Virginia Military Institute removes statue of Confederate Gen. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.jpg
Adapted from remarks given at the 19th American Renaissance conference, November 20, 2022.
The other day I ran across something Nietzsche said: “Madness is something rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, peoples, and ages, it is the rule.” That made me think of white people. There aren’t that many of us, individually, who are locked up in the nuthouse, but sometimes I think the entire race ought to be.
You wouldn’t be in this room if you didn’t know what I mean by the madness of white people, so I’ll give you just one example. A few weeks ago, a woman named Julie Powell died. She was moderately famous for trying, in a single year, to cook every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook. Her story was made into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.
From her Twitter postings, you can see Julie Powell was a typical white liberal, who despised anyone who voted for Donald Trump. But she also wrote this: “White people are fucking horrible. Murdering all of us would be a totally sound decision.” And also this: “I really can see the argument for slaughtering white people in the streets.”
Julie Powell didn’t explain why she wrote these things. I guess she thought she didn’t have to. Why would a moderately successful, not-obviously-insane white person write such things? My guess is, her thinking came from the same murky depths as Susan Sontag’s observation that “the white race is the cancer of human history.” Sontag wrote that in 1967. She despised white people before it was even cool.
It’s the same impulse that led to the destruction or removal of 36 statues of Columbus during the George Floyd riots. If white people are cancer, Columbus was patient zero in the Western hemisphere. Americans used to think we had Negro problem. Now, according to official government policy: We are the problem; we have a white people problem.
The great tragedy in this hatred for whites, that whites now express so casually, comes from a craving for virtuousness — a thirst to be righteous. White people thrive on the feeling that they are morally superior, and today, the best way to prove superiority is to say horrible things about their own people. Is this a contradiction? No. Ever since the middle part of the 20th century, moral superiority for whites means making loud noises about caring — deeply — for the underdog. And who are the most deserving underdogs? Black and brown people, especially black people.
To repeat: White liberals aren’t happy unless they can think they are benevolent and humane, and for that, they have to believe in equality and compassion. Justice for the oppressed. And since we, white people, are the world’s only certified oppressors, and since the race gurus tell us our racism can’t be cured, what better service to the world than to slaughter us all? I think if you had asked Julie Powell to explain herself, you’d have got something like that.
In itself, the urge to help people is not a bad one, but in whites — and only in whites — it has become a death wish.
Some of you remember Harvard instructor Noel Ignatiev. In the 1990s, he was editor of the magazine Race Traitor. It’s goal was to “abolish whiteness by any means necessary.” That sounded like an extermination campaign, but he always said, “No, I want to destroy the privileges of whiteness, not white people.”
Maybe he meant it. But now, people like Julie Powell aren’t beating around the bush. Just kill us all and be done with it.
My question today is this: What is it about white people that makes them think and say such things? Why do they turn so violently against their own people? Today, I’m not talking about non-whites. They’re simple. They’ll take anything and everything we give them. That’s all you need to know about them.
But white people? No one else in history ever thought it was virtuous to turn their countries over to aliens, and tell them they had every reason to hate us — even to kill us. We’re unique. Any Chinaman who talked that way about the Chinese would be a candidate for the psych ward. But Julie Powell was just a slightly overexcited progressive. Nothing remarkable.
The fact is, the impulse behind this isn’t new. White people have a habit of tearing each other apart in the name of equality, in the name of helping the underdog. That’s what the French Revolution was supposed to be about. Liberty, equality, fraternity, with the emphasis on equality, and mass murder if that was what it took to get it.
The famous French Encyclopedist Denis Diderot said at the time: “Man will be free only when the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” Let us rephrase: “There will be justice only when the last white man is strangled with the entrails of the last white woman.” Isn’t that just a more colorful way of saying what Julie Powell said? Isn’t this the final solution to the white people problem?
We have not yet gone as far as the French. They massacred the aristocracy, purged the priesthood, established 1792 as Year 1 of the Revolutionary Calendar, and changed the names of the months. We haven’t yet named the months after Frederick Douglass or Cesar Chavez, but as Sam Francis used to say every year, “This is Black History Month, once known as February.” It’s the same sentiment that gave us Martin Luther King Day and Juneteenth. And, as many of you know, the state of Georgia recognizes February 23rd as Ahmaud Arbery Day. State rep. Sandra Scott said that was because he was “one of Georgia’s most distinguished citizens.”
