The invitation of Robert Vandevoort
to a committee hearing
on making English the official language of Pennsylvania set off a statewide discussion last week about the difference between a "white supremacist" and a "white nationalist".
Rep. Metcalfe: A 'white nationalist' is not a 'white supremacist',By Kate Giammarise and Karen Langley, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 25, 2015Was a white supremacist invited to speak at English-only bill hearing? Pa. lawmakers disagree
Is there a difference between a "white supremacist" and a "white nationalist?" Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, believes there is but others don'tBy Christian Alexandersen, Pennlive.com, September 25, 2015
Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican representative (above, white) issued the invite, which prompted two Harrisburg city council members to ask that he be "disciplined."
A few things about this episode are heartening to me.
First, that Robert Vandevoort was invited to speak to begin with. Second, that Rep. Metcalfe would have defended the decision, and not groveled before the SPLC. And third, that we would get a chance to discuss the terminology of white resistance to dispossession.
It's been my complaint for years that "white supremacist" is as useless and biased a term as the opposition can conjure. Even "white nationalist" might have too sinister a hiss—which is why I prefer "white advocate."
It's the perfect term because it suggests no terminal policy solutions—like a hermetically-sealed whites-only nation-state—but doesn't pussyfoot about the word "white". I don't know about you, but I'm getting sick of the words "freedom", "traditional", "heritage" and "conservative".