The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewJohn Derbyshire Archive
Why Isn't Racism Cool?
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

We all had a lot of fun at the American Renaissance bash the other weekend. A disproportionate amount of the fun was provided by vlogger Paul Ramsey, whom I recommend for consideration when your next corporate function, birthday party, or bar mitzvah comes around.

At one point Paul mocked the little knot of anti-racist protestors camped outside the hotel. How, he asked, could this fairly be called “protest”? What did they think they were doing—sticking it to the Man? “Yo, guys: You ARE the Man!”

True enough. Time was, protest meant brave dissenters standing in proud defiance against the massed forces of Establishment power. Nowadays those massed forces believe exactly what the protesters outside our hotel believe, and they propagate it with unflagging zeal through the institutions they control: the media, business, labor, the big political parties, all branches of all federal, state, and municipal government (including the military), and all universities, colleges, schools, kindergartens, and playgroups.

The local media made the point, leaving no doubt that their sympathies were with the protestors, and ours should be likewise if we know what’s good for us. The news announcers put on their most solemn it’s-painful-to-report-this-but-duty-demands faces and quoted the Southern Poverty Law Center scam (twice!) as if it were some kind of impeccable authority, like the International Standards Organization, on metrics of “hate.”

Paul’s remark got me wondering, though. What’s wrong with kids today? Don’t they want to vex their parents? Épater la bourgeoisie? Kick against the pricks? Be transgressive?

Mildred: “Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?”
Johnny: “Whadda you got?”

Part of the fun of being young used to be the feeling that you were struggling for world mastery against a cohort of closed-minded old farts with a mentality hopelessly stuck in the past. (What Orwell called “pedants, clergymen and golfers.”) Well, if it’s that old-fart cohort you’re looking for, check out your local Ivy League university or cable TV studio. Those places are stuffed to the rafters with them. 1963 is in the past, isn’t it?

And these protesting youngsters believe every single thing the old farts believe! Their transgressions reach no further than their awful beards. The white American middle classes of today may be the most conformist population that ever lived, banking and turning in unison, old and young together, like a school of fish.

Even if these young protestors wanted to be transgressive, they wouldn’t know how. Let’s face it: Being transgressive isn’t what it used to be. Every time I encounter it nowadays, it turns out to be dismally lame.

As an opera fan, I wondered for a while whether I should explore the transgressive delights of Regietheater (“director’s theater”). Then I read Heather Mac Donald‘s survey and decided this was something I could skip without any esthetic loss:

An American tenor working in Germany remembers another Fledermaus with a large pink vagina in the center of the stage into which the singers dived.

Zzzz. That director wasn’t even trying. You want transgressive? I got transgressive.

• A production of Shakespeare’s Othello in which the Moor, to his squealing masochistic pleasure, gets chained to a post and thrashed with a bullwhip by Desdemona.

• A play about feminist icon Virginia Woolf in which she dumps her drab husband, lesbian lover, and intellectual friends to go keep house for an alpha male philistine who kicks her when she’s late putting his dinner on the table.

• A remake of The Birdcage is which it turns out that the acceptably gay Robin Williams character has been kidnapping little boys and buggering them in the club’s basement.

To any youngsters seeking to get political transgressivity on the move again, here’s a suggestion: Try racism. What could be more guaranteed to make mom swoon and dad go purple with rage?

ORDER IT NOW

No, no, not burning crosses on people’s lawns. The word “racism” long since overflowed that little pond and inundated the surrounding lowlands. I’m talking about racism as defined in Ed West’s excellent new book that I just finished reading. Location 925 in the Kindle edition:

Today the term racism has come to mean almost any recognition of race…and of difference (or average differences) between groups.

It sure has. The last time I got called a racist (Yes! It happens!) was when I overheard someone say that the decline of Detroit was caused by liberalism. “No it wasn’t,” I said, “It was caused by blacks.” Perfectly true, but apparently racist. Pretend not to notice!

Since racism as defined is transgressive, why isn’t it cool? A number of answers come to mind.

• Racism can’t possibly be cool because it is the most evil and depraved system of thought ever to be countenanced by sentient beings in the entire 13.82-billion-year history of the cosmos. Except that…

• Racism is considered cool when it’s directed against white people. I bet Tim Wise (“Old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame”) gets invited to all the coolest parties. I bet the coolest kids on campus are the ones running Dr. Shakti Butler’s ethnomasochist boot camp. (“The term [i.e. ‘racist’] applies to all white people.”) When Jamie Foxx boasted on Saturday Night Live that he got to kill all the white people in his new movie, the super-cool audience of young urban sophisticates burst into applause. The coolest Chief Executive to ever grace our republic is the one who sat in the pews for twenty years listening to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright babbling about how “white folks’ greed runs a world in need.”

I suspect, though, that as with most questions about human nature, the correct answer to this one can be found in biology:

Anti-racism is a mating display. It says: “Look at me! I have such earning power I can live where I like! I don’t have to worry about feral underclass blacks or Salvadoran gangbangers! I can strike a pose of lofty indifference to matters of race! Drop your knickers right now!”

(Republished from Takimag by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity 
Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All John Derbyshire Comments via RSS