“New Scientist” pours scorn on “conspiracy theorists”

jfk-and-jackie

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24626-inside-the-minds-of-the-jfk-conspiracy-theorists.html

To believe that the US government planned or deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks, you’d have to posit that President Bush intentionally sacrificed 3,000 Americans. To believe that explosives, not planes, brought down the buildings, you’d have to imagine an operation large enough to plant the devices without anyone getting caught. To insist that the truth remains hidden, you’d have to assume that everyone who has reviewed the attacks and the events leading up to them – the CIA, the Justice Department, the Federal Aviation Administration, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, scientific organisations, peer-reviewed journals, news organisations, the airlines, and local law enforcement agencies in three states – was incompetent, deceived or part of the cover-up.

Note this at the top of the article:

The biggest mistake in this article is using the term “conspiracy theorists” for 9/11 truthers. As the truthers point out, ad nauseam, the official story of September 11th, 2001, is a conspiracy theory. But “9/11 truth” isn’t a theory at all. It’s not subject to falsification. If the authorities could do that, they can do anything, and cover it up. This means that any evidence against the 9/11 truth “theory” can be explained away by the “theory” itself. It is self-insulating against disconfirmation.


“Anti-racism” is anti-football

racismredcard

There’s a lot of faux “anti-racism” in football. Players are obliged to hold up signs saying “No to racism” before games. English fans can be arrested for using the traditional word ‘yid’ for Tottenham supporters, even if they are Tottenham supporters. Nicholas Anelka of West Bromwich Albion is being called “anti-semitic” for making the “quenelle” gesture.

But there is one kind of anti-racism which is not encouraged by the football authorities – opposition to the racial oppression of the Palestinians: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/palestinian-incident-semitism.html

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/13127#.UuWsVPbTnZt

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/24/blasphemy-in-secular-france

Yes, the West is Comparatively Racism Free

notoracisminfootball

I have had several articles published on the radical website Dissident Voice, including a critique of Noam Chomsky’s views on the Israel Lobby, and an examination of the idea that nations are “imagined communities”: “Invention, Imagination, Race and Nation“.

Recently, I wrote “Probing Max Blumenthal’s Goliath” i for Dissident Voice and Kim Petersen, one of the site’s editors, responded with “Is the West Comparatively Racism-Free?” ii.

This is my reply – Dissident Voice wouldn’t publish it because they say my thesis is ‘weak’.


I’m grateful for Kim’s response, as it forces me to clarify my – tentative – hypothesis. He asks me

In what universe can a person – seriously and meaningfully – argue that the West is critical of its racist history when it still carries out the racist policies?

My answer is, that the racist policies have declined, while the criticism of them grows louder and shriller. I think one can defend the hypothesis that

Western societies, with the exception of Israel, are currently among the least racially prejudiced on earth.

Still, there is no way in an essay I can fully justify this claim, for it would require studying hundreds of different societies. All I have time to do here is offer some examples of my reasoning.

I don’t think Kim understands the concept of falsification, for I’ve tried out my “look at how differently the West treats Israel in contrast to South Africa” argument on him (private communication), and he didn’t agree. I spell it out below.

You can’t show the West is especially “racist” by listing examples of it. You can’t prove anything by accumulating evidence for it. What you have to do, is ask the following:

1. If this hypothesis were correct, X would be the case.

2. Is X the case?

For example:

1. If white racial supremacy were more dominant in the Western countries than Jewish racial supremacy, the Western countries would have boycotted Israel before they boycotted apartheid South Africa.

2. Did this happen? No, the exact opposite happened. Western countries persuaded South Africa to give up apartheid, but Israel is supported to the hilt – for example, the USA gives it over eight million dollars a day iii.

It follows that the implicit claim of the anti-racist left, that white supremacy is more powerful than Jewish supremacy, is false. It’s a lie of omission – they don’t mention Jewish supremacy at all. They simply assert that Israel is an asset of American imperialism, without trying to test this claim. And they try to make it impossible to doubt that Israel is an ally, and that support for it is a product of the power of the Jewish lobby, by calling that argument “anti-semitic”.

The white boycott of apartheid was started by Australia in 1971: “this was the first time a predominantly white nation had taken the side of multiracial sport, producing an unsettling resonance that more “White” boycotts were coming.” iv , and grew from there.

Another example:

1. If Britain is a fundamentally racist society, the government would not have produced a report falsely accusing the police of “institutional racism” as a result of its failure to prosecute the murderers of a black teenager. The failure was in fact the result of, duh, lack of evidence against the suspects. The government would not have implemented an inquiry whose proceedings “bore some resemblance to the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s” v, making use of the circular argument that doubt about racism is evidence of racism. In short, it would not have implemented the politics of the p.c. anti-racist left.

2. In fact, as this report, “Racist Murder and Pressure Group Politics” (PDF) demonstrates, that is exactly what happened. The police are now obliged to investigate any allegation of racism, with the definition of “racism” being left entirely to the imagination of the plaintiff.

Another:

1. If the USA were fundamentally white racist, George Zimmerman, accused of the murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012, would never have been prosecuted, since there was not enough evidence for a prosecutor to argue in court that he was guilty. Furthermore, the media would not have bombarded us with the implication that Martin’s death had anything to do with race, since there was never a shred of evidence that Zimmerman was racially motivated – the only racially hostile comment was made by Martin vi.

2. Zimmerman was in fact charged with murder, after a Facebook campaign (!) influenced the legal system. Fortunately, despite the efforts of the media, that system still follows the principle that you cannot be convicted of a crime unless your guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt, and he was acquitted.

My final counter-example is the Duke university lacrosse case of 2006, in which three white students were falsely accused of rape by a black woman, the D.A. and eighty-eight academics at their university, and most of the national media leaned toward hinting strongly that the suspects were guilty. If any institution embodies “white privilege”, you might think it would be an elite southern university. But again, the facts falsify the hypothesis – see, for example, the book “Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case” vii.

Stephen Miller, in the Duke university student newspaper, has done my work for me: “Imagine that Collin, Reade and David had been black students, accused of raping a white girl and that they faced a witchhunt led by a prosecutor re-elected thanks to the overwhelming support of the white community. Then imagine this witchhunt was supported by hordes of student protesters, prominent white activists and a large portion of an elite campus faculty, many of them affiliated with the European Studies Department. Imagine also that the University president suspends the almost all-black sports team of which these students are members and fires their black coach. Further imagine that the accuser in the case has continually changed her story from the first night, that there is no evidence against the players, that they’ve cooperated with the police and passed polygraphs and that extensive evidence exists to prove their innocence. You think that scenario would have lasted for a year? Try a week.” viii

In each of the above cases, I have proposed two alternative sets of events. One of these alternatives, had it occurred, would have been correctly seen as falsification of my hypothesis that Western societies are comparatively racism-free. In each case, the converse happened.

I have not the space or time to aggregate the evidence of other societies and compare them with North America, Australasia and Western Europe. But, briefly, as far as I know, the only societies which champion a negative view of themselves are Western ones. Chinese universities don’t teach their students about “Han Chinese privilege”, nor to feel guilty about the treatment of Muslims in Western China. But in Western societies, fraudulent “anti-racist” academic work, such as the output of Theodor Adorno, Stephen Jay Gould ix, Richard Lewontin x, et. al., has been influential since World War II. And this influence extends beyond academia, into the media and politics. What has happened in Britain, where you are investigated if someone claims you said something “racist”, should be seen as a warning, and we should try to prevent it happening anywhere else.

We – in Canada, Britain, the USA, etc. – live in among the least racially prejudiced societies known. We are anti-racist to a fault. We tend to believe even the most ridiculous stories of white racism told by professional minority campaigners. The judicial system still mostly adheres to concepts like presumption of innocence and color-blindness, but there are attempts to undermine this. The only substantial kind of racial oppression in the West is the state of Israel. Exposing the falsehoods – especially those from the left – which make this oppression possible should be a priority.

x http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780394508177-4

P.S. (January 2015) My assertion, above, that ‘the definition of “racism” is left entirely to the imagination of the plaintiff’ in UK law was an understatement – the organization in charge of major criminal prosecutions in England and Wales defines “Racist Incident” as “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”: http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/prosecution/rrpbcrleaf.html

How Fish Became Irish

fish
Written May 23, 2010

A critique of Stanley Fish’s “There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech and Noel Ignatiev’s “How the Irish Became White

This is the third, and last, in my trilogy of reviews of anti-racist narratives.Originally it was going to be a review of Noel Ignatiev’s “How the Irish Became White“. I simultaneously read Stanley Fish’s collection of essays “There’s no Such Thing as Free Speech… and it’s a good thing too“, and decided to incorporate a critique of this influential work too.Valdas Anelauskas first introduced me to critical race theory. He is critical of it, to put in mildly. He sees it as an attack on freedom and the white race. I have a much milder view, despite attempts by dishonest critics to amalgamate he and I. My main concern is how ‘anti-racism’ as currently constructed makes a critique of Jewish racism difficult, thus hindering the advance of a movement against the most egregious form of racism in the Western world, Zionism. I criticise critical race theory for its internal contradictions, rather than just saying it’s wrong.I first encountered ‘How the Irish Became White‘ at a reading group.

