Since the 1960s at least, identity politics has dominated left-wing politics. It encourages group identification versus the rest. It is centered around resentment, grievance and a sense of injustice. Instead of being American, a person becomes a hyphenated American. Instead of being interested in the good of the inclusive group, moral concern is narrowed to some subsection of Americans.
Identity politics means claiming victim status and victimization requires victimizers. Differences in intergroup outcomes are to be attributed to discrimination against the group that performs less well. Evidence for discrimination, or evidence that should discrimination exist that it is in fact responsible for differing performances between groups, is thought to be entirely unnecessary. Thomas Sowell has an extensive analysis of this irrational phenomenon in books like Intellectuals and Race which I write about here.
Black Lives Matter is a racist, anti-white movement. The decision not to make their slogan “black lives matter too” is calculated to offend. It has been claimed by some that the “too” is implied and that no offense is intended. However, when it is proposed that “all lives matter,” outrage is expressed.
Commentators have argued that no one argues that breast cancer awareness campaigns discriminate against sufferers of other forms of cancer. A better comparison would be the bumper sticker “Violence against women is never acceptable.” Given that this prohibition omits half the human race, including black men, it is offensive. It is also, of course, false. Women murderers and perpetrators of violent assault are rarer than their male counterparts, but they of course need to be forcibly, i.e., violently, restrained when possible. The group of people most likely to be the victim of violent assault and murder is young males, which also makes the statement weirdly tendentious and misleading.
BLM is based on the lie that black Americans are being uniquely victimized by the police and the justice system. This belief is fabricated and “supported” by viral videos of various instances of what may or may not be, depending on which videos, murderous behaviors of certain police officers. Claims of systematic victimization cannot be vindicated by pointing to individual instances of bad behavior. What is required is an analysis of widespread behavioral patterns of police officers. Such analysis shows “in shootings in these 10 cities involving officers, officers were more likely to fire their weapons without having first been attacked when the suspects were white.” Some of the viral videos actually involve black police officers interacting with black men, drastically confusing the “white men doing bad things to black people” narrative.
Black teenagers are hugely more likely to engage in disruptive and antisocial behavior in high schools. As a result, they are disproportionately punished and suspended. Because no evidence of discrimination is regarded as necessary, this different “outcome” is then attributed to racism.
Thomas Sowell points out that given that black men are much more likely to murder someone than white men, it is hardly surprising that their pathological behavior emerges in the classroom first.
The victims of black crime are disproportionately themselves black (p.3). Liberals do not give a damn. Since whites are still a majority of Americans, they are probably still the majority of liberals. So, white liberals demonstrate their callous disregard for black lives by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. White liberal allegiance to liberalism means that black people can go to hell. The fact that blacks are literally dying, mostly not from police violence, but from each other is of no interest to white liberals whatsoever.
If blacks are proportionally much more likely to be involved in violent crime than whites, then there will be more interactions with the police proportionally and some of those interactions will go badly. Statistics from the US Department of Justice attribute 52.5% of murders to blacks between 1980 to 2008, while black males make up just 6% of the population. This makes blacks about eight times more likely to murder than whites.
Blacks are more likely to live on welfare, to have out of wedlock children, to be single mothers, to be involved in crime, have poorer educational and occupational outcomes and not to live up to their potential as measured by IQ. These things are blamed on slavery and white racism by BLM and white liberals. However, all those things got much worse after liberals instituted lenient sentencing, started blaming poor black performance on whites, and massively expanded welfare, all of which occurred in the 1960s. In 1954, 100,000 blacks were incarcerated. By 2011, there were 900,000. Homicide rates were much higher by 1990. In 1920, for instance, blacks had slightly higher employment statistics than whites and were slightly more likely to be married. No one thinks that racism has actually gotten worse since 1920. If slavery were to blame for poor outcomes, then the closer to slavery, the worse the outcomes should be, but they are not.
A major part of BLM is that whites must own up to “white privilege.” Again, this is based on differing outcomes which is, once again, regarded as the product of discrimination – in this case, positive discrimination.
By this “logic,” we should actually be talking about “Asian privilege” since Asians hugely outperform whites in the US. And also “Jewish privilege.” It is entirely arbitrary and nonsensical that whites should be singled out for attack even on the basis of mere attainment. Asians with IQs of 100 on average perform as well educationally and employment-wise as whites with IQs of 120. (James R. Flynn, Asian Americans: Achievement Beyond IQ (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 1991) p. 1.) Jews with an IQ of 100 perform as well as whites with IQs of 110. (Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Race, op. cit. p. 79) What explains these differences then are cultural attitudes towards hard work and education, not biological factors.
