A Wry Chronicle of Racial Folly
Jim Goad, Whiteness: The Original Sin, Obnoxious Books, 2018, 345 pages, $12.60 softcover, $7 kindle
Jim Goad, a self-described “lowly, foulmouthed plumber’s son,” achieved prominence in 1997 with The Redneck Manifesto. The book argued that America’s class divide was deeper than its racial divide. Mr. Goad despised the white elites of Bill Clinton’s America as much as they despise plumbers. He felt he had more in common with unpretentious working class black and brown people. He still does; in this new book he writes:
For a quarter-century now I’ve made it very clear that most of my hatred—and there’s quite a lot of it, I never run out—is intra-racial. I find myself incapable of mustering nearly the sort of searing animus toward my Negroidal brethren that I consistently feel toward liberal white coastal elites . . . drunk on the notion of their moral irreproachability.
But his new offering, Whiteness: The Original Sin, holds out little hope for any Black-Brown-White Redneck alliance of the sort suggested in his earlier book. Mr. Goad has apparently come to accept non-white tribalism as inevitable, and is left bewildered that whites have been persuaded to suppress their own tribal instincts—a naive form of unilateral disarmament in an otherwise tribal world.
Many chapters of the new book began as columns for Taki’s Top Drawer, where Mr. Goad has been a regular contributor since 2010. These usually begin by plucking some recent example of racial madness from the headlines; the author then comments on it with biting wit and an undeceived view of human nature no doubt conditioned by his own experiences. There are chapters devoted to the suppressed Charlottesville rally, the knockout game, Wisconsin’s annual “White Privilege Conference,” Africa’s thriving market in albino body parts, the campaign against Confederate monuments, “The Spit-Roasting of Paula Deen,” the reported discovery of a pill that makes people less “racist,” a Mexican-owned barbecue joint that received bomb threats after announcing a “White Appreciation Day,” and even a review of a book by Jared Taylor (“Fear of an Erudite White”).
Mr. Goad is perhaps at his best mocking liberal elites:
These are the ones who endorse trade and immigration policies that don’t adversely affect them yet have rendered much of working white America hopeless, suicidal, and strung out on pills. These are the ones who’d like to imagine that Klansmen and skinheads and cops are roaming the streets indiscriminately beating and murdering non-whites. These are the ones cheering the idea that white demographic decline is inevitable, naively believing that the dusky hordes whom they’re welcoming in by the millions and among whom they’re fanning anti-white resentment will somehow not see them as white, too, and thus just as guilty and deserving of retribution as any meth-smoking, rusty-trailer-dwelling, Alabama hilljack.
This last-mentioned bit of self-delusion he names “Passover Syndrome,” likening it to the children of Israel’s smearing of sacrificial blood on their doors so the Angel of Death would pass over them: “Those with [Passover Syndrome] emit the rancid smell of fear, and there’s nothing a bloodthirsty mob savors more than the smell of fear. If a real race war were ever to pop off in America, they’d be the first to perish.”
Mr. Goad notes that while non-whites may welcome expressions of white guilt, this does not mean they respect the whites who make them: “Non-white cultures don’t tolerate traitors within their ranks to nearly the degree that supposedly ethnocentric whites do.”
I’ve noticed a trend: the more that white people apologize, the more they get mocked. The more they concede, the more is demanded of them. The more they make gestures of goodwill, the more they get sandblasted with malicious rhetoric about how “whiteness” is a poison that needs to be uprooted and eradicated. The reason is simple: self-hatred is never attractive.
As whites suffering from Passover Syndrome tell the story, Western Civilization has largely consisted of “concentration camps, atomic bombs, the Crusades, slavery, and witch hunts.” A certain Rebecca Onion, writing for Slate, has warned of the dangers of departing from this script: “The idea of white technological superiority has often served as justification for oppressing or displacing non-white people.” Mr. Goad aptly suggests that we flip her argument around: “Denying white technological contributions and distilling all of white history into one massive blood libel of torture and enslavement of non-whites can serve as justification for displacing white people.” Indeed, why else would anyone seek to distort the past in such a way?
Regarding the aborted “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, the author remarks:
I can see why the Black Lives Matter dudes, however knuckleheaded they are, would have problems with a pro-white rally. That’s simply how phenotypical racial tribalism works. What’s curious is the unhinged hatred that the “anti-racist” whites have for their genetic cohorts who refuse to join them in their creepy, ethnomasochistic psychological self-cleansing rituals.
Of antifa and whites with Passover Syndrome, he writes: “This is the sort of thing that happens in the late stages of a crumbling empire when the fat, lazy, and pampered have grown so soft they’ve blinded themselves to the wolf pack at the door eager to tear them to pieces.” Indeed, there are reports that some antifa in Charlottesville were attacked by local blacks unable to distinguish them from the “racists.”
Venturing into the domain of cryptozoology, the author reports that none of his many attempts to locate “white supremacists” has so far been successful. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, such critters “believe that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.” After interviewing “enough alleged white supremacists to fill a small dinner theater,” Mr. Goad reports:
I’d estimate that only a slim quotient has ever gone so far as to say that whites are superior to all others. And I can’t recall a single one of them ever saying that ‘white people should have control over people of other races.’ At most, they just want to get the hell away from other races.
He concludes that “these days, being called a ‘white supremacist’ is only different from being called a witch in that they don’t even bother dunking you in the river before declaring you guilty,” adding that in today’s climate of racial hysteria, such accusations are “effectively an invitation to commit violence against someone.”
Ever since The Redneck Manifesto, Mr. Goad has been trying to share with readers the indisputable historical fact that white people have at various times in history been enslaved—by one another as well as by non-whites. Barbary Coast pirates kidnapped a million or more Europeans to sell as slaves. The Vikings enslaved so many East European Slavs that our word “slave” is derived from them. And the “indentured servants” of colonial America were often de facto slaves and treated accordingly.
But, as Mr. Goad reports:
Every time I’ve tried to raise the subject, I am shouted down, scoffed at, spat upon, pooh-poohed, and falsely accused of trying to say ‘Black slavery wasn’t bad.’ My true motive is to say, ‘Hey, numskulls—you’re missing the big picture and creating poisonous levels of misunderstanding and resentment.’
He reports that blacks have proven more receptive to such talk than white liberals: “the false narrative that white people have never suffered is usually peddled by white people who have never suffered.”
Mr. Goad has a gift for one-liners; e.g., he likens integration and multiculturalism to “pouring several dissimilar schools of fish into the same aquarium and pretending they won’t fight over food and territory.” Here are a few more:
- The most powerful political weapon is guilt.
- I’d be fascinated to see historical precedents of entire populations being brainwashed into self-hatred merely for being more successful and advanced than other groups.
- The general thrust of American education these days is not to fill minds with new ideas but to cleanse them of all unacceptable ideas
- You know what’s truly unbearable about white people these days? That they don’t find nonstop defamation unbearable.
- It seems evident that the bashers of everything white and male don’t view white males as a powerful oppressor so much as an easy target.
- I’ve never once seen Asians, Indians, or Jews apologizing to white Americans for outperforming them financially and on standardized tests.
Mr. Goad appears to be familiar with the scientific facts about race, but he writes in a manner accessible to anyone whose native common sense has not been destroyed by ideology. The book can be warmly recommended to ordinary whites who might be put off by the technical apparatus of racial science.