For the mainstream media, it was a bona fide crisis. Blake Shelton, a European-American country singer and a host of The Voice, whom I had never heard of until yesterday morning,was named People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man In The World.” The result was outrage. Marlow Stern at the Daily Beast declared grandly that “people” are in a “justifiable uproar given Mr. Shelton’s history of homophobic and racist comments.” “Many on social media are blasting the magazine’s decision, calling upon Mr. Shelton’s past tweets that have been labeled as racist, misogynistic and homophobic,” sniffed Fox News. “Some are disheartened by Mr. Shelton’s history of making jokes at the expense of gays, lesbians, women and minorities,” wrote Libby Hill at the Los Angeles Times, in one of the more restrained reactions.
The decision by journalists to broadcast random leftists complaining about the decision of a supermarket tabloid is idiotic, but not surprising. Isn’t People telling us who’s sexy; not who’s slavishly conformist? But what was truly remarkable was how criticism of Mr. Shleton focused on his race. Gabriel Bell at Salon called it a “problematic pick” because it was a “reinforcement and celebration of sometimes-toxic cisgender male sexuality, the elevation of an underwhelming white man to a position of popular acclaim, the ignoring of people of color” and various other perceived sins. Fast Company echoed the complaints of many others when it wrote that Mr. Shelton was an “uninspired choice” because “in its 32-year history, the list has largely been dominated by white men.” Vox, being Vox, also complained about Mr. Shelton being white and his supposed support for Donald Trump.
Like many other outlets, Vox wanted to know why Idris Elba, last seen starring in the monumental bomb, The Dark Tower, was not given the title. (The same kind of article crops up every few years when Mr. Elba fails to become the new affirmative-action James Bond.)
Such a bizarre campaign wouldn’t be worth much notice except it coincides with yet another attempt to shame Taylor Swift for not joining the #Resistance against President Trump. Marie Claire is condemning Miss Swift for not making her last album about politics and remaining silent about the presidential election. Miss Swift is also accused of being “racist” because she doesn’t spend all her time protesting against people on the internet who make memes of her as a fascist. She does take legal action in order to get them to stop claiming she’s a fascist—but then she is accused of violating free speech. The only thing she could do, it seems, is follow Katy Perry down the hole into madness by endlessly talking about feminism and white privilege.
The real problem leftists seem to have with Taylor Swift is the fact that she is white and blonde, with Camille Paglia’s condemnation of her as “Nazi Barbie” serving as shorthand for how she is usually criticized. It’s probably no coincidence Miss Swift, for once, won no MTV VMA awards despite being nominated for five, given how MTV has become entirely dedicated to championing the #Resistance and shaming white people.
To be white and a celebrity is to be inherently controversial. Every several months, there is a predictable controversy about “whitewashing,” when a white actor plays a part that could plausibly go to a person of color. The resulting media frenzy has doomed films such as Gods of Egypt and Ghost in the Shell. Even historical dramas are not exempt from affirmative-action demands; Dunkirk was criticized for not having enough black people in it.
In contrast, transforming white characters into blacks is widely applauded. Examples include how Nick Fury suddenly became a black man in the wildly lucrative Avengersmovies, or the push to put more non-whites in productions of Shakespeare or other classic stage plays. Sometimes, this is taken to ludicrous extremes, with the popular show “Dr. Who” featuring the doctor and an African-American touring England in the 19th century and seeing the streets filled with blacks. “History is a whitewash,” explains the doctor.
Is this a parody, a subtle mockery of political correctness? If it is, the joke is clearly going over the heads of most people. Consider the nothing-less-than rapturous reception given to the upcoming film, Black Panther.
“Black Panther remains socially and culturally relevant because it imagines a world where black people continuously triumph over the influences of capitalism, Western imperialism, and white supremacy,” writes Clarkisha Kent in The Root. Mic grimly informs us that all Africa would be like the futuristic black ethnostate of Wakanda if it “was allowed to pursue its own march toward spectacular progress.” Rolling Stone calls the movie “revolutionary,” a declaration that “the future is here.”
Of course, from a white perspective, Black Panther seems like the product of one of our moles. The portrayal of a black ethnostate full of futuristic technology that baffles the rest of the world is so self-discrediting it seems like a white nationalist parody. In the real Africa, the propensity to dance with corpses is bringing back the plague. And anyone who has been to Africa knows that what infrastructure exists was built by colonialism, not despite it.
