Strategies VII – Knowing the Stakes (is it all just PC hysteria?)

This election, the far left finds itself in the position of the boy who cried wolf. After having directed protests against people as liberal as Bernie Sanders, it finds itself curiously unpersuasive when confronted with actual, unrepentant Nazis. Therefore, after having been accused of falling for politically correct hysteria in my own opposition to Bannon, I decided it was important to explain the actual stakes for America, and why this is all more than just routine partisan fearmongery.

As I explained in an earlier post, the fact that many of us associate racism with big dumb ignorant backwoods hicks was one of the great public relations victories of the Civil Rights movement –it made racism deeply unpopular. But the truth is that racists can be highly intelligent people dressed in 3-piece suits. They can also be highly politically aware. It’s quite likely they comprise many of the people who read most avidly and take most seriously the cutting edge racial theorists of the far left.

We cannot rely on racism being ugly, unintelligent, unreasonable or unpopular. The hard truth about racism is that it is natural, easy and even fun (at first). It’s the default attitude of human beings all around the world. But it’s also a deeply immoral and toxic orientation to the world that damages both the victim and the practitioner, and that has consistently led to moral horrors on unimaginably vast scales. The reason racism must be resisted so vigorously and uncompromisingly is that it can be a subtle poison (at first). It’s not necessarily something that presents as toxic. We cannot rely on our children and loved ones knowing instinctively to avoid it.

There was a time, not so very long ago, when casual racism and anti-Semitism was taken for granted in most places. Then, the world decided to test out eugenic theories at a grand scale. The result was the cold-blooded murder of literal millions of innocent men, women and children, politically sanctioned, and carried out with the complicity of millions more ordinary citizens. It also resulted in the destruction of large swathes of the Europe it was putatively meant to defend. The world recoiled in horror, Nazism became a synonym for pure evil, and we all learned that the wages of racism are death. A generation later, a group of supremely courageous activists, both black and white, risked, and in many cases lost their lives in order expose the dark underbelly of homegrown American racism, and to show that segregation, as well, was a recipe for brutality and death, and the moral degeneracy of its practitioners. At that point, the bottle had well and truly been marked toxic, and we gained forty years, a double generation, in which mainstream America was unwilling to flirt too openly with racism.

Those days are over.

The most striking thing about alt-right darlings Allum Bokhari and Milo Yiannopoulos’ recent defense of the alt-right (on Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News) is the extent they go to, and the effectiveness with which they portray open racism as harmless, juvenile high spirits, a consequence-free flouting of outmoded conventional thinking. But there are some jokes that can only be laughed at if you aren’t the target. We must remember that the Nazi Youth were once seen as the best and the brightest of their nation, courageous reformers sweeping aside the timid ineffectiveness of their elders. But for anyone whose ancestors or murderers were killed by those high-spirited juveniles, or whose parents risked life and limb fighting against them, or who thought they could never be as blindly complacent as the WWII-era Germans –or who simply doesn’t want to see their own children transformed into the boogeymen of some future generation –cannot afford to be complacent. The time to take a stand is now. It only gets harder from here. Don’t rely on anyone who is silent today to stand up to defend you tomorrow.

1 Response

  1. Jennifer says:

    I’d also encourage us all to also follow the lead of the AP, NYTimes and other mainstream media in dropping the use of the term “alt-right” in favor of the more descriptive and accurate “white nationalist,” unless we’re trying to explain what alt-right means. Labels matter!

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