In the wake of another series of mass shootings, we begin our regularly scheduled programming searching for the systemic culprits: “white supremacists” who, we are reliably informed, prowl the halls of our institutions pursuing a policy of ethnic cleansing as we speak. They hide in plain sight, the experts warn, and are represented among such notables as the president of the United States on down to heavily armed lunatics in makeshift rural bunkers.
The “white supremacist terrorists and the white supremacist policymakers,” Charles Blow huffs, “live on parallel planes, both aiming in the same direction, both with the same goal: To maintain and ensure white dominance and white supremacy.” They are united in their rage at immigrants, whose “numbers are ascendant,” writes Blow, “through both immigration and higher birthrates,” thus threatening the “accelerated displacement of white people from a numerical majority.”
Of course, a certain National Review writer had no problem reaching across the aisle in keeping with the modus operandi of Vichy conservatives who exist, apparently, to somehow prove they were right to oppose the most consequential conservative president in a generation. For them, apparently, it is: il n’y a pas d’ennemi à gauche—there is no enemy to the left. The main enemy—the preferred enemy—is always to their right.
Such “conservatives” reliably operate as the shadow of the American Left, ever just a few ideological paces behind their establishment counterparts, helping the slow learners to catch up with their betters.
The National Review writer—we’re not naming him anymore, mainly out of contempt, but his identity isn’t hard to discern—calls for “legal, rhetorical, financial, and cultural” war on white nationalism, and he echoes Blow, condemning words like “invasion” to describe immigration. Even though it is, in fact, an invasion.
This writer also denounced the use of terms such as “replacement” to describe the “imagined fate of white America”—though his bedfellows Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens unironically have called for mass deportations of whites, and the replacing of “lazy” white people with “new Americans.” Kevin Williamson says that the truth about white “dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die.”
“These are strong words, but they are fundamentally true and important to say” about these Americans, the writer argued in defense of Williamson. Don’t you dare say a bad word about foreigners, however, because no matter how “fundamentally true and important” those words may be, we must now, he insists, “reject the public language and rhetoric that excites and inspires racist radicals”—but only those racist radicals of a particular flavor. Forget about those racists who hate white people.
Find the Nerve
Though National Review is coy about what form this war on white supremacy may take, Democrats have already taken to doxxing Trump supporters for their “complicity” in white supremacy. Living up to their moniker as “the stupid party,” instead of fighting this, Republicans now are flirting with “assault weapon” bans and red-flag laws that inevitably will be weaponized against the Right.
National Review’s editors, too, have cast their pennies into the well, wishing for the long arm of the state to rise from the murky waters and take direct action against this conveniently ill-defined but nevertheless existential foe against which no weapon can be spared.
The good people of National Review propose the FBI launch a counterintelligence program and “interview anyone expressing sympathy with terrorism” of the white nationalist variety, “and surveil such persons as appropriate and permitted under the law”—though they admit that such programs, historically, have trekked beyond the bounds permitted by law. Such is the price we pay for freedom, as right-wing dissidents have found.
Tucker Carlson attempted to sail an honest ship amid a sea of lies: The scarecrow of white supremacy, he said, is “a hoax,” “actually not a real problem in America,” and ultimately “a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power.” But he was quickly undercut by Ryan Saavedra, a reporter for the youth organ of Conservative, Inc., Daily Wire. For the record, said Saavedra, “I do not agree with what Carlson said tonight. White supremacy is evil and is a problem in the U.S.”
Amid the synchronized Left and phony Right uproar at his monologue, Carlson abruptly announced that he would be taking a “vacation,” presumably for the crime of finding the truth a little too much fun to tell for the big wigs at Fox.
Shaping the Social Construction of Mass Murder
Fact is, Carlson is right. White supremacist terrorism is a hoax—a hobgoblin. Data don’t lie.