The other people in the group were anarchists, interested in going beyond boring old class-based politics to a more modern (or post-modern) approach, informed by the perspectives of women, people of color, the transgendered, queers and other marginalised communities, opposing the racism, homophobia, ablism, patriarchy and heterosexism implicit in sexed discourses such as Marxism, fascism, and thermodynamics.Seriously, these anarchists wanted to incorporate historical perspectives other than Marxism into their view of the world, such as critical race theory and feminism. I am prepared to look at anything serious, all the way from Noel Ignatiev to Kevin MacDonald. Serious intellectual inquiry eschews censorship. If a statement is valid and scientific, its opposite is equally valid and scientific. If ‘the abolition of the white race‘ (Ignatiev) is a valid political goal, so is the defence of the white race. This does not mean either of them is a good idea. Personally, I don’t care if, in forty years time, North America no longer has a white European majority. But those who do care are entitled to care.

More to the point, these European anarchists were quite happy studying a Jewish communist who wants to abolish white privilege. When I suggested we study Jewish privilege, they went postal. In spite of their superficial radicalism, they had inside them the official story of World War II, and deep sympathy for the plight of Jews, even today, now that Jews are the only people with their own apartheid state.I gradually discovered that critical race theory is designed to tackle white racism, but not Jewish racism. Since the latter is much stronger than the former, this seems to me misplaced. It’s not just an academic dispute either. They teach anti-white studies all over the country (except Arizona :- ) and hordes of young people go around saying things like
its this idea that when I hear someone saying something homophobic (like that’s so gay) or something sexist, I need to confront them, I need to make it known that what that person said is not okay, and, like, when people make rape jokes or say bigoted things, we have to call them out, because, you know, if you take any sort of class in activism, women and gender studies, ethnic studies, etc., you learn this
and opposing freedom of speech, one of the greatest achievements of our great, Western, Anglo-Saxon society.

Stanley Fish is a major legal scholar. Unlike the authors of ‘Words That Wound‘, I find some of his arguments non-trivial to refute. I admit straight away I am going to answer the positions I feel able to answer, though I am aware that these are probably his weakest. His introduction is an intervention in the cultural civil war currently raging in America, and I am as entitled to get stuck in as he is. Whether I do as good a job is for the reader to decide.

There is one idea he puts forward which I both understand and agree with: his practical, instrumental approach to free speech. I support it because of its application (Popper) and not because of its intrinsic value (Mill and Madison). However, I am in favor of it. Fish isn’t.

I also admire Fish as a Milton scholar. I do think he is ahistorical when criticizing Milton’s politics. He uses an apparently contradictory defense of freedom by Milton as a model

I mean not tolerated popery, and open superstition, which as it extirpates all religious and civil supremacies, so itself should be extirpate” (from Aereopagitica, cited by Fish on page 103)

but misses Milton’s argument. Milton makes clear he opposes freedom for popery, because it is against freedom. Catholics had recently burned Protestants at the stake, and were conspiring with the French to overthrow Parliament and reintroduce theocracy. Milton’s intolerance of Catholicism is defence of freedom. Catholics are tolerated in Britain today, but they had to be crushed first. Some of them still don’t get it. Britain’s chief Papist recently denounced ‘multiculturalism’, unaware that he and his coreligionists were the first beneficiaries of this generous policy.

Fish says that “all affirmations of freedom of expression are like Milton’s, dependent for their force on an exception that literally carves out the space in which expression can then emerge“. In other words, he thinks he doesn’t disagree with Milton. But what he misses is that Milton wants to ‘extirpate’ the enemies of freedom. To what extent can freedom defend itself against its enemies? Most of us are as afraid of this question as we are afraid of Jewish supremacy – the very question reminds us of McCarthyism. The opponents of freedom at the University of Oregon – anarchists and Zionists – claim to be opposing speech with more speech, but that is not their real agenda. Some of them shout ‘fuck freedom of speech‘, some of them claim “it’s a safety issue”, some of them make so much noise you cannot hear the speaker, and others call the Forum a ‘hate group’ and try to get it barred from campus. What these people are doing is not freedom of speech. It is an attack on freedom of speech. Like Milton’s Protestants, we are entitled to defend ourselves.

On page 9, Fish makes it sound as if opposition to political correctness is usually the dishonest defense of pretendedly universal, but actually particularistic, values against honestly particular perspectives. In fact, opposition to political correctness is an attempt to defend freedom against its enemies. Fish refers to his conservative opponents as ‘neo-conservative’. He claims that neo-conservatives believe “any policy that takes race into consideration is equivalent to any other policy that takes race into consideration, Nazis equivalent to Israeli hard-liners…” (page 11). Real neo-conservatives don’t believe that!

On the contrary, the Jewish neo-conservative cult is happy to use political correctness when it serves its interests. Ignatiev thinks it’s so obvious that Israelis, even hard-liners, are better than Nazis, he doesn’t need to explain it. And he unthinkingly denounces those who equate the two. This is an example of how American left-wing political correctness serves Israeli interests.

The most important insight I gained from Fish is the explicit link to Zionism. Whereas Matsuda, in “Words That Wound“, merely says that Zionism isn’t always racist – “to the extent that any racial hostility expressed within a Zionist context is a reaction to historical persecution, it is protected under the doctrinal scheme suggested in this chapter” – Fish bases his theory, that you can only end discrimination by means of discrimination, on a defense of Zionism by president George Bush Senior. At the beginning of essay 4, on page 60, Fish spells out the link between Zionism and critical race theory better than I could have dreamed:

I take my text from George Bush, who, in an address to the United Nations on September 23, 1991, said this of the U.N. resolution equating Zionism with racism: ‘Zionism… is the idea that led to the creation of a home for the Jewish people… and to equate Zionism with the intolerable sin of racism is to twist history and forget the terrible plight of Jews in World War II and indeed throughout history‘.

Fish agrees with Bush, and he extends this special pleading into the advocacy of affirmative action against white people (affirmative action is always against someone). Most of the world says Zionism is a form of racism, period. The United Nations has tried to help the Palestinians, based on this insight. The USA sabotages these efforts. George Bush had learned his place – when he said the Lobby is powerful, he was called ‘anti-semitic’ and forced to apologize. The above speech is a further example of his grovelling – but it wasn’t enough – he still lost the election of 1992. And Stanley Fish adopts this logic, and its conclusion, uncritically – in fact he decides to use it to explain how, if Zionism isn’t racist, well, undermining white privilege isn’t racist either. If you look at history, he says, you can see that the Jews were more sinned against than sinning, and from this, he deduces discrimating in favor of black Americans is good.

I don’t care whether affirmative action is ‘racist’ or not. I don’t mind if a black student gets a college place instead of a white one. Compared with the plight of the Palestinians, what Jewish power does to us is insignificant. But its this power that sends our money to Israel. I care about opposing Zionism, the most explicit form of racial discrimination in the Western world today. I am interested in the Herculean task of cleansing society of the ideas promoted by Fish and co. by exposing the Jewish interests that lie behind them. I thank Fish for making that task a lot easier than I thought.

In the area where Fish is an accomplished traditional academic, the study of John Milton, he doesn’t take as postmodernist a view as he might. I would love to teach a critical studies approach to Milton. I would incorporate Paradise LostLolita and the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy for the Devil’. I won’t explain the connection – see if you can work it out.


Now Noel Ignatiev’s ‘How the Irish Became White‘.

Again, I don’t follow Valdas Anelauskas’s critique. Ignatiev has a group called ‘The New Abolitionists’ which advocates the end of the white race: ‘treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity‘. Anelauskas takes ideas too literally – he thinks this nonsense is some kind of threat. My point, to reiterate, is not to oppose anti-racism per se, but only inasmuch as it helps Zionism.

