearned money in rich people’s pockets too. That is just.

            These are complex problems but they needn’t be intractable. However, there are game players, on both the right and the left, who have vested interests for the continuation and expansion of distortion, and they will use every dirty trick to prevent, disrupt, or redirect these needed conversations and analyses. You, as a taxpayer, are being ripped off by both sides in this game.

        • “Losing My Cool” is definitely on my to-read list.

          And actually the subject of support for LGBTQ rights can be a source of great tension amongst the identitarian Left. There was this very nasty and unfair idea going around that black people were “exceptionally homophobic,” which a white gay person like myself from the conservative South can easily refute through my personal experiences with homophobia from white people, black people, and people from other racial/ethnic backgrounds. The so-called “black Church” is no worse than the Catholic Church or white evangelical Christian churches.

          But because of that untrue and divisive narrative of black people being exceptionally homophobic, people are becoming slower to critique actual instances of homophobia and transphobia coming from some segments of the black population and other communities of color for fear of being called a “racist.” This pass for homophobia has also started extending to ultra-conservative Muslim communities as well – the intellectual gymnastics that some Leftists work themselves into to excuse the murders of LGBT people in countries like Saudi Arabia is pretty fascinating to watch. It plays well into the narratives of homosexuality being a “disease of white men.” Or my favorite… outcry from the West over the murders of LGBT people in countries like Saudi Arabia is somehow a “white gay homonationalist neo-colonial agenda.” I remember seeing a bizarre sign outside a black church in Harlem condemning “evil white sodomite gentrifiers” and was like “what the f***.”

          Oh, and another favorite – same-sex marriage was somehow a way that white gays and lesbians were attempting to “consolidate their white privilege” as if non-white LGBT people were not involved at all or interested in getting married. Yes, I argued that same-sex marriage was getting too many resources and too much attention to the detriment of employment protections, school bullying, HIV/AIDS, et cetera; but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t important. The only reason that people can say it isn’t important *now* is that they take for granted that the Supreme Court had to intervene to make it legal – much like it had to intervene with abortion rights, the Voting Rights Act, and School Integration (which is still an incomplete project, in my opinion).

          But, to be honest, there were really no mainstream Left-leaning politicians openly declaring support for same-sex marriage until it was rendered untenable by the Supreme Court decision to withhold public support. Maybe Barbara Lee from California but I’d have to look it up.

          Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and others are all guilty. Bernie Sanders claimed that he was “already evolved” on the issue; but in actuality, he only supported civil unions during his time in Vermont. Interestingly enough, Barack Obama voted for same-sex marriage as a state senator but then changed his tune when he moved to the national stage. All of the Democratic candidates in 2008 were opposed and only endorsed civil unions.

          And, still, the Civil Rights Act has not been updated to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity/expression” and about 30 states still have no anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people. Conversion therapy for gays and lesbians as well as transgender people is still legal in some states, and the “bans” on it usually only apply to children and adolescents. Adults can still seek it out for themselves.

          Sorry. Another long-winded comment 🙂

    • O. R. Ange says

      It’s refreshing to see this debate framed from the perspective of economics because that is where I think the crux exists. Though I cannot go into the extraordinary detail or either ga gamba or BFF I feel that we often over analyze things that are primarily happening in aristocratic circles for the pleasures of the aristocracy. I mentioned Sarah Jeong to my father the other day, an average middle class white guy, and he had no clue who she was. When I went further to explain what she had done he answered in a typical fashion. “Well she sounds like an idiot.”

      Countless times, the white people I run into who have this style of rhetoric are either fresh out of college or middle-aged. If they are young and recently graduated, but are of a lower economic class this anti-white, virtue signaling, self-flagellating rhetoric is only ever verbal and fades by their 30s. You can see it, they want to live in homogeneous neighborhoods, they want to show at bourgeois grocery stores, but eventually see their idealism flatten out. They start working, they start making money, they become a cog and well…that’s it. The older rhetoricians do similar things, live in homogeneous neighborhoods, but since they’re not actually wealthy, define themselves against similar people to their economic class. They are a better person because they make a tiny bit more money or if they don’t…they’re diverse and forward thinking.

      For Jeong and other upper class/ upper-middle class producers of culture, they know exactly how to increase their publicity in their camp and for conservative-leaning media outlets, they can also eat up Jeong because it gets them views.

