Why Isn’t Racism Cool?

John Derbyshire, Takimag, April 18, 2013

We all had a lot of fun at the American Renaissance bash the other weekend. A disproportionate amount of the fun was provided by vlogger Paul Ramsey, whom I recommend for consideration when your next corporate function, birthday party, or bar mitzvah comes around.

At one point Paul mocked the little knot of anti-racist protestors camped outside the hotel. How, he asked, could this fairly be called “protest”? What did they think they were doing—sticking it to the Man? “Yo, guys: You ARE the Man!”


Paul’s remark got me wondering, though. What’s wrong with kids today? Don’t they want to vex their parents? Épater la bourgeoisie? Kick against the pricks? Be transgressive?

Mildred: “Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?”
Johnny: “Whadda you got?”

Part of the fun of being young used to be the feeling that you were struggling for world mastery against a cohort of closed-minded old farts with a mentality hopelessly stuck in the past. (What Orwell called “pedants, clergymen and golfers.”) Well, if it’s that old-fart cohort you’re looking for, check out your local Ivy League university or cable TV studio. Those places are stuffed to the rafters with them. 1963 is in the past, isn’t it?

And these protesting youngsters believe every single thing the old farts believe! Their transgressions reach no further than their awful beards. The white American middle classes of today may be the most conformist population that ever lived, banking and turning in unison, old and young together, like a school of fish.

Even if these young protestors wanted to be transgressive, they wouldn’t know how. Let’s face it: Being transgressive isn’t what it used to be. Every time I encounter it nowadays, it turns out to be dismally lame.

As an opera fan, I wondered for a while whether I should explore the transgressive delights of Regietheater (“director’s theater”). Then I read Heather Mac Donald‘s survey and decided this was something I could skip without any esthetic loss:

An American tenor working in Germany remembers another Fledermaus with a large pink vagina in the center of the stage into which the singers dived.

Zzzz. That director wasn’t even trying. You want transgressive? I got transgressive.

• A production of Shakespeare’s Othello in which the Moor, to his squealing masochistic pleasure, gets chained to a post and thrashed with a bullwhip by Desdemona.


To any youngsters seeking to get political transgressivity on the move again, here’s a suggestion: Try racism. What could be more guaranteed to make mom swoon and dad go purple with rage?

No, no, not burning crosses on people’s lawns. The word “racism” long since overflowed that little pond and inundated the surrounding lowlands. I’m talking about racism as defined in Ed West’s excellent new book that I just finished reading. Location 925 in the Kindle edition:

Today the term racism has come to mean almost any recognition of race…and of difference (or average differences) between groups.


Since racism as defined is transgressive, why isn’t it cool? A number of answers come to mind.

• Racism can’t possibly be cool because it is the most evil and depraved system of thought ever to be countenanced by sentient beings in the entire 13.82-billion-year history of the cosmos. Except that…

• Racism is considered cool when it’s directed against white people. {snip} When Jamie Foxx boasted on Saturday Night Live that he got to kill all the white people in his new movie, the super-cool audience of young urban sophisticates burst into applause. {snip}

I suspect, though, that as with most questions about human nature, the correct answer to this one can be found in biology:

Anti-racism is a mating display. It says: “Look at me! I have such earning power I can live where I like! I don’t have to worry about feral underclass blacks or Salvadoran gangbangers! I can strike a pose of lofty indifference to matters of race! Drop your knickers right now!”


Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • khesanh67-68

    No, swimming against the tide never goes out of style. The liberals, minorities and other assorted America haters are “sowing the wind” with this anti-Americanism. At this point, it looks as if they’ve got everything going for them but as the saying goes, they still may very well “reap the whirlwind.”

    • No, swimming against the tide never goes out of style.

      That’s what black and Hispanic affirmative action lifeguards are for.

