“Whites exist objectively,” said Sam Francis, “but do not exist subjectively.” Our political adversaries know we are white. Government policies track and sometimes penalize whites. Major corporations and government institutions promote an ideology of “white privilege.” However, many whites themselves don’t think of themselves as white or want to be seen as white. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have a choice.
The Washington Post recently announced it would capitalize “black.” However, in contrast to the Associated Press and Columbia Journalism Review, the Post said it would also capitalize “white.” “Stories involving race show that White also represents a distinct cultural identity in the United States,” the Post said. It added that many white immigrants to the United States had separate ethnic identities, but “these diverse ethnicities were eventually assimilated into the collective group that has had its own cultural and historical impact on the nation.” Well, yes it has. Not to put too fine a point on it, we built the nation.
But both leftists and “conservatives” were angry.
Congratulations, @washingtonpost. You now agree w/ Richard Spencer in saying whites have a racial identity and should be capitalized. Y'all forgot 300+ years on history in which whiteness was normative and invisible. https://t.co/NZPB5k59J7
— Arun Gupta Flatten the Ruling Class (@arunindy) July 30, 2020
Zero interrogation of the construction of Whiteness which inherently is White supremacist, a socieconomic and political system designed to privilege White ppl and disadvantage Blk ppl.
And zero discussion of the harm that Whiteness has perpetrated on Black ppl./4
— Dr. Oni #BraylaStone Blackstock (@DrOniBee) July 29, 2020
yes, in general, because it's ambiguous why it is capitalized. It could imply putting whiteness on par with other capitalized words like Asian, Arab, Black, etc., which is fine, or it could imply White Power, White Pride, etc, which makes me very uncomfortable.
— Jessica Winter (@TweetTabellaria) July 29, 2020
Karen Attiah, last seen vaguely threatening white women on Twitter, explained that the Post would still use a lowercase W in “white power” or “white supremacy.” Of course, logically, you could argue that that is when it is most deserving of capitalization, if upper case recognizes a self-conscious, collective identity. However, the general objection to the Post’s new rule was that it treated white people as a distinct group. Miss Attiah seemed genuinely baffled:
Y’all don’t think White people are an ethnic group in America?
— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) July 29, 2020
Some “conservatives” also don’t want whites to have an identity.
I don't care about capitalization, but the idea that “White is a distinct cultural identity in the United States" is preposterous. The racialist left is doing everything in its power to undermine a trans-racial American identity, and that requires promoting white identitarianism. https://t.co/4CZUvuW7u9
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) July 29, 2020
All of this is so horrible for the country. The fact that our media are now reinflating racial divisions in order to backfill their wokeism is despicable. https://t.co/ZCJB5tt8qC
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 31, 2020
White people aren't real.
Racial identity is meaningless and superficial tribalism.
What matters is ethnicity and culture, which we all have and is shared by our experiences and values.
I am Jewish.
I am also Appalachian.
I am also American.
I am gay.
These cultures matter. https://t.co/X9i6bI3Xx9
— Chad Felix Greene (@chadfelixg) July 29, 2020
The leftists have to square a logical circle. First, they tell us “whiteness” is a social construct that was used to justify oppression. The late Noel Ignatiev, who infamously called for abolishing “whiteness” and wrote How The Irish Became White, popularized the silly idea that “whiteness” initially didn’t include the Irish and other European groups. Thus, there is no whiteness. There are white ethnicities such as German-American or Irish-American, but no “whites,” because whiteness is an artificial but vicious system of oppression.
However, “white fragility” also tells us that all white people, without exception, are “racist,” and government policies that discriminate against whites require a biological standard of who is white and who is not; otherwise people with just a trace of black ancestry could sue for affirmative action. If “whiteness” is just a social construct, it follows that people of any race should be able to claim they are black, as Rachel Dolezal did. And if race is a social construct, how can Derek Chauvin be accused of “racism” in the death of George Floyd? How could he tell that Floyd was black?
Thus, critical race theory has contradictions built into it. On the one hand, “whites” don’t exist because they are a creation of nefarious elites who want to oppress blacks. (Who are these elites? Presumably they don’t include the overwhelming majority of the American institutions that are patronizing Black Lives Matter.) On the other hand, there has to be a way to identify whites. If groups can simply say they are not white, as MENA (Americans of Middle Eastern and African Descent) groups are trying to do, they can claim they are part of the oppressed class even when they are privileged.
