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Let white people march!
by William McGaughey
I used to be a human being, a man, an American. But then certain groups of people within the general population started to agitate for social position, often as victimized minorities distinguished from persons such as myself. After several decades of this contentious activity, my identity has been changed. I am now a white man. I am someone in the amorphous majority.
This identity is in trouble. Many people hate white men, including white men themselves. It would be a normal situation if the various demographic groups fought one another on equal footing; but white men have no leaders in this society who are not widely reviled. The Southern Poverty Law Center will tell you who they are. To favor the white race or, to a lesser extent, the male gender is said to be, almost by definition, a hateful person capable of the most appalling violence.
Arab Americans were traditionally considered members of the white race. In the early days, they proudly accepted that designation. Since the 1980s, however, their representatives have been lobbying the government for a new racial classification. Starting in 2020, Americans of Arab descent will be classified as “MENA” rather than white. “The efforts (to reclassify Arab Americans) were driven by a desire for the government of acknowledge the distinct identity and experience of Arabs in the US, and the range of existential, economic, legal, and political interests that come with minority status,” a report said.
I am of Irish, English, and Scottish descent, but am lumped together with all other whites. But apparently this is a problem for some other white ethnicities. I do not necessarily blame these other groups for wanting a separate identity. What is more interesting, however, is the statement that the politics of our day favor minorities over the majority population. It would be useful to know what more precisely are the “existential, economic, legal, and political interests that come with minority status”. Am I, too, eligible to climb aboard that political gravy train if I should want to renounce my white heritage?
At this point, I do not wish to go so far. Rather, being a white man, I want to stand up for my own community when it is under attack. I want to do this without hating or despising any other person. I cannot control any other group of people; it is my own group that I can legitimately try to influence. So let me begin.
Politically, the category of “white man” in America has less to do with European ancestry or male gender than being the demographic target of political and social attack. If you are a white male who has joined the attack on “white” or “patriarchal” society, you do not belong to my group. You belong instead to the group of attackers. If, on the other hand, you are a black man or a woman who is comfortable identifying with the general population, you have more in common with me than the racial or gender aspect would suggest. We are back to being fellow human beings.
Having said that, however, I must focus on whiteness as the salient element of identity in this discussion. Now defined negatively, I want to turn it into a positive. I want to defend being a white person. I want my own identity and others like it to shine.
Recently, a young white man named Dylann Roof murdered nine black people after a Bible study session at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The victims had welcomed Roof into their circle. Their surviving relatives forgave Roof’s grievous sins. Roof had posed in photographs with neo-Nazi insignia and published a manifesto espousing white supremacy. In the shootings, he was acting upon his hatred of blacks. Could anyone stoop so low?
What does this incident say about white people that is not already known? They are hateful, murderous people, who return evil for good. Anyone who, like Roof, champions the white race is that type of person. The prevailing culture says that whiteness has no legitimate defense. And the same goes for venerating the Confederate flag.
White people as such have few defenders in the universities. Their voice goes unheard in the media or in the entertainment industry. Our religious and political leaders give them no comfort. The doors of philanthropy are shut to them. And yet the prevailing sentiment says that white people have all the power. They are inherently “privileged”. Am I the only one who sees a disconnect between theory and reality?
After at least half a century of trying to stamp out racial prejudice, a recent poll published in the New York Times concluded that race relations in America were “bad”. Only 37 percent of those polled in the survey thought that race relations were “generally good”. Both black and white respondents, but especially blacks, were decidedly less optimistic about race than they were when America’s first black president, Barack Obama, took office in 2009.
So what do we do? We try even harder to stamp out racial prejudice. We blame and shame the white population even more. We revile the bigots even more fiercely. It is the classic example of Einstein’s definition of insanity: repeating the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.
I am going to try to step back from this failed model of race relations and look for a silver lining. No, it is not that in 25 years whites will be a minority population in the United States. It is not that the racial bigots will soon be overwhelmed by media-fed logic. Rather, it is the sense that there is starting to be intelligent resistance to the monolithic opinion about race that has stifled discussion for the past half century. The spirit of the common people cannot be crushed by the organized forces that despise them. Those ordinary white people can distinguish between hatred and love.
