Peter Brimelow writes:
Jared Taylor is arguably the most brilliant of the
leaders of what is now sometimes called the
“Alternative Right”, the intellectual movement focused on emergent
issues that are now systematically suppressed in
America`s purblind public debate. I believe that his new
White Identity: Racial
Consciousness in the 21st Century—the long–awaited sequel to his 1992 book
Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in
the definitive debunking of the blacks oppressed-whites
oppressed-whites racist” conventional narrative—will eventually be seen as
a decisive step forward on the historic American
nation`s road to recovery from the paralyzing curse of
Taylor has told
the story of the reception of
Paved with Good
Intentions in the
to his 2005 reissue. He kindly credited my
with helping break the Main Stream Media boycott. The
book ultimately became a significant commercial success.
Needless to say,
post-purge National Review
would not now dare review a book as Politically
Incorrect as White Identity. But, even more serious,
refused to handle this sequel and told Taylor that he
regretted publishing the original, despite its success,
because of the backlash from industry peers. Two
literary agents, Theron Raines and Paul Zack, attracted
by the manuscript`s undeniable skill and power, spent
years trying to place it before giving up in surprised
is not strength. It is, in important respects,
repression. Only because of the internet, and the
publishing technology, can we continue to hope that the
truth, as well represented by White Identity, will set
from the Introduction to
White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century—purchase
I was nine years
old and knew nothing about boxing, but my eye was caught
by a newspaper picture of the victorious Patterson
standing over Johansson, out cold on the canvas.
I read the
article and asked my father if this meant no one on
earth could beat Patterson. He said that was right;
Patterson was the best boxer in the world.
thinking to myself that this just wasn`t right. Surely,
there must be one of our guys—a white guy—who could beat
him. Floyd Patterson was an American like me, while
Ingemar Johansson was a foreigner, a
Swede, but I still wanted the white man to win.
Readers will no
doubt dismiss thoughts of a nine-year-old child as
prejudice I learned from my surroundings—but they should
not be so hasty. My parents were missionaries, and I was
born and reared in
At age nine I had no experience of black people. My
parents had always said that all races were equal and
that all people were children of God.
I also had no
special objection to Patterson because he was black. I
think I would have been just as perplexed if Johansson
had been knocked out by an Arab or a Chinese.
As I grew up I
adopted my parents` liberal views of race, and forgot
all about Patterson and Johansson. In fact, as a young
liberal I would have been ashamed to recall that I had
rooted for the white man rather than the American. It
was only when I was in my 40s and began to question
conventional assumptions about race that I even
remembered what I had thought about that 1961 title
As we will see
in Chapter 4, children of all races have untutored
racial preferences that may be part of their nature. It
serves little purpose to call these preferences
“racism”, as if they were a moral failing. They appear to be an
expression of natural racial identity, which arises far
earlier than most people realize and can persist despite
efforts to suppress it. Clever experiments in adults
show that they retain these preferences, even when they
are convinced they do not. Racial identity can be
condemned, fought, ignored, or cultivated, but it is
unrealistic for a society to pretend it does not exist.
American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s
was based on the assumption that consciousness of race
is a prejudice that is learned from a prejudiced
society. The movement`s goal was to eliminate racial
prejudice and even consciousness of race, and build a
society in which race would not matter.
failed; generation after generation race continues to
official American assumptions about race—that it is a
trivial distinction it is our destiny to transcend—have
not changed. The result is a stubborn gap between what
Americans say and claim to think about race, and how
they act. This stark contrast is described in the first
chapter of this book.
seldom talk about it, at some level most Americans know
how little their behavior resembles what are supposed to
be their ideals. The result is frustration, confusion,
and not a little hypocrisy. I believe decades of
frustration were behind the wishful thinking that
surrounded the election of the first black American
president in 2008.
Barack Obama took office, I was invited to join a radio
debate on the significance of the election. The other
guest, a professor at Yale, used language that was then
nearly universal. He called the election
“transformational”, saying it would dramatically
change the lives of both blacks and whites.
I said it was a
mistake to expect
“transformation”, or perhaps even much change at
all. I asked whether the fact that we had a black
president would reduce rates of black crime,
illegitimacy, and school failure, and whether whites
would now welcome black and Hispanic neighbors.
I noted that in
heart of the
a black man, Douglas Wilder, as governor, and that his
election was greeted with similarly extravagant
expectations. At the end of four years, the
circumstances of blacks and the
of race relations
The host of the
program so resented my suggestion that
should be expected to show concrete results that he
accused me of trying to deceive his listeners. Clearly,
he had been swept up in the heady excitement of the
moment, an excitement caught by
who wrote in the New York Times that if Mr. Obama`s election
“didn`t leave you teary-eyed and proud of your country, there`s
something wrong with you”. [
The Obama Agenda,
New York Times,
November 7, 2008.]
