“White privilege,” despite its supposedly awesome benefits, doesn’t seem to be worth much. Rachel Dolezal, Elizabeth Warren, and many others have claimed to be non-white. Some, like the deluded Miss Dolezal, may really believe it. Others have simpler motivations. In the caste system developing in the West, non-whites enjoy legal, social, and economic privileges. These are things we can easily define, such as affirmative action; they aren’t the mysterious, unknowable ghosts found in an “invisible knapsack” of benefits whites are supposed to be carrying around. Furthermore, even though we are to believe race is a “social construct,” DNA tests get the last word. Elizabeth Warren took a DNA test after President Trump mocked her, and found she was at most 1/32 Indian.
Recently, a group of “Indigenous” Canadians complained that Gwen Benaway, a transgender poet who claimed membership in several tribes, could be faking his/her identity. This “Two-Spirit” poet’s biography changed over the years. Only later in life did she begin to claim, “I walk inside the violence of being an Indigenous trans woman every day.” There have been compensations for the “violence,” such as the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for English poetry.
Another Canadian author, Joseph Boyden, also claimed to be Indigenous, which helped his career. However, his accounts about which tribe he belonged to changed over time. Mr. Boyden’s uncle reportedly went by the nickname “Injun Joe,” despite being Irish and English, and sold “Indian” trinkets. Maybe Mr. Boyden was honoring a family tradition. The controversy over his ethnicity takes up most of his Wikipedia page.
Last week, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, who is Anishaabe, wrote an article called “Claims of Indigenous identity often fraudulent.” “Barely a week goes by without an email asking me to expose a person who is ‘lying’ about their Indigenous identity,” he said. And yet in an earlier column called “Indigenous identity more than DNA,” he wrote that identity had “a little to do with blood and ancestry” but “far more to do with the relationships one builds and embodies.” If that’s true, why bother with ancestry at all? He complains that people lie to get jobs, and suggests the solution is to let “Indigenous governments control who gets status, membership, and proof of identity.”
But who determines which “Indigenous governments” are legitimate? If blood and ancestry matter only “a little,” we’re falling back on stereotypes about Indian culture. Why couldn’t any “Indian Joe” claim to be an Indian if he sells enough Indian trinkets? Which cultural expressions are authentic and which aren’t? However the question is decided, “Indigenous” status isn’t a burden but a privilege that people want. It’s a privilege.
Dr. Sinclair teaches “Indigenous literatures, cultures, histories and politics” at the University of Manitoba, so presumably he knows the real thing from the fakes. It’s convenient that his proposed solution – letting Indians decide – could give him more power. It’s also suspicious that Dr. Sinclair has said people shouldn’t be allowed to write anonymous comments on stories about “Indigenous people.” Incidentally, he could attend an American Renaissance conference without anyone raising an eyebrow.
The whole Anglosphere has the same problem. “An interesting phenomenon in Australia is that a large fraction of the professional Aboriginal Media Personalities are close to phenotypically indistinguishable, more or less (and more than less), from the average bogan [lower-class Australian],” wrote Steve Sailer. Try watching this video without laughing.
“I don't like showing emotion publicly, but we are angry… I think we are at 21 Indigenous deaths at the hands of police – whether that is police custody or police presence – in a year.” @AmyThunig on the shooting death of 19yo Indigenous man by police in the NT #TheDrum pic.twitter.com/rRRmBJald6
— ABC The Drum (@ABCthedrum) November 13, 2019
“Australia’s first Indigenous neurologist Angela Dos Santos” recently spoke about Australia’s own racial protests. She says “systemic racism” keeps Aboriginals out of science. She says that because she looks white, she hears slurs people would not use if they knew she was Aboriginal. Of course, being Aboriginal (something she reportedly discovered “at university”) no doubt gives her the authority to lecture on race relations.
In another recent case, Aboriginal Australian senator Lidia Thorpe almost couldn’t enter Parliament because there were doubts she could swear allegiance to the Queen. “I don’t identify as Australian,” she said. “It’s a concept that’s been imposed on our people since we’re invaded.” She also wants to rename the state of Victoria.
These women do not look like Abos. DNA tests would be interesting, but isn’t it enough that they “identify” as Aboriginal?
Not in America. Professor Jessica Krug of George Washington University admitted she “eschewed my lived experience as a white Jewish child. . . under various assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim.” (Note which words are capitalized and which aren’t.) She had a long career as an activist and academic, but that’s over, at least at GWU. The university sent a message to “hurting” students through the “Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement and Counseling and Psychological Services” to say, “We are taking the situation seriously.”
Jessica Krug’s self-flagellating, jargon-laden confession claiming that she “canceled herself” was reportedly prompted by fear of discovery. Suspicious black students began poking into her background. No crisis of conscience for her. She’d just been “found out,” says a former friend.
Especially intriguing are reports that she was “uber-militant” about political activism, “questioning anyone who she thought was not as militant as her.” This may have just been her own neurosis, but I think not. Many whites feel, justifiably, that they are under attack. If they can’t plausibly claim to be non-white, overcompensating by claiming to be more militant than others is a form of self-protection.
Anthony Beevor wrote in The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 that rightists or leftists behaved this way if they found themselves behind enemy lines. Leftists would join the Falange; rightists would join the Communists. Committing ruthless acts would prove to their new comrades that they were comrades and shouldn’t be killed. I think many whites are reacting this way under our new Cultural Revolution. Professor Krug was Jewish, but most blacks and Hispanics see Jews as another type of white.
However, the simplest explanation is probably best: Professor Krug used programs that are supposed to help non-whites. The Guardian wrote that she “took financial support from cultural institutions such as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture” to write a book. Resources are finite, so blacks and Hispanics have a financial interest in rooting out fakes like her and Rachel Dolezal.
Still, egalitarians have a problem. If race is just a “social construct,” why can’t people “identify” as any race? Professor Krug admitted she was a fraud, but I think Rachel Dolezal really thinks she’s black. If there are dozens of genders and everyone’s “lived experience” is valid, why can’t anyone take a non-white identity?
Furthermore, if there is “white privilege,” why are people so eager to be part of the “oppressed” class? Some could conceivably do this out of masochism, but Professor Krug, Rachel Dolezal, and the others benefited. Their fraud helped their careers. Should this be a crime? If so, should blood tests be required to prove who is black, Hispanic, or Indigenous? If it is just a question of “lived experience,” how do you tell if someone really believes he’s black or if he is just a good liar? If transgenders are real, why not transracials?
The truth is that this entire absurd system stumbles along because whites have no collective power. If white privilege were real, the no one would dare talk about it. The groups that have privilege are the groups we can’t criticize.
Three things can be done about this. The first would be to eliminate race preferences, but that won’t happen because so many people benefit from the system. The second is to admit race is a social and biological reality. That won’t happen without a cultural revolution. The third is the most likely: The Western world will continue this ridiculous exercise in which people claim theoretical oppression to get actual privilege. There will be more Rachel Dolezals, Jessica Krugs, and Gwen Benaways. The really clever ones won’t be found out.
If any bureaucrats asks, I’m a “white Hispanic.” I have 0.1 percent Hispanic DNA to prove it. I know enough Spanish to get through a telenovela. Don’t question my identity, bigot.