Posted on July 24, 2018

Conservatives Aren’t Opposed to Identity Politics

Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, July 24, 2018

American conservatives haven’t learned much from President Donald Trump’s election victory. Instead, Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Tim Scott are trying to beat back nationalist and Identitarian tendencies within the Republican Party. This is particularly infuriating because of the increasingly overt anti-white sentiments of Democrats—about which supposed conservatives are silent. Beltway conservatives have thus become de facto allies of the Left, working to weaken and isolate whites who fight back against radical leftism.

Aside from a tax cut, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has very little to show for almost two years of united Republican government, but the outgoing congressman has no explanation or apology for this. Instead, in a recent interview with Jonah Goldberg at the American Enterprise Institute, Speaker Ryan took aim at the Alt-Right. “That is not conservatism,” he said. “That is racism. That is nationalism. That is not what we believe in. That is not the founding vision, that is not the founders’ creed.”

Anyone with even a passing familiarity with American history—whether a race realist or leftist historian—can easily refute silly claims about the Founders. Pretending that Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, and the other Founders were racial egalitarians is stupid and dangerous. Such myth-making can drive younger Americans to the left when they learn establishment conservatives deceived them.

Speaker Ryan urged conservatives to “intellectually do everything you can to defeat the Alt-Right” and said they needed to “fight for our ground and re-win these ideas and marginalize these guys as best we can.” Both Jonah Goldberg and Speaker Ryan spoke of the importance of debate, yet neither seemed to recognize the contradiction in urging that we be “marginalized.” White advocates have nothing to fear from debate with anyone, because we are right. Speaker Ryan’s reference to the goal of “marginalizing” people just demonstrates the Beltway Right’s desperation to maintain its position by controlling funding, resources, and media access. This means yet more censorship and the endless purges that have defined the conservative movement’s history.

Speaker Ryan implicitly suggested free speech is a problem. In a discussion of the “really big challenges for democracy,” he bemoaned “21st century technology and the ability to monetize division and as you [Mr. Goldberg] say, tribalism and identity politics.” Given how much time he had spent denouncing the Alt-Right, this sounds like an endorsement of efforts to deplatform dissidents.

Even if Speaker Ryan opposes “identity politics,” does he honestly believes the best way to defeat it is through debate? White dissidents have already been stripped of the ability freely to use online platforms, let alone “monetize” them. By contrast, non-whites who openly celebrate racial identity or inveigh against whites not only enjoy open access to the services provided by major technology companies, they often are the subject of promotional campaigns by those companies. Thus, the #BlackLivesMatter campaign has an emoji created by Twitter, despite the violence the movement has inspired. Meanwhile, Jared Taylor and American Renaissance are banned.

Paul Ryan’s showy outrage over the Alt-Right contrasts with his silence on identity politics in the Democrat Party, especially that of his House colleague Keith Ellison. Keith Ellison recently made headlines by attacking Amazon.com for carrying material he considers “far right.” The obvious intent was to get Amazon to remove books by “racists” so as to silence his political opponents. Mr. Ellison has nevertheless called for a separate black homeland within the United States, has a long record of working with such groups as the Nation of Islam, and has explicitly endorsed the left-wing terrorist group antifa.

Why is Mr. Ellison rarely, if ever, criticized for this by Republican politicians? Their silence is a notable contrast to how eagerly Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, Jeff Flake and other Republicans attack the supposed radicalism of their own president. One would think Republican politicians would more worried about a black nationalist serving as Deputy Chair of the Democrat Party rather than about “white nationalism” that in many cases exists only in the imaginations of journalists.

Besides, as events this week showed, Republican leaders are not actually opposed to all “identity politics.” Black Republican Senator Tim Scott torpedoed Ryan Bounds, one of President Trump’s nominees for a U.S. circuit court seat, because of essays the judge wrote when he was in college. None is particularly scandalous, and they echo common conservative critiques of multiculturalism.

A lefty organization, the Alliance for Justice, found this:

Multiculturalists band together not into tight cliques of mutual interests and complementary powers, but rather into social clubs of ostensibly common racial heritage.

Race-focused groups foster racethink, and the only way to rid our multicultural community of race-think is to rid it of these invidious factions. We should be cheered, however, to know that our task is not impossible. The existence of ethnic organizations is no inevitable prerequisite to maintaining a diverse community—white students, after all, seem to be doing all right without an Aryan Student Union.

If a black person is an individualist and a thoroughgoing capitalist who eschews victimhood status and its concomitant entitlements, racethinkers are quick to brand him ‘oreo,’ ‘Uncle Tom,’ or ‘sell-out.’

Needless to say, outlets such as Vox, the Daily Beast, and Above the Law described these sentiments as “racist,” even though they advocate precisely the kind of individualism and colorblindness conservatives promote when they decry race-realist “identity politics.” The last passage is from a defense of non-liberal blacks who are called “Uncle Toms”—Tim Scott, who opposed the judge’s nomination, is himself a frequent target of the slur. Despite his boasts about being more than his skin color, Senator Scott evidently believes that whites have neither the right to practice racial solidity themselves nor to oppose it in others.

In other words, Tim Scott practices the racial hypocrisy typical of most blacks. This isn’t surprising, but it’s unclear why conservatives—overwhelmingly white and rhetorically committed to racial individualism—are supposed to put up with it. It’s also confusing why Paul Ryan is so worried about the “Alt-Right,” when racial nationalism is far more prominent among the Democrats in the very legislative body he supposedly leads. When a judge can have his prospects derailed because he was opposed to racial collectivism when practiced by non-whites, it’s hard to take Republicans or conservatives seriously when they claim to oppose “identity politics” as a general matter.

The Beltway Right’s stance on “identity politics” is contradictory, cowardly, and incoherent. Republicans support—or at least dare not oppose—identity politics for groups that don’t vote for them, and oppose Identitarianism for whites, who are the only race that does. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Paul Ryan, Tim Scott, and conservatives like them are not actually opposed to identity politics. They are simply opposed to white interests. It does Beltway conservatives too much credit to call them “controlled opposition” to a system that persistently ignores white interests. They aren’t an opposition at all.