At the national conservatism conference, a recurring theme of the speeches was the awfulness of identity politics. The speakers would not get into the details, beyond noting it made unifying the country impossible. There were no references to black identity or the variety of group identities coming from the grievance studies departments. They would just refer to it in the same way that people refer to drug taking of drunk driving. That is, these are obviously immoral things that good people know to avoid.
The thing is though, this sort of talk only occurs in front of white people. Despite all the invective aimed at people on the dissident right, about their alleged racism, there was not a lot of diversity at the conference. A back of the envelope count says it was 65% white, 30% Jewish and 5% other. It may have been more Jewish than that, but not every Jew wears a yarmulke. Regardless, there may have been one black person and a few dozen people of mysterious origins. No a lot of vibrancy.
In other words, despite the hooting about white racism, the room was full of white people, who spend most of their time around white people or fellow whites. The typical black person experiences vastly more diversity in his daily life. Even the emotionally crippled women of the gender studies department get more diversity. The point being, Joe Sobran’s line about liberals applies to the various types of conservatives and now these newfangled national conservatives.
Putting that aside though, the typical white person in America really and truly does think identity politics is a bad thing. They look at the alternatives to the bourgeois civic nationalism of their lives and see that it is a shabby alternative. In fact, non-white identity politics can only exist where white people are in sufficient numbers to keep the water flowing and the lights working. That’s because identity politics is actually just anti-white politics. It is an entirely negative identity.
No public white person would dare say such a thing, but that’s the truth of it and more and more white people are waking up to it. The old paleocons can pearl-clutch this stuff all they like, but there is no turning back from it. Lecturing white America on the dangers of identity politics is now getting people killed. The only responsible thing to say in front of a white audience on the subject is the truth. What animates the new faces of the Democrat party, for example, is a hatred of white people.
Of course, one reason why the people railing against identity politics do so exclusively in front of white audiences is they fear this truth settling in on whites. That’s why tirades against white nationalism often coincide with the tirades against identity politics. They are two sides of the same coin, which is a fear that whites will begin to see their collective interests as primary. If in the next election whites vote their skin, Trump wins a fifty state landslide and 70% of the popular vote.
At the risk of over-making the point, these lectures to whites about identity politics are more insidious than they seem at first blush. The temptation is to assume it is just bourgeois white people extolling civic nationalism, by criticizing anything that undermines civic unity. Alternatively, it is a way for these people to puff out their chests and declare that it is the Democrats who are the real racists. Even today, this is a wildly popular tick among the civic nationalist types.
There’s something more important about these lectures. They are built on the assumption that the worst of all identity politics is white identity politics. Blacks embracing their racial awareness is not only ignored, but often celebrated by the same people fretting over white identity. Jewish identity, of course, is the greatest of all possible things. A multi-million dollar celebration of it was just staged in the capital, along with hundreds of media people, marched in to report on it.
White identity, well, that’s the worst and that’s why these lectures against identity politics never happen in front of non-whites. David French does not spend his days going to colleges demanding they junk their black studies departments. The boys at various Koch Brothers rackets are not going to the grievance studies departments, holding seminars on the dangers of identity politics. Instead, rants against identity politics are only aimed at white audiences, because white identity is what they fear.
When you witness this stuff up close, it is hard not to get angry about it and develop a deep loathing for the people behind it. When a Tucker Carlson does a bit on the evils of identity politics, one has to wonder if he is really an asset. To perpetuate white self-loathing in an age of racial politics and minority-majority demographics is to invite terror upon white people. To anathematize whites in order to prevent white identity is to counsel the victim to just like back and take it.
In fairness, a lot of the hooting about identity politics from civic nationalists is just alienation dressed up as nostalgia. They feel the same loss the rest of us feel for an America that is never going to return. Those on this side of the great divide have come to terms with it and seek to build a new identity that provides community and a sense of purpose. The civic nationalist just wallow in the self-pity and nostalgia. They are the new flagellants, who think more self-harm will solve the problem.
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