  • bigone4u

    Racism isn’t “cool” because racism has been propagandized into an association withthe stupid, whites, southerners, Nazis, and Christians who bomb black churches, burn crosses, and murder innocent people for no reason other than hate. Racism = hate is the formula that youths are indoctrinated with today, along with associated ideas of white guilt and white privilege. It’s hard to overcome a 24/7 demonization of white pride in white culture and achievement.

    • NYB

      “The Babe Theory of Politics” holds that where the attractive women are seen, that’s where the societal herd will go.

      Anti-racism is still living on the cachet of the ‘hot leftist chick’ image coined during the hippie movement. It was revived to full effect in the 2008 election, most notably with ‘Obama Girl’. The opposition were tagged with the label of being old, white, male and “un-cool”.

      An attractive white female expressing a racial heresy against the orthodoxy on a blog or youtube channel can expect to be mercilessly attacked, because she poses a threat to the establishment.

    • Pontius

      Actually, the really “cool” people I have contact with (film and fashion people in NYC) have no illusions about blacks. But they don’t talk about it–partly because they don’t have children and don’t seem to care much about what will happen to this country after they are gone.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    This reminds me of a piece I read on how the iPad is going to change all of society. The author wrote, “For society, culture, and technology to progress, old thinking has to die off to make way for fresh new ideas. People who don’t die are dragged kicking and screaming in the future the way Strom Thurmond panted into the last decade with segregation still ripe on his breath.”

    But wait a minute! Hasn’t “anti-racism” been around long enough that it is now the “old thinking?”

    Another question is why the snivel rights movement has dragged on for so long. When Prohibition of alcohol was shown to be a bad idea, it didn’t last fifteen years. Now “anti-segregation,” a far more destructive idea, has dragged on for more than half a century. What gives??

    I think John Derbyshire is on the right track. It’s the same reason people go on vacations to places they have no real interest in or work long hours at jobs they hate to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like. It’s a way of showing their affluence and superiority to others.

    Also, since the “sexual revolution” came along concurrently with the snivel rights movement, whites see it as a minor tradeoff to be able to engage in any kind of decadent sex they want with anyone they please, as long as they don’t rock the boat concerning racial matters.

    • The__Bobster

      I remember when a motorized scooter was going to revolutionize our society.

    • People who don’t die are dragged kicking and screaming in the future the
      way Strom Thurmond panted into the last decade with segregation still
      ripe on his breath

      Strom Thurmond gave up defending segregation after he switched parties in 1964. (We now know that he never really was a segregationist in his personal life.) By 1968, he was trawling all over North Carolina and South Carolina advising people who wanted to vote George Wallace to vote for Nixon because Nixon was trustworthy. That was probably the difference, the reason why Wallace didn’t win the two Carolinas and therefore was unable to keep either Nixon or HHH under 270 to hang the election, which was his goal in 1968.

      And also…as Bobster said, the Segway was supposed to change the world. All it really did was change mall security.

  • Robert Binion

    Deprivation will shine racism’s cachet. That Beantown blather they teach ’em at “Hah-vud” doesn’t create many factory jobs, does it? For now, the populace suffers the power of advertising. Intone with longing to yourself: Stimulus, Solyndra, Obamacare, Arab Spring–sounds like a bunch of dish detergent.

  • Svigor

    Because humans are merely (relatively) sophisticated animals, and the device well-suited to controlling their behavior has been discovered, and its employment refined to science. And that device is in the wrong hands.

    Wait, did I say that out loud?

    • StillModerated

      You have hereby been found guilty by the Peoples’ Commissariat of thinking impure thoughts. There will be a knock on your door at 3 a.m. tomorrow.

  • It’s not cool to be against the system because the cool people who were against the system decades ago are now the system.

    • StillModerated

      Indeed! A lesson learned from the Sex Pistols. Those 4 snot-nosed council flats yobbos protested against the tribe’s very own propaganda machine, turned their peers away from the left, and voted for Margaret Thatcher — ma her memory be eternal.

      • Those 4 snot-nosed council flats yobbos

        Oh, I thought you meant The Beatles.

  • The__Bobster

    The elites determine what is “cool”. Therefore, it will never by cool to insult their foot soldiers.

