June 21, 2024

Source: Bigstock

The congenitally alarmed express horror and perturbation over White Nationalists, of whom they know little. They seem to think–or perhaps hope, life being boring in Washington, that in conjunction with the election of Trump, WhyNats will bring back lynching.

This is overwrought. In fact WhyNats are seldom awful enough to be interesting, or awful at all, and in any event are self-limiting and in no danger of gaining power.

Most of their ideas, as I understand them, amount to cultural conservatism, and would garner a massive following if not associated with hostility to too many groups. WhyNats want to close the southern border, suppress rampant crime, end ranting against whites, end birthright citizenship, revive scholastic standards, end affirmative action, let people live where and among whom they please, reinstate the primacy of European culture, and deport illegal immigrants. These seem reasonable enough, except maybe the last, since throwing ten or twenty million people across the border might prove impractical.

“The fly in the White Nationalist ointment is their hostility to other races, ethnicities, religions and, well, almost everybody.”

The fly in the White Nationalist ointment is their hostility to other races, ethnicities, religions and, well, almost everybody. Again, as I understand them, WhyNats are against the thirteen percent of the population who are black, the nineteen percent and climbing who are Hispanic, the six percent and climbing who are Asian, the two percent who are Jewish, against Democrats and liberals, and by strong implication southern Europeans, sexual curiosities and Moslem’s, many of whom are white. This leaves enough Americans to populate a small-town PTA meeting. Maybe.

How is this going to work in a country still governed by elections, however rigged? Antagonizing almost everybody is not practical politics. The aforementioned rascals vote.
Incoherency sometimes afflicts WhyNat thinking which, for example, often divides people into white and nonwhite. This puts a naked savage in the wilds of Papua New Guinea in the same category as a Chinese theoretical physicist. The view is lacking in demographic granularity. In a country that is increasingly non-white, this starkly binary understanding allows no compromise, negotiation, or modus vivendi. Whatever its appeal, it isn’t going to work. It isn’t practical politics.

The crucial divide is not between whites and everybody else but between blacks and everybody else. Whites, browns, and yellows seldom push each other in front of subway trains, beat people into comas, engage in mass looting, or regard the firefight as their preferred form of social interaction.

While most things that WhyNats want are cultural and political and thus (I hope: see list above) at least theoretically possible, there is in White Nationalism a strong and explicit desire to maintain the genetic purity of the white race. This is neither unusual nor, as far as I can see, reprehensible. Many races, religions, and ethnic groups oppose outmarriage. But in America it isn’t politically practical.

The regnant fact is that America is a multiracial country. Love it, hate it, or focus on an urgent need to sort your socks, this is the fact. Anybody who dreams of racial homogeneity needs to stop smoking that Drano. It isn’t good for you. Groups that want to maintain purity can marry each other, but there will be massive leakage around the edges. I recently read a Pew (I think) survey saying that forty percent of third-generation Latinos marry out.

Does anyone think the hi-tech world is going to fire, or deport, the multitudinous Chinese scientists and programmers on whom America now depends? Or forbid them to date their white fellow tech-heads? As a young man I lived in Taiwan and found the girls to be smart, beautiful, and classy. Young white men enthusiastically agree. The condition is called “yellow fever” and it is not transmitted by mosquitoes.

Latinos? Much the same applies. Mexican girls are often disastrously pretty and, when speaking unaccented American English, are not very exotic. They will not repel young Anglo guys. Americans can approve, accept, or deplore this. They can approve, accept, or deplore sunrise. The effect will be the same. Short of a law forbidding intermarriage, which is not a practical goal, there is no practical way to prevent intermarriage. Or support for doing so.

WhyNats dream of an all-white America. Fine. As a dream it has its appeal: no slavery, perhaps no Civil War, no Jim Crow, race riots, burning cities, depressed educational standards, uncontrolled crime, open borders. Oldsters remember the Fifties, when kids could leave their bikes anywhere and find them on their return and children could engage in sprawling games of hide and seek after dark in safety. This was real. I was there.

But in 1619 the Historic American Nation, progenitors of today’s White Nationalists, began importing blacks and continued in high volume until at least 1808. Having imported them, they now complain of their presence. Perhaps they owe the rest of us reparations.

The WhyNat idea, often explicit and usually implied, “We founded this nation. It is ours,” will not fly in the polls when the vast majority of voters have nothing in common with the Historic American Nation. Again, not practical politics.

Another example of political misjudgement is the defense by at least some major WhyNats of everything whites have ever done. Slavery, for example, and colonialism. As a matter of political practicality–that word again–the only possible position is, “Slavery was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Period.” But a mixture of die-hard Southerness and retrospective conservative romanticism keeps this from being said. WhyNats, not unreasonably, tend to revere such founding figures of America as Jefferson, Washington, and Lee, all of whom owned slaves. Imagine trying to justify slavery in a televised debate. Yes, the Greeks had slaves. No, the Bible doesn’t forbid slavery. This doesn’t matter. The word is political death.

Some of the things WhyNats want seem to be coming into being, such as restored standards for entrance to universities and abandonment of the sillier forms of affirmative action. Splendid. They are not coming about because of White Nationalism. The administrations of Harvard and MIT are not White Nationalists, though it might be a good thing if they were.

Meanwhile assimilation runs apace, apparently little noticed. To repeat from an earlier column: Some years ago a reader, a retired ophthalmologist of East European descent, offered to arrange an appointment for me with an eye surgeon at Johns Hopkins. The star surgeon turned out to be Yassine Daoud, a Lebanese street urchin who, by brains, luck, and Harvard Med, ended at Johns Hopkins. On a later trip, I saw Deepika Sha at Eye Doctors of Washington, who by her name and slight brownness seemed to be of origins east of Suez. University of Virginia undergrad, Penn for medical school, long list of awards and such. The clinic’s insurance woman was named Martinez. At my bank in Virginia the assistant manager and perhaps a teller were Mexican. When I looked in Austin for an ophthalmologist, she was Annie Chan, Chinese, and her clinic’s office staff were bilingual Mexicans. (The doctors are Googleable.) Does anyone think this is going to stop? How?

White Nationalism? Interesting idea, just not too practical. .


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