James Schipper has always proven to be one of the most thoughtful commenters on this blog. He chooses his words carefully, and as EB White suggests in the Manual of Style, scarcely wastes a word.
This comment was in response to the Mystery Solved post, and it is so great I am going to post it.
I am curious why he calls White nationalists raci(al)sts. I assume he is trying to say that they are at once racists and racialists. That makes sense to me. WN’s are continuously saying that they don’t hate any other races; all they do is love their own kind. If that were the case, perhaps we would not mind. But the non-racist WN is a rare bird indeed. I know one fellow who might qualify, but he refers to Whites breeding with Blacks as “cross-species breeding.” That’s seems like a pretty racist thing to say.
I will admit that some WN are more racist than others. I’ve met a couple that don’t seem to dislike Blacks, but that is rare. A fair number of WN are Asiaphiles, but they are always being denounced as traitors. Even Jared Taylor is something of an Asiaphile. Some have Amerindian in them, but they’re constantly being threatened with being thrown out of the movement. In short, the vast majority of them are quite racist individuals, and many are savage racists. That’s just a fact.
Schipper suggests that ethnocentrism has nothing to do with race, but I even feel that Punjabis and Yemenis are members of my family, albeit distant cousins, yet Mexican Indians and Hmong are not. Am I mentally ill for thinking this way? I’ve recently expanded my view of my ethnic group to include most Caucasians, and it feels nice to include 1.5 million+ humans in your ethnic family. As far as the Mexican Indians and the Hmong, well, there’s friends and theirs family, right? Oaxacans and Hmong may be friends, but they can’t be family.
It seems to me that a narrow ethnocentrism that focuses only on one’s nation leaves something to be desired. If I were a Slovenian, I would rather be a Pan-Caucasianist and count 1.5 billion relatives than be a Slovenian nationalist and only count 2 million.
Schipper’s explanation of the rejection of White ethnocentrism as a rejection of White colonialism is an excellent one, and his summary of the crimes of White colonialism is chilling. I think most other ethnic groups would have done the same thing had they had the means, and they probably would have been crueler about it, but that doesn’t let us off the hook.
One of the disgusting things about White nationalists is that they usually cheer on the worst excesses of White colonialism and imperialism. Either they think it was a great idea, or they can’t admit they were ever wrong. Anyway, it’s stomach-wrenching.
His analysis of Hitler is excellent also, and I agree it’s bizarre to say that Jews aren’t White. Of course they are White!
I agree that Hispanic is a nonsensical category. Around here, a huge number of them have lots of White ancestry. Many are anywhere from mostly White to about as White as I am.
The internal racism of US Hispanics is much exaggerated by WN’s. WN’s insist that Hispanics are obsessed with race and love to be White. Truth is most of them don’t seem to care, and the whole subject is pretty touchy. The really White ones, if they have some money, are often proud to admit to Spanish ancestry, and you often hear Hispanics bragging about having ancestors with blue eyes or blond hair.
When my Mexican-American neighbor was growing up in Morenci, Arizona in the 1930′s and 1940′s, she said whenever a baby was born, the first thing everyone asked was, “Que blanco?” “How White is it?” Among this particular group of rural working class SW US Hispanics in that period, Whiter skin was valued like gold.
Nowadays, brown pride is all the rage. In the bars and all over town, you see Whiter Hispanics hanging out with, befriending, dating and marrying darker ones. At the lower end of the income spectrum, no one cares. Maybe at the higher end, people get touchier, but even there, you don’t hear about it much.
I would surely consider any mostly-White Hispanic to be part of my family, and there are millions like this.
Asians are not really a race, it is true, but there is a huge Macro-Asian race, along with smaller NE Asian and SE Asian races. I’d love to see Pan-Asianism take hold in Asians. If they could embrace 2 million or so humans as family members, what an interesting world it could be. Unfortunately, they probably dislike each other too much to do that.
