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.
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.