Posted on December 9, 2014

Book Review: Face to Face with Race

Paul Tissot, Social Matter, November 19, 2014

Face to Face with Race

Face to Face with Race is a compendium of personal accounts which together forms a lucid set of social and racial observations detailing Close Encounters of the Minority Kind. From the start, I found it to be a unique addition, in that it squares the circle by presenting first-person narratives without courting the usual sort of I Shot Myself In The Foot Because I Sound Crazy rhetoric only voiced on obscure blogs or newspaper comment sections with broken grammar and spelling — at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

The book is around 200 pages long and has 14 short stories, each with its own chapter. It’s available as a Kindle edition and paperback through the American Renaissance store. You can also find it at Amazon. A special thank you goes out to the fine folks at American Renaissance who sent me this new item edited by Jared Taylor for review.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but before I get to the interesting bits, first let me offer a couple of caveats. Be aware that this is not a dispassionate, anthropological work trying to make sense of the curious behaviors and habits of some tribe in the style of Charles Darwin or Samuel George Morton, but rather involves very personal experiences in story format. Leave Stoicism to the Stoics. Emotions are natural responses. At the same time, the authors are all very reasonable and none goes into hysterics.

What’s wonderful about a volume like this, though, is that while data and spreadsheets can be construed one way or another, it’s more difficult for average folks to wave away and dismiss personal experiences when expressed without stuttering and foam trickling out of one side of the mouth.

Everyone’s heard about the drunk relying on statistics as he would a street lamp–for support, rather than illumination. Face to Face with Race provides the illumination.

You don’t feel sympathy with numbers, you feel sympathy for people. The academy won’t have anything similar–no researcher could possibly touch the topic without being subject to summary academic execution. Newspapers won’t publish the more suggestive accounts, preferring very carefully sanitized human interest stories which highlight only the most positive examples of race relations.

The book draws from a wide-range of experiences–likely to avoid being lambasted with the charge of low-status demographics, that is, the sort everyone loves to dredge up and drag across the front page of every tired, Brahmin publication: disaffected, poor, bigoted, hateful, spiteful, white men from the rural south, who have IQs lower than Sarah Palin’s.

All sorts of occupations and characters are featured: a teacher, a subway conductor, a firefighter, a steel worker, prisoners, lawyers, right-wingers, leftists. The list continues.

A lawyer:

“I represented a [black] woman who was on trial for drugs; she wore a baseball cap with a marijuana leaf embroidered on it” (p. 160).

A teacher:

“Many of my black students would repeat themselves over and over again–just louder. It was as if they suffered from Tourette syndrome. They seemed to have no conception of waiting for an appropriate time to say something. They would get ideas in their heads and simply had to shout them out. I might be leading a discussion on government and suddenly be interrupted: “We gotta get more Democrats! Clinton, she good!” The student may seem content with that outburst but two minutes later, he would suddenly start yelling again: “Clinton good!”” (p. 76-77).

A firefighter:

“The undeserved weight of command has taken a toll on other women officers as well. One lady lieutenant and the engine crew she commanded were first to arrive at a house fire in a living room over a garage. Standard SFFD practice required her to take her crew with hoses up the front stairs, kick in the door, and put out the fire. She made a chicken-hearted assessment and changed tactics. After telling her crew to “Get back, it’s too hot,” she ordered them to attempt to break the living room windows with the hose stream, hoping the water would magically find its way to the fire. It didn’t; in fact the windows wouldn’t even break.

The second-arriving lieutenant and his crew knew what to do. They shouldered her aside, took her hose from her, ran up the stairs, kicked in the door and put out the fire. The embarrassed woman officer did the expected and filed a complaint with the department’s EEOC office, claiming that the brutish crew made sexist remarks when they took her hose and put out the fire. Back in quarters, following the fire, the cowardly woman officer, thinking she was alone, was seen in tears, muttering to herself and punching herself in the face. At the next annual SFFD charity chili cook-off, one group of chefs wanted to use her warning, “Get back, it’s too hot!” as their motto but decided against it for fear of another EEOC complaint” (p. 68-69).

