Streetwise Professor

August 7, 2019

If White Supremacists Did Not Exist, the Left Would Have to Invent Them–and It Largely Has For Political Advantage

Filed under: Politics — cpirrong @ 6:14 pm

Are there white supremacists in the United States? Of course there are. There always have been. By every objective measure, however, white supremacism of the type epitomized by the 1920s KKK has declined inexorably since then, and true white supremacists are on the fringes of the fringe. Most are economically and politically marginalized–extremely so. I would surmise that the stronghold of white power is prison gangs. A stark contrast to, say, 1920s Indiana (not to mention southern states) where the KKK was chock full of people in upper social echelons, and was the premier political power broker in the state.

But to follow political commentary today–not to mention Twitter–you’d think that white supremacism is regnant in America, and that everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders is an incipient terrorist, ready to don a hood, pick up a torch, and join a group of night riders. When they are not planning a mass public shooting.

These assertions are at their most lurid in the aftermath of mass shootings. Even when at least one mass shooter is an admitted leftist. And although Trump is blamed for the rise of supremacism, long before Trump the left was in the habit of jumping to the conclusion that mass shootings were the work of their political enemies: remember Brian Ross claiming that the (deranged) Aurora, CO shooter was a Tea Party member?

This is political opportunism of the rankest sort. The left exploits (selectively) human tragedy on the flimsiest of evidence (and often no evidence at all) to tie all of its political enemies to the acts of a person who is almost always deeply mentally disturbed, and to the extent that politics figures into their acts, it is something used to construct an identity that is otherwise lacking, or repellent. Never let a crisis go to waste, you know.

The selectivity is important. The left inevitably draws broad, societal conclusions from the acts of madmen who are colorably racist: the acts of those who are express leftist opinions (such as the Dayton shooter) are passed over in silence, and there is no attempt to project their beliefs on millions of other Americans, let alone insinuate that millions of other Americans are complicit in their actions.

The logic that is employed–and I use the word “logic” guardedly–would do Sir Bedevere (he of the Python witch trial) proud. The left finds a point of commonality (e.g., an expressed opposition to illegal immigration) between a white supremacist and people not on the left, no matter how tangential, and asserts that this implies that the non-leftists share all of the supremacist’s beliefs.

Someone should explain Venn diagrams to these people. Or the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions.

I jest. They are not interested in being logical. They are intent on trampling logic to tar their political opponents.

It is the most despicable kind of McCarthyism, ironically adopted by those who claim to be the heirs of McCarthy’s enemies and victims.

More importantly, it incredibly corrosive and greatly exacerbates social tension and social conflict. Those who are lumped in with the deranged, and who know that even if they are not woke they are not racial supremacists, rightly feel under assault. Particularly because the invective is coming in torrents from those who occupy the commanding heights in media and politics, and because they know the invective is completely wrong and hence is being spewed in a deliberate attempt to intimidate or harm. Perversely (from the leftist perspective) this bolsters support of the left’s bêtes noires, most notably Donald Trump, precisely because he can fight back, and actually relishes doing so.

Yet they continue. No. They continually ratchet up the attacks, oblivious to the fact that their previous attacks have been wholly counterproductive and actually fed the beast they want to slay.

The whole situation is perverse beyond words. Driven to apoplexy by Trump’s election, and since then his survival, the left drives people into his camp and intensifies the support of those already in it with their unhinged attacks and their slanderous equation of anyone who does not endorse their agenda with retrograde racist throwbacks and mass shooters.

This has massively intensified the divisions in the country, and has created what can only be described as pre-revolutionary conditions heavy with the potential for widespread violence.

Two factors are at work here. One strategic, the other more tactical. The strategic one is the left’s will to power, which is the underlying driving force and overarching strategic objective. The more tactical one is identity politics, which the left has routinely employed as a means of rallying support and preventing the loss of key groups of supporters (notably socially conservative blacks and Latinos). Both of these are inherently divisive, and stoke social conflict which is already bad enough but could easily escalate into something far uglier than the ugliness we witness today.

And it’s only 2019. I shudder to think at what the atmosphere will be like a year from now, with an election looming.

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8 Comments »

  1. The shrillness is getting stronger. The bullets have begun to fly (see El Paso and Dayton-one a crazed environmentalist who hated immigration, the other a Lizzie Warren supporter). Socialists are never peaceful, and neither are their “revolutions”. People I know that are lefties who were generally sane are so blinded by their hatred of all things Trump they are extrapolating them onto anyone. The worst part is, they are legitimizing Jim Crow like discrimination. They are okay with objectifying their opponents and social media enables this to an exponential degree.

    I have feared that America will entertain another Civil War and now I am afraid we will run too far down the path to turn back. Only this time, it will be more like Palestinian/ISIS terror attacks, not clearly drawn battle lines.

    Comment by Jeff Carter — August 9, 2019 @ 9:43 am

  2. The logic of their argument leads to: white people are incurably racist, and should therefore be eradicated, or at least disenfranchised. I wonder how they’ll deal with this seeming contradiction when the time comes?

    Comment by Emperor of Ice Cream — August 9, 2019 @ 12:56 pm

  3. “I wonder how they’ll deal with this seeming contradiction”: if they were the sort of people bothered by contradictions you wouldn’t be in this pickle.