Conservatives have different problems. They are trying to uphold a non-racial “American” identity and dismiss white identity as tribalism. At the same time, they also think that ethnic identities, particularly Jewish, are valid. However, why is Jewish, gay, or even “American” identity not mere “tribalism?” Why is race alone illegitimate? Furthermore, can we seriously argue that most people think Mark Krikorian is “Armenian” rather than “white?” Partly because of government-sponsored campaigns for assimilation during the late 19th century and during World War I, the ethnic boundaries between Irish, Italian, Polish, and other white ethnicities have melded into a larger “white” cultural identity.
More importantly, contra Ignatiev, the Founders clearly understood “whiteness.” They reserved American citizenship for “free white persons” in the United States Naturalization Law of March 26, 1790. The very first United States Congress passed this bill a year and a half before the Bill of Rights.
“Historically white Americans have sharply distinguished themselves from Indians, blacks, Asians, Asians, and Mexicans, and excluded them from the American community,” wrote Samuel Huntington in Who Are We? He further says that though blacks were 20 percent of the American population at the founding, they were not viewed by Americans as members of their community — not “constituent members of our society” in Attorney General Edmund Randolph’s words. Jefferson thought whites and blacks couldn’t live under the same government. “Jefferson, James Madison, Henry Clay, John Randolph, Abraham Lincoln, and other leading political figures supported the efforts of the American Colonization Society to promote emigration of free blacks to Africa.” In the 1857 Dred Scott case, Chief Justice Roger Taney bluntly said that blacks were not part of the “people of the United States.”
In contrast, supposedly “non-white” Italians, Irish, and other non-Anglo groups can be found in important positions throughout early American history. Italian-American Confederate General William Taliaferro is still honored (for now) at his alma mater, the College of William & Mary. Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard was also part Italian and Roman Catholic. Obviously, some Irish Catholics did not see their primary loyalty to the mostly Protestant United States. The infamous San Patricios defected to the enemy during the Mexican war and were duly hanged, their last sight the American flag flying over the position they had failed to defend. However, their treason was the product of religious and personal grievances, not race. Irish (not just Protestant Scotch-Irish) fought in the American Revolution and on both sides of the American Civil War. No one thought they weren’t white.
Any trans-racial American identity must confront the stark reality that America was created and sustained by whites. The American story is largely a story about whites defeating and conquering non-whites. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who despite her last name clearly finds it more useful to claim non-white identity, protests that America has traditionally honored white men. However, who else should it honor? America’s historic enemies?
We have 100+ statues and portraits in the Capitol. Almost all of them are of white men.
Every single statue there could be of a canonized saint and that *still* doesn’t change the fact that the erasure of women & BIPOC from American history is a feature of white supremacy.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 2, 2020
America would thrive if Miss Ocasio-Cortez, her “Squad,” and her non-white constituents left the county and Puerto Rico were no longer part of America. Without whites, America becomes nothing more than a name on a map.
Conservatives must know this if they read what the Founders and most American heroes said about race until very recently. Perhaps they really are ignorant. Or do they just pretend Martin Luther King Jr. was a patriot and a conservative and read Dinesh D’Souza books that blame “Democrats” for America’s problems. Liberals and non-whites know American history. They know the American flag represents the historic white American nation, which is why the far-left burns it in Portland.
Both Left and Right are ignoring the critical truth that race is the defining issue in American politics. It always has been, since the time the Jamestown colonists met Powhatan, to the Civil War, and now America’s ongoing deconstruction. American whites are a people with shared interests, culture, and heritage. It is distinct from that of non-whites. More than that, we are part of a larger Western Civilization that transcends civic nationalism. I have more in common with a white Frenchman, German, Hungarian, or Italian than I do with supposed conservative leaders such as Nikki Haley.
Our foes see this. The controlled “conservative” opposition refuses to see this. “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair,” in George Washington’s words. Eventually, even the most deluded whites will be forced to accept an identity. They will have to choose between self-hatred and self-assertion. We need to prepare the way for those who choose the latter and join us in seizing control of our destiny, which is to champion Western Civilization on this continent.