Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, August 16, 2018
For a society supposedly dominated by white privilege, being anti-white certainly seems not to hold back your career. Sarah Jeong, the latest addition to the New York Times’ editorial board, said this in a speech:
Everything is implicitly organized around how men see the world. And not just men, how white men see the world. And this is, this is a problem. This is why so many things suck.
Despite such sentiments, she is now part of the governing body of an institution that her political theory would claim is dominated by white privilege. White privilege does not prevent the paper from defending Miss Jeong’s contemptuous comments and tweets about whites. Indeed, the only employee at the paper who mildly criticized her has already apologized. Most of the mainstream media has defended her, and outlets such as Vox are suggesting that only the “Alt-Right” would object to what she said.
National Review executive editor Reihan Salam wrote an article about Miss Jeong titled “The Utility of White-Bashing” for The Atlantic. Like his fellow “conservative” David French, Mr. Salam does not say Miss Jeong should be fired, but concedes that anti-white racism can actually exist, unlike so many others who tell us it not “a thing.”
Mr. Salam suggests anti-white posturing serves both as a “means of ascent” and a justification of elevated status for both whites and Asians. He recognizes that anti-white rhetoric is a requirement of entry into elite institutions in American life, particularly universities.
“Their admissions decisions represent powerful ‘nudges’ towards certain attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors,” he writes, “and I’ve known many first- and second-generation kids—I was one of them—who intuit this early on.” Indeed, according to one recent report, at least one top college has confronted applicants who followed Alex Jones on Twitter. Some scholars have argued that stereotypically “conservative” or “white” high-school activities such as 4-H Club, Future Farmers of America, and Junior ROTC hurt an applicant’s chances for admission to elite institutions.
Mr. Salam calls this anti-white orthodoxy a “code” that must be “cracked” by ambitious whites and Asians. As he puts it, only someone worried that Harvard might reject him will take offense at recent reports that the school is discriminating against Asians because of their supposedly lackluster personalities. Mr. Salam says a true elitist would consider such griping “gauche,” and instead celebrate Harvard’s admissions policies as a way of distancing himself from the “less-enlightened” and “less-elite.”
In other words, mastery of anti-white vocabulary is the modern equivalent to the courtly behavior that once determined status among Europe’s aristocrats, with modern universities the equivalent of finishing schools. For the social climber, sincerely opposing double standards on race is as uncouth as not knowing how to dance the minuet.
Mr. Salem writes that a hypothetical status-striving Asian wouldn’t complain about affirmative action’s negative impact on Asians but instead argue that “Harvard shouldn’t endeavor to increase representation of rural and working-class whites, on the spurious grounds that all whites are privileged.” Taking these positions, Mr. Salam argues, would make an applicant more “interesting” to college admissions boards. A similar argument was used to defend Miss Jeong over the last few days—her tweets may only have been part of an effort to build an edgy “brand.”
Mr. Salam is writing about Asians but his words could equally apply to upper-class whites: “[W]hite-bashing becomes a form of assuaging internal and external doubts, affirming that despite ascending into the elite, you are not entirely of it.”
In “Equality as a Political Weapon” (an essay found in his Essential Writings On Race), the late Sam Francis wrote, “[T]he doctrine of equality never flourishes unless it serves . . . as a weapon or instrument by which one group challenges and resists the power of other groups and advances its own power.” Perhaps Sarah Jeong believes her own propaganda and thinks institutions such as the New York Times really are rigged to favor of white men. Perhaps it is all cynical posturing, a way to use anti-white rhetoric for career advancement. Though Mr. Salam does not seem to realize this or reflect on it, simply recognizing that harshly anti-white rhetoric does not hinder one’s career is a powerful critique of “white privilege.”
The idea of “white privilege” is preposterous. No matter how many whites still occupy positions of power in Western society, not one of them can openly use their power as whites to further their race’s interests. But this silly doctrine is a justification for elite power. The need to combat the supposed plague of racial inequality serves, in Sam Francis’s words, “the interests and aspirations of an elite that is dependent upon large, centralized government administering social engineering and theopoetic functions ostensibly intended to ameliorate social institutions.” The claim of victimhood enables those in power both to justify their status and accumulate even more power.
Anti-white rhetoric has created a world in which self-styled progressives cheer censorship imposed by unaccountable plutocrats and take away jobs from hapless whites who utter unapproved thoughts. Sarah Jeong and others at elite institutions benefit from such a climate, as they enjoy the righteous veneer of fighting for “equality” while accumulating wealth and privilege.
There’s nothing innovative about elites invoking the greater good or cosmic virtue to justify their status. All elites do this, whether sincerely or cynically. Kings throughout Christendom claimed the Prince of Peace gave them their thrones. A Soviet commissar might claim his position was necessary to protect the people’s revolution. Yet at least elites of the past acknowledged they were elites. In contrast, Sarah Jeong’s allegations of “white privilege” not only deny that whites are collectively powerless, but that it is possible for whites ever to lose power or be victims. Miss Jeong may even believe she is held captive by internet “trolls” that are in reality so marginalized they can’t even use their own names without risking their livelihoods.
Mr. Salam at least recognizes that the theory of “white privilege” is less about fighting hypothetical inequality and more about justifying privilege. Mr. Salam also sees no end to anti-white statements because “they’re too useful to those who employ them.” Therefore, anti-white rhetoric will end only when we take action to end it. Step one is calling it what it is—and recognizing that many who cry the loudest about “privilege” already have it.