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I don't get it, even as I do - Elf M. Sternberg
I don't get it, even as I do
Rod Dreher over at the American Conservative has a hair-pulling pair of letters today from readers that he has entitled Creating The White Tribe. Let's forgo the important observations that there has been a "white tribe" in America since at least Article 1, Section 2, paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution ("Representation and direct taxes shall be apportioned ... according to a whole number of free persons ... and three-fifths of all others persons.") and look through these complaints.

His first writer complains that he's "very lower middle class," and yet "If you listen to the left, I'm swimming in privilege." Another says that the "histrionics on the left have made me more racist, more sexist, and more homophobic than I've ever been in my entire life."

LBJ's observation still rings true: "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." These men are looking for someone to pick their pockets. The second admits he was already homophobic, sexist, and racist, the recent show of strength by others has only made him more committed to his straight, white, masculine view.

Neither writer has ever been told that he has to speak for his entire group, or had someone come up and say, "Why do white guys riot after they win a baseball game?" or "Why do white guys commit so much domestic violence?" Cops have never used their skin color as a proxy for a threat. If they get violent with the police, the odds of their coming out alive are signficantly highter. Now they're being asked to defend themselves, and... they can't. They just can't. The best they can manage is a pipsqueak, "Well, I'm not the bad guy here, I can't be, I'm poor."

So what? Black people are overall more poor. Women are overall more poor. The system maybe isn't serving these guys, but it's actively suppressing others. If you don't think that's privilege, well, I don't care about your problems.

I wanted to say I get these guys. And in a way, I do. I understand the wish for "the warm embrace [of a white tribe] that tell me it's okay to be a white guy." But I'm also a man with morals and ethics that tells me that there's a difference between heritage and kyriarchy, and mistaking one for the other is what got us here in the first place.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

2 comments or Leave a comment
sirfox From: sirfox Date: January 27th, 2017 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh the poor dears.

I think we're witnessing Cognitive Dissonance in action, here.

By ceaselessly raising the issues and having the discussions, airing the documentaries, and taking what used to thrive in the shadows and dragging it out into the light to die where everyone can see...

By doing all that, you see, Us Progressives have built a world where, well, A Good Ol' Boy like those two letter writers are forced to acknowledge it. (so really, it's our fault, of course) Now, they could take a few deep breaths, a long walk, a few glasses of moonshine and some self-examination and realize the horrible toxic patterns that have been part of their lives since birth, and how to change all that to the betterment of all.

Not that they will, but they COULD! What they do instead in write those letters, and double down on a way of life that they're fine with because they aren't the victims, and well, changing any of that could MAKE THEM THE VICTIMS and well, a lot of Caucasian Sphincters clench pretty damned hard at the notion of being on the receiving end of what's been dished out for so long.

Seeing it another way, everybody like your two aggrieved letter writers has spent years watching (or actively fighting) every single group they can think of as being "Better Than" in some sense, come away winners. Gays got Gay Marriage, Blacks got the White House and the whole BLM thing, Illegal Immigrants get to Cut the Line and get away with it (DACA. etc), and now we're importing buckets of MOOZLIM refugeez!

By The System (in their eyes) helping all those folks and NOT POOR OLD WHITEY MC WONDERBREAD WHO PAID HIS DADGUMED TAXES ALL HIS DAMNED LIFE, it's almost the same as saying all those people are his equals or betters, or that the goal is to make them such, and to him, that's the same as a hand pushing him down. Acknowledging that, however, would require a terrifying level of self examination, so instead it's angry letters and victim blaming, because that's a lot easier.

If all they want is a tribe and a parade, though, wait until March 17th and wear green, guys. come on. this is EASY.
elfs From: elfs Date: January 27th, 2017 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)
The weirdest part for me is that these guys think they're the moral ones. That their Christianity (Dreher is quite adamant about his Catholicism) somehow insulates them from a kind of criticism, even as one writes, "The way the rabid left talks about people like me makes me [want to sin more], and [sin even more], and [sin even more]!"

This is why I really think what we're going to have to demand of the people who voted for Trump is nothing less than repentance.
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