In 2018, 41.5 percent of Americans feared falling victim to a random public mass shooting, while an even greater number—49.3 percent—said they feared the “white supremacists” they have been told lurk beneath every bed. A growing number of Americans feel this way, even though felony mass killings (gang violence, drive-by shootings, armed robberies, and the like, all generally referred to as “criminal activity”), perpetrated by nonwhites, occur with far greater regularity than random public mass shootings, perpetrated by whites. Figures from the RAND Corporation show that domestic violence and criminal activity constitute 80 percent of mass shooting incidents with four or more fatally injured victims.
In other words, you are more likely to be killed in public by a run of the mill African American or Hispanic criminal than by a white nationalist. According to FBI data, you are also more likely to be killed by the club, the foot, or the knife, than by the scary black rifles on which lawmakers have set their sights. Nor is there a “surge” of white supremacist activity, as Julie Kelly has painstakingly noted in these pages. Nevertheless, the fictional white supremacist killing machine rolls on, fueled by the media’s lurid fantasies and outright lies.
A recent study in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence found that the “perpetuation of potentially inaccurate stereotypes not only misguides future research on [mass shootings], but also shapes the social construction of mass murder.” Well, that’s the idea.
The promulgation of “inaccurate stereotypes”—the ubiquitous white militant, for example—is the scarecrow with which the establishment can, with help from its allies in the media, cultivate a pseudo-social reality and seed desired narratives in a public psyche fertilized by fear, thus keeping the fields rid of people and ideas that threaten the desired political reality of the ruling class.
A few random acts of violence are propagandized as structural byproducts of fabled “systemic racism”—as if those gunman were the flesh on the invisible hand of white supremacy that touches every aspect of our lives, rather than just lonesome lunatics or evil men affixing political ideologies to their nihilism in order to justify their actions to themselves.
Weakening resistance to this narrative is the constant cultural bludgeoning of whites, the core of the dissident Right, who are consistently depicted in the media and in academia either as fueled by avarice, or as buffoonish and in need of constant correction—or even physical annihilation. There is no question that whites have internalized these stereotypes.
The “Cancer of Human History”?
Our media and academic institutions tell white Americans that their existence is incurably toxic, that their contributions to history are worthy only of derision, that their inheritance must be taken or given away, that the future does not include or belong to them; and yet they are not allowed to wince at the knives that pierce their flesh, let alone become enraged at their involuntary appointment as “the cancer of human history.”
White sin, then, is the frowning background of the cultural and political environment in which the artificial threat of white supremacy stands. It is the nub onto which every dissident of whatever race or ethnicity may be grafted and neutralized. In this view, there is no meaningful difference between everyday Middle Americans and militants who shoot up border town malls.
Behind this full-spectrum mobilization is fear, not of terrorism, but of losing control. The enemies of the dissident Right are not after justice in their war on the specter of white supremacy; but instead desire a return to the “normalcy” of the pre-2016 election, where the country steadily lurched leftward with “conservatives” playing the part of flower girl, tossing petals over the procession of the Leviathan wedding itself to every aspect of our lives. They want to return to the days when so many Americans still believed the lie that American “democracy” is still operative in any meaningful sense.
The establishment fears the collapse of the hierarchy they’ve grafted onto America’s once republican institutions. America, as they see it, is their fiefdom. The rest of us are just squatting until we can be replaced with much more docile “New Americans” who are psychically divorced from this country’s real traditions, history, and inheritance. They want people grateful to them who will do and vote as they’re told.
The 2016 election showed that the psychic embers of discontent among Middle Americans could still be brought from smoldering to revolutionary flame, that some Americans could still be stirred to break the chains despite the thousand woes that up till then had demoralized them.
The Right must now recapture that energy—of Americans remembering who they are and what it feels like to be sovereign, self-governing, and independent citizens. Remind them what it feels like to bite the reins in their teeth, squeeze the saddle between their thighs, and ride hell-for-leather through this political maelstrom to meet any political action taken against them under the pretense of “white supremacy” with the same force that it rejected the one-party consensus in 2016. False narratives only have the power we stoop to give them, and the Right has not come this far to be knocked from the saddle just as we have broken into a sprint.