Who Makes Policy Campaign 2016 Edition

Racism? No, White Identity Politics! (or, Racism by another name)

I got a paragraph into this piece and decided to write a post.

It’s not racism, its White Identity.

I remember someone at my internship site who said something along the lines of “is it wrong for me to want to look out for my interests and other white people?”

Honestly, I did not think much of it at the time. Perhaps because I am white and the privilege that goes along with that made that comment slide under the proverbial radar.

I read the first few paragraphs of this piece and it all came together like Rodger Rabbit dropping and anvil on my head. There is something wrong with that statement. Sure, prima face, looking out for your own interests is arguably fine. Frankly, that is what our society is based and we have to look no further than capitalism and the greed motivation to realize that.

Take for example Speaker Paul Ryan’s favorite author, Ayn Rand. Rand promoted the theory of rational egoism or the belief that it is both “irrational and immoral” to “act against one’s self-interest.”

Perhaps that is true. But the study of ethics would have us ask is it morally right to act in one’s self-interest alone, as an end in itself, at the expense of others.

I say all of this because it leads me to the following. First, I reject the claim that “White Identity Politics” is not racial. All we have to look at is the systemic institutionalized racism that already exists in our criminal justice system, in our economic systems. White Identity Politics is a nice way of saying “were having an existential crisis because we will no longer have all the power in a few years and we don’t want to be treated the way we treated everyone else.”

Well, I am sorry, too bad. White people enslaved Blacks and hung them in trees. Promoted Jim Crow and prevented equal education. And when all of this was deemed to be a violation of human rights we ensured that possession of “black cocaine” products kept entire racial groups in jail and out of society.

Now that we have seen that for as much as things have changed nothing has changed and in the near future white people will not be a plurality of the population, well, frankly, white people ought to be scared because if we are treated as badly as we have treated black people, latinos, and other racial groups then there is something to fear.

Or, we can accept the fact that we have to atone for the past.

Acknowledging that “White Identity Politics” is racism by another name would be a good start.

Author: Jonathan Gibson


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