    If being racist were cool, I’d be the Fonz of coolness.

    • Tim

      A lifetime on I remember a line from Mr. C about racism. It had to do with the kids not going to the dance because Richie and Potsies drummer was a Negro. The Fonz said he would order the kids to go. And Mr. C said, “It won`t work Fonz. Prejudice is stronger than cool. Hates been around since the Caveman, cool`s only been around since Benny Goodman…” I thought it was a cute line then, but now I see it for what it was. Opinion forming thru popular icons…

      • Don Lew

        Henry Winkler (Fonzie), Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham), and Benny Goodman (according to Wikipedia “Goodman is also responsible for a significant step in racial integration in America”); all have one thing in common.

        • Steven Bannister

          So do the writers and directors of the show: Garry Marshall, Rob Reiner, Mel Ferber, Jerry Paris, Mark Rothman, Herb Wallerstein, Ron Friedman, Michael Weinberger and more!

          I will say this though – most of the time, it was a fun, wholesome show. I’ll still watch episodes now and again, especially the early ones (you know, before Fonzie “jumped the shark” lol)

        • StillModerated

          My favorite Jewish comedian was Benny Hill, who ironically, was a tragic figure in his private life.

          • Nate Miller

            Benny Hill was a Jew?

          • zanegray

            he was a working class goy from Southampton UK

      • newscomments70

        I started watching “The Waltons” and “Little House on The Prairie” on the classic TV station. At first they seemed nice…after awhile both shows started using “Willis” from “Different Strokes” as the hapless black child victimized by evil white people. That was it for me. I’m done with those shows, and I never show them to children in my family.

    • Steven Bannister

      Funny you should mention “The Fonz”

      After I became racially conscious, I began to notice how many old episodes of “classic TV” had anti-racist messages woven into them. At some point or another, almost all of our favorite TV shows that we watched growing up had a special “anti-racist” episode in which a moral lesson is taught.

      One such episode occurred on Happy Days in which Fonzie and friends have a “sit-down” in a Southern style restaurant that refuses to serve their black friend.

      I am NOT looking to get into an anti-Jewish thread here – but looking back on it now, I find it fascinating how the “anti-racist” message of the Jews was delivered to the Happy Days audience by a Jewish actor (Henry Winkler) – but who was depicting an Italian American (Arthur Fonzerelli)

      And THAT answers the question “why isn’t racism cool?” It’s because we were brainwashed into thinking it wasn’t cool. After all, who’s cooler than the Fonz???

      Here’s the clip, watch it for yourselves…


      • Hunter Morrow

        Oh yeah, the Schnozz. So cool

      • NYB

        Non-whites are fascinated, envious and fearful of racially homogenous, white picket fence, protestant/ Catholic America.

        What they can’t have they seek to destroy.

      • TheAntidote

        My earliest memory of PC brainwashing on TV: Bonanza. The bourgeoisie ladies of Virginia City save up to bring an opera singer to town. When the coach rolls in all are astounded to see the symbol of culture and civility is a Negro. Everyone shuns him and wonders if the show can be cancelled and the fee returned. The singer tries to drink a sherry in the saloon and the cowboys (Krakkkas) call him an N rhymes with trigger, a coon, bootlip, etc. I believe the rayciz cowboys also dunked himz haid in the horse trough. Anyway, Hoss and the boys intervene and they soon persuade the whole town that integration is normal and natural, and then the opera singer becomes beloved and highly esteemed.
        It was almost like magic. It was as if President Kennedy had said, “there is no place for race in Virginia City.”

    • Room101

      There’s nothing more cool than being accused of “privilege”. The accusations of “racism” are a feature of the program, not a bug.

  • Bob Willard

    The Derb apparently hasn’t een on a college campus in several decades. Because there racism IS cool when it’s directed toward whites.

    • Tim_in_Indiana

      Did you read the essay? Because that’s exactly what he said in the piece.