Still, the imagery is powerful, and would never be permitted for whites. If there is a white equivalent to Wakanda in Marvel’s fantasy universe, clearly it would be Asgard, home of Odin, Thor and the Aesir. However, the Asgard of the Marvel universe is not some futuristic or fantastic white ethnostate. Instead, it’s a multicultural world guarded by—inevitably—Idris Elba as Heimdall (Heimdall is described in the sagas as “the whitest of the gods”). Mr. Elba mocked those who were upset about the casting by pointing out how Thor is mythical and possesses magic powers. Such objections do not apply to Wakanda, which is apparently a plausible, realistic society, the portrayal of which must be taken seriously.
Similarly, if there is one major Hollywood production that relied on European folklore and mythology in recent years, it was Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Not surprisingly, it was condemned as Eurocentric by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Also not surprisingly, the utterly unnecessary Hobbit trilogy that followed it forced some pointless racial diversity. The upcoming Lord of the Rings television show from Amazon will also undoubtedly become a battleground over questions of diversity. (Will Gandalf the White even be white?)
Such questions are important because culture is a product, pushed by the top down. In theory, the internet gives artists and commentators the power to create and distribute content without a middleman. In practice, while information is more easily distributed today than ever before, the information that is consumed is vastly more controlled, supervised and centrally directed than ever before in human history. This is important because most people form their opinions about right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, morality and immorality through social cues, by following those who possess what they see as wealth and status. The media has the power to define certain people as beautiful, stylish, or superior. The media also has the power to destroy such people overnight.
Thus, the Left’s paranoia about celebrities and media portrayals is justified. Reasonmagazine, defending Swift, says libertarians want to expand “areas in which politics operates to its minimum so we can get on with living our lives.” But even how we live is a product of power relationships. The declaration that “all white people are racist” or “all white people benefit from privilege” would have been regarded as self-evidently insane only a few years ago. Today, a simple flyer proclaiming “It’s Okay To Be White” creates nationwide hysteria.
Today, any positive representation of white people’s history, culture, or capabilities is inherently racist. An individual white person being portrayed as desirable, talented, or fashionable can be tolerated, but only if that person signals against the collective interests of his people. Even those who attempt to remain neutral, such as Miss Swift, become targets. At the same time, the achievement of any non-white person is transformed into a collective accomplishment of his or her race. Thus, whites in popular culture can exist only as deracinated individualists, who hold no importance for those of their race, whereas non-whites serve as triumphant symbols for their people.
Similarly, those products of European culture that can’t simply be cast aside, such as the plays of Shakespeare, are transformed into universal property. However, those things identified with non-white cultures remain the exclusive property of non-whites. If whites engage with them, it becomes “whitewashing” or “cultural appropriation.”
Conservatives and libertarians often idealize the “marketplace of ideas.” But what exists today is not an open forum for competition and discussion, where the best ideas come to the fore. Instead, major cultural products—franchises, television shows, awards, even celebrities themselves—should be thought of almost as natural resources or deposits of precious metals—physical goods than can be conquered by force. Leftist journalists have it right when they launch a campaign for or against a certain celebrity or franchise as one would initiate military operation to seize territory.
It’s hard to take people seriously when their self-esteem is so closely identified with comic book movies, or because they are mortally offended because some guy you’ve never heard of was “awarded” some degenerate title in a magazine. Yet their outrage is a weapon; their anti-white animus is a source of cultural, economic and political power. More than religion, more than family, it is media that shape the views and moral framework of the majority of people. The indoctrination must be constant and massive if white people are to be pushed towards dispossession.
The campaigns of journalists to destroy this or that celebrity or promote this or that movie have political intent, and as Andrew Breitbart observed, politics is downstream from culture. The obvious intent is to ensure whites as a group have no positive portrayal in mass culture. This has already been achieved; the word “white” itself has already become something of an insult among journalists.
The next step is to ensure no white person as an individual can have a positive portrayal in mass culture unless he denies his own people. A campaign to make sure there are no white celebrities and that white culture is never portrayed positively has the same intent as tearing down statues of white heroes. The political endgame is not hard to imagine. Displacement from the culture is followed by displacement from our nations. Cultural elimination paves the way for physical elimination.