A Manufactured Hate

Thomas Klingenstein recently delivered a speech at the Claremont Institute that notes what should be obvious to most Americans. According to Klingenstein, racism in the US is now a “manufactured” problem,” and this tawdry invention allows the Democrats and the Left to increase their power by addressing a problem that they themselves have stirred up. Although Klingenstein does not deny that isolated cases of discrimination against blacks may occur, he regards these situations as sporadic but also gleefully played up by Democratic politicians and their media handservants.

When Joe Biden complains that white Americans are practicing “systemic racism” against blacks and that the US is being convulsed by white supremacist terrorists, he is clearly lying. But he and his handlers are acting as they do for a reason, which is not that they believe what they’re saying. They know that what they are loudly deploring will help shore up their party’s base consisting of the perpetually aggrieved. Black politicians who loyally serve the Democratic Party, like Sheila Jackson Lee, Cori Bush, Hakeem Jeffries, and Maxine Waters tell us breathlessly that white America is racist. Hearing this accusation may make their voters feel better about their social failures and even result in getting further government social programs targeted at inner cities.

Far more astonishingly, the never-ending invectives against “racist” white Americans doesn’t seem to upset most white voters. White Democrats in particular don’t mind being stigmatized as racists. Most white Americans may object to high gas prices and rising housing costs, but being attacked as racists for most of them (and here we have to exclude most Trump voters) may be like rain off a duck’s back.  According to a Harris Poll taken last year, 53% of white Americans believe for sure their race is systemically racist.

For me, this defamation of whites is a shameless lie. Not only are white Americans overwhelmingly not racist bigots, but they lick the feet of those who are making false charges against them. The question is why so many white Americans seem content in their role as penitent “systemic racists.” They show no displeasure when TV stations feature predominantly black actors, even in advertisements, sometimes to the near exclusion of whites, and when more and more of their “entertainment” focuses on black victimhood. Although most American whites do not yet obsess over their inherited racist sins, some of them fund blatantly antiwhite organizations like BLM and Antifa. Further, some particularly troubled whites even join those antiwhite riots sponsored by richer adherents of their bizarre creed.

An obvious reason why some whites behave so masochistically or weirdly is that they are conforming to what they think is expected of them. Those who run corporations, educational institutions, the media, wokeified churches and the deep state all push antiwhite racism; and this poisonous product determines social behavior, and even pseudo-religious conviction. Although this toxin may do incalculable damage to race relations, education, and even our entertainment, it does not usually affect the lives of those who mouth the required gibberish, at least not too directly.

Parents may grouse that their offspring are kept out of a prestigious school because of a racial quota. But they try not to make too much noise lest they hurt themselves socially or professionally. In any case their kids have access to other overpriced citadels of “higher education” if a particular university keeps them out to fill a quota. Obviously white house owners don’t want BLM or other violent “social justice” organizations rioting in their neighborhood. But as long as the residents keep garish BLM signs on their front lawns, they should be ok. The signs function in a way similar to the garlic sack or crucifix that was supposed to ward off vampires, according to Romanian legend.

Another reason that antiwhite racism is such a hot item is that it comes fused with other leftist targets. Opponents of manufactured white racism are usually enemies of Christianity, “patriarchy,” and homophobia. Leftist bugaboos come in clusters. If you buy into one of the items, you are expected to take home the rest. I often receive letters from correspondents who insist that woke leftists really hate one of the stated targets on their list of villains but not really the other ones. It seems to me that the Left has made war on all their targets simultaneously.  And if you want to hang with the powerful and influential, you’re going to have to pay lip service to all their madness. Otherwise, you might be mistaken for a Trumpite. Lately I’ve been impressed by how my former colleagues and younger relatives who belong to our state church belabor the now-ritualized observation: “Of course there’s systematic racism in this country.” Although their message sounds like lunacy, I’m sure there are others with more influence than I have who will be pleased with this credal recitation. The larger question is how such a loathsome, masochistic state religion got established in the first place.

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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.

Photo: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 26: Actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Courthouse after his court appearance on March 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. This morning in court it was announced that all charges were dropped against the actor. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)