Monday, February 06, 2017

Seven Thoughts on Why White Nationalism Makes No Sense

You've likely heard a lot about 'white nationalism' (coded as the 'alt-right') in the media and not known how to respond to it.

Their logic makes so little sense (but of course it's not about the logic).

We will set aside for the moment that white people, on the whole, are still disproportionately privileged. People of colour, women and indigenous folk are still disproportionately disadvantaged and oppressed in this dominant culture. And so the feeling that they are being oppressed by laws that seek to give opportunities to those who haven't had them is madness. White people are not being screwed by people of colour. They're being screwed by the elite. The same culture of Empire that killed and oppressed most of their ancestors is now oppressing them. The difference now is that they cling to that culture to save them. You can learn more about white privilege in the memes and articles here:

We'll set that aside and look a bit deeper.

Here are seven thoughts on why it makes no sense.

1) It is based on the notion of 'race' which does not exist. It's not real. There is a human race. That's it.

2) It is based on the notion of 'whiteness' which is also a cultural construction. 'White' is a blanket term used to describe people whose ancestors came from Europe and who have a certain skin pigmentation. But it's made up. Race is not real and there is no 'white race'. It is based in the fear of the loss of the 'white race'. And so what they fear they will lose is a fictional creation and all they will gain in some melanin. You can learn more about that in the articles here:

3) They equate white culture with European culture but, for the most part, whiteness was a construction that began in the United States.

4) When they say 'the genius of European culture', they're not talking about indigenous, European folk culture. They're not talking about the massive diversity of culture that still exists there. They're not talking at the Sami of Northern Europe. They're not talking about Gypsy culture or the Tinkers in Ireland. They're not talking about the Mari people in Russia. And they are certainly not talking about the dark skinned Moors of Spain or the Grimaldi. No. They're talking about the culture of Empire (the Greeks, the Romans, the British etc.) and calling that European culture. They are conveniently ignoring most of their direct ancestors. Those ones don't count. And then they are saying that this is 'white' culture (which given the fact the 'the white race' was borne out of privilege created by Empires might not be entirely untrue). White Nationalism seems to be based on the notion of Empire that might is right. That winning, at any cost, is all that matters. You can read more about European indigenous culture here:

5) Ethnic purity is a dangerous myth.

6) When they say 'the genius of European culture', they also vanishing the innovations of every other culture that doesn't appear 'white'. They're vanishing everything that Muslims and Arabs brought into the world ( or the Chinese (paper and gunpowder to name but two). And that list could go on a long time of the things that Europeans and white people owe to other cultures.

7) To say that America is a white nation is madness (and not just because it's browning fast). White people are recent additions to this Turtle Island on which we live. North America is a European dream based on the genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of Africans and the exploitation of the poor. It wouldn't exist without people of colour. And much of its culture is appropriated from the cultures of people of colour.

Additional Reading:

These are my thoughts at the moment. You can read more thoughts on this 'alt-right' movement in the articles here:

Shapeshifters: The Paganism of Identity and the Danger of Fascist Infiltration

No comments: