Beliefnet
At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

David Cole is an internet writer whose most recent piece, “In Grudging Praise of White Racists,” provides much food for thought.

Cole’s thesis is actually quite simple: While he personally has no use for “right-wing white racism,” he thinks that we may need to allow it a public space for no other reason but to let the “white nationalists, white supremacists, and sieg heilers” to function as a check of sorts on the “leftist Nazism” that is very rapidly becoming mainstream.  Only if the latter is permitted to clash with the former will the majority of Americans recognize both expressions of “extremism” for the ugly specimens that they are.

The general thrust of the author’s thinking deserves sympathy: His point is gotten easily enough.  Still, his analysis breaks down at several points.

First, Cole’s position reflects the extent to which “leftist Nazism” has gained control of the minds of even its self-styled opponents, folks like Cole.  Kendrick Lamar, to whose treatment of a young white woman at one of his concerts Cole presents as an exhibit of “left-wing racism,” doubtless acted like a classless jerk.  The conduct of those leftist commentators who lionized him for castigating and humiliating this white fan for publically singing along with Lamar the racially-charged lyrics of one his pieces after he had invited her on stage to do so are no less classless and contemptible.

Still, they most definitely do not deserve to be lumped in with Hitler’s Nazis.  Nevertheless, it’s not difficult to discern why Cole is given to hurl charges of “Nazism” at his opponents.  Though historically and morally indefensible, politically speaking this reduction of one’s opponents to the status of Nazis has proven to be an especially viable strategy.

The problem for the Coles of the world is that it has proven to be a successful approach only for those on the hard left, i.e. those on whom Cole (rightly) sets his sights on his piece.

And this brings us to the next problem with Cole’s assessment:

In every conceivable respect—socially, culturally, economically, politically, and even psychically—there is no parity between the two varieties of “racism” to which he alludes.  The left’s “Nazism” long ago went mainstream.  In fact, such has been the fortunes of the left that not only is it culturally and politically acceptable to demonize white people; it is respectable to do so.

In 1967, Susan Sontag referred to white people as “the cancer” of the human race.  Admittedly, rarely do we hear public figures using language quite this explicit in their campaign to demoralize and dehumanize the white majority.  Yet the campaign remains in full force and the sentiment that powers it is one and the same as that expressed by Sontag over a half-of-a-century ago.

To put this point another way, Cole’s argument, like that of virtually every person on the right who insists upon turning leftists’ weapons of choice against them, utterly fails to accommodate one not-so-tiny detail.

It’s called the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC).

This is among the largest, quite possibly the largest of industries in America.  It is rapidly becoming among the largest industries throughout the Western world.  There is no aspect of American life into which it hasn’t spread its many tentacles.  Indeed, it is omnipresent.

Politicians, Democrat, Republican, and in between, make sure to grease the wheels of RIC, whether they’re espousing nonsense about the country’s having been founded upon a “proposition” of Equality; praising a cardboard cut-out of Martin Luther King, Jr., a politically-useful fiction that they’ve invented by isolating a few lines from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech; focusing only on the problems of illegal immigration while pretending that legal immigration is problem-free; supporting or refraining from criticizing race-based preferential  treatment policies for blacks; and ignoring the astronomical rates and often horrific nature of black-on-white criminality while speaking of blacks as victims, either of “racism” (if the speaker is a Democrat) or the Welfare-State (if one is a Republican).

Of course, given that trillions of dollars have been spent on the War on Poverty since the 1960s, a war launched principally on the basis of rectifying centuries of discrimination against American blacks, this too is a central feature of RIC, one to which anyone who aspires to be successful in politics knows that he must defer.

RIC has completely saturated our educational system, from kindergarten through college.  Public institutions are obviously most directly affected, but neither have private schools escaped its gravitational pull.

Christian churches have been infiltrated by RIC.

The media, both the standard “mainstream” or “legacy” media as well as its “right-wing” alternative, what some refer to as “Conservatism Inc.” and what I call “Big Conservatism” (or the Big Con), facilitate RIC.

And, obviously, throughout the arts, the entertainment industry, RIC is on full display.

As I write this, ABC cancelled the highest rated prime time series, Roseanne, because its leading lady tweeted that former Obama adviser, Valerie Jarrett, looks like the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood and The Planet of the Apes. Although Roseanne has insisted that she didn’t know Jarrett was black (and who would know this just by looking at Jarrett?), and although she apologized, her tweet has been unequivocally condemned by Big Media, “liberal” and “conservative” alike, as unadulterated “racist hate.”

The Racism-Industrial-Complex never rests.

Cole’s generally sound goal notwithstanding, what he apparently doesn’t grasp is that insofar as he insists upon accusing those to his right and left of being Nazis and racists, he reinforces the very juggernaut whose influence he wants to diminish.  The idea that “racism” is the worst of all transgressions, coupled with the notion that right-wing “white supremacists” pose a culturally-significant threat—ideas that Cole seems to endorse—are leftist fantasies.  They are the fuel for the engine of the Racism-Industrial-Complex.

Cole does, however, seem to be on sturdier ground when he suggests that we would be better off divesting Political Correctness of its sting by assuming a more nonchalant attitude toward it.

Yet we will also stand a better chance of starving the beast by refraining from making some version or other of the argument ad Hitlerium at every available opportunity.

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