This makes giving the months names like Germinal, Floreal, or Fructidor sound poetic.
So — yes — the egalitarian insanity of the French Revolution went farther than the egalitarian insanity of our revolution, but it was over in 10 years. And five years after that, France had an Emperor — it’s hard to think of a more inegalitarian system. It would be as if after the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v Board of Education, just 15 years later the country was being run by the American Colonization Society, which was set up to ship blacks back to Africa.
As I said earlier, our current insanity is grounded in a uniquely white thirst for egalitarian virtue. The first popular mass reform movement in history was the abolition movement in Britain. It got organized in 1787 with the founding of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
It grew into the first broad-based campaign of pamphleteering, lecturing, preaching, lobbying Parliament, and, sure enough, Britain abolished slavery throughout the empire 46 years later in 1833. I would note that it would not have succeeded without mass mobilization by women, and this was well before women even had the vote.
How many of you know what was the first mass social uplift movement in the United States? It wasn’t abolition or prohibition or votes for women. It was opposition to Andrew Jackson’s 1838 policy of Cherokee Removal — trail of tears and all that. That movement didn’t work, but it was, again, almost exclusively the work of women.
That was at a time when it was considered outrageous for women to have anything to do with politics. When a group of women in Maine wrote to Congress about the Cherokee, they apologized for writing at all. They referred to “that delicacy of feeling and the duty of deportment which should ever characterize the female sex, which might forbid the profanity of offending ourselves upon the notice of the United States Congress.” You’ve come a long way, baby.
Egalitarian uplift has always been deeply female. As public affairs become more and more the province of women, they veer more and more into egalitarian folly.
Nowhere was the craving for egalitarian virtue more evident than in the American abolition movement. It had a powerful streak of self-righteous fanaticism that is exactly like what we see today. Nowadays, every abolitionist is considered a hero, but at the time a lot of them were basically psychotic and recognized as such. John Brown was just the most prominent of a whole bushel of nut cases.
Many abolitionists were also followers of all sorts of outlandish cults: Shakerism, phrenology, Owenite socialism. James Russell Lowell, looking back years later with regret on his own fanaticism, wrote: “Every possible form of intellectual and physical dyspepsia brought forth its gospel. Everybody had a mission (with a capital M) to attend to everybody else’s business. All stood ready at a moment’s notice to reform everything but themselves.”
One historian of abolitionists wrote of their “wishful credulity, mistrust of objective reality, and self-dramatization.” Does that sound familiar?
At that time, opposition to slavery united every kind of reformer, just as anti-racism unites every climate change nut, militant nudist, Covid-commissar, every story-hour drag queen, Antifa fanatic, anarchist, or Trotskyite. Whatever else they are, they’re all anti-racists.
Something else that should sound familiar is the outright hatred abolitionists had for their opponents. Many didn’t think much one way or the other about blacks, but they sure hated slaveowners. The famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison swindled blacks to get money for his projects, but boy did he hate white Southerners. He called them “Human hyenas and jackals who delight to listen to negro groans, to revel in negro blood, and to batten on human flesh.”
Someone once asked another famous abolitionist, Angelina Grimke, if this were not an exaggeration of the horrors of slavery. She said, “[The horrors] cannot be exaggerated. It is impossible for imagination to go beyond the facts.” Isn’t this what right-thinking people say about us? We are insurrectionists, fascists, domestic terrorists, the number-one threat to America. It’s that 100-proof hate, the dizzying personal luxury of political hate come back from the dead.
I don’t know who first said love makes the world go round, but hatred can make it spin so fast that the machine flies apart and wrecks everything.
And that hate is bolstered by cocksure self-righteousness. Carrie Nation was a young abolitionist before she started smashing bars in the war on demon rum. She called herself “a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what God doesn’t like.” She knew what God doesn’t like. She was just like our opponents who truly believe they are “on the right side of history.”
