Posted on November 20, 2023

Surely Liberals Should Support White Nationalism?

Noah Carl, Aporia, November 19, 2023

Since Donald Trump was elected President in 2016, American liberals have become obsessed with the threat of white nationalism. {snip}

All this is despite the fact that white nationalists comprise a tiny percentage of the US population. In a 2018 poll for the Washington Post, only 1% of white Democrats and only 3% of white Republicans said they considered themselves “supporters of the alt-right or white nationalist movement”.


I haven’t done a detailed survey of what white nationalists believe (and in case there were any doubt, I’m not a white nationalist myself). But I understand that a lot of them advocate “voluntary separation” of the races, just as the Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey did in the early 20th century.


The fact that liberals are so outraged by white nationalism (a racist is pretty much the worst thing you can be in their eyes) is particularly interesting in light of what we know about modern America: racially diverse liberal cities are highly segregated. Which means that white liberals choose overwhelmingly to live among other whites.

{snip} American cities are far more segregated than British cities, and the most segregated cities are strongholds of Democratic Party support. Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, New York and St. Louis – the most segregated cities in America – all voted for Biden by a large margin.

Here’s a map showing racial segregation in New York City. Each dot represents 120 people of a particular race: blue dots represent blacks; orange dots represent Hispanics; red dots represent Asians; and green dots represent whites. As you can see, there’s almost no overlap among the different races. The white liberal New York Times-readers who are so horrified by white nationalism live largely amongst themselves.

It’s a similar story when you look at friendship networks. A recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 66% of white Democrats report an all-white friendship network – which is only seven points less than the percentage of white Republicans who do. And a 2015 Pew Research survey found that white liberals were more likely than white conservatives to have no close black friends.

“White nationalism? Wanting to live apart from other races? That’s absolutely abhorrent! Now let me go back to my neighbourhood where 95% of my neighbours are white.”

I’m not trying to suggest that white liberals are just repressing their latent white nationalism. Nor am I trying to make the case for that particular ideology. What I’m trying to do is raise the question: if ethnic separatism is as horrible as white liberals say, why do so many of them choose to live, well, separately from other races?

In fact, shouldn’t white liberals support white nationalism (of the ethnic separatist kind)? For the price of giving up a small amount of territory, they’d be removing a large share of the most racist white people from the country – thereby presumably improving the lives of all the non-white Americans left behind. “These racists have to be part of society” seems like a strange position to take.

White nationalists who advocate violence are a threat to society and should be shunned; we can all agree on that. But is it odious to advocate “voluntary separation” of the races? It’s odd, certainly, and doesn’t reflect my own view. But I wouldn’t call it odious. (Was Marcus Garvey odious?) Ironically, the people who appear to be most outraged by white nationalism tend to live in overwhelmingly white neighbourhoods. Which makes it hard to take their outrage seriously.