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Yes, It Is About Race. Quite Right Too.
I really must congratulate me on this prediction, made back in early March when Obama was still riding high, based on my observation of the intense grass-roots fervor that contrasted so sharply with the complacent Establishment leadership at the just-completed Conservative Political Action Committee conference:
"The followership, the vast and remarkably youthful crowd, essentially all white, both sexes dressed in very proper office clothes, was intensely enthusiastic if confused—applauding both Ron Paul's assault on indiscriminate military interventionism and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum's very disappointing belligerent boilerplate about the Islamic threat with equal enthusiasm, so far as I could see.
"But my guess is that the details don't matter here. In Kevin MacDonald's terms, a powerful 'implicit community' is blossoming in opposition to Obama's racial-socialist coup. The backlash to Obama is likely to be faster and more furious than the Beltway Establishment, Right or Left, anticipates."
(Emphasis added, gloatingly!)
The power of that backlash, at Town Halls and Tea Parties, has been the sensation of the summer. The Obama Administration is obviously shaken. The President hastened to disavow Jimmy Carter's smear of Rep. Joe Wilson, dumped ACORN, and has even conceded that opposition to Obamacare is not, in itself, "racist". Nevertheless, large parts of his agenda now seem imperiled.
But it is clear that the Establishment Right is also uncomfortable with the backlash, and particularly with some of its more exuberant enthusiasms, notably the apparently irrepressible demand that Obama produce his birth certificate—although this is clearly a case of symbolic politics filling a void created by the Establishment Right's failure to lead.
It's actually really interesting how many grassroots revolts have shaken the Establishment in recent years. The most dramatic examples, of course, was the back-to-back routing of the two Kennedy-Bush amnesty attempts. But I would argue that a precursor was the grassroots backlash to the War Against Christmas, which in the last couple of years has resulted in the simultaneous blossoming of what can only be called War Against Christmas denial, ludicrous in the teeth of scores of examples documented on VDARE.COM, so co-ordinated that it's almost as if powerful group was shaken, like the Obama Administration, and circulated a secret memo.
Was the summer surge "racist"? I'm sure that New York Times house-broken "conservative" columnist David Brooks was absolutely right to say he detected no signs of "racism", in the sense of visceral personal animosity, as he jogged through the 9/12 rally in Washington. (No, It's Not About Race, New York Times, September 17, 2009.) This got Brooks denounced by Ed Kilgore, a New Republic blogger, as a "Yankee" (!!!—apparently because Southerners regularly mingle with blacks, but everyone knows they're racist). You have to wonder what the 9/12 crowds would have had to do to satisfy these people.
But it's still "about race". It is no coincidence, comrades, that the backlash is overwhelming white. Whites in America voted heavily against Obama. White Protestants ("let's face it, they are America"—Phillip Roth, American Pastoral, p. 311) still make up nearly half (42%) the electorate and they voted 2-1 for McCain. But are even 4% of Obama's appointments white Protestants?
The plain fact is that the Obama Administration has very shallow roots in historic America. It is, to put it brutally, a minority occupation government. Government and governed have little real contact or mutual understanding. It's a recipe for continuous clashes.
"I think the contradictions that Steve has identified in this book will turn any Obama Presidency into a four-year O.J. Simpson trial and that the consequent melt-down will compare to the Chernobyl of the Carter Presidency in its destructive partisan effects."
And these polarizing O.J. Simpson incidents are coming thick and fast—from the inexplicable dropping of voter intimidation charges against the Philadelphia New Black Panthers, to Obama's reflexive siding with black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates against white Cambridge cop James Crowley, to black educator Charisse Carney-Nunes' instructing school children to rap in praise of Obama to the multicultural photograph posed by the White House to celebrate Obama's recent rally with doctors in support of his health care legislation. (Typical mordant discussion by Larry Auster here).
Under the clinically scientific headline "Birth of a Notion", Scientific American's Steve Mirsky recently argued that the inexplicable (to him) appeal of the birthers lay in what he called "implicit social cognition, which involves the deep-rooted assumptions we all carry around and even act on without realizing it".
As an example,
"Harvard University psychologist Mahzarin Banaji is a leader in implicit social cognition research. She excavates the hidden beliefs people hold by measuring how fast they make value judgments when shown a rapid-fire succession of stimuli, such as photographs of faces….[She] found that volunteers linked white Americans more strongly than Asian-Americans with, well, America. Banaji and Devos then decided to do what even they thought was a 'bizarre' study: they had people gauge the 'American-ness' of famous Asian-Americans, such as Connie Chung and tennis player Michael Chang, versus European whites, such as Hugh Grant.
"The study found that white Europeans are more 'American' than are nonwhite Americans in most minds….Little surprise, then, that in a study done during the 2008 election campaign, Devos found that John McCain (who, ironically, was born in Panama, albeit at a U.S. naval base) was seen as more 'American' than Obama."
This may be annoying to Banaji and Mirsky. But, to adapt Phillip Roth, "Let's face it, they [whites] are America."
The moral of this story: Diversity is not strength. It is weakness. By importing diversity through the disastrous immigration reform of 1965 and the simultaneous abandonment of enforcement at the southern border, Washington has forced whites—who for most of U.S. history would have been simply called "Americans"—to recognize, if only for now at a subliminal level, that they have common interests and must act to defend them.
This development is unimpeachably legitimate. It is not, of course, a recipe for civil peace.
But I didn't make current immigration policy. My advice to those who did: you (OK, your illegal alien maid) made your bed—now lie in it.
Peter Brimelow (email him) is editor of VDARE.COM and author of the much-denounced Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster, (Random House - 1995) and The Worm in the Apple (HarperCollins - 2003)