Why would an
election cause a radio host to take offense at the idea
that “transformation” should bring measurable gains? Why would it bring a
laureate in economics
It is because so
many people saw the election as expiation for America`s
sins and the final achievement of the goals of the civil
rights movement. The
election of a black president
meant victory had finally come.
There had already
been a half century of effort.
civil rights laws,
the Great Society,
black appointments to cabinet and Supreme Court—all
reflected a deep desire to do away with distinctions of
race. Every institution and authority figure in the
country condemns racism and urges that it be fought on
all fronts. The United States has poured more moral
energy into improving race relations than into anything
else in its history.
And yet, in
November 2008, race was still the American dilemma. The
fact that it was still a dilemma despite so much effort
fostered something like a yearning for miracles. That
yearning gained force with every step Mr. Obama took
towards the White House and reached a climax at his
Two years later,
there is so little euphoria left that it is difficult
for most Americans to remember how giddy with hope they
were on January 20, 2009 when Mr. Obama took the oath of
office. The CNN news channel hinted at miracles when it
offered viewers an inaugural T-shirt that read,
“Obama raises hand, lifts a nation“.
Susan Sarandon was hoping for miracles when
said of the new president,
“He is a
community organizer like Jesus was. And now, we`re a
community and he can organize us”.
There was such a
frenzy over the new president that former Clinton press
secretary Dee Dee Myers was no doubt right to call him
“the most famous living person in the history of the world”.
Mr. Obama had been president for less than a month when
he was nominated for the
and had been president for only eight months when the
Committee declared him the winner.
All this explains
the hostility to my question about the tangible
consequences for race relations of an Obama
victory—whether there was going to be real change or
just happy talk. People hoping for miracles do not want
to be asked practical questions.
But there have
been no miracles. The Gallup organization recorded a
huge spike in optimism about American race relations at
the time of the inauguration, but one year later it
about race relations is now almost identical to where it
was 46 years ago, when Gallup first asked the question”.
This book tries to
explain why there have been no miracles. It does so by
examining the enduring phenomenon of racial
consciousness. For many Americans—probably most
Americans—race remains an unspoken consideration in
schools to attend,
clubs to join, whom to
marry, and what
of town to avoid at night.
The closer we look
at how Americans live, the more clearly we see how much
race continues to matter. At the same time, the moral
imperative of the civil rights movement—that race should
mean nothing—remains so strong that many whites deny,
even to themselves, that race plays any role in these
We insist that
is a great strength, but for most Americans this is mere
lip service. They rarely seek diversity in their
personal lives, living instead in homogeneous islands
that look nothing like the
racial and cultural mix this country has become.
Anti-discrimination laws ensure integration at work, at
school, and in public, but in private the races
generally separate. A dinner party,
or backyard barbecue is rarely a multi-racial mosaic.
When they are beyond the reach of the law, Americans
revert to the patterns of segregation the law forbids.
therefore live a contradiction that makes it difficult
to talk honestly about race. There is probably no other
subject about which there is a greater divergence
between what is said publicly and thought privately, or
between official pronouncements and personal behavior.
At least that is
true for whites. Chapters 5 and 6 explore the open
rejection by Blacks and Hispanics of the civil-rights
ideal of transcending race. For many minorities, race or
ethnicity is central to their identity. The
Congressional Black Caucus
exists to shape legislation from a limited perspective:
What`s in it for blacks? The
has an equally narrow perspective.
racial/ethnic solidarity is an entrenched part of the
political landscape, and the pressure tactics to which
it gives rise have been very successful. As we will see
in Chapter 7,
Asians are now adopting the same tactics.
Non-white leaders are so accustomed to promoting
explicitly racial interests that they would be
dumbfounded at the suggestion that they should broaden
their horizons and work for all Americans. And yet that
is the goal all Americans must have if the country is to
“move beyond race”.
describes the radical transformation of white racial
attitudes that has occurred in the last half century. Up
until the 1950s,
white Americans felt the same kind of racial identity
that is common among non-whites.
These sentiments have almost completely
disappeared—certainly from public sight.
would dare examine legislation by asking what was in it
for whites. No city in America has a
or a white caucus on the city council. Across the
political spectrum, Americans assert that any form of
white racial consciousness or solidarity is despicable.
have tried to keep their end of the civil rights
bargain. They have dismantled and condemned their own
racial identity in the expectation that others will do
Why, though, is it
so hard to build a society in which race does not
matter? To the extent that Americans even ask themselves
this question, they would say that it is because
Americans—whites, especially—have not tried hard enough.
And yet, how much harder can a people try? Today, after
50 years of trying, most whites cannot muster much more
than exhausted resignation in the face of reports on
yawning gaps in test scores
or poverty rates.
This book departs
from convention in that it does not ask that we just
keep trying harder. Instead, it suggests that we would
do well to rethink our assumptions. If, generation after
generation, Americans tend to segregate themselves, is
it possible that the expectations for integration were
not reasonable? If diversity is a source of tension, are
there risks in basing policies on the assumption that it
is a strength? If non-white groups continue to advance
race-based interests, is it wise for whites to continue
to act as if they have none?
The ideal of
moving beyond race still appeals to the vast majority of
whites. They dream of an America in which there is no
such thing as racial conflict, in which all Americans
work together for common goals. They love to quote
Martin Luther King`s
“I Have a Dream” speech about judging people by “the content of their character“.
And yet, two
generations after that speech was delivered, how many
blacks judge whites by the content of their character?
And when whites take a wrong turn off the freeway, do
they lock their car doors because they can read the
the people on the sidewalk?
Perhaps it is time
to question goals that run counter to near-universal
behavior. There may be lessons for us in the failure of
Soviet-style Communism. It is our era`s foremost example
of a system that made mesmerizing promises of an earthly
paradise but betrayed those promises. Millions of people
were inspired by an ideology that would do away with
believed that the working class would seize the means of
production, the state would wither away, selfishness
would disappear, and man would live
according to his ability to each according to his needs”.
In the name of this ideology millions gave their
lives—and took the lives of millions of others.
It failed for many reasons, not least
because it was a misreading of human nature.
Self-interest cannot be abolished. People do not work
just as hard on collective farms as they do on their own
land. The almost universal rejection of Communism today
marks the acceptance of people as they are, not as
Communism wished them to be.
Is it possible
that our racial ideals assume that people should become
something they cannot?
If most people
prefer the company of people like themselves, what do we
achieve by insisting that they deny that preference?
If diversity is a
weakness rather than a strength, why work to increase
I believe that
mistaken assumptions about race are leading us in
dangerous directions. Merely to raise these questions,
however, is to dissent from the deeply held convictions
of many thoughtful Americans—and they are more than mere
convictions. For many Americans, perhaps even most
Americans, they are
foundations of morality;
even to question the assumptions of the civil-rights
vision is illegitimate.
Of course, we can
never speak honestly about race if the majority brooks
no dissent. There cannot be dialogue if doubters are
thought to be not merely mistaken but immoral. In fact,
it is a sign that the defenders of orthodoxy are unsure
of their ground when they close their ears to
disagreement. Real solutions to real problems require
honest discussion, and honest discussion comes at a
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest”.
When it comes to
race, few dare to offend. In February 2009, Mr. Obama`s
black Attorney General, Eric Holder, caused a stir when
he noted that workplaces are integrated but that in
their private lives Americans live in
cocoons”, as if we were still living in
“the country that
existed almost 50 years ago“.
He said Americans were
“a nation of cowards”
because they do not talk about race, and urged us to
“be honest with
attorney general claims US is `voluntarily segregated`
February 19, 2009 ]
But did Mr. Holder
mean it? Is he willing to consider that, if in some
important ways our country has not changed in 50 years,
it may mean it was unrealistic to expect it to change?
Of course, it is
likely that Mr. Holder
to break out of their
“race-protected cocoons”, embrace people of other races, and
apologize for racism. And, as we will see in Chapter 8,
whites are more than ready to apologize. When they speak
as whites it
is almost always to apologize. But
apologies for slavery and Jim Crow—things
for which no
living white person is responsible—take
neither bravery nor honesty.
Holder was right to say Americans are cowards about
race. But he was wrong about why. White Americans are
cowards, but not because they are unwilling to admit
guilt and atone for the past. They are cowards because
they fear that any departure from carefully scripted
opinions about race—to suggest, for example, that the
very fact of multi-racialism gives rise to serious
problems no matter what whites do—will be met with
And they are
right. Charges of
“racism” are not a form of debate; they are meant to
silence debate. Accusations of racism are often
transparent attempts to choke off honest discussion.
This book is an
attempt to understand race relations as they are—not as
we might wish them to be. We cannot understand the world
we live in if we refuse to rethink assumptions that may
be wrong. Nor can we make progress if we are knocked off
fear that others may call us names.
assumptions about race could have far-reaching
consequences, which are explored in the final chapter.
Disturbing as such a reexamination may be, it will help
us understand the choices our country faces today and
the choices we made in the past. We can continue down a
path that is likely to ensure tension and social
dislocation—or we can reorient policies in more
This book is about
something most people who are not white take for
to it early, feel it strongly, and make no apologies for
whites do not have a strong sense of racial identity.
But they would do well to understand what race means for
They should also
ponder the consequences of being the
group for whom such an identity is forbidden
and who are permitted no aspirations as a group.
questions—certainly the most controversial in this
book—are taken up in the final chapter.
him) is editor of
and the author of
With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in
(For Peter Brimelow`s review, click
His new book, White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st
Century, can be