He starts by defending the leftist view on race: “no biologist has ever been able to provide a satisfactory definition of ‘race’“. Never mind that Darwin’s great work was originally called “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life“. He didn’t mean it, of course. At least, not with regard to human beings. Finches might have races, or sub-species, and they might compete, but not humans. Humans are special. But hang on – wasn’t Darwin’s greatest insight that humans are not special? OK, let’s try something else: the idea that human beings are divided into different races which might compete is extremely dangerous, therefore it must be factually wrong. Oh, but isn’t that a logical fallacy? OK, if I write this and publish it on the internet I’ll be called a ‘racist’ and this might put me in danger. That’s a logical argument I can understand!

Ignatiev uses a sleight of hand to de-biologise the concept of race, and make it a social construction. He says no biologist has defined it. The exact boundaries of a ‘race’ are always vague, but this does not make it a meaningless concept. The boundaries of a ‘family’ are vague too, but most people identify with people closely related to them. They may also identify with people not quite so closely related to them. That’s race. Exactly where you draw the line is a difficult question, depending on circumstances. But race exists, and ethnic identity is adaptive. This does not mean it is the right thing to do – but it does mean it should be discussed rationally, not pathologised. Those who seek to make one particular identity pathological should be regarded with suspicion. Notice that I don’t try to pathologise Zionism. That would be dishonest.

Ignatiev doesn’t need to worry about logic and biology. He can rely on our paranoia about ‘racism’, embedded in us by our culture, promoted by him and his predecessors, since, at the latest, the end of World War II.

Promoted, not just by self-serving Jewish leftist ideologists such as Ignatiev, but by brilliant scientists like Stephen Jay Gould, putting science aside when necessary for the political agenda.

The time has come to bring Darwin back into respectable society, to make race and the Jewish question legitimate areas of discussion.

Ignatiev’s thesis depends on contrasting the position of white Irish immigrants with black slaves in Africa. He could also contrast them with the Cheyenne, or the English upper class. It all depends. By contrasting their fate with that of black people, he makes it look like they accepted ‘privilege’. They were better off than they were in Ireland, and they were better off than some people in America.

Most Irishmen were in the Northern states. Why should they care about slavery, which to them, was a world away? It’s like saying I should be concerned about what’s going down in the Sudan, otherwise I’m privileged.

This consideration became particularly acute in 1861, when South Carolina seceded. Soon the other Southern states joined it, Lincoln assumed the presidency, and the civil war began. If I was in New York in 1861, I would first try “working men! don’t fight for your bosses!”. If that didn’t work, I’d say “white men! don’t fight for the interests of slaves!“. It’s not true that all’s fair in love and war, but all’s fair when it comes to avoiding war.

Progressives from Marx to Ignatiev have meataphorically sacrificed innocent white people for the ideals of capitalist progress.

At a meeting in Boston in 1842, an Irish-American agitator announced that “slavery strikes at the interests of every working man“. Well, yes, but not as much as war.

It’s a great history book – one of the best of its kind on 19th. century Irish America, and how Irish Americans travelled from being a doubly-oppressed class in Ireland – poor and Irish – to just being poor. It reminds me of E.P. Thomson’s ‘The Making of the English Working Class‘, a masterpiece of history used to promote a reformist agenda.

The oppression of the Irish by Britain is a terrible story, but the British and their Protestant allies in Ulster were not being completely irrational. Their fear of Catholics had a real basis.

Underlying his argument is the assumption that poor whites ‘ought’ to oppose slavery. Well, yes. I ought to oppose whatever is going on in the Congo right now, and I could probably have more influence on it if I dedicated the rest of my life to it than an Irish-American worker could have abolished slavery if he had done the same. But I don’t. So I can’t be as moralistic as Ignatiev.

Some of the Irish politicians compared the abolition of slavery with the campaign for Irish independence, and said they didn’t want ‘blood-stained money’ from the slave states (page 29) – is there any other kind?

Like Tim Wise in “White Like Me“, he admits that the British abolished slavery in 1833, but then he describes the debate within the transatlantic Irish leadership about whether to support abolition or not, depending on whether it would help Irish independence. Slavery was an absolute evil, whereas Irish independence is a rearrangement of the political structure of the British Isles. It is self-indulgent to put them on the same level.

Like most Americans, Ignatiev whines about the persecution of Catholics in Ireland by Protestants without noticing its historical background; the persecution of Protestants by British Catholics.

Ignatiev notes the similarity between two legal rulings (page 41)

    “the law does not suppose any such person to exist as an Irish Roman Catholic” 

and, a century later in the USA,

    “the Negro has no rights a white man is bound to respect”

but the difference is enormous. The judge writing the first case knew there were Catholics, but gave them no rights. The second was implementing the idea that a section of humanity is not fully human. To be on the receiving end of these extreme forms of discrimination must have been horribly humiliating and even fatal, but they have completely different origins and aims. Ignatiev condemns ‘Papist’ as a discriminatory tern, without considering any rational basis to it.

This brings me to Stanley Fish and Milton. Fish is a Miltonist, and I admire him for this. But I have to challenge his political attack on Milton for stating it is obvious that papacy should be persecuted. All Milton is saying is that freedom has to defend itself.

Ignatiev’s whole discussion is underlain by contempt for racial identity. He invites us to sneer at 19th. century opponents of race-mixing, and praise those who transcended this idea. But he doesn’t explain why.

There is a debate about teaching Huckleberry Finn. The great novel by Mark Twain contains the n-word, so some teachers have argued that, rather than having to explain the context to year after year of concerned African-American parents, its better to drop the book and find others that are just as good and not as offensive.

Ignatiev reminds us of the passage in the book where Huck Finn decides to go to Hell rather than betray his black friend back into slavery. Pretty good for 1885. Enough white guilt already!

Who’s in Denial? A Critique of Tim Wise’s “White Like Me”

  the_help01

Written April 28, 2010

White Like Me – reflections on race from a privileged son

Tim Wise, Soft Skull Press, Brooklyn, 2008

Tim Wise is a dedicated campaigner against what he calls ‘white supremacy’. He tours the country talking about it, and has written several books on the subject. This book is his personal story, how he came to be who he is now.

Wise makes three big mistakes:

1. He confuses CLASS and RACE

2. He confuses STATISTICS and STEREOTYPES

3. He ignores the Jewish question.

He interprets everything in terms of anti-racism. Remember the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995? The initial press reaction to this atrocity was to suggest the most likely suspects for terrorism would be Middle Eastern. Then Timothy McVeigh was arrested, and immediately, without waiting for evidence, the anti-racist left celebrated – he was white, right-wing, and had an Army haircut. It turns out that he and his fellow conspirator Terry Nichols were guilty, but the lefties didn’t wait for the verdict before trumpeting their conclusion that the only reason the media thought it might be Middle Eastern terrorists is because the media are racist. So, after Oklahoma City, the press was concerned not to allege Muslims are the most likely people to commit terrorist attacks in America, that it is more likely to be home-grown white extremists.

If Oklahoma City seemed to confirm Wise’s perspective, the much greater tragedy of September 11th did the opposite. It is testimony to the strength of his convictions that he doesn’t notice this.

Wise makes much of ethnic or religious profiling since September 11th, failing to notice the effort airport security has made to avoid profiling – because it’s illegal. Any white person made to walk through the ‘sniffing’ machine, as I have on more than one occasion, can testify to this effort. I, another white man, and a middle-aged white woman in a business suit, were the only ones singled out on one flight I particularly remember. Wise is mistaken – even 9/11 didn’t provoke the West into ethnic profiling. Except Israel, but accusing Israel of profiling is like saying Roman Polanski has a penchant for young ladies. In the US, airport security is obliged to prove it is not profiling, just like mortgage lenders were forced to make unwise loans to prove they were not bigoted. Hence what the left calls the ‘capitalist crisis’. But I digress…

Racism is often described as ‘judging people by the color of their skin‘, after a simplistic homily by Saint Martin Luther King. In practice, it often just means making a statistical calculation. You might avoid a particular street, not because you think all black kids are muggers, but because you know there is a positive correlation between black kids and mugging. Moreover, there is the ‘weighting’ problem. The consequences of erring on the side of liberalism, and being wrong, may be greater than erring on the side of a more conservative standpoint, and being wrong. Many so-called ‘racists’ might just be good statisticians. ‘Anti-racism’ stops us thinking through these hard issues by numbing us and dumbing us down with schmaltzy moralism.

Profiling is a trade-off. We are prepared  to tolerate considerable inconvenience to avoid airport security singling out Muslim-looking people. I agree with this approach. In the case of baby-sitters, we err in the opposite direction – you are allowed to advertise for a female child-minder, although this profiles against the majority of men, who are not a danger to children. I’m not complaining, though I lose out in both examples!

In the case of cops stopping people for ‘driving while black’, it’s often simpler than Wise believes. If they are allowed to, the police will indeed discriminate against black people, because, statistically, they are more likely to be criminals, just as men are more likely to be child-molesters. However, if we decide to make the trade-off in the same direction as we do with airport security, the police will not be allowed to make such a statistical calculation, and the white majority will have to tolerate the inconvenience.

This is not to deny police racism exists. I was stopped by the Portland police for turning without a signal. The pig didn’t even give me a ticket. James Perez, who was black, was not so lucky – they shot him dead for doing the same thing, though he was unarmed. Clearly, that was an example of racial discrimination. To address this problem, the cops could do one of two things

1. shoot less black people

2. shoot more white people

or, if they are really serious about eradicating racism, both. Wise’s logic leads to this conclusion – he argues that, to the extent that black people are oppressed, white people are privileged. At this point, I could talk about how his argument is ‘class-divisive’, and show how it undermines the working class as much as white racism does, but I’m bored with that sort of thing, having tried to do it for thirty years. Karl Marx couldn’t come up with a logically coherent, scientific version of this idea: I doubt if I can. Anyway, deconstructing critical race theory is more fun, and somehow, more anti-establishment.

Imagine a white woman walking to Los Angeles Greyhound bus station at twilight. A shortcut would take her through an alley containing several young black men. If she avoids the alley, she may miss her bus. What should she do? In this case, I have no hesitation in advocating ethnic and gender profiling. I would advise her not to take the high road, and the dark alley. Many people I know are often faced with this kind of dilemma. I hope they listen to me rather than Tim Wise. Alert readers will ask: why did I say ‘white woman’ – why does her race matter? Because she might worry about being a racist. A young black woman wouldn’t think twice about avoiding that alley. And why did I mention the ethnicity of the young men in the alley? Because it is useful to the woman in making her calculation.

That’s statistics. I don’t think most Muslims hijack planes, or most black men are muggers. But they are more likely to be these things than their demographic complements.

If it weren’t for his Jewish background and the relatively benign attitude to Zionism, as opposed to white racism, of he and his ‘anti-racist’ comrades, I’d say Wise is a guilty white man. But its more than that. The American anti-racist industry is too close to Jewish power. It attacks critics of Zionism as ‘anti-Semitic’ in alliance with open Zionists. It uncritically copies disinformation from Zionist sources. It disrupts allegedly racist white speakers by cooperating with really racist rabbis. When ‘calling people out’ doesn’t work, these children of Stalinism and Zionism use threats, violence and slander, justifying their tactics by thinking they’re fighting the ultimate evil – white racism.


Wise’s story contains traces of the use of ‘feelings’ politics, and how some people need a ‘safe space’ etc., politics which have been used to undermine radical groups. Some of us in Portland have been targeted by the safe-space soft-Stalinists lately. It’s so vague, it’s impossible to defend yourself. How can I counter the argument of a ‘minority person’ who says she needs a ‘safe space’ to avoid my ‘racism sexism homophobia able-ism class-ism patriarchy heterosexism and male violence’ (actual quote)?

Seriously, Wise believes in the technique known as ‘calling out’. This is a way of saying “I disagree with you” without giving the other person the opportunity to reply, as we do in our Anglo-Saxon, liberal, scientific society. It’s an attempt to use moral blackmail to delegitimize your opponent’s view. But the universe was not socially constructed, and factual correctness is completely independent of political correctness.

Submission to this blackmail paralyzes thinking rationally about social problems. If I explained that I understand that the British working class has been, to some extent, its own worst enemy, nobody would ‘call me out’. This class perpetuated alcoholism, domestic violence, and hedonism, hangovers from its miserable origins in the factories, mills and mines of the industrial revolution, long after its standard of living had improved. But if I said something similar about the black American proletariat, people like Wise would say I’m being racist. They would distort and simplify my words to make it sound like I’m saying that black people are entirely to blame for their problems. He really makes that dishonest simplification in the book. I used to think political correctness was a class strategy – a way of keeping the poor in their place by turning black people against their ‘privileged’ white working class neighbors. But that wouldn’t explain that it is not universal – it is specific to the part of the left which intersects with the most powerful ethnic lobby in America.

The most influential American leftist is probably Noam Chomsky. He was a keen opponent of South African apartheid, but is much weaker on the Israel question. In particular, he’s a ‘Lobby Denier’. He tries to hold back the one understanding which is essential to save the Palestinians. Jews like Chomsky often try to prevent this insight by claiming that concern about the Lobby is ‘racist’. Leftists will say that what I just said is racist too. The fact that I got my critique of Chomsky’s blind spots from Jewish leftists Neumann and Blankfort proves nothing, of course: http://www.leftcurve.org/LC29WebPages/Chomsky.html.

Wise confuses cause and effect. Much is said about ‘environmental racism’. For example, if the authorities build a new freeway through a city, they usually go through the most black area, dividing communities, cutting people off from their relatives, shops, hospitals, etc.. But this is not because the urban planners don’t like black people, it’s because it’s cheaper to go through the poorest area, to compulsorily purchase the houses they are going to knock down. Police officers, if they are allowed to, will practice ethnic profiling. So would airport security. It’s not necessarily because they are xenophobic, its just more efficient to use whatever statistical methods you can when you are allowed to. Policemen intercept gangs of boys more readily than gangs of girls, and for good reason.

Oxford Town, Oxford Town…

Wise’s confusion of class and race is almost too obvious to point out. It used to be a commonplace in England that the police would treat students at prestigious Oxford university completely differently to the local working-class lads. The students in the old days were invariably well-off, and the police would let them get away with all manner of nocturnal pranks, but not the horny-handed sons of Oxford’s auto workers. All – pigs, patricians and plebs – were white. The police knew their job – suck up to the rich, and oppress the poor. American cops, treating black kids differently, are partially exhibiting a class distinction, a result of their role, enforcing property relations in a capitalist society. In Oxford, England, class is clear, but in Oxford, Mississippi, people like Wise can claim that American society is based more on race than on class. If the rulers of the country really had made more money out of slavery than wage labor, it’s surprising that they replaced the former with the latter.

He advises white people to “refuse to accept jobs that came your way thanks to personal connections, unless those same connections are also open to persons of color” – but – do I need to spell it out? – he doesn’t appeal to Jews to make the same sacrifice. He doesn’t need to – he can rely on paranoia about anti-Semitism to stop people from muttering about clannish behavior. He appeals to whites to make sacrifices (page 118) but says nothing about Jewish privilege; only about the history of the oppression of Jews. It would be difficult to discuss with Wise the issue of whether Jews have always been victims, a fair subject if you really want to oppose racism, especially Zionism.

But Western Civilization today generally errs on the side of political correctness. The major exception is Israel, the only overtly racist country in the Western world. The only country whose immigration controls are so ethnocentric, it won’t even let the original inhabitants back in – but it would welcome Tim Wise with open arms. The only country which depends on white guilt, the ideology promoted by Tim Wise. German politicians are quite explicit about this guilt, but it is also a powerful force in the other Western countries, especially the USA.

In his chapter on what he calls ‘White Denial’, Wise describes a ‘psychologist’ from the 1850’s who claimed that runaway slaves were suffering from a mental illness, which he called ‘drapetomania’ (page 63). Wise rightly condemns this self-serving nonsense. But more influential in psychology today is a book written a hundred years later by a group of Jewish-identified left-wing anti-racists, “The Authoritarian Personality“. This work blatantly pathologizes normal white American families, which it claims suffer from ‘ego-alien dependency syndrome’ and all sorts of other things. Concern to marry within one’s ethnic group is pathological in white Europeans, according to this work, but normal in Jews. Wanting to marry a girl who seems uninterested in sex – thus more likely to remain faithful – is not a manifestation of a man’s genetic interest in certainty of paternity. No, it’s the result of sexual repression. Especially if you’re white. Gentile suspicion of Jews is a sign of mental instability, but not the other way round. And so on.

Wise only goes into his Jewish background twice, once at the beginning and once at the end. In both cases, it is in the context of the history of oppression against Jews. Despitebeing Jewish, he tells us, he has the ‘privileges’ of being white. The idea that Jews have specific privileges in Western societies today doesn’t cross his mind. He is proud of his grandparents who were so much more liberal toward black people than most of Nashville’s white people. Jews were way over-represented in the civil rights movement – they perceived it was in their interests.

White Europeans today are among the least xenophobic people who have ever lived. No other ethnic group has been recorded voluntarily relinquishing so much privilege. Look at the fate of apartheid South Africa compared to apartheid Israel. Wise does not notice this, for some reason. Obviously, this does not mean I am saying that white people should become racist. Naturally, leftists will claim that this is exactly what I am saying.

Like all left-wing ‘anti-racists’, Wise goes on about ‘hate crimes’ like burning crosses and swastikas without once mentioning that the majority of these crimes are committed by black, Jewish and white anti-racist activists. In the last year, at the time of writing (April 2010), there have been swastikas painted inside two colleges in Portland, UC Davis, and the University of Oregon. A ‘minority student’ confessed to hanging a noose and a white hood at UC San Diego. This is certainly a fake hate crime, and the others, probably. Universities are not full of Nazis.

He mentions college fraternities being hotbeds of racism without discussing the campaign against the white frat-boys at Duke University in 2006, carried out by black activists, feminists and guilty white liberals, banging pots outside their house, and calling for them to be castrated, for a crime they didn’t commit. To not care about this terrible injustice, which happened in his neck of the woods, spurred on by the ideology he spends his life defending, Tim Wise must seethe with hate.

Wise isn’t just Jewish, he’s also descended from British white people. But when he describes the achievement of these ancestors, sailing from Britain to Bermuda and Virginia, it is only to put them down as racists – in noticeable contrast to his pride in his Russian Jewish forebears. He grudgingly admits that the British abolished slavery in 1833, but says nothing of the white men who died liberating the slaves in the war between the states, 1861-64. The only comparable conflict for American white working class men was World War Two, when again they fought and died fighting against a cause more racist than their own, at Omaha Beach and the Bulge, 1944. Admittedly, they didn’t exactly volunteer for either of these crusades, but then, why should they, for a cause not theirs? This statement is true from both a class and a racial perspective – why assume the consequences of these approaches are mutually exclusive? Since then, white Americans have made many more concessions to other ethnic groups – but still Wise lashes them with guilt.

According to Wise, the authorities in Bermuda are racist because they import white guest workers to keep the island white. Brimming with chutzpah, he doesn’t notice the supreme irony of this remark. He has to travel a thousand miles to find a place which imports whites, when there are already local black people able to do the jobs – everywhere else in the Western world, it’s the opposite! When you have to go out of your way to clutch desperately at the one example which conforms to your hypothesis, it’s time to try falsifying it. He wouldn’t have to go far to do that.

He grew up in the South in the seventies. It was racist, he says. If there’s one thing we already know, that’s it. The dominant culture sneers at white Southerners. Even Zionist comedian Sacha Baron-Cohen’s movies spend more time parodying white people than Muslims. It’s not just humor. It’s not just lightweight popular culture. It has a message. Wise claims there are no negative stereotypes about white people’s intelligence, only black people’s. In fact, Hollywood is a production-line of prejudice against Christian white people, especially Germans. The media attacks the Pope but make excuses for Roman Polanski, who was convicted of what the His Holiness is merely alleged to have covered up. They had a field day with George W Bush’s Texan accent and verbal ineptitude. This Jewish anti-white prejudice is openly discussed by honest Jewish writers like Philip Roth, whose upbringing treated white gentiles as being intellectually inferior to Jews. Wise illustrates what he writes about – the blindness of privilege – but he suffers from ‘denial’.

The South was racist. Compared to today. That means it got better. Compared to today, Lincoln was a racist. So what do we call the people who died fighting for his cause? It is ahistorical to say “this is racist, that’s racist”. In what direction has the USA and the rest of Western Society evolved over the last 150 years? With fits and starts, it has traveled in a progressive direction. Actually, there is one exception, and it’s not Bermuda. The West is unique in this respect. Chinese people don’t have a problem being xenophobic (travel to Western China if you want to find out). Neither do the inhabitants of the Amazon jungle. Nor Jews. Wise thinks his contempt for Minnesotans is pro-black, but in fact, it’s pro-Jewish.

Wiesel Words

Instead of going round the country honestly promoting his ethnic agenda like a Zionist, or discussing his theory with its critics in accord with the Western academic tradition, it’s all about ‘educating’ and ‘doing anti-racist work’. This sounds reasonable enough, but look more closely: it assumes he is right. True researchers defending a theory don’t say they are educating people. They invite others to attack the theory as hard as possible. That’s the scientific approach. In contrast, Wise wants to be a guru. Ever so nicely, he’s telling you he’s right, and you’d better agree, otherwise you are ‘in white denial’. It’s an approach favored by cults like psychoanalysis or the Communist Party. It’s alien to our open, Anglo-Saxon culture, and we should be aware of this.

He complains that for most white folks, resisting white supremacy is probably the last thing on their minds. It’s true that they find it hard to resist – they already abolished it! Now we need to get to work on Jewish power, the one remaining racialist force in the Western world.

If Wise really were a self-identified white European as he claims, he would have a lot of problems. In a way, I prefer that he is a Jew defending his ethnic interests by deception (which includes self-deception) – at least there is a Darwinian explanation – it’s healthy. It’s also healthy for the rest of us to oppose it.

Otherwise, it would be nauseating, rather than amusing, to read his painstaking account of how parents ought to teach children to deconstruct Disney movies: “Pocahontas… appeals to European standards of beauty and to remain acceptable to a mostly white viewing audience. And of course, she shows a lot of leg… It is a stunning lesson in the way white supremacy works”.

Some of Disney’s movies are deeper than crude leftists like Wise, always on the lookout for stereotypes, realize. Armed with a more sophisticated approach, based on the work of Marxist anthropologist Chris Knight, I was able to enjoy “Beauty and the Beast” and relate it to Levi-Strauss’s story of the origins of mythology.

Wise supports affirmative action to promote black people and Latinos into places which might otherwise go to white people, but he does not advocate the same to raise white people into positions held, unfairly, if we apply his criteria consistenly, by Jews. These include a disproportionate number of college places and professorships, legal positions, Hollywood owners and directors, and newspaper and TV executives. Why not advocate affirmative action to address this imbalance?

Naturally, this argument will be called ‘anti-Semitic’. But that only proves my point. Applying exactly the same principles Wise applies to one privileged group, we are not allowed to apply to another. Jews are more privileged, because, in addition to the usual privileges, they have the privilege that no-one dare call them privileged.

“White Like Me” is a painful book. It says a lot about Wise’s family background in Tennessee, how he is raising his children to be aware, etc.. He doesn’t subscribe to the view that parents are entitled to be less progressive raising their children than they are in society in general. For example, I would argue that a white couple should feel no guilt about sending their children across town to avoid a largely black school. This would be the exact opposite of the ‘busing’ disaster of the seventies and eighties, which promoted racism by forcing middle-class white children to be exposed to bad black ghetto kids. Sorry for the bluntness, but that’s what happened. The reason I defend retrogressive parents is that genes are reactionary. What you want for your own children is the best, and your liberal principles can take a rain check. I’d go so far as to say I would try to maneuver a daughter into meeting nice white boys to avoid the potential damage of interracial marriage, though I have no objection to race-mixing in principle. This society demonizes attitudes in white people which it allows in Jews. The Los Angeles Times reports calmly that a Jewish newspaper publishes letters criticizing interracial marriage between Jews and blacks, but the Times would not publish a letter criticizing white/black hookups. So much for ‘institutionalized white racism‘. So much for Wise’s hypocritical theory.

His analysis of the tendency of young teenage black kids to gang up misses a lot. It assumes they are reacting to real racism, disregarding the fact that this behavior is hardly less prominent than it was when white society was more ethnocentric. This behavior was as pronounced in London in the nineties as it was in Nashville in the seventies (I base this on my experience as well as Wise’s). He makes no allowance for the idea that kids can be manipulative, but their crude attempts to manipulate guilt are easier to see through than some of their adult counterparts, like Willie Brown, mayor of San Francisco, who was always ready to play the race card at the drop of a hat, knowing the city was populated mostly with white liberals raised on the educational efforts of people like Wise. Furthermore, Wise’s story doesn’t raise the notion that there might be a Darwinian basis to ethnic identity. Those black kids might be expressing their genes. Such behavior might have been adaptive during our evolution. Perhaps it wasn’t the Garden of Eden after all.