I didn’t intend to quote long passages, but this particular bit was just so humorous, I laughed out loud for a good minute at the end of it. I wanted to share.

The image of the Amazonian woman! So fearless that she ducks out of hard work, has no knowledge whatsoever of what she’s doing, and displays unmatched cowardice. None of this stops her from filing complaints of sexism and harassment when things don’t go just her way–all the while oblivious to the fact that she’s not exactly living up to the female-warrior-princess-type. But in her mind, she probably does. There is an exception in the minority of cases for the San Francisco fire department, namely that tough-minded butch lesbians seem able to function adequately, both physically and psychologically. They can roughhouse. They can take the dark, aggressive humor that comes with an dark, aggressive job.

Affirmative action kills those unprepared for the rigors of the job, and it bankrupts the rest of the department. Diversity is a breeding ground for transmission of the disease. You see it here viscerally.

Finally, for a more sober quote, a non-profit social worker in New York City:

“I have seen whites go on their knees before blacks–and apologize for slavery, white privilege, blacks in prison . . . . Often the white worker was reduced to tears in a desperate attempt to appease the mass of angry black and brown faces. Finally, when the white employee was humiliated enough, and the cathartic cleaning had been achieved, a tentative truce would be called. The angry black employee would be praised and his anger encouraged, while the traumatized, cowering white worker would be put on probation” (p. 9).

All throughout the book is the veiled–and sometimes not so veiled–threat of legions of non-profits and investigative journalists ready to weaponize any instance of malcontent stemming from very predictable circumstances. If managers don’t know that hierarchical relations extend out the roof of their building floor and up to the floor of non-profit busybodies, journalists, bureaucrats, and higher-level executives charged with implementing court-ordered diversity quotas, they’ll learn soon enough–the hard way.

Imagine the hierarchical structure as a single building, with each floor representing the ascending chain of command. Hierarchy may start on the first floor with the company in question, but it doesn’t end there. Step outside the line and legal/social processes pre-implanted by the Cathedral exist within the company to ensure its own subversion, ready to be activated. When complaints of sexism, harassment, discrimination, etc. make their way up from the first floor to the next few levels, the Cathedral rains fire down.

High-ranking commissars don’t need to be physically installed on your floor, or in your building. That’d be inefficient, anyway. Why have one commissar for every single building when you can place them together in a smaller set of buildings to more efficiently manage Cathedral operations? You might find them at the Guardian, or the New Republic, or every other Brahmin publication–just to highlight the media cases The most blatant forms of pressure come in the form: “Why aren’t there enough minorities in company/industry X?”

Translation: “Won’t you open the gate–just a little bit, just for a moment? We promise that nothing will happen.”

“It’s Time to Have a Conversation with Company X.”

Sigh. Yet Another Conversation. Can I escape with my company intact this time?

Managers know where the real hierarchy is and so have to temper internal disciplinary measures, despite legitimately poor and inexcusable and dangerous performance.

As the book shows, there can only be so many blacks hired on as door stopping paperweights before they end up replacing the whites who infuse the company with life behind the scenes. Sometimes, the work is simply contracted out to white firms.

Gender and race–the right sorts, of course–are portrayed like magic trumps which forever switch the burden of proof onto the company to undergo enormous time, expense, and irreparable PR harm to try and prove the negative. And at the end of the day, even if right, the company will have faced a major PR hit. That’s how the Press works. If undeniable evidence to the contrary comes out, the story is buried–never spoken of again, as if it never happened. The public meanwhile still has a bitter impression of the company, which is compounded if they didn’t manage to follow the story closely enough to see the quick retraction.

The point of the Press is to instill a chilling effect–hit companies so hard that they’ll learn to self-regulate into lock-step compliance.

Even now, Jesse Jackson is agitating for more blacks in Silicon Valley–one of the last strongholds of productivity and value creation. This very typical example of black solidarity is familiar to the more data-minded race realists, who are content to stick with more quantifiable attributes, namely time-preference/impulse control, intelligence, and violence. Face to Face with Race directs attention to the more qualitative side, which lends itself to the more informal, but valid methodology of inference to the best explanation. Blacks are one of the main topics, certainly, but the whole superstructure of Cultural Marxism is discussed, since it’s unavoidable when discussing race relations. Hispanics receive mention, but less so.