So, you see, white people have a history of compulsion to throw themselves into virtuous reform. Nobody else does it the way we do. Can you think of a mass movement by people of any other race, for the uplift of people of a different race — or tribe or religion? I can’t. Is there a Hindu campaign in India for fair play for India’s Muslims? Is there a movement in China to protect the rights of the Uighurs in Xinjian? Were the Tutsis calling for equal rights for the Hutu? No. They were macheting each other to death. Only white people launch fanatic mass movements in the name of completely alien peoples.
And, of course, the great tragedy is that all this frenzy vents its venom on other white people. Bad white people are the problem, and bad white people have to be destroyed. This may seem new, but it’s not.
Today, there are three kinds of white Americans. First, there are the people who believe — or at least think they believe — the suicidal baloney: Diversity is strength, races are equal, whites are awful.
Then, there’s our group: We haven’t fallen for any of this, and are amazed that anyone can. And third, there’s everyone else. They go from near-zombies to people who can see that something is terribly wrong, but they’re not sure what. Those people come our way all the time.
But, back to the first group. They are the ones who started the craziness and, alas, they have a lot of power. What drives them to despise their own people?
First, they are like the abolitionists. They thrive on righteous indignation. They love the thrill of moral superiority. One of the most interesting things I learned from a book called Pathological Altruism is that the feeling of moral superiority stimulates the basal ganglia, the same way narcotic drugs stimulate that part of the brain.
I wish this were widely known. It would make such good mockery. Someone needs to say these lefties, “You realize, you’re an addict, don’t you? You can’t live without the constant high of righteous indignation. Whenever you glory in telling yourself how superior you are, your basal ganglia are pumping out dopamine, just like a junkie with a needle in his arm.”
We may be convinced we are right, but we have nothing like the exhibitionist self-righteousness of the typical lefty. We understand limits. We understand human nature. We don’t fall for crack-brained, self-glorifying utopian schemes.
You could almost define white people as an excitable subspecies of Homo Sapiens with a special sensitivity to psychological stimulation of the basal ganglia.
This craving for virtue drives all the fads that make lefties feel righteous. They’re going to save the whales, stamp out poverty, protect the ozone layer, stop exhaling carbon dioxide, worship George Floyd, spit on Robert E. Lee, wear three masks during Covid, and they truly believe they are the 21st-century equivalent of the “bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what God doesn’t like.”
Again, this moral exaltation is a specialty of white people. Non-whites raise hell for their particular interests, not for larger causes and certainly not for anybody else. How many blacks or Hispanics worry about the ozone layer or the spotted owl? As for global warming, Third-World countries care about it only if it means whitey is going to write them a check.
Non-whites never make a fetish out of opposing their own people. Look what happens to the occasional black who points out that blacks are responsible for their own problems. After Donald Trump, Clarence Thomas must be the most hated man in America. Only white people have ever built up a huge head of steam for the idea that their own people are no good.
Why do they choose their own people? It’s a kind of inverted white supremacy. There’s no liberal thrill in thinking you’re better than blacks or Hispanics. White people have to aim high if they are going to be truly superior. The most thrilling of all thrills is to think you can look down on tall, handsome, blond German Nazis! You’ve got to be flying high to be able to spit on them.
To take inverted white supremacy even further, it’s incredible narcissism to think that white people don’t even have to lift a finger to oppress a whole race of people. White silence is violence. All it takes is a few impure thoughts in big white brains for black people to start shooting each other. White people are so cosmically powerful, they can wreck the lives of millions of people without even trying. Nutty whites seem to have no idea that this reduces their beloved non-whites to the significance of insects.
There is also a colossal intellectual arrogance in being an anti-racist. Wise progressives understand things beyond the grasp of the rest of us — beyond the grasp of anyone who ever lived. They have discovered “systemic” racism, “colorblind” racism, “unconscious bias,” and “white privilege.” It takes special gifts to detect and fight these sinister forces, and the gifted ones love to despise white rubes who make the laughable mistake of saying, “I just try to treat everyone fairly.”
What ignoramuses those white people are! They are the same boobs who don’t realize that race is a social construct. So not only are anti-racists virtuous, they’re the smartest people who ever lived. Did Plato or Kant or Newton understand systemic racism? No. But progressives do. And anyone who disagrees is both immoral and an idiot. What a splendid feeling!