      I just wonder if Jeong is truly symbolic of coming cultural trends or a raving madwoman. If we listen to too many madmen we all go mad.

      Quillette readers of course are far more abreast to current events compared to many, but I often wonder if some of these issues are more fad and more for generating publicity for the New York Times than actual problems. Jeong is on the editorial board, but the New York Times was also a talking piece of the Clinton Campaign. I think a large number of intelligent observers now equate both the NYT and WaPo with a growing sense that it sounds a lot like HuffPo. In a similar fashion when during the early 2000s people criticized Fox for being a Bush Administration talking piece. Jeong is at most, just another rich kid who went to Harvard was patted on the head by her professors and friends and had the pick of various prestigious positions after she graduated.

      It seems like just a publicity game now and if she did get fired from the NYT she could easily become an editor at Vox et aliae.

      • @ O R Ange

        I am happy to center economic issues as they really are the fundamental existential issues defining most people’s lives, and they provide a means of building a truly multiracial, diverse coalition. This doesn’t mean I believe that LGBT issues, racial justice and women’s equality should be pushed aside. Far from it. But quiet as it’s kept, many on the Left are sick to death of the reductive identitarian narratives that allow, for example, a Hillary Clinton surrogate to label Bernie Sanders a “white supremacist.”

        Your comments about how the people who undertake the identitarian rhetoric tending to keep themselves in segregated upper class enclaves definitely resonate with me – especially thinking about the ones in the Northeast.

        I have lived in New York City/New Jersey but I’m originally from Columbia, South Carolina; and I can honestly tell you that the southern contexts I have lived in are far less segregated racially and economically than those in the Northeast. I’d argue that the Northeast and Left Coast are probably the worst areas in terms of income inequality.

        I’m not saying that racial and economic segregation are not a problem in the South, but some of these white so-called liberals and progressives in New York City and the rest of greater New York are really kidding themselves when they persist in thinking their shit doesn’t stink. You cannot honestly think that you’re so “down” when you go back to your $3000-4000/month apartment in lower Manhattan.

        In fact, I was looking at statistics the other day and New York is the most economically unequal state in the United States, which really should surprise no one.

  18. Big D says

    The religious comparison was well (and amusingly) described by Burns in ‘Holy Willie’s Prayer’.
    Satire is a fine weapon to use against these dragons.

  19. spencher says

    Whites are constantly attacked and nobody notices, nobody cares, and many say that’s a good thing. Whites need to adopt identity politics or be swept away.

    • Saturn Black says

      Playing the victim will never help us. We need to stand up, speak clearly, take a position and never back down or apologise. This is a fight to the death and only a firm and unwavering resolve will lead us to victory.

  20. Is it self-flagellation? Or just ordinary masturbation, in public?

    I feel sorry for the people who are motivated to indulge in such behavior, merely to follow the herd. It’s sad, and shameful.

    • Intellectually and morally bankrupt too…to pretend that they actually think nothing good about western culture, express racist hatred and violence, without ever providing a hint of evidence that other cultures are better.

  21. The satire defence is the exact same one used by white supremacists as they joke about ovens and so on. To stew in murder fantasy is dehumanizing thinking which steps someone closer to act it out given the opportunity. This is a common precursor to every genocide in history. Anyone can build a historical grievance case to explain why it’s justice to make them the exception. Mein Kampf page one is an example. We see the same logical process being engaged and celebrated by the left today. But there’s a perception that only the right is capable of it.

    For people who claim to care about preventing genocide they seem utterly ignorant of the causal conditions surrounding many in history. Rwanda for example. Read Dallaires’s books about it. He had the opportunity to destroy weapons caches before the killing began but was ordered to stand down. “Give peace a chance” is great but sometimes you end up enabling mass murder as appeasement did in ww2. Yet despite the millions dead-at least the “good” people here in the west can rest assured they did not commit what they seem to believe are the greater sins of “cultural genocide,” “warmongering,” “systemic western oppression” or “cultural imperialism” which they’d have been guilty of if they’d intervened.

    The blood of the innocent cries out from the earth.

    • Saturn Black says

      Yeah these “good people” didn’t accept Jewish refugees fleeing the concentration camps and they ended up getting gassed. Australia would not let them in. But now we are laying out the welcome mat for Muslim extremists and aspiring terrorists and setting them up with a nice life on welfare.