I myself never cared about White ethnocentrism until I moved to a majority-Hispanic town and was an obvious minority. Since then I’ve embraced White ethnocentrism thoroughly, and I feel so much better than in my previous deracinated state. Ethnocentrism of any kind definitely feels good, and deracination feels like crap. It’s like the difference between getting a religion and being an atheist. Even if atheism is scientifically rational, it surely feels terrible.
Let’s not confuse race and ethnicity. WN are not ethnocentrists, they are raci(al)sts. Of course, ethnocentricity and racialism are psychologically similar because in both cases our own group is put first and at the top. In one case it is our ethnic group and in the other it is our race.
I’m white and so are Vladimir Putin, Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and Silvio Berlusconi, but I certainly don’t think that they belong to the same ethnic group as I do.
Ethnocentrism is indeed very common, but it doesn’t have anything to do with race. Until recently, Europe was an all-white continent and also filled with various ethnocentrics and chauvinists. The French liked to feel superior to the less civilized boches, the British felt superior to crazy continentals, the Poles thought that they were so much better than those half-Asian Russians, etc.
Even smaller nations could be pretty chauvinistic. I have met plenty of smug ethnocentric Dutchmen.
However, none of this had anything to do with race. White racism existed mainly in Western Europe and it arose in a colonial context. Since 1492, white racism became one of the ideological underpinnings of colonialism. By 1939, the white racists from Western Europe had conquered the entire Western Hemisphere, nearly all of Africa, Oceania and large chunks of Asia. Of course, not all colonialists were believers in white racial superiority.
Some believed in the superiority of the Christian religion or the cultural superiority of Europe.
It is this close relation between white racism and colonialism that made it contaminated. To some extent, the relentless denunciation of white racism is a reaction to colonialism. Decolonization was indeed necessary because it was a system of domination and privilege. Attacks on white racism are a form of mental decolonization.
As to Hitler, he was a combination of anti-Semite, Aryan racist and German nationalist. Since Jews are white and most whites are not Aryans, it is quite wrong to see Hitler as a practitioner of white nationalism. All of Hitler’s crimes were committed against other whites. I don’t listen to people who tell me that Jews aren’t whites.
Racism and nationalism are antithetical in multiracial countries. WNs in the US should feel more affinity with Russians, Frenchmen, Georgians, Greeks, Serbs, etc than with fellow American who are of a different color.
People who put race above the nation are bad nationalists. WN in the US are bad Americans for the same reason that Catholics in the US who feel more affinity with Polish, Portuguese and Argentinian Catholics than with Americans of a different religion are bad Americans. If Jared Taylor feels more affinity with me than with Obama, then he is not a very good American
Nationalists worthy of the name put their national identity above their religious, racial or other identities. WNs don’t do that. They don’t deserve to be called nationalists and should start calling themselves raci(al)sts.
As to Hispanics, they are a totally artificial category of the American government. In Latin America, people see themselves as Colombians, Chileans, Cubans, Argentinians, etc, or racially they see themselves as white, Amerindian, black, mestizo, etc. More educated Latin Americans may feel part of a broader Latin American nation, but Latin Americans who see themselves as members of a Hispanic race don’t exist. That only happens after they arrive in the US.
Do you really believe that Néstor Kirchner, Álvaro Uribe, Fidel Castro or Hugo Chávez see themselves as members of a mythical Hispanic race?
Asians aren’t a race either. They certainly aren’t an ethnic group, even if we confine the term Asian to East Asians. It is just as absurd to believe that Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Filipinos and Thais will all see themselves as part of one happy East Asian family as it is to believe that Poles, Swedes, Germans and Spaniards see themselves as members of one European nation. Just because people have the same type of eyes doesn’t make them one race or one ethnicity.
I’m indulgent toward mild ethnocentricity as long as it is not combined with gratuitous hostility toward members of other ethnic groups. Somebody once said that the best friend is someone who is slightly inferior. Since he is only slightly inferior, we can feel affinity with him while still enjoying the sinful pleasure of feeling superior. Maybe it is the same with many ethnocentrics. They like to feel superior but also to be friends with people who aren’t co-ethnics.