  • NYB

    In order to find out where society is going, look no further than the kids.

    This generation was raised on the internet with a window to the world. To them, the civil rights movement of the 1960’s may have well been part of the civil war. Political correctness was last century – old history from the time of their parents.

    They appear at once to be indifferent to race, but on the other hand are highly attuned to racial hogwash.

    As cracks appear in the system, they are looking for answers, on the web and close to home. As they transition into adults, they will be a generation well-equipped to speak to racial bio-diversity.

    • And if you had a grasp of the reality instead of dwelling yourself on a similar plane to the liberals, you wouldn’t be using nonsense language like “a generation well-equipped to speak to racial bio-diversity”. HBD is just nerd stuff because science only explains phenomena and processes.

      • NYB

        “HBD is just nerd stuff because science only explains phenomena and processes”

        You’re using a computer, correct?

        Reality is observable and measurable. Who has a monopoly on reality? If you choose to be anti-cerebral you’re going to lose much of your audience.

        White nationalism isn’t exclusive to anyone. You can be a social liberal, a folksy conservative, an environmentalist, or a nerd bookworm and still be a white nationalist.

  • Secret Tribunal

    A racist is anyone who is called a racist. Up is down if an anti racist says up is down. It just is, and you are a racist if you say it isn’t. Anti racism is a magic power that transforms reality, and if you deny it, they’ll transform you, too.

    • Room101


    • whiteuncleruckus

      Wow. Your comment really struck a nerve with me. I’ve been called a racist by people who don’t have a clue about race, especially white liberals. All they know is I don’t think like they do and that’s enough for them to call me racist.. I’ve been having this problem since a figured out race isn’t just a “social construct.” It’s very frustrating.

      • Secret Tribunal

        Tell them you are a racist because you approve of pharmaceutical companies designing drugs based on black genetics that save only the lives of blacks.

  • NYB

    In times of old, social guidance came from the enduring, mythical tales of the gods of mount Olympus or Valhalla. In later times it was the Bible and more earthbound heroes.

    Today’s gods are the pop-culture celebrities of sport and entertainment. When they throw their support behind ‘a black candidate for president’ or against apartheid, they are shaping public opinion, squarely aimed at youth. When Anjolina Jolie and Brad Pitt adopt black children, they are effectively reaching young consciousness. When Lindsay Vonn dates Tiger Woods, interracial dating is given a stamp of ‘cool’ (albeit questionable).

    It takes courage to hold unfashionable opinions, and when you’re young you’ll do almost anything to ‘fit in’ with your peers. The moment of maturity comes when a person finds the courage to think for themselves. This will always stand as a truth.

    The fall of the celebrities will come in due time. Using attractive bodies, catchy songs, and Hollywood star-power to sell the ideology of multiracialism is fakery. All one needs to do is point this out.

    • StillModerated

      And nothing is more unfashionable than Orthodox Christianity. When the USSR fell, the Russians brought the church back into the schools because it was the only national identity they had left. I doubt we’ll be so lucky in the USA.

  • sbuffalonative

    I believe it’s because society at large still tells us that “racism” is the problem and that the older generation is responsible.
    By supporting “anti-racism” causes, they are rebelling against their parents.
    I think we’re going to have to wait for the next generation; the children of the “anti-racist” parents.
    As I say, racial awareness is born of experience not ignorance. The future generation of children are going to experience blacks as they are because black behavior is consistent over time. Those kids will be racially aware.

    • MBlanc46

      But “being told by society at large” is just what early generations rebelled against.

  • josh

    He may be on to something;isnt a whiten guywho is openly “rayciss” showing guts? And wouldnt that be subconsciously attractive to women??

    • bigone4u

      Independence of mind and physical bravery are attractive qualities to women, but in my limited experience the women attracted to racist men seem to like biker types who are a hair trigger away from mindless violence. Your question is interesting though.

      • Jerrybear

        I was able to convince my once liberal wife to see the light. It just takes time. I just used logic and pointed out the racial double standards.

