Commentary on three examples of anti-Whites inveighing against Whiteness, giving substance to the identity even as they try to tear it down.
Shannon Corwin · Top Commenter
Whiteness as a culture and identity is a myth. It was brought about during the early days of the colonies when rich white males saw that workers were finding common struggles with minorities. They aimed to drive a wedge in order to control the population. They fed the european settlers a lie, telling them they could have some land and a voice if they helped to keep the POC population “in check”. Before all this, european nations that were predominantly white did not bond over their “whiteness”. They fought each other as Frenchman, British, Spaniards, etc. I welcome the decline of White as an identity. Be proud of your heritage. Be proud of being French, German, Irish, or whatever. But understand there is no pride in simply being “White”. The things that Buchanan are saying only serve to divide the people, not unite them. Down with the white supremacist culture of America.
Jackie Rawlings · Top Commenter
Shannon you are a smart well educated American and girl you know your history well. The Good news is people like Pat are dying out and the new generations only look at racism as history. I loved reading US history and every time I pick up a book I learn a little more. I read President Obama isn’t our first bi-racial President but the 6th one. I learned from leaders like JFK, Dr. King and first from my parents that I am an American who happens to be of color.
Susan Sontag (born Rosenblatt), Dictionary.com:
The truth is that Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Marx, and Balanchine [BAL-in-sheen] ballets don’t redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history.
Fear of a Black President, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic:
It is often said that Obama’s presidency has given black parents the right to tell their kids with a straight face that they can do anything. This is a function not only of Obama’s election to the White House but of the way his presidency broadcasts an easy, almost mystic, blackness to the world. The Obama family represents our ideal imagining of ourselves—an ideal we so rarely see on any kind of national stage.
What black people are experiencing right now is a kind of privilege previously withheld—seeing our most sacred cultural practices and tropes validated in the world’s highest office. Throughout the whole of American history, this kind of cultural power was wielded solely by whites, and with such ubiquity that it was not even commented upon. The expansion of this cultural power beyond the private province of whites has been a tremendous advance for black America. Conversely, for those who’ve long treasured white exclusivity, the existence of a President Barack Obama is discombobulating, even terrifying. For as surely as the iconic picture of the young black boy reaching out to touch the president’s curly hair sends one message to black America, it sends another to those who have enjoyed the power of whiteness.
In such ways was the tie between citizenship and whiteness in America made plain from the very beginning. By the 19th century, there was, as Matthew Jacobson, a professor of history and American studies at Yale, has put it, “an unquestioned acceptance of whiteness as a prerequisite for naturalized citizenship.” Debating Abraham Lincoln during the race for a U.S. Senate seat in Illinois in 1858, Stephen Douglas asserted that “this government was made on the white basis” and that the Framers had made “no reference either to the Negro, the savage Indians, the Feejee, the Malay, or an other inferior and degraded race, when they spoke of the equality of men.”
After the Civil War, Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor as president and a unionist, scoffed at awarding the Negro the franchise:
The peculiar qualities which should characterize any people who are fit to decide upon the management of public affairs for a great state have seldom been combined. It is the glory of white men to know that they have had these qualities in sufficient measure to build upon this continent a great political fabric and to preserve its stability for more than ninety years, while in every other part of the world all similar experiments have failed. But if anything can be proved by known facts, if all reasoning upon evidence is not abandoned, it must be acknowledged that in the progress of nations Negroes have shown less capacity for government than any other race of people. No independent government of any form has ever been successful in their hands. On the contrary, wherever they have been left to their own devices they have shown a constant tendency to relapse into barbarism.
The notion of blacks as particularly unfit for political equality persisted well into the 20th century. As the nation began considering integrating its military, a young West Virginian wrote to a senator in 1944:
I am a typical American, a southerner, and 27 years of age … I am loyal to my country and know but reverence to her flag, BUT I shall never submit to fight beneath that banner with a negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throw back to the blackest specimen from the wilds.
The writer—who never joined the military, but did join the Ku Klux Klan—was Robert Byrd, who died in 2010 as the longest-serving U.S. senator in history. Byrd’s rejection of political equality was echoed in 1957 by William F. Buckley Jr., who addressed the moral disgrace of segregation by endorsing disenfranchisement strictly based on skin color:
The central question that emerges—and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens, born Equal—is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.
Buckley, the founder of National Review, went on to assert, “The great majority of the Negroes of the South who do not vote do not care to vote and would not know for what to vote if they could.”
The idea that blacks should hold no place of consequence in the American political future has affected every sector of American society, transforming whiteness itself into a monopoly on American possibilities. White people like Byrd and Buckley were raised in a time when, by law, they were assured of never having to compete with black people for the best of anything. Blacks used inferior public pools and inferior washrooms, attended inferior schools. The nicest restaurants turned them away. In large swaths of the country, blacks paid taxes but could neither attend the best universities nor exercise the right to vote. The best jobs, the richest neighborhoods, were giant set-asides for whites—universal affirmative action, with no pretense of restitution.
That’s right. That’s how it used to be. Whites didn’t think Whiteness was stupid, crazy, or evil and instead openly and actively pursued their best interests as Whites.
Coates cites Naturalization Act of 1790, the first law regarding who could become a US citizen, The Naturalization Act of 1790, which begins:
Act of March 26, 1790 (1 Stat 103-104) (Excerpts) That any alien, being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof
Coates’ article is an example of the niggerization of politcal discourse, whereby race-conscious blacks freely project their own racial fears and animosities onto hopelessly deracinated Whites.
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