Editor Chilton Williamson’s critique of the identitarian position delivers a typical conservative philippic from cloud level. “Identity politics, whether for whites or for others, is a form of narcissism that focuses the mind almost exclusively on the self and its vanities, precluding a true apprehension of society, solid intellectual activity, and a true understanding of the proper nature and limited scope of political life.”
While Mr. Trump had his crimes mixed up, over the most recently reported six-year stretch there was an average of some 23,000 annual reported instances cited by the FBI of black-on-white rape and virtually none in the other direction. Black-on-white violent crimes on a racially weighted basis are 39 times more likely to happen than white-on-black. According to Edwin S. Rubenstein’s 2007 study for the National Policy Institute, the average Hispanic family, legal or otherwise, received tax-financed goods and services worth $18,284, while the black share was $17,569. These transfers were subsidized by Asian families to the tune of $40,002, and white households on the order of $24,165. Ron Unz has documented the disproportionate disenfranchisement of SAT-competitive whites at Ivy League schools. Then there is the occult spike in self-induced mortality among white working-class males ages 44 to 54. In the category of a rose by any other name, affirmative action is a job-reservation measure that limits white upward mobility starting in college for most students but beginning in private secondary schools for the others. In 1965 Edward Kennedy promised, “Our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same. Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.” This dishonest pledge was supported by Democrats and Republicans alike; was never challenged by Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I or II; and has been tacitly supported by the slew of self-proclaimed conservative legislators and Beltway wonk tanks.
As a counterforce, Sam Francis’ Middle American Radicals have finally arrived and are whooping it up for The Donald.
The editor’s chance finding of a website that excludes Italians from European ancestry is hardly remarkable. What is noteworthy is the appropriation of this wildly off-base claim to indict anyone who admits to a “white self-awareness.”
You can take issue with the appropriateness of any proxy, but the fact remains that, for governmental record-keeping, affirmative-action job reservations, and educational placement, white is the term of choice.
So the level of skin pigmentation is a useful racial shorthand but can be translated into 24-caret English by a smear of tissue or bone fragment. Bleach African skin white as did the ballplayer Sammy Sosa, or put blackface on Al Jolson, and the DNA or bone structure of both will unerringly put them in the right genomic pigeon hole.
But does anatomical reality have any bearing on human sensibilities?
Without fanfare but by their social exclusion and immigration restrictions, the 1.5 billion Han Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese are content to dwell apart. The Brahmins and derivative castes of India are populated by Indo-Europeans and have lived among the darker and physically different populations on the subcontinent for 3,000 years. This minority, which so attracted the Brits, has been able to maintain its racial integrity through endogamy that is measurably less permeable than the color line in the U.S. Next time you see Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, scold Donald Trump, see if you can see any trace of Madras on her Aryan face. After a century of domination Africa is drifting away from its colonial tether as best expressed by ménage à cinq kept by President Zuma of South Africa.
These people have no problem instinctively internalizing a preference for in-group unity. Despite the vagaries of mind and anatomy there is a mutual cohesion that allows spontaneous recognition of consanguinity in much the same fashion as Justice Potter Stewart defined pornography when he said, “I know it when I see it.”
It would appear that much of the globe is populated by natural-born identitarians who by race and perhaps taxonomic subsets prefer their own company to that of the other(s). The glaring exception seems to be aboriginal Europeans and especially those in the upper reaches of the Anglosphere. These elites have treated their downstream landsman with less consideration than a farmer shows his barn animals.
The English aristocracy has a long history of gorging itself at the expense of the county yeoman and urban proletariate. Their emphasis on class preferences rather than racial distinctions has turned their Anglo-Saxon capital into “semi-Asiatic London.” The English elite in all its mutations has so trashed that “green and pleasant land” that adult gangs of Pakistani immigrants are allowed to “groom” thousands of British working-class teenage girls for their carnal pleasure. All of this predation occurring under the knowing eyes of township authorities who were indifferent to the plight of these Dickensian waifs especially when their intervention might open them to charges of racism.
Invoking doctrinal opprobrium is like a lawyer without the facts pounding on the table, as in “white nationalism is a heresy that cannot be reconciled with Christianity in any form.” This recourse to celestial sanction is hardly bested by a counterfactual conditional that declares without recourse to logic that, “if the Christian defense of immigration could be proven to have been divinely inspired, white nationalists would persist in opposing it anyway.”
Christendom teaches charity, not self-immolation, and is in no way contrary to the identitarian’s first objective, which like that of the Confederacy is to be left alone. Identitarians are not out to convert humanity, to argue whose God [sic] orders the universe, or to kindle ideological battles. The hallmarks of the identitarian perspective are the free association of people, respect for the diversity of cultures, and celebration of a racially heterogeneous world.
Sam Francis is coming in for some deserved albeit posthumous attention. He and I became late-in-life friends and colleagues in a number of identitarian projects. One was a journal, The Occidental Quarterly, for which he provided the name and attended as an editor until his death. Early on we issued a statement of principles, the first two of which were “The West is a cultural compound of our classical, Christian, and Germanic past” and “Race informs culture; it is the necessary precondition of cultural identity and integrity.”
I continue to stand with Sam and wonder if Chronicles would still welcome his essays.
—William H. Regnery
Boca Grande, FL
Mr. Williamson Replies:
I hardly know where to begin addressing Mr. Regnery’s letter of an heroic thousand words. The best way I suppose is to pick out as many threads as I have room to consider here, and attempt to do so in a satisfactory way.
Mr. Regnery argues that I am writing from “cloud level.” Since the burden of my argument is that white nationalists (or whatever one chooses to call them, or they to call themselves) are the ones who write in abstractions, while I was trying to bring the subject down to earth, I can only suggest that he probe deeper into my essay (and those of Mr. Richert and Mr. Wolf) for enlightenment.
I have heard before the argument that affirmative-action policies (of which of course I don’t approve) are responsible for some whites of the lower-middle class slipping downward into “self-induced mortality.” But not being accepted for college is hardly an excuse for self-destruction. When I worked as an oil-field roughneck 35 years ago, the process had already begun, largely because blue-collar people at the end of the 1970’s wished to emulate the affluent long-haired drug-taking (white) hippies I knew from my days at Columbia—who had since finished their educations, found jobs, got married, and started stable families.
The “wildly off-base claim” that “Italians aren’t really white people” was found not at all as by chance, or even intent, on a well-known and heavily trafficked website with which I’m certain Mr. Regnery, like Mr. Taylor, is intimately familiar.
Mr. Regnery laments that “aboriginal Europeans” and “the upper reaches of the Anglosphere,” toward which he harbors an obvious animosity, lack a preference for “in-group unity.” But if that were so, and to a certain extent it is (Europeans being sophisticated, cosmopolitan people), the obvious conclusion to be drawn from the pluralist results that ensued from the importation of black slaves and later immigrants of all colors and cultures by white Americans (not all of them wealthy) is that American whites should abide the consequences of their actions, all of them taken for immediate financial gain. How do white nationalists expect to change that fact, at this late hour—or even escape it? They can run, as it’s said, but they cannot hide. To imagine otherwise is all too obviously to live at cloud level. (Incidentally, the British fascination with other cultures—often the wilder the better—has by no means been confined to aristocrats like Wilfrid Scawen Blunt: Think of Doughty, Lawrence, and Thesiger.)
Mr. Regnery’s easy dismissal of my “counterfactual conditional . . . without recourse to logic” invites the plain question, “Well, wouldn’t they?” As for his claim that the identitarian’s first objective is to be left alone, I note only that his is a counterhistorical statement, since history has never left anyone alone, and never will.