    Comment by dearieme — August 9, 2019 @ 2:14 pm

  4. @Jeff-I keep trying to avoid the conclusion that you draw in your 2nd paragraph, but with every passing day I find it harder to do so.

    The US Civil War analogy I would draw would be Missouri, where Unionists and pro-Southerners lived side-by-side. It was the most vicious theater of the war, and indeed the internecine conflict persisted long after Appomattox. Neighbor v. neighbor guerrilla warfare and bushwacking, with both sides frequently giving no quarter. It’s a sobering thought, but proof that it can happen here when the political divisions are deep enough. I don’t think it’s a likely outcome, but there is a non-trivial probability of it happening. And the probability rises daily.

    @dearieme & Emperor–as I wrote in an earlier post, these people are masters of doublethink, so they don’t even perceive a contradiction–now. But if it comes to that, and white leftists’ non-white allies turn on them once their common white conservative enemies are vanquished (extirpated?), they will have no choice but to deal with it. That is indeed the inexorable logic of this process once it gets started.

    Comment by cpirrong — August 9, 2019 @ 2:26 pm

  5. Two contemporaneous thoughts came to mind as I read this.
    1) As more shrill heresy emanates from the left on gun control, confiscation, registration, litmus tests for ownership – how many of the middle road conservatives will move further toward the ‘white supremacist’ camp to protect our natural right? I have no interest in suppressing other races, faiths, or cultures. Right up to the point where those other races, faith, or minorities come for my weapons. Then – game on. Wrap it in white supremacy if one wants to, but hear me now – when it comes to targets of opportunity, I will absolutely NOT discriminate.

    2) I’m constantly amazed at how negative societal topics are either blamed on Trump, or strongly associated with anything Trump-like. Shootings, Russia inteference(under BO, natch), mental health, family issues, immigration, economy(good, but rough week); No matter the topic, or media interest one can be certain that according to the mass media – Trump is to blame, or Trump is doing ‘it’ wrong(the ‘it’ can be as simple as xmas decorations, or as complex as intl trade/defense).

    There have been many presidents who were not liked by the media to some extent. But – man, the media really, really have a mega-hard on for this guy. Sadly, he tends to give them easy pickins’ once in a while. The early cabinet postings were pretty bad. It seems the left thrive on drayma, conflict, and work hard toward destabilization. hhmmmmmm

    Comment by doc — August 10, 2019 @ 5:05 pm

  6. @doc–If you call non-racist people racist long enough, they will shrug, and as you say, rally around their own tribe. The apparent operating principle of the identity politics Woken SS is that the people they target will not fight back. But if you push people enough, they will. And especially so if the people who are pushed are of a Jacksonian persuasion, as I am, and it sounds as if you are.

    Bizarre, isn’t it, that the people who claim that we have too many guns and are always on the brink of using them are picking a fight with us. Not too bright!

    Re your second point. If Trump is to blame for everything, the obvious implication is that America was idyllic prior to January 20, 2017. But these same people were making many of the same complaints prior to that date, e.g., the response to earlier mass shootings, several of which occurred during the Obama administration.

    It all demonstrates that reality, facts, and truth don’t matter. Everything has to be jammed into the anti-Trump frame, regardless of whether it makes any sense whatsoever, or even comports remotely with the facts.

    Comment by cpirrong — August 10, 2019 @ 8:56 pm

  7. ‘The left finds a point of commonality (e.g., an expressed opposition to illegal immigration) between a white supremacist and people not on the left, no matter how tangential, and asserts that this implies that the non-leftists share all of the supremacist’s beliefs.

    ‘Someone should explain Venn diagrams to these people. Or the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions.’

    Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle.

    Between this, and the Prosecutor’s Fallacy (P(X|M) = P(M|X)) that you mention in your ‘Red Flags’ post, you’ve pretty much covered the two phenomena that account for a large proportion of everyday irrationality. ‘Satisficing’ then causes people to stop thinking, and belief preservation causes them to hold on to those erroneous beliefs.

    ‘The whole situation is perverse beyond words. Driven to apoplexy by Trump’s election, and since then his survival, the left drives people into his camp and intensifies the support of those already in it with their unhinged attacks and their slanderous equation of anyone who does not endorse their agenda with retrograde racist throwbacks and mass shooters.

    ‘This has massively intensified the divisions in the country, and has created what can only be described as pre-revolutionary conditions heavy with the potential for widespread violence.’

    From what I can see, the leftists have responded to Trump’s win by doubling-down, and are now simply blaming everything on White People, unconditionally and collectively. This really is terrifying, it is going the wrong way and it either has or is picking up momentum.

    I remember writing this on your blog two or three years ago: ‘Where are the adults?’ There seem to be no brakes on this train.

    Comment by EX-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — August 12, 2019 @ 10:40 am

  8. @Ex Reg: your last sentence reminds me of the lyrics from the Grateful Dead’s “Casey Jones”:

    Driving that train, high on cocaine,
    Casey Jones you better watch your speed
    Trouble ahead, trouble behind
    And you know that notion just crossed my mind

    There will be a crash. The only question is who gets killed when it happens.

    Comment by cpirrong — August 12, 2019 @ 5:14 pm

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