A certain amount of bad feeling seems to be the result of the civil rights movement. It seems as though a lot of people imagined that political influence would equal economic success. The black riots of the 1960s seem to have been partly an expression of disappointment. However, there is no particular correlation between the two. As one black scholar has pointed out, Japanese Americans as a group are hugely economically successful, and have almost no political clout, whereas it is common to have Irish American politicians and yet Irish Americans lag far behind the attainments of Japanese Americans.
The notion of white privilege is both false, because it implies some unearned reward, and counterproductive for whites and blacks. If white, it suggests that no real effort need be made because educational and employment rewards will be handed to a white person on a plate. And it implies that blacks stand no chance of matching white performance because white racism is impeding them.
It is only thanks to reading analyses by commentators that I have come to see that white nationalism is identity politics for whites. White nationalism is what identity politics looks like when white people do it. White nationalism is certainly racist. So is BLM. White nationalism tends to have an implied threat of violence. BLM threaten violence and do engage in rioting. White nationalism makes the ugliness of identity politics apparent even to liberals.
One difference is that blacks are not being uniquely singled out and persecuted by police officers. However, white men are in fact being scapegoated and vilified as the preeminent perpetrators of oppression by BLM. Even when both police and victims are black, as was the case when Keith Lamont Scott was shot by a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sept. 20th, 2016.
If superior educational and work performance is to be the sign of the devil, then any black who performs well will necessarily be regarded as “acting white,” and overly eager high school students will be beaten up and ostracized. This in fact happens. (Edelbert G. Rogers, The Relationship of Certain Measurable Factors in the Personal and Educational Backgrounds of Two Groups of Baltimore Negroes, Identified as Superior and Average in Intelligence as Fourth-Grade Children, to their Educational, Social and Economic Achievement in Adulthood (Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, New York University, 1956, University Microfilms) p. 50.)
It also means that Asians and Jews should be the proper objects of scorn, since their performance is far superior to whites; according to the perverse logic of outcome thinking.
I suspect that whites remain the favorite scapegoat for blacks because of the participation of ancestral whites in the slave trade and because whites remain the majority of Americans. It seems to make more emotional sense that the majority might oppress a minority and undermine their performance. But in fact, this is not true. In many countries it is the minorities who grossly outperform the majority and the majority commonly institutes discriminatory policies (affirmative action) to try to defend itself, so to speak. The situation is the same in the US. Jews and Asians are the dominant minorities when it comes to performance.
Ethnic Chinese excel economically in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia despite discriminatory policies aimed at suppressing them. Ethnic Indians dominate Fijian politics and are the majority in professions like law and medicine. And ethnic Germans were once the top performing group in Czechoslovakia.
Whereas black Americans, women and homosexual groups are largely not scapegoated, white men are actually being blamed for most of the world’s problems and specifically for the failure of blacks and women to perform better. Many college courses are now devoted to this topic. “Black studies,” “Women’s Studies,” and “Post-colonial Studies” would not exist without their common perceived enemy. Being scapegoated can actually produce a group identity and certainly make it salient. Scapegoating binds the persecutors together but it can also bind the victims together. The injustice of the accusations then generate resentment and hatred within the persecuted group.
White nationalism holds up a mirror to BLM and to feminists and to every other group generated by identity politics. It makes visible the hatred binding groups together against a common perceived enemy. The irony is that white men actually are being persecuted, while blacks, women and homosexuals are the darlings of academia and the mainstream media. White men are the last group that it is politically correct to hate with a clear conscience.
BLM and feminists have concocted a false persecution story to bind them together in shared hatred of an imaginary persecutor based on “outcomes,” all of which can be explained without reference to what white men are doing or thinking. Looking around and finding all fingers directed at white men, they rather naturally are tempted to bind together for mutual protection and “solidarity” – that word so beloved by the left.
White nationalism is ugly, but motivated by actual verbal persecution and workplace discrimination favoring blacks, women, the handicapped and seemingly everyone other than white men. Academic job applications all include wording that is one step away from “white men need not apply.” The fact that white men often succeed anyway is consistent with the Chinese performance in Indonesia and other such groups.