        • MBlanc46

          Good for you. I’m still working on it.

          • Caucasoid88

            Me too. I got my girlfriend to say “chimping out” and I wanted to rip off her clothes.

        • George

          You…convinced a woman…using just logic?

          If you can teach other husbands how to do that, you’ll be richer than Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet…combined!

  • Katherine McChesney
    • Michael_C_Scott

      I had to read that to be sure you weren’t talking about Martin Luther King. Isn’t he supposed to be dead?

      • Renegade

        At least he did not sleep with men like many White conservative repulblicans do.

        • Michael_C_Scott

          Are you certain he didn’t also sleep with men? His FBI file is still sealed, after all!

        • freddy_hills

          I don’t know whether MLK grabbed his ankles or not. But Malcolm X was a homosexual who, at one time, worked as a gay prostitute. Though he claims to have quit having sex with men after marrying. And, of course, there was nothing bisexual about the author of Roots, Alex Haley. He was 100% homosexual.

    • StillModerated

      Aww he din do nuffins.

  • thoughtcrime

    Being anti-system is not cool anymore because we have to keep in mind those who were bombing ROTC offices, waving Viet Cong flags and trashing the Dean’s office are the very same that now run the gov. Consider the case of Bill Clinton. Just do some reading on his treasonous college years, is it any wonder that after he wormed his way into public office that he was still a treacherous criminal?

    • Cool was always programmed by the mass media. The youth who matter at a time like this are not affected by cool – I’m talking about those who join ethnocentric gangs and where possible militia, not stupid youth protest movements.

      • thoughtcrime

        That is true indeed. The Media Tribe, who started taking over academia, Hollywood and the News Media in the 1930’s after they fled Franfurt…look up The Frankfurt School for the WHO, began to dictate what was “cool” (fashionable) to White America in an effort (rather successfully) to change our culture. After WWI when there wasn’t a world wide class revolution of proles rising against the wealthy elite, the The Media Tribe, who led the Bolshevik Revolution, became butthurt at Western Culture and blamed the West (Whites specifically) with the failure of their plans…so they pushed hard against us in Academia, Politics and most importantly with their acquisition in the majority of the News and Entertainment industry. They realized they could control the minds of the proles here…who I refer to as the lemmings.They figured out that If they could create the illusion that “most people think x, y or z on a, b, or c subject” the lemmings would fall into lockstep…no matter how ridiculous or destructive that path of thought may be. Thus…our current situation has evolved into a genocidal (on their part) and suicidal (on our part) march over the precipice. This is by design NOT accident.

  • HamletsGhost

    “Racism” isn’t cool because it isn’t allowed to be cool. Like a little yap dog that barks furiously at passers-by from the safety of a chain-link fence, modern rebels are all about appearances, and almost never about substance. Ride a Harley, wear a scowl and five o’clock shadow and leather jacket is about as rebellious as the system will allow to be martketed to wussies trying to act bad-ass.

    Per Orwell, a genuinely independent thought is never tolerated.

  • Garrett Brown

    It IS cool to be EXTREMELY racist now a days… To whites and only whites. Derbyshire hits the nail on the head yet again.

  • Michael_C_Scott

    Racism isn’t cool? I’ll have to keep that in mind if I wake up some morning giving a rip what some dumb waste of skin thinks is “cool”. Given the dress, demeanor and lack of concern for either personal hygiene or dental care exhibited by the “anti-racists” at the AmRen convention, I suspect the sun will be a red giant long before I worry whether folks like them consider me “cool”.

  • LHathaway

    mating stance? maybe that explains it, cause I’m poor and I can be uncomfortable around men of other races. I wonder if i’m missing out on something.

  • Room101

    Real “racism” is the Government giving preferential-treatment to individuals based on their darker color of skin and overlooking the flaws in their record, or content-of-character, if you will..

  • Stein

    The spell of racism is still live and well, because it is a cluster containing several aspects that we hardly can object. Discrimination without purpose is one of them. To be proud because somebody is doing worse than ourselves is very primitive and will continue to be so.