      This is the dirty trick of “compassion” which underpins their entire philosophy. Jews were no good but Muslims are fine. They pick and choose who to see as victim and completely annihilate everyone else. They are incapable of fair and reasoned judgement. In their eyes you’re either a pathetic weakling who they feel sorry for, or an oppressor who needs to be dethroned.

  22. Bubblecar says

    “Most commonly, he noted, it’s used as a tool by upwardly-mobile white people who “pride themselves on their diverse social circles and their enlightened views,” to distinguish themselves from their racial identity.”

    There’s another possibility that hasn’t been discussed in this piece: that many whites just don’t personally experience much in the way of “racial identity”.

    “Racial identity” is normally a preoccupation of racial minorities who feel obliged to dwell on these matters. Most white people in white majority countries just think of themselves as “people”.

    It’s notable that the small minority of whites who are deeply into “white racial identity” are people who tend to think of themselves as oppressed and socially marginalised.

    While that may be true to some extent, they’re not marginalised because of their race (neo-Nazis, for example, are socially marginalised because they choose to be neo-Nazis, not because they’re “white”).

    As a white male myself, I’m sometimes bemused by the anti-white male rhetoric, but I assume it means something within the conflicts experienced by those who use such terms.

    I’m not offended by it though because I just don’t have anything in the way of personally significant “white racial identity” or “male gender identity”. Such categories are trivial and I feel no need to take them seriously.

    • You don’t have to be offended to note the hypocrisy, to note the hatred towards a class of people based on their color, to see multi-culturalism as valuable so long as it’s not western culture, you know, people who enjoy all the fruits it creates while pretending to hate the cultural source of it all.

  23. Farris says

    White hatred is nothing more than virtue signaling. When done by people of color the speakers are claiming to be one of the angels. When done by whites the speakers are claiming to be on the side of the angels. Or as better written by Jordan Peterson, “refrain from camouflaging your vice with virtue.”

  24. Pingback: White-Bashing and What It Takes to Get to the Top – G & O

  25. For all who hate western culture brought to you by “white people,” please do share with us the better cultures we should instead strive to enjoy? All whites ever did was expand on democracy, liberty, equal protection, capitalism and an emphasis on scientific understandings.

  26. Nick says

    This morning I was beside myself with laughter, thanks to Ben Shapiro’s dramatic reading of a letter to the NYT advice column. It’s well worth watching.


    And here is the letter itself, with its (multiple) responses, all deadpan serious about the need to channel white guilt into action for social justice:


    • OleK says

      If this was on yesterday’s podcast, I’m excited. I’m in the middle of ep 602 and his Trump impersonation voice while reading off all the times he’s called anyone a dog was hilarious!

  27. Darwin T of BC Humanists says

    Thanks for this think piece article.

    A very good source to comprehend the culture wars is a recent book by Angela Nagle entitled, “Kill All Normies! Short and chock full of great historical analysis with the latest in left versus right mud slinging matches. Referencing is varied from Spengler, Gramsci, Nietzche, Paglia, Sommers and many more.

    You come away with the same result as this article. Where in the hell are the grownups? Where is the Vital Centre? Where is the humanity? Where is the thought?

  28. Nick says

    You wrote a deeply insightful article, except for the last sentence. This IS what social justice is and always has been about: the destruction of anything and everything that holds up Western civilisation.

    • Bubblecar says

      You may be personally opposed to the concept of justice, but it’s rather absurd to suggest that it is somehow alien to Western civilization.

      If Western civilization was really insistently and proudly unjust, it wouldn’t be worth defending. In fact the concept of social justice has a long and noble history in the West and has often been the prime motivator for beneficial change.

      • codadmin says

        ‘Social justice’ is a leftist deceit that has no relation to the past movements of progress that have defined western culture.

        How can the lefts deep and pathological hatred for white people, which in essence defines the Left, be a ‘social justice’ exactly?

        • Bubblecar says

          Ideas of of social justice have a much longer history than current political fads. But some people (especially right-wing Americans) only seem able to interpret perfectly fine terms like “justice”, “liberal”, “progressive” etc in the context of ephemeral and fairly trivial local usages.

          • augustine says

            “Social justice” is the only kind of justice there is. That’s why it has always been called justice. Putting “social” in front of it is a superfluous and misleading ploy, a ploy that succeeds in attracting impulsive minds that have not reflected much on life and the amazing things it has to offer.