Now let me get into the heart of my argument. American society, which is associated with white people, is focused too much upon socio-economic competition. We are no community of people any more but a very large group of competitors. Parents teach their children the ethic of success in the great American game of competition that extends from education through careers. The name of this game is both to make money and to acquire a favorable reputation and position in society. Success is defined in terms of one’s status relative to someone else’s. It’s a zero-sum game.
The 1950s and 1960s were the heyday of American higher education. It was also the heyday of the black Civil Rights movement. The iconic Civil rights struggles were centered in the American South. They were a crude morality play projected through the mass media, featuring villains such as Bull Connor and George Wallace and heroes such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King.
The critical fact, however, was that the American south was then a backward place, socio-economically speaking. Its predominantly small-town population was relatively uneducated and poor. So they were, of course, failures in terms of America’s competitive ethic. We had, at the same time, hordes of prosperous and intelligent college students in the north, exuding socio-economic success. They did not want to be like those ignorant, bigoted white southerners. They wanted instead to be the righteous champions of the oppressed blacks. For, they were on a track to success.
Attitudes have hardened as the decades went by. The Civil rights movement has now become like a civic religion. What happened fifty or sixty years ago is set in concrete in terms of public values. The idealistic white students who assisted the black Civil Rights movement have become today’s teachers, journalists, and entertainment moguls. Feminism added a new layer of support for this type of political movement. The rural South has given way to an industrialized society more like the North, given to socio-economic competitiveness. The old segregationists have largely disappeared knowing this was a battle they could not win.
In the meanwhile, the black population of America has became a militant political bloc, aligned with the Democratic Party. Democratic politicians and office holders are careful to express only what flatters or pleases black voters, lest their monolithic hold on this group of voters be weakened. The Republican Party, now owing little to black voters, is nevertheless careful not to offend this racial bloc, not least because of its appeal to suburban white females.
Why is that? A little discussed aspect of race relations is that in the late 1960s blacks set fire to a number of large cities in the United States. The most conspicuous time was after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Despite its lawlessness, this activity appealed to certain types of white people. The leftist revolutionaries saw action in place of idle talk. Some white females were titillated by the violence. What is largely explained in terms of white guilt was actually white fear: Don’t anger the blacks or they might riot.
Where did this leave the white males? Most of them were in school or in bureaucratic careers. They were ensconced in relatively comfortable lives designed by others. Did these white young men have the guts to set fire to buildings and battle police? No, they were too sheepish. They were too comfortable. They could not bring themselves to riot. Some had not fully left their parents’ home. Compared with the blacks, these middle-class whites had an inauthentic existence.
It is not hard for such a person to despise himself. The great majority of whites were going to college, having previously spent many years in a highly regimented educational environment. The college students were officially on the path to success. They were a “privileged” segment of society, it was said. Deep in their hearts, however, many of these students had doubts about themselves because they had not really lived. Only strong people merit success; and we become strong by meeting real challenges, not the artificial challenge of passing a test. And so, white people, trapped in this system, felt timid and weak. Only the mavericks - the college drop outs - could succeed in real terms. The others had to live up to an impossible image.
This is my analysis of the problem. The problem for white people is not blacks so much as the excessively competitive and artificial environment in which they themselves live. Some competition is useful but not as a model of society. Give white people the freedom to be who they want or aspire to be. Let the young make their fair share of mistakes but also find redemption in learning how to overcome those mistakes.
That means scaling back the educational and career system to a reasonable size. It means giving employed Americans more free time. It means allowing those in careers to have children and to care for children. If we whites hate the 19th century enslavement of blacks so much, we ought to be concerned just a bit with the neo-slavery consuming ourselves today. This we can do something about.
I am somewhat down on the white race for its lack of courage. What self-respecting person would wear a “kick me” sign on his back? Granted, there are real penalties for expressing sympathy for the cause of white identity, but somewhere in this great land of ours there should be talented individuals who could do for us whites what Martin Luther King did for the blacks. There may be talented people but most lack the courage and vision to build a successful political movement. Those, like Dylann Roof, who have the courage, pursue a flawed vision. The idea of an armed uprising against blacks is ludicrous. The pro-white movement must be political and nonviolent.