  • freddy_hills

    “Anti-racism is a mating display. It says: ‘Look at me! I have such earning power I can live where I like! I don’t have to worry about feral underclass blacks or Salvadoran gangbangers! I can strike a pose of lofty indifference to matters of race! Drop your knickers right now!’ “

    Mr Derby hit the nail on the head with that one. I read the following comment on another blog a while back and decided to save it. Here it is…

    “Let’s get to the crux of the matter. Yes, many european-culture nations are undergoing demographic changes. but honestly, as someone who is extremely smart and couldn’t be more educated, I’m not threatened by this effect in the US. My kids will be able to attend good schools, and have minimal interactions with questionable characters. That’s why it’s not worth it for me to give up my liberal sensibilities. Now, white people who are lower down the food chain may feel alarmed. That’s because they have to compete and live with minorities.”

  • Barrack Osama

    Most people my age lean “anti-racist”, because they don’t have to make any significant race-based decisions yet. They mostly lack kids and live and hang in white areas with maybe a token black and some asians. Really, we’re a bunch of cowards who will avoid the whole mess until we can’t possibly continue.

  • I’ve wondered what peoples reaction would be to this re: service in the Israel Temple. Only descendants of Aaron could do the work in the Holy Place and these also were discriminated or not allowed…“Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles” They were allowed to eat the Holy Bread, however.
    I can imagine the ACLU going nuts in protest against God’s directions. “It’s discrimination and we will not allow it.”

  • guest

    Mr. Derbyshire, hating your own kind and desiring self-genocide is always transgressive, even if everyone else is doing it. Yes, they were transgressive, and you (the Amren attendees) were being normal, even if the numbers are against you.

  • Gerjen

    Most young people who try to rebel are not rebels but followers. Their causes are usually defined for them by the music industry, by T.V. or by movies. When I look at a goth kid who dresses like Marilyn Manson and “rebels” against the middle-class values of his or her parents or against Christianity, I do not see a rebel but a follower. Being a rebel for the typical kid means acting like a jerk to their parents because the media geared toward the young (and even their teachers) tell them not to respect any authority over them. The reason racism is not “cool” or an acceptable form of rebellion for the young is because it is not a way of thinking permitted by the ruling establishment and these “rebels” do not really want to go against the grain but with it.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      The middle-class values they rebel against are the same values that allow them to live with their parents and defer any of the responsibilities of adulthood until well into their 20s, while they spend their earnings on the latest consumer electronics, trendy clothing and music CDs, tattoos and concert tickets instead of rent, food and utility bills.

      • Gerjen

        Exactly. If they were really rebelling against middle class values they would move out of their parents’ homes and start families of their own.

  • Mulder

    Like most here, I grew tired of the race pimps calling every white who points out the multitudinous problems of minorities, a racist. That’s when I lost my fear of the label. Then a funny thing happened, I discovered at the age of 48 that I actually am a racist, and the truth made me happy. It’s like a yoke of untruth has been lifted from my neck…quite liberating.

  • Bobby

    The simple retort I always give to ANYONE, who accuses me of , nativism, exclusion, RACISM, or any other leftist inspired “isms”, is, “I am a free person as an American and I don’t have to associate with anyone, and that means ANYONE, I don’t want to. If you feel you have to do what others, who don’t even know you, tell you to do, that’s YOUR PROBLEM.”

  • “Racism” is rising among young people around the world – just look at Chrysi Agni. Or how the 2012 Olympic committee persecuted those young athletes to teach an entire generation a lesson. It has them scared cause they’re aware of it. Spread the word among young adults aged early teens to early twenties.

    I have friends in North America, Europe as far as Turkey, Taiwan, Thailand and even the PRC. We’re turning their connected world on ’em, just the adults wait.

    No to globalism, no to open borders, no to feminism, no to liberalism.

  • I dislike non-European peoples, period!

  • nobody

    Racism is totally cool. Look at how awesome I am.