Wise was a campaigner against white apartheid in South Africa, but he only pays token attention to apartheid in Israel. He boasts of a communication from Desmond Tutu. Is he aware that Tutu said Israel is worse than apartheid? Recently, the leader of South Africa’s Afrikaaner movement, Eugene Terre`Blanche, was murdered. He was the most extreme white leader in South Africa. He advocated a two-state solution; a small white state next to a large black one. South Africa chose a one-state solution, in which each citizen is theoretically equal. An Israeli equivalent of Terre`Blanche would be considered a progressive – apartheid Israel resists a two-state solution, in which the Jews would get the lion’s share. Even that is too radical for them. A far-right white Afrikaaner is the equivalent of a progressive Israeli Jew. You won’t hear that from the likes of Wise. In fact he would condemn me as bigoted for saying this, and some of his followers would threaten me. So much for ‘white supremacy‘. So much for Wise’s dishonest theory.

 

“By 1985, the divestment movement, as it came to be known, was in full swing on dozens of college and university campuses across the country” (page 137)

Twenty-five years later, it is hard to get a similar divestment movement against Jewish apartheid, because rich right-wing Jews like Alan Dershowitz sue any college which even thinks about it, and left-wing Jews like Wise confuse the issue by telling us to worry about ‘anti-Semites in our midst‘, though they were not concerned about ‘anti-whites’ during the struggle against white apartheid.

When he tells how a black student asks ‘what are you doing about apartheid in Nashville?‘, he admits that he and his white comrades concentrated on apartheid in South Africa, forgetting to lobby for affirmative action and the creation of an African American studies center at the university – not because the first was infinitely more significant than the other two, but because, he claims, it was ‘easier’. Easier still is his privileging of the fight against white apartheid over the much more difficult task of the defeat of Jewish apartheid. The first of these only required persuading the US government to ditch an important ally; the second involves confronting the Lobby. It also involves criticizing the current version of anti-racism. It’s oddly counter-intuitive and un-Marxist, the way capitalism works.

Wise responded to the black student’s pointed remark by linking the battle against apartheid to the struggle against racism in the USA by means of advocating the intensification of affirmative action. Imagine campaigning for the equivalent, linking Israeli apartheid to Jewish ethnic power in the USA by advocating affirmative action against Jews. Affirmativeaction is always against someone to exactly the same degree it is for someone else. Suppose I showed up at one of his talks and said ‘what are you doing about Jewish power’? Do you think he’d listen respectfully?

He criticizes ‘white leftists‘ for “marching against a war on the other side of the world” and refusing to draw the connection between this war and “racism at home“. But when we talk about the connection between the war in Iraq and the Jewish neo-conservative movement, these same white leftists defend the status quo by calling us ‘anti-Semitic’.

By the way, I am not complaining about Jewish success on behalf of white Europeans. That’s not my style, not my schtick, though I know that is exactly what I will be accused of. I just don’t like chutzpah, that’s all. Some of the far right say, in effect, “The Jews have apartheid, so why shouldn’t we?“. I say “We don’t have apartheid, so why should the Jews?“. The conclusion is the opposite, but the positions have in common the call for consistency. When critics amalgamate my arguments with those of the far right, they are saying, in effect “how dare you call for consistency?“! As if logic is inherently racist. The lack of consistency with regard to Jewish racism is why the American left is ineffective on the Israel question, when it was effective in campaigning for a boycott of South Africa.

So what does my review of Wise’s book have to offer to African-Americans? Not much, really. Sorry about that. If black people can get out of the trap of self-pity created by people like Wise, so much the better. But I know what I am saying to the white majority: the ethnic interests of white Europeans lead to opposing Zionism. Since I oppose Zionism for moral reasons, and happen to be white, why should I even try to resist this heady cocktail of self-interest and self-righteousness? Isn’t it funny how the one thing which happens to be both good and in your interests is the hardest thing to do?

On page 148, he asks why privileged white people would want to join ‘the struggle’. This is a difficult question, and he tackles it boldly. How can he appeal to people he doesn’t like to abandon their interests? He uses a tried and tested technique, transforming the concept of ‘privilege’ into its opposite with convoluted mumbo jumbo about alienation and so on which reads like ‘Freud and Marx for dummies’. White people are ‘damaged’ by their own success. This is nonsense – either something benefits you or it doesn’t. On the other hand, persuading America’s white majority to cut off support for Israeli war crimes should be easy – these crimes are a. wrong, and b. against our interests. Surely Wise would do more by campaigning like this? He would achieve more for Palestinians than he can for the inhabitants of Darfur, but in doing so, he would undermine his own ethnic interests. I said Freud and Marx FOR dummies – that doesn’t mean believes, in relation to Jews, the pseudo-scientific psychobabble he preaches to white people.

People benefit from racial discrimination. That’s why they do it. There is no ‘structure’ of ‘racism’ – there is ethnic interest, which persuades people to discriminate. Ethnic conflict happens, just as there is class struggle and the war of the sexes. Races exist, and their interests conflict. True, their boundaries are vague, but so are families, and nobody expects people to stop defending their relatives. This may sound pessimistic, but avoiding conflict requires honesty.

What is Racism?

In contrast, Wise claims “Racism… allows you to think things and feel things that make you less than you were meant to be”  on page 159 of his treatise. How does he know what we were ‘meant to be’? He assumes “racism” is something imposed on us from the outside. We are “conditioned” to be “alienated”, and this is bad. This approach is unscientific. How do you know what you ‘really’ are? Why is only white racism bad? Wise should answer these questions, but he won’t, so I’ve done it for him.

It is true that elites in the South conned whites into fighting and dying for a cause not theirs, as Wise points out on page 150. But this is equally true of elites in the North. Wise only brings in the concept of class interest when it enables him to attack white identity. If southern whites could have been persuaded to desert by calling for class solidarity, then northern whites could have been persuaded to desert by appealing to their ethnic identity. Racism can lead to war. But so can anti-racism.

He also worked for “the anti sweatshop movement, the justice for Darfur movement, and the anti-war movement” (page 145). And one more: the Palestine Solidarity Movement. I’m kidding – it was the ‘Stop David Duke’ campaign. Duke is an advocate for white rights, to put it mildly. I don’t think I would like him. I don’t expect Wise to like him either. But he doesn’t have to lie about him. Duke wouldn’t call Wise a Zionist. Why does Wise call Duke a Nazi? Because, in this culture of white guilt, he can get away with it. He claims that Duke’s problem was that he didn’t like black people. But that is not true. He is braver than that – he is a critic of Jewish privilege. But not a Nazi. The left will say I’m defending him. In fact, I’m defending the truth. Whatever I think of Duke and co., I will not lie about them.

Wise tries to deconstruct crime statistics in an anti-racist way. Sure, there are more homicides by black men, but more white serial killers, he says. It’s all about control, apparently. What about interracial rape? Of course, he doesn’t go there. But you have to be consistent. If you are going on about the relationship between ethnicity and horrible crimes to prove your hypothesis, you have to try to find counter-evidence. Science is not there to give us a warm fuzzy feeling, to quote James Watson, the greatest living biologist, fired as a result of the mob mentality stirred up by activists like Wise.

He mentions the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan several times. He claims that “white privilege” is what is causing ‘our’ soldiers to die. There are other explanations. The oil industry, for example. What did you think I was going to say?

Wise finally gets round to defining ‘racism’, the concept on which his thesis depends, on page 169. Racism is a socially constructed power imbalance at the institutional level, which then tends to foster individual-level biases and racism.

Let’s charitably ignore the circularity of this definition, and say it’s just plain wrong. Whiteness is not a social construct. It is easy to demonstrate, using Hamilton’s rule for calculating the circumstances under which it benefits a gene to promote altruism, that ethnic identity is adaptive. Far from being socially generated, then ‘fostering’ its individual expression, it’s just the reverse. Individual expression of ethnic identity, a result of genes following the laws of mathematics, constructs its social manifestation. Which is not to say its a good thing. Heterosexuality is even more adaptive, but one doesn’t have to ‘privilege’ it. One needn’t discriminate against homosexuality because it is maladaptive. But neither should you discriminate against heterosexuality. Or ethnic identity. And you certainly should not discriminate against the ethnic identity of one group in particular by calling it ‘racism’ and promoting violence and state repression against those who feel this genetic urge strongly, and happen to have white skin.


To conclude: “ethnic identity is adaptive according to Hamilton’s rule“. These eight words summarize my thinking on the question of race. If anyone wishes to explain why I am wrong, they are welcome to… post comments under this article.

Critical Race Theory – A Critique

Written January 7, 2009

First, please ignore my pretentious title. This isn’t going to be as academically serious as the work it criticizes. It’s polemical. That’s my excuse for any mistakes.