          • codadmin says

            Leftists are not liberal. Leftists don’t care about justice. And leftists don’t care about progress. They care about their leftism, which, when reduced to it’s essence is exactly the same as nazism except for who they hate and who they blame.

  29. codadmin says

    Who are these ‘upper whites’ genuflecting to, exactly?

    The religion of ‘white guilt’ is a genocidal thing that has been forcibly inflicted on this conquered people. Whites, clearly, are conquered, hence why their ‘uppers’ are forced to clap and cheer cheer like trained seals at their own humiliation and dispossession.

    • M.D. says

      @ codadmin

      This is an interesting question. I have always felt they’re genuflecting to each other, because they feel that if they don’t, or if they slip up, other white people will say Aha!! Gotcha!! And point at them and say there, see? THAT’S the bad one, I’m not like that.

      Much the same as with #MeToo, lots of men will point at the exposed bad apple and say “well I would NEVER say such crude things” and throw the guy under the bus (and in some cases, absolutely, they have it coming) when every guy knows we all harbor desires and say things when not in the presence of women that are just as bad. A guy shouldn’t have his career destroyed for having some guy talk and getting caught.

      It’s an embarrassing, groveling, wormy display to behold.

  30. Dirtnapninja says

    The Bugmen (of whom most are managerial class whites) have no sense of identity beyond consumer choices and status. In order to protect their status based identity they have to signal hard against the badwhites. That is because the badwhites are a low status. The bugman can be mistaken for a badwhite, and so in order to protect his Status (which is more important to him than anything) he must signal very hard against the deplorables.

  31. Jose says

    Trevor Phillips pointed this out in a documentary especially since he was the one who wrote the rules being enforced in the UK. He pointed out that it has become an almost perverse game where only blaming white people is the acceptable norm. He also pointed out that the UK was sleep walking towards segregation.

  32. augustine says

    The last paragraph indicates that nouveau anti-white rhetoric is reserved only for the “wrong kind” of white people. But this is meaningless if, in fact, all white people are the wrong kind of people.

    Perhaps the hatefulness of these white elites is based in their insecurity of knowing this in some way but not quite being able to figure out where they stand in relation to others. So they keep doing the dance.

    Great article.

  33. Jake says

    Uri, thank you for this essay. It was thoughtful, insightful, and resisted easy/simple interpretations. It seeks common ground on an inflammatory subject. It’s exactly the kind of essay I applaud Quillette for having the courage and insight to publish.

  34. Ocean Creature says

    Wow, all this language and we’re getting utterly Orwellian.

    Bottom line – if you say nasty things, you’re nasty.

    No one should defend you and no one should have to explain what you supposedly meant.

    Adults, those rare creatures with impulse control, exist in every corner of our planet, come in every shape, size, and color.

    Adults are thoughtful in their assessment and measured in their expression. Any less behavior is that of a ranting three-year old, convulsing an overgrown body.

    It’s ugly and it’s shameful.

    MATURITY is what is supposed to save us from this
    hideous spectacle.

    I look forward to more of us developing into what we are actually supposed to become – dignified humans.

    Now that’s “class” to which we can ALL aspire!!!

    • M.D. says

      @ Ocean Creature

      “Bottom line – if you say nasty things, you’re nasty.
      No one should defend you and no one should have to explain what you supposedly meant.”

      But the problem is who gets to define what nasty is, who gets to cherry pick my comments and crucify me, and what are the appropriate penalties?

      I happen to love comedy that most women think is misogynistic and crude, and other people like their version of comedy. To each their own. But I am not cool with some suburban church mom coming into a comedy club and scolding me for being nasty and then destroying my career over what are, in point of fact, JOKES. Why not then scold and destroy actors who depict murder and rape? If it’s ok to pretend on the one hand, why not the other?

      In other words you’re throwing context completely out the window, which is a terrible idea.

      The legal system recognizes context, mitigating factors, etc. and goes to great length to try to determine why and how someone did something, and what their motivation was. Was it in the heat of the moment, was it calculated, were there mitigating factors that partially reduce their culpability…It may or may not succeed but it was clearly considered extremely important to account for context when determining guilt and penalties.

      The court of public opinion does not share those values, and hence this mess. This one loses his career, that one keeps her job. It’s arbitrary and capricious.

