As I am going to be writing quite a bit about whiteness here, you may well wonder why this piece is tagged under “Sex and Culture” in the first instance, and “Race and Culture” second. I trust that things will become more obvious as we proceed.
The word whiteness, as I will be using it here, is a peculiar ideological commitment, not a skin color issue, and not a matter of ethnicity proper. If we are talking about what you see when you look in the mirror—white skin, brown, black, whatever—we are talking about what God did. But if we are talking about a set of ideological commitments, the ideology of the secular, progressive left, we are talking about a whiteness worldview.
And in this sense, white privilege is a thing, and white supremacy really is something to be concerned about. So bear with me for a moment.
Rep. Steve King, Sacrificial Lamb
Steve King, a conservative congressman from Iowa, was recently stripped of his committee assignments by the Republican leadership because of what he was reported by The New York Times to have said. He denies having said it, and because there was no independent recording of the interview, no conservative “leaders” had to walk back their hasty condemnations—the way they had to with the Kovington Katholic Kids.
So, get this. A congressman was put out to dry on the basis of what he was reported to have said in a newspaper article, a sentiment which he repudiates, and you would think that all his peers voting to frog-march him out of there had never had their words mangled by a reporter. But no. As C.S. Lewis said in Letters to Malcolm, “One wouldn’t condemn a dog on newspaper extracts.” But they did, and the whole thing transpired with an astonishing rapidity.
And so the most striking thing about that episode is the alacrity with which the Republicans stampeded to obey their white overlords at The New York Times. I mean, get a load of their editorial board. If all thirteen of them were cans of paint, and we mixed them all together to paint our living room, the guests who came over afterwards to see it would all say, “Oh, I love how white this is.” The two blacks and one Asian would only serve to provide the NYT with deniability against observations like mine, and would also reduce the glare in the living room.
The Republicans were so eager to demonstrate their hatred of white supremacy that they dropped everything to obey the wishes of one of the whitest institutions around. Old school white supremacy (you know, the kind expressed by progressives like Margaret Sanger and Woodrow Wilson) is out of fashion. I do acknowledge that. But does this mean that white progressives have relinquished any actual control? Heh. Don’t be silly.
Now I also acknowledge that it is quite possible that Steve King really did say something stupid and out of line. That’s as may be, and party discipline is certainly legitimate when that kind of thing happens. But when everything comes down with that kind of speed, where most people see a firm disciplinary move against a resurgent white supremacist, I see a craven submission to our white progressive establishment.
When I mention the speed of these proceedings, I mean this. Compare it to what would have happened if Steve King had groped a flight attendant in first class, and about 90 people saw it. His discipline for something like that would take about a year and a half.
Now I understand if you want to take a minute to get your head around all of this. The drumbeat of condemnations of white people is a regular and ongoing thing. We hear it everywhere. Dooom dooom da dooom . . . Notre Dame just covered up a mural of Christopher Columbus, white guy extraordinaire. The drumbeat continues in an ongoing way . . . Madison, Washington, Franklin, et al. And conservatives are making the mistake of trying to argue with the drumbeat instead of pointing out who the drummer is. The drummer is a pasty white guy.
The drumbeat looks like it is aimed at whiteness per se. But it is a trick. This particular drumbeat is a white woke ploy.
If someone tells me to check my white privilege, the chances are excellent that the person telling me to do that will be a progressive. The chances are also outstanding that he or she will be as white as the rice at Panda Express. The issue is not what a person is saying, but rather what he is doing.
So the real problem is not all the regular white people going about their business (accountants, electricians, plumbers), forgetting to check their privilege. The problem is all the bossy-pants white people (womyn’s studies profs), charging around telling everybody else what to do. Telling somebody to check their white privilege is a premier privilege that progressive white people assume to themselves, in a way that goes without saying. They don’t use the phrase white man’s burden anymore, but they sure do exercise it.
In order to succeed with the con, con artists have to do one thing well, and that is the use of their talents in misdirection. You think you are talking about this, while they are actively engaged in doing that. They are getting you to think about all the privileges you purportedly enjoy, and you never ever think of where their bossy-privileges came from.
In this sense, progressive whiteness is not about to let go of anything. In this sense, no white privilege is ever going to be checked. Without the cross, no ego privilege will ever be checked.
Now one of the things that progressive whites have done for a long time is manage their particular “game of thrones” through proxy wars. White liberals—I mean, get this—have assumed that they are in charge of what authentic blackness is. Al Sharpton has it and Clarence Thomas doesn’t. They decide who the real women are. Hillary has it and Margaret Thatcher didn’t. They decide which marginalized voices are marginalized voices, and which are just the nutcases.
White progressives are like that guy at camp, in the pick-up game of volleyball, you remember him, who decides that he is the one who must play all the positions, simultaneously.
What Trumps All
Because they are in charge of all this, they have invented the card game of intersectionality. We have all these authentic identities out there (that white liberals have assumed complete editorial control of), and so they also have to decide how all the cards are ranked. They have decided we must all play the intersectional card game, and so they have to decide what trumps what. White lesbian trumps black man, for example. Naturally. If you’re black, get back.
In their proxy wars, they start off various movements—Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, etc—and just set them a-going. They create these things as pawns for their chess game. If any of them start to hit a little too close to home (like #MeToo started to there for a bit), they can always introduce a new card into play.
That ultimate trump card is going to work out to be, in some way, shape, or form, the sexual kinks of white progressive males. In this world where you can now create your own identity, uber-white guy Bruce Jenner can be, and why not, woman of the year. I totally got this, that volleyball player says. When people are told that they can be anything they want to be, always keep in mind that the people telling this particular lie are white guys—who will be whatever they want to be. And what they really want to be is in charge. That is their central lust, one among many.
So this whiteness is secular Pharisaism. “For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers” (Matt. 23:4).