Of course, a lot of people just go along with the rubbish because most people always just go along. The trouble is, the people most likely to go along are the ones with influential jobs. They went to college where they swallowed gallons of fashionable nonsense. Going to college makes people believe they can think for themselves, while ensuring they will never have an unfashionable thought in their lives. College graduates love to parrot the latest nonsense on subjects about which they know nothing.
They are smart enough to have figured out what you have to say to get ahead, but as they move up the ladder, many of them are seeing their careers wrecked by anti-white chief diversity officers. They don’t dare complain, but some of those people are coming our way.
What about the white people in between, who don’t groan under the burden of a college education? They are the ones who suffer the most. How many hard-working white fathers take second jobs so they can send their children to college, only for the daughters they love to come back home and tell Daddy that he has benefitted all his life from ruthless white privilege and that he’s unconsciously propping up the cis-hetero-white-supremacist patriarchy? These must be some of the most agonizing, embittering conversations in the history of the world.
Working-class whites pay a terrible price. The people in this room can build a mental fortress around our identities. We are proud to be who we are, we laugh at yapping lefties. It’s the ones who are less sure, who wonder if what the TV is telling them is right — they are the wounded ones, sometimes, mortally wounded. No wonder we have a fentanyl epidemic.
The other day, I was talking to a lady who understands race perfectly. I told her that the only solution is disengagement; ultimately, we need our own nation. She said she doesn’t want to say goodbye to great universities, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and besides, we can all live in whitopias. I told her, no, we can’t all live in whitopias. It takes a lot of money to live in a whitopia, and not all of us have it.
If all we do is escape to whitopia — as many of us have, myself included — that is betrayal. We have brothers and sisters who don’t have the money we do, who don’t have the mental defenses we do, who deserve to live in a country that doesn’t treat them like dirt!
They’re not going to read The Bell Curve or maybe even AmRen, but they shouldn’t have to. They deserve to live in a country that appreciates them, tells them the truth about themselves, their race, their history, their heritage, and that promises them a future.
How do we get there?
Some of us work in what you could call counter-propaganda, which just means telling the truth. And it’s the truth that brings whites over to our side. And they are coming. How do we get more?
A number of people have told me that American Renaissance opened their eyes. When they say that, I ask: What were the ideas that did it? What were the arguments? I want to know what works.
Often, all we did was put into words something they sensed already. They were already off-balance; baffled by the absurdities of the orthodoxy. And that made them open to reason, and when they found us, everything clicked. I remember one woman at a conference who said, “Thank you for building a movement that could be there when I was ready for it.” True nuts are impregnable to reason; waverers are not. And that is why, when they begin to wobble, they must find solid, reasoned analysis waiting for them.
We mustn’t forget that when people come our way, they are coming from a worldview that is drenched in the idea that to be a good person you have to be a champion of the underdog and hate the underdog’s oppressor. We must convince them that despite everything they have heard, we are the ones fighting for our lives.
I know it’s sometimes hard to recognize that ordinary liberals and progressives are not bad people, but they truly believe they are on the side of the angels.
I know it’s hard not to misread their motives. How can people with good intentions wreck everything? Well, let me explain how they misread motives. Hopped-up whites have convinced themselves that January Six was an insurrection by people who hate democracy. They fail to understand that those people believed that they were saving democracy. The rioters thought they were taking back a stolen election. The lefty idea that they hate democracy is cuckoo, but when they talk about “election denial,” they are talking about people who, they think, don’t like elections at all. And they think this justifies all this lunatic talk of “fascism.”
I was once a liberal. I wasn’t a bad person who suddenly became good when I stopped being a liberal. I thought I was on the side of goodness, truth, and beauty. That’s the way liberals think. A few may really want us all dead, but most of them mean well. Just as it is important for us to try to understand ourselves, to try to understand our own motives, we must try to understand our opponents. We can’t appeal to them if we don’t understand them. We should not misread their motives the way they misread ours. As you know, they think we’re unhinged and evil. They aren’t unhinged and evil any more than we are.
Just unhinged — that they are — and it’s our job to put them back on their hinges. We need to take that craving for virtue, and channel it into something good. What if just a tiny bit of the effort that went into saving whales and polar bears went into saving white people? But that won’t happen if we approach those people the way they approach us: as sworn enemies who have to be destroyed.
