Racism: The Western “Struggle Session” for Equality

T.L. Hulsey

Is there even one gripe left in the Western world that is not ultimately rooted in racism?

Mind you, I’m talking about the outlying provinces of discourse, far from the tower of ideation on race, far from dispassionate consideration of Arthur Jensen’s g Factor or Charles Murray’s bell curve. There, as in the story of Rapunzel, to ascend the tower and see the truth is to risk having your eyes scratched out by a vengeful witch – the Witch of Buncombe.

No, I’m talking about the surrounding forest of thorns constituted by “social” media (a Newspeak term if there ever was one), by the blogosphere, by the thought-guarded “discussion” in the campus rathskeller, by the corporate “sensitivity” officer, by the “diversity commissars” at all levels of the outrage industry – by all the delicate and ever more refined antennae attuned to that inadvertent word of yours that klaxons to the world that you are aracist.

At one time“racism” had a fairly clear meaning. One key definition was given at least as far back as 1938, by Jacques Barzun: The attribution of moral or intellectual qualities from physical characteristics – a kind of whole-body phrenology. But nowadays the charge of racism has no bounds: It’s all grown up and busted out of its britches as a strict definition.According to the new rage in thought – and yes, do take that both ways – power plus prejudice constitute racism.

This trope immediately leads to problems, even if we wink at the free pass given to everyone who can claim to be powerless in some way or other. Consider antisemitism, for starters. For example, is itallowed now to trash those powerful white guys with the little cap glued to their thinning pates? Hey, just a damned minute! The new Ptolemaic system needs some epicycles to explain this retrograde motion. Thankfully, Olivia Goldhill provides it. She says that antisemitism still works because “[r]ather than denigrating Jews as inferior, it casts them as maliciously superior.” And all this time I had thought they were delightfully superior! But hold on, which direction are we going here? How can they claim victimhood when they’re white guys with power? Didn’t the redefinition of racism just recast them as victimizers, not victims? What, do we need an indictment of Semitism along withanti-Semitism? And the issue gets even more complicated when we realize that folks like the Palestinians are a semitic people. For g-d’s sake, don’t tell Rabbi Sacks about that!

The real purpose of this redefinition of racism begins to come clear when we refine it in terms of its reputed victims: The Marginalized People. Just who are these folks? According to Stacey Abrams they’re “women, Native Americans, African Americans, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community.” Let’s hope that the marginalized and powerless Miss Abrams, who by the new definition can’t be a racist, is not lumping in Hispanics with those “immigrants.” In any case, for all their being on the margin, the Marginalized People are mighty thick on the ground.Even with both your social antennae bent, you know what’s going on. As Tucker Carlson puts it: “The ‘dominant’ are everyone who’s left. So do the subtraction: That’s only one group; you know exactly who they are, and so does Stacey Abrams.”

Any first pass at this subtraction can surely give us The Combover Satan. Indeed, we were doing so well, until Trump came along, at least according to the highly objective researchers Tessa and Mahzarin. After 4.4 million tests over 13 years, they aver that the halcyon days of racial bliss smiled upon the land from 2007 to 2016 – dates that, aw, shucks! – that wouldn’t be the Obama administration, would it? But let the factual chips fall where they may!Notwithstanding, this same Trump has made it his policy to “decriminalize” homo­sexuality – keep them at the head of your son’s scout troop, serve as teacher role models for “alternate” life styles in your kids’ high school, you know, that sort of thing. This witless pandering is of course racist, according to Out Magazine’s Matthew Rodriguez. Why? Because it’s an “old racist tactic,” because it’s “colonialist,” because it’s “paternalistic,” because... – oh, come off it: It’s because it’s Trump, who of course is part of the white power structure using the policy to “amass power.”

Is there anyone left outside this oppressed mass of Marginalized People? If women – fully half the former republic – are “marginalized,” surely the white working poor are. After all, they voted from the margin to elect . . . – ah, wait a minute. Clearly, more epicycles are in order to keep this hermeneutic system working. “[D]ysfunctional, downscale” working class white communities exist from racism and“deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible.” – Thus sayeth one Kevin D. Williamson, who began his screed with the usual banal Nazi references spewed at Donald Trump, and concluded with a final solution for The Donald’s loser friends: To the gas chambers, go! – yes, corrobo­rating Nietzsche that fighting monsters risks becoming one, but more importantly, keeping the Marginalized voting identity in order.

Today’s definition of racism – even with the refinement from “power plus prejudice” to “power plus prejudice against marginalized people” – begins to spin like a wild orrery, threatening to fling moons and planets in a centrifugal hail of sprockets and bolts. For all the supposed woe and suffering in the Marginalized club, folks are packing the entrance like the ticket window to a Beyoncé concert.

Not only have the “alternate lifestyle” people gained racist victim status, as canonized by Huffpo, but so too has every whiner and his cat – cat, and horse, and pig, and bull (say what?). According to PETA, phrases like “bring home the bacon” and “flogging a dead horse” are comparable to racism and homophobia. Words are so hurtful, yes? PETA suggests the following linguistic purgative to defeat this harrowing threat to animal self-esteem:

Minus Social Credits

Plus Social Credits

“Kill two birds with one stone.”

