Une société sans religion est comme un vaisseau sans boussole

A society without religion is like a ship without a compass

Napoleon Bonaparte


Should anti-racists condemn Black racism (where it can legitimately be proven to exist) against white people?

Above: historic defiance: an African American woman defies state authorities by taking down the Confederate flag

My simplest answer is no, don’t bother.

This post continues from my previous foreign policy commentary on Third Worldism vs. neoconservative ideology.

It is absolutely not hypocritical that we condemn white racists while viewing Black racists (for example, America’s Malcolm X or Algeria’s Frantz Fanon himself) as liberators. Nor is it hypocritical that we spell white without a capital while we spell Black with a capital. It is not hypocritical if everyone will hate White Pride and love Black Pride. On the contrary, all symbols and rhetoric referring to Black liberation are emancipatory: these speak of a people that has been chained and oppressed and still languishes in the oppressive American prison system. All symbols and rhetoric referring to White nationalism or White Pride are displays of indulgent reactionary behavior by a culture that has enjoyed privilege and supremacy and tries desperately to sustain it. The rhetoric of liberation is right no matter how ugly or guttural it is, and the rhetoric of reaction is wrong no matter how attractive or sanitized it is.

By the same token, feel free to celebrate the cause of indigenous Pakistani or Iranian nationalism, or Syrian nationalism, or Palestinian nationalism, and continue to separately condemn the vile and reactionary nationalism of settler regimes such as Israel or the United States. One category of nationalisms and power ideologies is absolved because these nationalisms and power ideologies are pursued in the causes of non-white or Third World liberation. The other category is intellectually vapid, false, and serves no cause of liberation but the perpetuation of misery and oppression.

To put it another way, there is no valid American or Western exceptionalism but the exceptionalism of the other – the exceptionalism of the oppressed and disenfranchised who are right no matter what evil they are accused of. That is an exceptionalism that I accept and help to cultivate with every fiber of my being.


By Harry J. Bentham

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