My interest in the ideas known as ‘Critical Race Theory’ was sparked off by a presentation at the Pacifica Forum in Eugene by a right-wing theorist called Valdas Anelauskas. Unlike his critics, Valdas is fair to those with whom he disagrees. Far from being a ‘gutter bigot’ as the President of the University of Oregon alleged, in a cowardly attempt to disassociate the University from the Forum, he is a genuine intellectual. Despite his aversion to the left, he cited the work of leading anti-racist theorists so honestly that I found myself agreeing with them! I often disagree with Valdas – for example on racial separatism (he’s for, I’m against). But I stand with him on freedom of speech.

Valdas’s critique of Words That Wound — Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment, is different to mine.

I’m not so much interested in directly opposing the politically correct left as in pointing out its contradictions. Well, one contradiction in particular. It gives Zionism a free pass. I wish I’d read the critical race theorists before writing my pamphlet The Mass Psychology of Anti-Fascism because they give ammunition to my complaint that some of the left, especially in America, is so obsessed with white racism, they hardly notice the much stronger phenomenon of Jewish racism. Instead of sarcastically putting down anti-racists as ‘pc wankers’, I should have taken on their best arguments first. This is where the authors of Words That Wound, Mari Matsuda, Charles Lawrence, Richard Delgado and others come in. Unlike the gutter bigots of Anti-Racist Action, they make valid points, and I’m going to take their arguments seriously, though they do occasionally fall into polemical tricks, like claiming that their opponents complain of being ‘oppressed’ by members of minorities, and embarrassing errors like taking Catharine MacKinnon seriously. I won’t stoop to using this to discredit them. Not yet, anyway.

Matsuda and her colleagues aren’t just critical of a too-literal interpretation of the First Amendment. They also fail to appreciate another great Anglo-Saxon achievement, presumption of innocence. Many political factions have a crime for which they believe alleged perpetrators should not be presumed innocent. For Republicans, its purported terrorists who don’t deserve a fair trial. For some feminists, its alleged sexual offenders. For critical race theorists, its anyone accused of saying nasty things to black people.

“Listen first to the voice of the victims of hate speech” (page 9)

But the presumption of innocence excludes listening first to the alleged victims of alleged crimes. This is true of real crimes like assault and murder, not just the nebulous new offences being dreamt up in left-wing law schools. Even where the offence is real, the prosecution has to bear the burden of proof all the way up a steep hill. I was happy when OJ Simpson was acquitted. I’m glad I live in a country where the prosecution has to prove its case. “Listening first to the victims” is a dangerous error, which has led to miscarriages of justice. Instead of looking for evidence, the anti-racist left says ‘our voices must be heard’. This is much more insidious than postmodernists babbling about narratives, because it sounds fair, and appeals to our bleeding hearts. It is difficult to say no to the softly-spoken spokespeople of the pc left. Claiming that listening to certain ideas ‘diminishes our sense of safety and diversity‘ doesn’t sound like Stalinism, but it is. We must stick to hard evidence, freedom of speech and the presumption of innocence.

A related problem with listening to ‘stories’ of racial harrassment is that many of them are just that – stories. I give a dozen or so examples of hate crimes which were proven to be fake in my pamphlet. However, there are of course real hate crimes, such as lynchings, and there is a genuine issue with whether leaving a Ku Klux Klan ‘calling card’ should be protected speech. This outrage just happened again this year in Kennett, Missouri, during the trial of a black woman who was assaulted by police during an argument in a Wal-Mart store. These cards allegedly said “You have been paid a social visit by the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The next visit will not be social”. A reasonable African-American, reading one of these cards, could well conclude he or she was being threatened with violence. There is already a law covering this crime – it’s called ‘assault’. If that law was applied correctly, those who left that card in Kennett would be arrested. If the police are failing to apply it, undermining the First Amendment with vague proscriptions against ‘hate speech’ isn’t going to help. Left-wing anti-racism doesn’t do much to really help the advancement of black people. It has another agenda.

The ‘listening to stories’ method of academic research violates yet another basic principle of our society. It leads to collecting just the evidence for your hypothesis, rather than trying to disprove it, which is the scientific approach. Matsuda doesn’t look for evidence that contradicts her argument, evidence that the current political atmosphere encourages people to make false claims that they are the victims of hate crimes. She and the rest of the pc academic left have helped create this atmosphere. It’s bad enough when a black person sets fire to a cross in their own front yard. But when Jews scratch swastikas on their car or claim to have been assaulted by Muslims on the Paris metro, its even more serious – it adds to the victimology which encourages uncritical Western support for the Jewish state.

Like their fellow alarmists in the ADL and the SPLC, the critical race theorists exaggerate not only the extent of racism, but the direction in which it is trending.

“Racist hate messages are rapidly increasing” (page 24)

In fact,  white racism has been declining since the abolition of slavery in 1864. It was the Supreme Court and the 101st Airborne which ended segregation in southern schools, not the Civil Rights movement. You may think the election of Barrack Obama would be a setback for anti-racist scaremongers. If the white Republican candidate had beaten Obama, they would have attributed it to racism. But Obama won. So how to spread paranoia and white guilt? Easy – the reaction to Obama’s victory is racist. Regardless of events in the real world, anti-racism can make out racism is getting worse.

“A marked rise of racial harrassment, hate speech, and racially-motivated violence marks the beginning of the 1990’s” (page 44)

They said the same in the 1960’s. In the mid 90’s, the anti-racists stirred up fear of a white movement called ‘the militias’, which didn’t exist. Today,

`“We see a mainstreaming of white nationalism that we haven’t seen previously,” says Eric Ward, national field director for the Center for New Community, an anti-racism nonprofit in Chicago… saying white nationalists may now be infiltrating the environmental movement and other progressive causes` –http://wweek.com/editorial/3546/13087

Occasionally, anti-racists accidentally say something truthful:

“Victims of vicious hate propaganda experience physiological symptoms and emotional distress…” (page 24)

Indeed. One of my comrades has experienced considerable distress as a result of a campaign of slander against him by anti-racist hate mongers. When anti-fascists post on the internet saying things like “If an average person should kick one of their asses, we should applaud… These scum don’t deserve to exist”, this is a genuine threat of violence written in a way which may just avoid breaking the law. There again, it may not. If we followed the logic of Words That Wound, we would be trying to get Indymedia banned for publishing these threats.

Jewish blackmail is particularly effective at giving us emotional distress. It’s difficult to say ‘Jewish supremacy’ but easy to criticize ‘white supremacy’. The authors of Words That Wound haven’t noticed this. I explain why below.

Charles Lawrence is a lawyer. He argues, in Words That Wound, that the 1954 ban on segregation in schools was in effect a ban on a type of speech – segregation is a kind of speech, as in “don’t bring your child to this school“. So all that is needed, he argues, is to extend existing law to cover speech as speech as well as segregation as speech. But if racist speech is banned, as Lawrence argues, the powers-that-be will decide what is racist. The powers-that-be include Zionists, the most powerful racists in the country. They will use anti-racism to suppress opposition to Jewish racism. It’s easy to predict this, because the US government boycotts international bodies which condemn Jewish racism as racist, though it supported the defeat of white apartheid. Lawrence overlooks this. He ingeniously argues

“The purpose of the First Amendment is to further the greatest amount of speech. Racist insults disserve this purpose” (page 68)

but the same applies to falsely calling someone a fascist, a Nazi or a racist, which happens all the time. This insults are designed to shut down debate, so according to Lawrence’s logic, they should be made illegal!

Lawrence isn’t just a lawyer, he’s an activist. He supports vigils at fraternity houses whose humor has gotten out of hand.The Duke University alleged rape case of 2006 is one of the most dramatic examples of an attempt to apply the principles outlined in Words That Wound. The case was tailor-made for the left: rich white frat boys were accused of rape by poor black women. Activists immediately organized noisy vigils outside the frat house, on the basis that “the daily violence of racism/white supremacy, sexism/transphobia/patriarchy, classism/capitalism, and homophobia/heterosexism are the intersecting sources of sexual violence”. But the students were innocent. The understanding of the nature of American society peddled by the left makes it difficult to believe that the North Carolina police would conspire with an elite southern university’s hospital to slander a group of white men. But that is what happened. This means the left’s analysis is wrong.

An important aspect of the anti-racist campaign against freedom is the use of civil law. The Southern Poverty Law Center cleverly used Oregon civil law to convict a neo-Nazi of organizing racist skinheads to commit violent crimes. He couldn’t be prosecuted in a criminal court, because of lack of evidence. The man convicted really does publish statements which can fairly be described as ‘hate’, so most people accepted the verdict with relief. This is short-sighted – the SPLC picked on him first because he is unpopular. The case set a precedent where people can be prosecuted if their opinions appear to cause violence. A contributor to Words That Wound, Richard Delgado, cites various legal actions against alleged racists, most of them civil. It is possible to be convicted in a civil court of violating someone’s civil rights even when you have been acquitted of murdering them. This is double jeopardy, a violation of a basic legal right. The “victims’ voices must be heard” argument is well suited to the gradual undermining of this legal principle.

