Posted on October 24, 2019

The Toxic Self-Hatred of White Democrats

Justin Webb, UnHerd, October 24, 2019

A new fear stalks white American Democrats. While those who describe themselves as “liberal” — i.e. Left-wing — are horrified by Donald Trump, by inequality, by restrictions on abortion rights, they are horrified too, it seems, by themselves: by the colour of their skin; by the wrongs done by white people and by the system they set up.

This horror is something that simply did not exist 10 years ago. According to painstaking research by Zach Goldberg of Georgia State University, there have been a series of “seismic attitudinal shifts” among white liberals in recent years. {snip}


Is there a practical impact of this new white racial radicalism? Very much so, and we are seeing it already. It is hurting Joe Biden, the “white-est” of all the candidates in the race to become the Democrats’ 2020 candidate. This is the man who has talked openly of how he used to do deals with the racist senators who still strutted their stuff back when he started his political career in the early 1970s — and seen now by many Left-wing white Democrats as toxic.

Oh the irony! Because Joe Biden is easily, comfortably, unquestionably, the most favoured candidate among… black Democrats.


But back in (nearly) all-white Iowa, where the first caucus is held in frigid snow-white January, the white folks are openly hostile to poor Joe and much more in love with candidates who properly embrace the horror of white oppression.


There is a real and growing chance that white liberal Democrats will effectively veto the choice of black Democrats because they think he’s not properly conscious of racial issues. White privilege, anyone? To complain about it and to use it all at the same time: so 2019.

{snip} But the level of dislike white liberal Democrats seem to have for themselves is quite something. Could it play with their heads and those of their supporters? How positive about America will they feel they can be before coming up against the mental stumbling block that they have decided race is a massive unresolved scar on the face of their nation?


But if the white liberals in his party have their way, this relaxed, genial route to power is going to be blocked by racial tensions that they themselves stoke. Who cares, they might respond: we have lost the redneck vote and frankly we don’t want it back. We can win with the suburbs, with educated women, with people of colour whose caution in these matters will be seen to have been an understandable mistake. Maybe: but these groups like sunshine too. Indeed, post-Trump, they crave it.

And it remains the case that although lefty Democrats have “found race”, most Americans have not. 41% of voters think that white people are advantaged in modern society, according to an exit poll conducted last year after the mid-terms by the respected company Pew Research.

It’s an impressive number in many respects — but it’s not a majority, and 19% (of a nation of 300 million) actually think the opposite: that white Americans are at a disadvantage to racial minorities.


By concentrating on these issues Democrats would be picking a fight with majority opinion, and being less sunny about their country than many Americans want them to be. They would also be doing it on their own, racially speaking, because a striking feature of this fashion is how much it seems to be all about white people. The books that inform it, like the New York Times bestseller White Fragility, Why it’s so hard for White People to talk about Racism, are overwhelmingly written by whites.


White people telling others how to live. Is this really the 2020 look the Democrats want to embrace? {snip}