      So I don’t know about that “no one should have to explain what you meant.” If I quote a rap song or something someone actually said, a direct quote, should I have to say “n-word” like I’m a 5-year-old because mature adults can’t understand I’m quoting someone and am not a foaming-at-the-mouth racist? Where else could that sort of thinking lead but to where we are now, commenting on this article that should never have needed to be written?


  35. egg0 says

    “[I]t often comes from members of the academic and cultural elite, implicitly directed towards lower-income whites for the crime of not being sufficiently cosmopolitan, in a world that’s changing rapidly and where it’s a struggle just to find something to anchor oneself to. This is surely not what social justice is about.”

    Of course it is. It is exactly what social justice is about. It is not what justice is about, to be sure. Following descriptive lexicography, the modifier “social” means, to a first approximation, “not.”

  36. Mark Beal says

    Interesting article. It made me think back to when I was young and occasionally said foolish, naïve, offensive and provocative things in the way young people do, and just because I could. Thankfully there was no social media back then. But if there had been, the difference between then and now is that in the unlikely event that I’d have applied for a job with a reputable publication, they would have taken one look at my Twitter feed and told me to sling my hook – quite rightly.

    So what has happened? Quite simply, I think that it’s hard-wired into the identitarian liberal left’s (ILL) self-image to think of itself as radical. Consequently it has no appropriate strategy of how to behave when to all intents and purposes it has become the establishment, or at least a large part of the establishment. It has to keep pushing the boundaries (inventing ever new sins) because that’s what it does, and because it’s entirely de(con)structive, it has no interest in social cohesion, only in permanent critique. Some are no doubt consciously using ostensible radicalism (and an appeal to cuddly concepts like tolerance, diversity and openness) as a tactic to maintain their power, but there are also many fellow travellers who justify their position in the establishment to themselves by espousing radical ideas. Of course if they really were radical in the sense of posing a threat to the establishment, they wouldn’t get within a furlong of any kind of establishment position.

    As is so often the case, with regards to the anti-white rhetoric, the ILL cannot defend it even by its own standards. The idea that it’s “not meant to be taken literally” is beside the point, since the ILL prioritizes interpretation of a message above intent – witness the shameful case of Count Dankula. In other words there is no defence for anti-white rhetoric because intent (satire, hyberbole) doesn’t matter. If I, as a white person, am offended by Sarah Jeong’s tweets, they are by definition offensive, full stop. Of course the ILL tries to get out of this logical conundrum by singling out certain groups as being uniquely protected and able to claim offence while others are not – Britain’s absurd and unworkable hate speech laws being a case in point – but that only creates a situation where the law is applied differently on grounds of race, religion, biological sex, sexual orientation, etc. Which is discrimination, exactly what the ILL claims to be fighting against.

    There’s a lot in the argument that anti-white rhetoric is actually anti-white working class rhetoric. I think in its modern guise this goes back to the 1980’s, and a profound disenchantment in revolutionary circles with the workers’ willingness to vote for politicians like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. This was not even new at the time. George Orwell memorably attributed the workers’ scepticism towards socialism to the movement having a disproportionate appeal for extremists and crackpots of every stripe. The revolutionary types have always failed utterly to understand that the majority of workers want no more than a decent wage for a good day’s work.

    From this point of view, I’m sure some ILL’s, consciously or unconsciously, actually regard the white working class as an impediment to the revolution, and therefore entirely dispensible. For that reason I don’t think one should be tricked into believing that anti-white rhetoric is mere “satire”, “irony” or “hyperbole”. Those white people engaging in this nonsense need to be very careful indeed, because should there ever come a revolution (God forbid), no amount of self-flagellation will be enough to save them.

  37. Michael says

    When I’m not struck by the meanness, pettiness, deep-seated anger and resentment and lack of professionalism and maturity of the modern social justice left, I’m usually struck by their complete lack of self-respect. What else can be behind the self-flagellation so common among male feminists and white social justice warriors. They hate themselves and their culture – ironically while that culture gives them the safety and freedom to be as deeply ungrateful as they are. They have no respect for themselves so it’s impossible to respect them or anything they have to say.

  38. Sebastian Puett says

    Also, if Jeong merely was satirical, where are her tweets about other groups like women, black or muslims? Should they not have the honour of being satirized, too?