This makes our job a lot harder. We need to respect our opponents enough to try to change their minds. Because one thing is certain: A good number of them will have to change their minds for us to succeed.
And to change the minds of white people, you can’t simply appeal to their self-interest. I can’t stress this enough. Appealing to self-interest works for every other race, but not for whites. Whites crave virtue. They may also crave wealth and fame and power, but they crave virtue — or at least the appearance of virtue — even more. And so, when events push people our way, they’re not going to come any closer if our message is harsh or vengeful or mean-spirited.
If you take away one idea from what I am saying this morning, it’s that anti-racist and deluded whites are still our brothers and sisters, and that’s how we must treat them. More than any other people on earth, they want to think they are doing right. Any suggestion that white advocacy means mistreating or exploiting others will scare the bejabbers out of them.
That, of course, is precisely why the other side calls us white supremacists. That’s meant to evoke slavery, lynching — as if we wanted to bring that back. It’s to discredit us before we even open our mouths. It is to put us beyond the possibility of virtue, and whites — even if they are hypocrites — must feel virtuous. The other side has been very good at defining us as not just wrong but bad, and that is why it’s important not to justify that view. Be strong. Be firm. Be persistent. But not unfair, petty, or spiteful.
I know this is asking a lot, especially of young people. You have been insulted all your lives for being white, and it’s hard not to be furious, hard not to want revenge. But our goal is not to vent our fury. It’s not to seek revenge. Our goal is to save our people, and we must work for this cause as effectively as we possibly can.
I know that there is deep satisfaction in hating enemies. That is why in wartime we teach the troops to think of the enemy as vermin to be exterminated. We cannot permit ourselves this dizzying luxury of hatred. We must maintain revolutionary discipline, not be self-indulgent. Sometimes revolutionary discipline requires mercy for our deluded brothers and sisters.
The solution may not be political in the conventional sense. The solution may take a form we cannot now even imagine. But whatever form it takes, there must be many more whites than there are now who see the truth and are willing to act on it.
Our most powerful weapon is that we are right. The way we see the world is grounded in history, human nature, and science, and it is morally unimpeachable. But simply being right is not nearly enough.
Yes, ours is as noble a cause as history has ever seen. One for which a man would thankfully lay down his life. But as Sam Dickson points out, although there are many among us who would die for our people, we must do something much harder: Live for our people. And if our race is to live, we must work tirelessly for our people, and do it as effectively and persuasively as possible.
When I speak publicly about what is at stake for us, the immense debt we owe to our ancestors and our obligations to generations to come, I start weeping. I can’t help it. So I’m not going to talk about that. However, I have often likened our struggle to that of the Spartans at Thermopylae or the Franks at Poitiers. But our job is so much harder. Our ancestors faced a clear enemy arrayed for battle. Their job was simple: Kill them all or die trying.
We must have their same courage and determination, but we must never forget that in the opposing camp are literally millions of our own people, whom we must not destroy but enlighten and lead to the truth.
This is the greatest challenge our people have ever faced. I am confident that we will rise to it. We Southerners did lose the war, but we draw lessons from it, and one is that crises make great men. Robert E. Lee would have been a man of distinction in any era, but without the war, Stonewall Jackson would have been a forgotten eccentric. Nathan Bedford Forrest would have been just another businessman. But when war came, Forrest and Jackson rose to heights no one would have predicted.
We live in such a time now. This crisis, too, will produce great men and great women. Some may be with us this weekend. We may think back and say, “We didn’t realize we were in the presence of greatness. But we were.”
I am not an optimist in all things, but I am in this: Our people are waking up. Our people are on the move. Our people are seeing what is at stake. And, together, we will fight in the greatest cause for which anyone has ever fought, and we will certainly win.
 Steve Inskeep Jacksonland, (New York: Penguin Random House, 2015), p. 223.
 This and other quotations from abolitionists are from J. C. Furnas, The Road to Harper’s Ferry (New York: William Sloan Associated) a remarkable book written in 1959.
What It Means to be White
Jared Taylor • The Unz Review • December 23, 2022 • 4,700 Words • Has Comments
Republished from American Renaissance by permission of author or representative
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