First, Confederate-Americans called themselves “separatists .” Then, they called themselves “white nationalists.” When that didn’t work, they tried “race realists.” Now, they’ve got a new one: “Identitarians.”
But like a repackaged UnitZ asset flip on Steam Greenlight, it’s the same old BS and don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise.
The Name Game
White supremacists have an image problem: overt racism is no longer socially acceptable. Note that “overt racism” is usually exclusive with institutional racism, and racism that hides behind police officers who negotiate like toddlers and carry themselves like Cartman from South Park.
That sort of racism is a-okay.
White supremacists haven’t figured this out yet. They want to know why they can’t call black people “n*gg*rs” and not get called out for it. This doesn’t lend itself to a very welcoming marketing strategy, but what one lacks in welcoming they can make up for in dishonest subtly.
This is why so-called “white nationalists” will argue that whites should be allowed to form a “white caucus,” when the last time I checked, the “white caucus” was actually called “Congress.”
This is why so-called “racial realists” will argue with full conviction that the hundreds of genes that control for skin tone, like MC1R, also code for behavior, something that’s far more complex than skin tone, all the while desperately pretending that poverty has no impact on epigenetics when it does.
It’s also why more than 150 white guys can organize over Halloween to “celebrate their shared European heritage” while insisting they’re not the least bit racist:
The 150-plus white men who gathered on Halloween to discuss their shared European heritage and identity insisted they don’t think they’re better than other races.
They’re simply different, they said. They’re “white advocates” and “identitarians.” “Racial idealists” or “racial communitarians.” The label “white supremacists,” to them, is a political “scare term” created by liberals and groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center to undercut “legitimate” white interests.
“Racial idealist” is probably the most downright Orwellian phrase I’ve heard this week. That could’ve been pulled right from Big Brother’s playbook.
The conference was organized by the National Policy Institute, and while speaking of the group, the president of the NPI, Richard Spencer, said that there was a “tendency” among racists to “embrace the fringe” and they were “trying to make this a sensible position that all white people need to think about.”
Of course, the “we’re not the fringe” facade plummets the minute they open up and reveal that they are the fringe:
“You can’t get away from this general tendency to delegitimize the white man,” he said. “We totally recognize the fact that our views are considered beyond the pale, or awful — but we’ve got to start this way. The gay movement had to start at some point, Zionism had to start in the 19th century when that was considered a ridiculous, terrible notion.”
Of course, this insistence that their views are based on genuine differences rather than a sense of superiority is undercut by the sort of rhetoric their community uses to describe traits they believe are inherent in other races or ethnicities. Jews are manipulative. African Americans are lazy or violent. Latinos are free-riders who are stealing American jobs. Etcetera.
Shakespeare nailed this down centuries ago, so, while being considerably less Anglo-Saxon, allow me to design my own send-up, which I hope encapsulates everything so far: “What’s in a name? That which we call racist shit by any other name will still stink.”
Feature image via kooriweb.org