Also at length here:
Quentin James, “The Left has a White Supremacy Problem, Too,” November 22, 2016.First, there is the vicious drive-by smear of Steve Bannon as a “white supremacist,” a slander for which the evidence is essentially zero.
But what, exactly, was poor old Bernie’s crime? He had the temerity to question the cult of cultural leftist identity politics:
Bernie’s comments were actually very mild, and the whole speech still filled with cultural leftist virtue signalling. He even went out of his way to proclaim that diversity is the best thing ever (which is not; see here), and we need even more of it (which is dubious, to put it mildly).
Bernie’s point was that diversity isn’t enough: a political candidate needs the right policies, and you should not vote for somebody just because she is a woman, or because he or she is from minority x.
For this crime, Bernie stands accused of having a “white supremacy” problem. Or to be accurate, Quentin James accused Bernie of making comments that “come from a place of political thinking that is awash in white supremacy.”
The arguments offered by Mr James for why Bernie has this horrendous “white supremacy” problem make no sense:
(1) the principal implication is that the presence of white people in the elite as a majority group is inherently wrong, and the whole society inherently racist because of this. This is absurd. America *is* a majority white society, and it is only natural that a nation where most people are white is going to have an elite that is mostly white.Finally, here is another hit piece on Bernie in the Guardian.
(2) a more serious claim is that the percentage of minority people in government and amongst politicians does not reflect their percentage of the population as a whole. James points out (and I assume he is correct) that “90% of all elected officials in the United States are white, while people of color make up over 30% of the population.” But once again we have an obvious response: the legal and civil barriers to people of colour running for office have been removed, and the demand that 30% of all elected officials be people of colour is worthless, if these people are just as incompetent, corrupt, stupid and incapable as white people. Why would you want more Latino and African American politicians if they just privatise social security and run the country into the ground? And the secondary problem is that – with the regressive left – even if 30% of all elected US officials were non-white, it still wouldn’t be enough for these fanatics. Immediately there would be demands that, say, because of historical injustices, white people should be reduced to 50% of the elite, or 30%. Or even removed entirely.
(3) James laughably claims that he is “not aware of many (if any) people who have demanded to be elected, promoted, hired or appointed solely on the basis of their skin color, gender or sexual orientation.” However, this is either implicitly or explicitly a major demand of the modern cultural left, and you can see examples everywhere. E.g., the BBC advertises certain jobs which are for non-whites only.
In this article, the author ends with the angry cry that Bernie “should have mentioned how identity politics matter because one’s identity in this country can very much play into economic status.” Well, indeed, and not just for African Americans – what about poor white working class people?
At this point, the logical outcome of cultural leftism – with its militant demand for endless Third World mass immigration, diversity and identity politics – will be the revival of identity politics for white people, whether it is a mild type of implicit white identity through civic nationalism, or explicit ethno-nationalism, or the more extreme forms of racial ethno-nationalism on the Alt Right. In short, there should be no mystery about why identitarian movements for white people are on the rise.
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I've heard libertarians make a similar attack. Bernie and anyone who is a "protectionist"* is a racist became they would undermine trade agreements that offer employment opportunities to people outside the US. So because Bernie isn't proactively trying to make life better for people in Vietnam that means he doesn't care about them and is a white supremacist.ReplyDelete
*Neoliberals tend to accuse anyone with any skepticism of current trade agreements as being a protectionist. The term has been watered down and often the party accused doesn't even want a tariff regime.
Quite right. I'm not in favour of higher tariffs but deals like ttip and CETA are hardly anything to do with free trade and everything to do with corporate insurgency.Delete
If anything, the forcing of patent and copyrights on other countries is determinate to the free exchange of goods and ideas.Delete
James was a Hillary shill very early on, which makes this even more absurd. I doubt Ta-Nahesi Coates is popular with the readers of this blog, but at least his attacks on Bernie's stance on race relations were out of misguided identity politics principles, not to get a woman who proudly supported three strike laws and the destruction of welfare elected.ReplyDelete
It's worth remembering the difference in how Bernie and Hillary handled BLM protesters at their events. Maybe Bernie could win over James with some superficial patronizing outreach towards the black community, like keeping hot sauce in his pocket and hosting a Hov and Beyonce concert as a GOTV operation.
Gene Callahan had a pretty good piece in The American Conservative about how ethno-nationalism in America does not need to be white nationalist, pointing out that black workers are also getting screwed by immigration driving down wages. Heck, as Callahan notes, the descendants of slaves have been Americans longer than most Americans who descend from European immigrants.
Well said. Great article.ReplyDelete
Calling people you disagree with racists has lost its sting, so now it's "white supremacist".ReplyDelete
If we are lucky we are seeing a distress-crop of bile and resentment from a dying regressive left.
You see this kind of unhinged reaction everywhere.ReplyDelete
Seriously, she gets laughed at by a bunch of students and the ONLY explanation she can imagine is that they are cheering for swastikas? Here's a better theory
Yet more! http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=8450ReplyDelete
Imagine a 21st century reader learning about a 19th century politician who ran his platform on advancing interests of Irish, Jews, and Italians.ReplyDelete
Any sensible person would think that the guy is an opportunist, because there is no difference between the needs and concerns of working class people, whether they are Irish, Italian, or Jewish.