For many of the authors, blacks exhibit childish qualities, capable of passable behavior on the one hand in certain circumstances and capable of utter savagery at the flip of a switch. Social structures appear to have a much larger impact on blacks than whites, which is why in an environment of anarcho-tyranny and permissiveness, they’ll rapidly descend to their basest form.

Meta-rationality is not a strong suit of blacks, and I suspect there’s a strong connection between the lack of empathy (and sympathy, for that matter) they exhibit and their inability to incorporate a realistic theory of mind, or to understand how social/economic processes work. Richard Lynn has previously done some interesting work on how the trait of psychopathy is racially distributed. It is unsurprising that blacks come out first among the races in the rank of psychopathy.

More attributes: gullibility, credulity, status-obsession, loudness. They are easily cowed by strong, firm authority and become docile quickly. At first glance, the natural reaction is: balderdash! The again, pattern-recognition is infected by the colorings of anarcho-tyranny, meaning it’s incredibly rare to see true, bold authority applying boot to neck. Set your weapons down, and black pathologies will flourish–a phenomenon well-described by Gedaliah Braun’s recollections of South Africa in the book.

If you don’t know much about South Africa, you’ll get some interesting insight. If you want to know more about degeneracy in the New York City non-profit scene, you’ll observe how cult dynamics work. You’ll see how a subway conductor barely escapes with his life numerous times, after almost being ripped apart from limb to limb by black mobs.

Prison dynamics are also explored in two accounts, which vindicate pre-data game-theoretic analyses. There’s the description of how prisons brutally discriminate against blacks coming from Slate and Vox, and then there’s the less sanitized version coming from prisoners themselves.

Some of my post-reflections on reading the book (it spurred a good flurry of note-taking sessions): the Cathedral is sticky. The stories and accounts listed have happened hundreds of times, thousands of times. Independent-minded souls fall out of Cathedral conditioning when bombarded with reality. But countless others in wider society simply double down and trumpet their doubling down, proudly patting themselves on the back for looking the other way, congratulating each other for keeping the progressive faith despite tremendous adversity. It’s what we call a disordered case of holiness.

For most, evidence on its own isn’t enough. Repeatedly and obsessively asking ourselves the question, “Why don’t they see it?” betrays a lack of understanding of how beliefs are formed and maintained. Progressivism is beaten out only through serious reprogramming and frame control, not just by posting reams of data. Removing pattern-recognition blockers is key. If progressivism is religious, then it should be approached as such, their superiority complex of liberalism-as-more-rational-than-thou to the contrary. They are members of a cult, and should be treated as such.

In the future, I’d like to see more serious discussion about reprogramming and frame control. But more closely related to the book, I think this genre has incredible potential, both in terms of acquiring more first-person narratives, but also in replicating the techniques and methodology of old school anthropology before it was corrupted. Systematic, first-person anthropological field reports of gentrification in a given area using the tools of the trade should be encouraged.

The best and the brightest should be penning essays on data and philosophy, and they should also be heading down to non-white/slowly gentrifying areas and returning with photographs and on-the-ground analysis for a more visceral take on How They Most Definitely Are Not Like Us.

I read the book in about a day and a half and updated some priors. On the less autistic side, you’d be hard-pressed not to experience some emotional reaction to the writings. Anger, sadness, and anger again. It has the potential to motivate or to crush, depending on how well you take it.

I think this is a great book for some of your friends who are open to the subject, but are not the sort to dig through data. Not everyone is. This is what you would give to that friend or co-worker who occasionally mutters something under his breath about minorities receiving preferential treatment, outbreeding whites, and battering whites. He’s not terribly sophisticated, but he’s still right. He needs this book. But make sure you have a read through it first if you’re giving it to someone not yet off the progressive drip.

I recommend you pick up a copy of the book–for insight, for qualitative research, and for what it makes you feel. I only wish it were longer.