The campaign against hate speech has a hidden agenda. Academics who defend some racially-based ideas have come under sustained attack by Zionists, anti-racists and feminists no matter how vigorously they reject hateful speech, the advocacy of violence, the use of racial epithets, etc.. ‘Racism’ is a broad enough category to attack freedom by amalgamating hate with serious scholarship.

The critical race theorists dismiss allegations that their work has been abused to suppress freedom on campus. The reaction against their theory and its legal implications is not as Masuda asserts disguised racism, but a genuine attempt to defend academic standards against an assault on some of the achievements of Western culture – science, logic and freedom.

They talk about a backlash:

“Academic freedom and intellectual pursuit are alleged to be threatened by ‘leftist speech police'” (page 14)

Academic freedom is threatened by leftist speech police. It is also threatened by rightist speech police. What the two wings of speech police have in common is Zionism. There are many examples. I will cite just two.

William Robinson, a sociology professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, was investigated by his employer after pressure from the Anti-Defamation League, a Zionist outfit.

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/06/25/18603971.php

A psychologist at California State University at Long Beach was similarly harrassed as an ‘anti-semite’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center, with the assistance of the Department of Women’s Studies, and some genuine, but cowardly, academics. He was barred from teaching about the link between intelligence and race. The world’s greatest living biologist, James Watson, was fired because he said there might be such a link. It doesn’t matter what you or I think about this issue, or how envious you may be of the cushy life of a tenured academic – what matters is that academic freedom from political interference is how we know what we know about the world. It should be defended.

I figured out some time ago that Zionists have expertly appropriated the thought policing methods of the pc left. The processes pioneered by Matsuda and her colleagues, rather than reducing racial oppression, have been utilized to reinforce the USA’s support for one of the most egregious examples of racial oppression in the world, by suppressing criticism of this irrational and inhumane policy. I was aware of this blind spot in the American left. What I didn’t realize was how conscious the leaders of academic anti-racism were in supporting special pleading for Jewish racists.

“South Africa is alone in its official policy of apartheid” (page 37)

When Matsuda wrote these words, they were not true, and the Western countries only acted to abolish white, not Jewish, apartheid. Critical Race Theory has an anti-white, pro-Jewish bias.

To prove this, I will quote Matsuda at length:

“I reject the sweeping charge that Zionism is racism and argue instead for a highly contextualized consideration of Zionist speech. To the extent that any racial hostility expressed within a Zionist context is a reaction to historical persecution, it is protected under the doctrinal scheme suggested in this chapter. Should Zionists ever lose this historically based privilege? If Zionist speakers are white, do hateful, race-bound expressions of theirs necessarily reinforce historical conditions of white dominance over brown and black people? The analysis must turn on the particular context. If a Zionist’s expression of anger includes a statement of generic white supremacy and persecution, the speaker chooses to ally with a larger, historically dominant group, and the privilege should not apply. On the other hand, angry, survivalist expression, arising out of the Jewish experience of persecution and without resort to the rhetoric of generic white supremacy, is protected under the contextualized approach. Again, it is important to add that the various subordinated communities are best equipped to analyze and condemn hate speech arising within their midst.” (page 40)

This is a smoking gun, and the smoke is white phosphorus. Critical race theory helps the interests of the most powerful ethnic group in America! Matsuda seriously expects us to accept that Jewish supremacy is only racist if it is allied to white racism – but ‘survivalist’ Zionism should be protected. And the tragedy is, much of the left has accepted it. The US government certainly rejects ‘the sweeping charge that Zionism is racism‘. Until that changes,  Palestinians will die. Naturally, Matsuda wants to criminalize Holocaust revisionism because of how it makes Jews feel (page 42).

An aside: Mari Matsuda describes racial slurs and violence against her fellow Japanese Americans. She mentions the internment camps, and the bombing of Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But these crimes were carried out by the anti-fascist side during World War II. Was the bombing of Dresden racist too? No, it was carried out by Anglo-Saxons, against Saxons, in Saxony. More ethnic identity might have prevented this and other war crimes. My point is simply that racism can cause violence, but so can anti-racism, both on the scale of a world war, and in our communities today. I don’t see why I have to decide which is worse, a KKK calling card, or a false accusation of rape.

Matsuda et. al. support the dominant ideas, which keep white people guilty and Israel strong. They don’t write the ‘N’ word (Nazi) on the workplaces of other leftists and send threatening letters to those with whom they disagree.  Perhaps they would distance themselves from Anti-Racist Action trying to attack the First Amendment with violence rather than clever arguments and emotional blackmail. We are always open to debate.


PS. Jan 17 2010 – a summary of the American Civil Liberties Union’s views on ‘hate speech’, which mostly disagree with the critical race theorists: http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/hate-speech-campus

Reply to Gilad Atzmon on Muslims and the left

muslimcommunists

I promote Gilad Atzmon’s ideas and recently helped organize a reading group followed by a talk by him in Portland. However, I don’t agree with everything he says.

His recent article “We better move on” makes good points. He reiterates many of his insights into identity politics, links the failure of the Palestine solidarity movement to its domination by “anti-Zionist Jews”, etc..

It’s also funny. He’s good at taking the piss.

John Smith, an English bus driver from Liverpool is proud to be English and ‘as an Englishman’ he opposes the war because John actually believes that peace is patriotic. Can he join an anti-war protest and, while he’s at it, carry a Union Jack to demonstrations? I leave the answer to you.

Tony is a ‘Jewish Socialist’ – certainly not religious but an ethnic Jew who identifies ‘as a Jew’ racially and ethnically. And by the way, Tony also operates politically within Jews-only anti-Zionist groups. Now Tony is hugely welcome at most Left and progressive gathering. But can the same be said for Franz who identifies as an ‘Aryan socialist’? Again, I leave the answer to you.

Gilad points to some of the inconsistencies of the left  – you can be a Jewish socialist but not a self identified white socialist. But he’s wrong to accuse the left of excluding Muslims.

Left-wing kowtowing to Islamic reactionaries goes back to the Baku conference of 1920.

Since then, there have been numerous marriages of convenience between left-wing progressive intellectuals and reactionary Muslim godbotherers.

Britain’s largest left-wing party, the SWP, has been in an alliance with Muslims for ages. it was the basis of the Respect coalition, which succeeded in electing a leftist politician for the first time since the sixties.  These leftists join forces with Koran literalists to police the morals of London East Enders, and turn a blind eye to homophobic violence and the exploitation of girls. Richard Seymour’s “Lenin’s Tomb” blog is as fond of making excuses for the worst aspects of islam as it is of making inaccurate attacks on Gilad Atzmon. Both errors are products of political correctness.

Any attempt to question this opportunist pro-Islamic policy is dismissed as ‘racism’. It uses the same p.c. techniques to defend its alliance with Islamic reaction as the Jewish left does to weaken Palestine solidarity.

Muslims don’t necessarily reciprocate the left’s support. Lynne Stewart, a leftist lawyer who defended Islamic murderers, was recently released from prison in the USA. As Counterpunch pointed out: “Some Muslims may quietly admit that Lynne was their champion during the 1990s; yet they remained silent and few US Muslims joined the long, hard campaign to free her. Note: I have yet to see any announcement from a US Muslim organization welcoming Stewart’s release.)”.

No, the left generally supports Muslims. But Islam, like any religion, is infinitely opportunist. To genuine Muslims, their leftist supporters are unbelievers. Logically, their attitude toward secular leftists must be analogous to the Bolsheviks’ attitude to moderate socialists: they regard them as useful idiots. The “9/11 Truth Movement”, which tries to defend Muslim terrorists by claiming their attacks are really carried out by Western governments, is perhaps less useful, but no less idiotic.

Arguing that the Western countries are the biggest terrorists, and that Islamic terror is to some extent a reaction to this, is a completely different argument to the view of the truthers, that Western governments actually carry out the Islamic extremist war crimes. Drone attacks by the US-led coalition on wedding parties in Afghanistan is no excuse for Muslims trying to blow up transatlantic airliners, but it is a major part of the explanation of Islamic hate and violence.

Yes, the West does far more damage to Muslim countries than the other way round. But this is no excuse for advocating even more tolerance of religion.