Do White Leftists Really Hate Themselves?

For about a decade a self-described “conservative” has been flooding me with email notes arguing that woke white leftists do not, in fact, dislike other whites. In fact, such seeming antiwhite radicals adore their whiteness. White leftists live in the same neighborhoods with other whites, dress the same way, and send their children to heavily white institutions. For all their talk about being for blacks, these white leftists are just hypocrites. They don’t give up their professional positions for members of other races or sexual orientations, and whatever set asides and preferential hiring these virtue-signalers claim to be working toward, many or most of their colleagues are racially the same as they are. 

Admittedly the situation we’re describing is historically rare. Most examples of discrimination and exclusion in human history have involved a majority group establishing for itself a superior position relative to a despised or unwelcome minority.  Sometimes the pecking order changed over time, so that the Athenians extended their franchise to the lower orders and made them eligible for public offices, while the Roman founding fathers over several centuries extended rights to the plebeian class. But what made that situation different from the current American one is that other societies in which rights were extended did not gnash their teeth in self-mortification over someone’s past exclusion. They just extended certain rights to those who had not previously exercised them. 

Watching American whites writhing in agony over past discrimination against nonwhites strikes me as utterly bizarre. The fact that this collective behavior becomes even more fitful or convulsive the further one moves away from slavery or legal segregation, makes it look even more grotesque. Yes, I’m aware that black urban society has disintegrated, and this may overshadow for residents of inner cities the acquisition of certain rights and even the enforcement of what is misleadingly called equity. Still the continued or increasing social dysfunctionality of inner-city residents does not explain the paroxysms of self-hate that many whites now routinely indulge in. Disintegrating black family life and high black crime rates hardly justify elaborate public rituals of white self-rejection and passionate condemnation of the civilization that white Westerners built. 

So bizarre have these rituals become that one might be justified in asking whether those who mandate and enforce them really believe in the white sinfulness they lament. Quite noticeably those who push critical race theory and run to put Black Lives Matter signs on their lawns often live in white neighborhoods that are hardly touched by black crime. This makes one wonder whether antiwhite hysteria is nothing more than show. The hypocrisy of the Left is a theme that the Right is always hitting on, and Tucker Carlson has made himself a national celebrity by offering examples of this odious practice. 

What I would like to ask, however, is whether it really matters that the white Left is not consistent in its antiwhite, pro-black nationalist politics. The effects are the same, whether or not the actors are sincere or consistent.  

Those who have supported vicious totalitarian movements and financed their violence have not necessarily engaged in violence on their own. When the board of Silicon Valley Bank sent over $73 million to BLM and when other banking and corporate enterprises donate to violent, racially divisive organizations, they are inciting racial strife. The white liberals who support public officials like Alvin Bragg, Larry Krasner, Lori Lightfoot, and cheer on race-baiters like Reverend Al Sharpton, back antiwhite politics, although not necessarily for the purpose of advancing blacks.  The white Left increasingly stokes black racial animosity, an act that Joe Biden engages in whenever he is coherent enough to read an antiwhite rant prepared by one of his race-hustling speech writers. 

Finally I am utterly baffled by the contention that someone cannot hate a group that he in some way resembles. Brigitte Hamann in her classic Hitler’s Vienna shows graphically that her once indigent subject was attracted to Viennese Jewish circles before World War I. Hitler shared many of the tastes of the group he later tried to exterminate, and even his predilection for Wagner (and earlier for Gustav Mahler) was then common among Austrian Jews. Eduard Bloch, Hitler’s mother’s physician and a close family friend, was obviously Jewish. Hitler protected Bloch even from his own antisemitic policies. Given his aesthetic and onetime social preferences, Hitler, according to my friend’s standards, must have been a self-denying or dissembling philosemite. 

Angela Davis, who is descended from Mayflower Pilgrims, is a light-skinned black intellectual, who revels in all the amenities of the white upper class. Davis has also been deeply entangled in Black Panther violence and remains a black socialist revolutionary. Having an affluent white “lifestyle” does not rule out being a cultural radical or promoter of violence, even for someone who enjoys fine coffees and lives in a well-guarded home. Having rich tastes and a fashionable ZIP code does not prevent such a person from doing nasty (and, yes, antiwhite racist) things.

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About Paul Gottfried

Paul Edward Gottfried is the editor of Chronicles. An American paleoconservative philosopher, historian, and columnist, Gottfried is a former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, as well as a Guggenheim recipient.

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