  39. To some degree, I do agree with Salam and others who argue that the anti-white rhetoric is a performative act by “elite” white people to distinguish themselves from “white trash.” I’m originally from Columbia, South Carolina, and I’ve been on interviews in New York City and New Jersey during which I will be asked “why I don’t talk funny” or “why I don’t have a southern accent.” The answer is that I scrubbed away the accent because I know what people think of white people from the South – dumb, racist, unsophisticated, et cetera. Just the other day, a white Jewish friend from New York City brought the “white trash” trope into conversation and then looked at me and said “Sorry.” This sort of gets at a theme in Amy Chua’s book “Political Tribes” – that white people have the most disdain for white people on the opposite side of the cultural divide.

    I’ve certainly been guilty of doing the same thing as a means of signaling my allegiance to the so-called “social justice Left” – thinking my family members who voted for Trump are trash, thinking my father was a racist for preferring John McCain to Barack Obama in 2008. It can be quite gratifying, especially when people congratulate you and say things like “You have a woke black man trapped inside of you!” But somewhere along the way I realized that this brand of politics is toxic, corrosive, and antithetical to the building of a multiracial, inclusive, egalitarian Left that works for all of us. And it’s also just flat out cruel. I truly regret a lot of it.

    Beauchamp and others are most likely defending Jeong to show *their* own allegiance to this brand of politics or out of fear of being piled on by mobs on Twitter or Facebook. There’s always a lot of equivocation on the Left because many of us are very concerned about the racism and white supremacy that has been emboldened on the Far Right in the United States. But how can we have any credibility on this issue if our own house isn’t in order? I’m not sure if I agree that the people on the Left are the same type of threat as those on the Far Right, but does it really matter? We should be critiquing it regardless and not giving passes to people just “because they are on our side” of the ideological spectrum.

    I’d buy Salam’s argument if I had not seen non-white people and non-Asian people also gleefully joining in with this kind of anti-white rhetoric both online and offline. Most of my friends are not white, and the majority of them do not speak like this. But a few acquaintances engage in this type of rhetoric.

    As we were driving in my car, one friend saw a homeless person who happened to be white and said “Whenever I see a white homeless person, I think ‘No Excuses!'” Of course, she’s probably alluding to how certain conservative circles use that “No Excuses”/bootstraps rhetoric against black Americans. But does that justify those types of comments? In my opinion, it does not.

    Another woman was having a issues with a woman at work (who happened to be white) and instead of doing into specifics about what the issue was, she simply said “Well, you know how white women can be.”

    And there’s also the disdain shown for people of color who do not “tow the line.” “Uncle tom,” “native informant,” et cetera are just some of the slurs thrown at people of color who are not “woke enough.”

    To be clear, I’m supportive of Jeong’s right to freedom of speech. But as has been said many times, freedom of speech is not equivalent to insulation from the consequences of abhorrent speech. You can’t just write these types of Tweets and then expect people not to be upset by them. I think the New York Times’ limp and equivocating response will probably harm its credibility, though, because they hired a writer who demonstrated a clear and pointed bias for years.

    Maybe the tweets were satire or “trolling,” but as is pointed out in the article above, many on the Far Right will use that excuse too. They will send oven memes to Jewish people online and then say “Just kidding” or they will use slurs to refer to black women and then say “Just kidding.” I personally believe that she meant at least some of it because I’ve been in the presence of people making those types of comments repeatedly.

    And what role do Facebook and Social Media play in this? How do these platforms embolden and encourage this type of rhetoric from both the identitarian neo-liberal Left and the Far Right? There’s an interesting book by Siva Vaidhyanathan called “Anti-Social Media” that has some great insights.

    Who knows? Maybe we just need to return to the kindergarten approach “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Or asking ourselves the following questions before we speak or write something: “Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? Does it improve upon the silence?”

  40. Do they ever ask themselves “Is this really a fight we want to have?”.

    It kind of strikes me as Manuel Noriega or Saddam Hussein performatively mouthing off against the US in order to gain respect from his citizens by confronting the most powerful entity he can find. That works perfectly right up until the moment the actual fight starts. Then it works very poorly.

    If you keep asking and begging for a race and class war you might actually get one, and while that will be bad for everyone it’s not too hard to predict the final outcome. There are a lot of guns in the US and academy liberals don’t own any of them. The academy might be shocked (shocked!) to learn that the people who actually engage in and execute these kind of fights won’t be on their side. Realistically if you burned down Starbucks and shut off their Internet they would surrender within two hours.