Really this movement, as I see it, would not be directed against black people or other non-white persons but against a culture that denies dignity to whites. It would be against the demeaning concept of “white privilege.” It would be against the double standard employed in race relations. It would be against the knee-jerk tendency of blacks and their supporters to take quick offense at certain speech or visual symbols and the push-button response from the media.
Hardly a month goes by when some hapless white celebrity is caught making a racial slur or a derogatory comment about blacks that evokes universal outrage. Corporate contracts are cancelled. The outed bigot is forced to apologize. This sick little game played by the media is demeaning to white people. Are there no blacks who insult white people; or is bigotry defined in a single direction? Is racism only for whites? Yes, sadly, it is. Race relations in America have come to this.
White Americans have become like zombies after drinking the racial Kool-Aid. We have lost any sense of faith in ourselves as a people, being focused so much on socio-economic advancement. To be a white racist is low class - one of society’s losers. There is no worse image than this. Therefore, e generous to strangers but disparage your fellow whites. Confess racial guilt on behalf of the entire white race. For you are a superior person.
I would take issue with this ethic. Do not white people, too, have a right to a proud heritage? Is their history entirely bad? Do black people’s feelings and sensibilities trump all other considerations? In a pluralistic society, I think not. But someone will have to stand up for white people and say “enough is enough” in a firm unwavering voice. White dignity will not come without a struggle.
What struggle? Despite the difficulties, I think there is a clear path to the political redemption of white people. It requires that whites take to the streets and march. Someone must call the march and others must follow. Courage is required on the organizer’s part since it may be uncertain that many people will follow. A march with only one or two participants would be embarrassing. Courage is also required on the participant’s part, however, since it is dangerous to be pro-white in America. People can lose their job for declaring pro-white sympathies and branding themselves as low class. But the idea of a march is to declare oneself for a certain cause.
Really the idea of a march is to invite white people to be courageous. If enough people declare themselves openly on this question, then the cause is won. The cause is won by the evident snowballing of support that gives courage to the more timid to stand up and be counted.
Right now, there are some white people willing to declare themselves as supporters of their own race. The Southern Poverty Law Center will tell you who they are. I applaud such groups for their courage but think their vision may leave something to be desired. The problem is that whites who are motivated enough to express pride in their own race do this in the context of expressing antagonism toward blacks - their lower intelligence, their higher crime rate, etc. I think that whites, and other races too, need to stand on their own two feet with respect to racial pride and not attack others. A more moderate and less angry approach might gain more supporters in the end.
The cause of white dignity must be moderate if only for defensive reasons. A march with unbridled, angry claims directed against blacks will be labeled “racist” by the press. Martin Luther King had sympathetic press; his white equivalent would be facing near monolithic hostility from those who hold the megaphone of public communication. They will seize upon the most angry and hateful expression of an event participant and make it representative of the whole. Therefore, we would not want to be like the boxer who leaves his jaw open to the knock-out punch. We should resist appeals to take what some would consider “stronger” action.
Beyond this, however, people rightly respond to a positive message. They respond to a real and not fake message of love. So the theme of advancing white dignity should be disciplined and restrained, whether through religious influence or innate human sympathy. No longer a lifeless punching bag for their political enemies, persons of the white race would naturally be happy engaged in this kind of enterprise.
Granted, white people have many reasons to be angry with blacks, both individually and collectively. The fact is, however, that black people are not their real problem. Whites continue to dominate the political and corporate power structure of America. It is white persons who have put less powerful whites in the sorry position in which they find themselves. Before you abuse someone (financially, legally, or in other ways), you destroy his reputation. You say these powerless white people are racists. You intimidate him with your message of shame. But it does not have to be this way.
Tell the world, then, that you are not ashamed to be white and you are not afraid. To march with others of your race, not beneath hoods but in the full glare of personal exposure, can be a liberating experience. This is the path to victory. It is, in fact, the redemption of our nation.
A march with happy people singing songs would be my ideal. But right now, I’d settle for any kind of pro-white march, including one honoring the Confederate flag. You see, Robert E. Lee was my distant ancestor even though I have lived all my life in the North. North or South, we are brothers united in honor of our forbearers and vowing to leave an equally bright heritage to our posterity.
Let's try something here. If you think you might want to participate in a march for white dignity, send me an email, giving contact information. If enough people sign up, we can start our own march if established organizations do not. Send email to: mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org
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