“Feed two birds with one scone.”

“Be the guinea pig.”

“Be the test tube.”

“Beat a dead horse.”

“Feed a fed horse.”

“Bring home the bacon.”

“Bring home the bagels.”

“Take the bull by the horns.”

“Take the flower by the thorns.”


Even the planet has become marginalized, forming a rainbow coalition that incorporates literal rainbows. It’s not just that pollution is racist, whereby the “the non-Hispanic white majority” belches poisons into the lungs of The Marginalized People, somehow holding their own breath all the while. I mean, this factalready has been established by the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, a peer-reviewed journal,” as the U.S. Newsmagniloquently trumpets. But no, the situation is even more dire than this. Mother Gaia has gone bull dyke, joining hands with the LGBTQ victims as an appalling victim of “environmental racism,” which of course is the same as “environmental sexism” – whatever that is.

Despite the expansiveness of The Marginalized People, there is strict discipline for its membership, enforced by its mob of Twitter SA Brownshirts, threatening race taboo third-rail electrocutions for the least infractions. Thinking of wearing cornrows, sister? That’s “cultural appropriation.”Any of you feminists have the least reservation about the trans movement? Careful. Not even a word, but even your furtive “dog whistle” won’t escape the searchlight the Brownshirts have on your consciousness: “It’s notable that anti-trans feminists are employing similar racist dog-whistles that have been used by the Right for centuries.” And should one of the brothers get caught starting his own affiliate to the outrage industry, the Brownshirts know how to make lemonade: Make the Jussie Smollett incident an opportunity to “start a national conversation” on that 17% uptick in hate crimes – issued by the FBI, all factual, all immune from overreporting.

On the other hand, if you obediently stay within the system, no further rules apply. Sarah Jeong will keep her job with the New York Times, despite writing immortal free verse such as: “how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men”; “f**k white women lol”; “dumbass f**king white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.” (I bowdlerize the free-spirited Sarah with asterisks.) And let’s not forget another gem of her insightful analytical mind, which is of course not racist: “White men are bullshit.”

No matter how sprawling its definition or its list of supposed victims, the target of the new usage of “racism” is unmistakable: High-achieving white males in positions of power.

How can whitey absolve himself – especially when he’s never used the “n- word,” never looked beyond the content of character in his hiring practices, never downrated Shaft, The Wiz, or Pootie Tang on Rotten Tomatoes? Short answer: He can’t.Racism, according to the new usage, may not always reveal itself in personal moral actions, despite the term’s clear moral import. It’s done up and got “systemic.” We know this because the ice cream guys Ben and Jerry said so. Actually, the two white guys quote a Puerto Rican, so it’s bitchin’ biblical: “The main problem nowadays is not the folks with the hoods, but the folks dressed in suits.”

Now, since personal moral culpability is irrelevant, how can there be any demand for atonement? After all, the systemic effect abides, regardless of any personal action. Why the Twitterstorm, the doxxing, the threats to family members, the in-your-face shouting at restaurants? Because the Twitter Brownshirts do not want a change in behavior; they want a change in consciousness. This is the purpose of the totalitarian “struggle session,” the relentless public hectoring and baiting and shaming: To reshape thought, to replace the offender’s personal value system with that of the group, and to make his own mind its enforcer. No individual is ever the real offender. The gripe is with an entire class, with a class that, behold! is identified by the very race thinking that was the pretended original offense. The image of offending “white males” who are “dressed in suits” perfectly fits the true definition of racist thought that simplistically attributes moral or intellectual qualities from physical characteristics. This is the thinking that fulfills a profound need, as Jacques Barzun made clear:

[I]n a real world of shifting appearance, race satisfies man’s demand for certainty by providing a small, simple, and complete cause for a great variety of large and complex events.[Race, page 108.]

This further refinement of the new definition of racism – from “power plus prejudice against marginalized people” to “power plus any disparity of result for our in-group, regardless of intent” – at last brings us to our destination. “Racism,” so defined, is not about racism at all. It’s about radical democratic egalitarianism. It is not primarily about the covetousness that lusts for other people’s material goods. It is the envious desire for their spiritual goods: Their beauty, their ability, their superior intellect, their creativity – everything that inspires the embarrassed realization that the “victim” is somehow inferior. Indeed, his inferiority is precisely his victimhood, named not by the supposed “racist,” but by his own self-awareness. And since his feeling of inferiority can never be eradicated, the ululations for a solution that can never be found become ever more shrill, ever more neurasthenic.

It is fitting that the Austrian nobleman and superior intellect Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn should describe the social disease:

The demand for equality and identity arises precisely in order to avoid that fear, that feeling of inferiority. Nobody is better, nobody is superior, nobody feels challenged, everybody is “safe.” Furthermore, if identity, if sameness has been achieved, then the other person’s actions and reactions can be forecast. With no (disagreeable) surprises, a warm herd feeling of brotherhood emerges. These sentiments – this rejection of quality (which ineluctably differs from person to person) – explain much concerning the spirit of the mass movements of the last two hundred years. Simone Weil has told us that the “I” comes from the flesh, but “we” comes from the devil.

“Racism,” as a popular smear, is nothing but a mask for destructive envy.