    People are only going to take so much of this, and then they are going to start sending people to DC to burn the place down. Oh wait…

  41. Ocean Creature says


    Context, ABSOLUTELY! In a comedy club, let it rip. But, tweets? That’s a whole other context and if Jeong meant to be satirical, it wasn’t her night and the crowd was tough.

    I think we could go with the Maya Angelou barometer. Maya chastised a foul-mouthed young man on a movie set. She told him that his language robbed him of his dignity. Afterwards, she was chastised by others on the set for taking on Tupac Shakur! Maya stood firm.

    • M.D. says

      @ Ocean Creature

      Fair enough, I do agree there’s a time and a place, and you have to display some judgement and restraint. Jeong being allowed context and the benefit of the doubt when explaining herself, while so many others were simply condemned, is the problem. No consistency.

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  43. Eigenwijs Lampje says

    I just can’t understand how people can bash others based on their color, openly call for discrimination and even violence and be able to give themselves a pat on the back. What a sick sense of morality does such a person has. I always supported the left when it came to defending people being discriminated on color, but when I read an article about some college wanted to have a ‘diverse’ setting, which meant ‘non-white’ I felt disgusted. This isn’t about fighting against racism, this is about applying racism to feel morally superior themselves.

  44. dirk says

    But, Eigenwijs, aren’t you from the country of Zwarte Piet, Black Pete, the servant of Santa Claus? The one stuttering,half wild, and subservant to the Holy White Santa Claus? So, please, shut up. Superior we feel all, us whites, even 3 yr old kids do so (the psychologists tell us after tests), yes, but why?? Please, stop being so hypocrite.

  45. DWMF says

    Good analysis. This article tells us exactly how the Democratic Party lost Blue Collar America. They saw that they are being treated like bums, and flocked to Trump’s banner.

  46. “…white liberal discourse on race has become quasireligious, with “uncannily rich” parallels to Christianity: white liberals embrace accusations of racism and confess their white privilege (original sin)”

    Thank you! I have seen this first hand and even called it out in class. You either have the option to accept it as the sinner that you are or deny it whereupon you are told that privilege is invisible to those that have it and by denying it you are actually using your privilege and asked if you are open to being educated(indoctrinated).

    No one wants to speak up for fear of being mobbed in class for having a different opinion by students and the professors or fear of retaliation by the professors grade wise for not conforming to the ideological standards that are now baked into almost every class.

  47. Moses Maimonides says

    You’ve ALMOST got it…

    Most commonly, he noted, it’s used as a tool by upwardly-mobile white people who “pride themselves on their diverse social circles and their enlightened views,” to distinguish themselves from their racial identity:

    It is almost as though we’re living through a strange sort of ethnogenesis, in which those who see themselves as (for lack of a better term) upper-whites are doing everything they can to disaffiliate themselves from those they’ve deemed lower-whites. Note that to be “upper” or “lower” isn’t just about class status, though of course that’s always hovering in the background. Rather, it is about the supposed nobility that flows from racial self-flagellation.

    It’s a tool used by upwardly mobile white people who are AFRAID of minorities, predominantly black people, a manifestation of Stockholm Syndrome, if you will. “Those OTHER white people are bad! WE are on YOUR side! Kill THEM, not US!!!”

    Makes perfect sense, doesn’t is?

  48. Guy Walker says

    “his main argument is rather that Jeong and others in the social justice left shouldn’t be taken literally when they denigrate white people” because they are speaking “satirically.” This makes no sense. What exactly are they satirising? Themselves? In which case they are admitting they are at fault……..

    I like the way this highlights that this stuff is just another form of arrogance or snobbery which looks down on poor whites as neanderthals just as whites are supposed to look down on blacks.

    White isn’t just a colour. It also stands for a culture that gives a certain philosophical account of reality and an account that has prevailed for a long time and which is different to the cultural marxist account and, in fact displaces it. This is one reason why they are so eager to displace it.

    Not sure about all this in-group/out-group stuff. Sounds like behaviourist nonsense.

    I like the sound of this – “The editor of Quillette, Claire Lehmann said the magazine provides “an alternative to the blank slate view… very common in left-leaning media.” The blank slate view……which I see as in opposition to the view that there is such a thing as pre-existing nature.

  49. The Jacket says

    TFW an old Reasonoid spots Warty, Joe, and the Usual Suspects on a Quillette thread.

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