Revising the Racism of the Establishment By Peter Ewer
The establishment, “racist”? Yes, believe it, for by Occam’s razor, choose the simplest hypothesis that explains all of the data, this one comes out as the most plausible. After all, we have the example of the Asian journalist, Sarah Jeong, who said over-the-top racist things about Whites, yet did not lose her job at The New York Times and there are daily examples like this:
“The intellectual dishonesty of the social justice Left’s “racism” manifests itself in other ways. The reconceptualization doesn’t mean that the old, widely understood sense of the word is simply banished. Rather, it lingers, allowing social justice activists to pretend that they are merely opposed to bigotry and prejudice, like all people of good will, rather than in the vanguard of a movement to effect a radical transformation, one likely to draw fierce opposition if advocated forthrightly. “The social justice left’s entire modus operandi,” writes Claire Lehmann of the online journal Quillette, “is to implement extreme positions using the language of moderate positions.”
Massive reparations and expansions of affirmative action, for example, are not measures whose fairness and feasibility can be debated by decent, reasonable people. They are, instead, questions that divide racists from anti-racists, in that opposition to these policies reflects “new forms of racism that…stereotype subordinated racial groups as undeserving and thereby justify existing racial inequalities,” according to Clair and Denis’s summary of other social scientists’ work. “Racism,” then, turns out to be opposition to, or merely skepticism about, the entire social justice project. Social justice leftists doubt their ability, for the foreseeable future, to win assent to that project by advocating its merits. Instead, they attempt gains by stigmatizing its opponents.
Strategic ambiguity about the old and new understandings of racism is crucial to this effort. Very few whites care to think of themselves as having anything important in common with Bull Connor or Archie Bunker. The bait-and-switch takes place when, out of a desire not to be a racist in the dictionary sense of the term, people are put on the defensive for being racist in the social justice sense of the term. Thus intimidated, they are meant to be made more amenable to the social justice cause. The problem is that bait-and-switch scams stop working when customers know in advance that the merchant is advertising one thing and selling another. As a result of the Sarah Jeong saga, many more people realize that the social justice Left’s accusations about their racism employ that term in a dishonest way, one that readily accommodates Jeong’s own sulfurous postings.
That is not to say that this duplicity was a well-kept secret before Jeong became famous. White Americans have been accused of racism for so many decades, by so many people, for so many different transgressions, that the accusation’s power to compel regret or introspection is now severely attenuated. A precocious Columbia University undergraduate, Coleman Hughes, argues on Quillette that the result of this rhetorical excess is the “Racism Treadmill.” Because “no amount of progress in reducing systemic racism, however large or concrete, will ever look like progress to progressives,” he writes, the consequence is “a Sisyphean politics.” Hughes lays out the lamentable consequences of this forensic malpractice:
The Treadmill shows itself in the way progressives appropriate the tragedies of history in order to summon rhetorical gravitas in the present. Carceral policy is not just bad, it’s the “New Jim Crow”; posting reaction GIFs on social media that portray black people is “digital blackface”; and, even though three separate analyses have found no racial bias in police shootings, such shootings are said to be “reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching,” as a United Nations report put it. It seems as if every reduction in racist behavior is met with a commensurate expansion in our definition of the concept. Thus, racism has become a conserved quantity akin to mass or energy: transformable but irreducible.
The new, worsened definition of racism is yet another demonstration that progressivism’s defining flaw is its confusion and/or dishonesty about what exactly we are supposed to be progressing toward. “Progress means getting nearer the place you want to be,” C.S. Lewis wrote, which means that, “If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road.” In that circumstance, the reactionary person is progressive in a way that the progressive one is not.”
Agreed, the Left is inconsistent in its application of the “racism” smear. But it was never intended to be a fair fight. After a massive investment in creating the racist monster, and if circumstances were different, a globalist-communist monster could have been put in its place instead, but the Left won, it is only natural that they would exploit their advantage. My main point of disagreement with the above analysis is that it is assuming the rationality of our opponents, and that they still embrace Enlightenment ideas of rationality, respecting reasoned argument. Not so; in the world of the Left, what counts is not truth, but revolutionary praxis, for truth is just a social construct. Truth for them is just what they define it to be. Daniel Hannan has argued that identity politics undermines enlightenment values. True, but this creation of the Left is so large now, and so all-encompassing that clearly Enlightenment values have long flown. It is always hard for genuine conservatives to face the cold hard truth that the very basis of their culture has already been undermined and that a totally destructive pluralism now engulfs us.
Hence, it is natural for the Left to slam us with everything they can think of, regardless of justice. This is seen most clearly in the media treatment of poor old weak President Trump, who is vilified by definition by the Establishment media. They want nothing short of a brown West, and the end of Whites in the world, and the most fanatical racists championing this, are pathologically altruistic Whites, doing it to sink their own race, and getting their 30 pieces of silver in the process. We call it genocide, but they call it “social justice.” And, given the universal reign of cultural relativism, the Left cannot say that we are “wrong,” only smash us. Sticks n’ stones and all that.