Tied closely with Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012 was the song “We Take Care of Our Own” by Bruce Springsteen. The song was played throughout President Obama’s campaign, during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, and after the President’s victory speech in Chicago. Mr. Springsteen profited handsomely from this exposure, as sales of the song spiked 409% after the convention.
A cursory glance at the lyrics reveals why President Obama would want to be associated with such a song. Looking past the song’s rousing anthemic melody, “We Take Care of Our Own” is essentially a guileless call for mercy and for helping others. It is also a lament that many Americans have hardened their hearts to the problems of others. So that’s what Democrats do, apparently. They help others, unlike their hard-hearted, Republican opponents.
Mr. Springsteen seems to define “our own” as Americans, since he makes several references to a flag being flown and twice repeats the famous “America the Beautiful” lyric “from sea to shining sea.” But do Americans really feel this way? Can today’s Americans overcome their numerous racial and ethnic differences to see themselves as a single people they must “take care of?” Well, perhaps during an election cycle according to President Obama. Beyond that, however, it looks fairly grim.
By now, we should all know what happened during the Super Bowl 50 Half Time show. The singer Beyoncé appeared, flanked by female dancers dressed as Blank Panthers, and sang the song “Formation.” At one point, the performers raised their fists in the air in a black power salute. The song itself is a muddled and pornographic affirmation of black female identity (Beyoncé’s at the very least), and its video has some overtly political images, such as a black boy in a hoodie dancing before a line of police in riot gear and graffiti on a wall saying, “Stop shooting us.”
The anti-cop tone was very clear, and police across the nation were understandably appalled and disgusted that such messaging would be aired before millions during the Super Bowl. Many officers also vowed not to work security for Beyoncé concerts during her upcoming stadium tour. Some have even called for a boycott of Beyoncé’s shows, a futile gesture since Beyoncé’s tickets sales have not flagged one bit because of this controversy.
While this may seem like news-click ephemera of a racially-charged America, what happened shortly afterwards was quite telling. Louis Farrakhan, the black supremacist head minister of the Nation of Islam, offered to step in where the police wouldn’t. Mr. Farrakhan said he would offer his Fruit of Islam paramilitary foot soldiers as replacement security.
Now, we all know why he did this. We also know why all news outlets except for some of the more conservative ones either embargoed the story or failed to condemn Mr. Farrakhan for this blatant act of disrespect towards the police. Mr. Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam is a hyper-partisan tribalist who is concerned first and foremost with the interests of his tribe (black people) and has contempt for the interests of other tribes, particularly those of whites and Jews. This is so well known that, for most, it is not even news. However, his actions and the failure of most whites to accuse him of racism reveal a tremendous disconnect between the America Mr. Springsteen sings about and the America that really is. People do take care of their own, only not in the way Mr. Springsteen describes.
Of course, it is well-known that modern white liberals and progressives turn the other cheek to the kind of crude racial partisanship exhibited by Mr. Farrakhan. For them, history is an inexorable march forward, and they diagnose such ugliness as artifacts of a supposedly uglier era when whites were perfectly unashamed of asserting their racial dominance over nonwhites in America. Given time and enough Marxist social engineering, so the theory goes, blacks like Mr. Farrakhan will one day overcome their racism and attain a post-racial nirvana just like whites have. Considering that these liberals refuse to even consider biological causes for the current and former racial hierarchies indicates there is no reasoning with them. Blacks can take care of their own and whites can’t. Because of slavery. The end. If not the end, then you are a racist. Because of racism.
On the mainstream right, the people are less pig-headed, and their blunders less, well, blunderous. But blunders they still are. It is tempting to join the conservative chorus and condemn Mr. Farrakhan for being crass enough to place tribal interests before the American dream. Such conservatives (bless their hearts) fetishize the mythological melting pot and wish to do away with multiculturalism and all this petty and undignified racial business. For them, it is not race but rule of law, free markets, constitutional rights, democracy that make America great. And those can belong to anyone, even to races with average IQ’s a standard deviation lower than that of whites. They argue, quietly correctly, that less gifted people do better in America than anywhere else since the American system allows for more freedom and wealth and therefore more job opportunities. All these poor people have to do is simply learn to live with the vast inequalities that come with free markets, and all will be fine.
The mainstream conservative blunders come in two flavors. One we’ll call “chocolate,” since the brown and black people of America will never reconcile themselves to income disparities with whites, no matter how much they benefit from the free market Shangri-La. Human ego and stubbornness should never be overlooked when discussing such touchy subjects as politics and economics.
The other blunder we will call “vanilla,” and here’s why: Mainstream conservatives err because, having grown up at a time when whites were still something of an 80 to 90 percent majority in America, they have forever internalized that majority. They have taken it for granted and assume that the Pax Caucasica will last forever. By believing that rule of law, free markets, constitutional rights, and democracy produced Pax Caucasica and not the other way around, they put the cart before the horse. An easy mistake to make when you’re surrounded by freedom-loving white people your whole life. But when you are not, as we soon won’t be, things will start to unravel and these conservatives will be left in the wilderness waving pages of Adam Smith or the Constitution in the air and wondering how it all went wrong. The racial origin of this great Pax will become increasingly clear the closer it gets to that final day when it will be too late to do anything about it.
So, if we are to be honest with ourselves, we really shouldn’t condemn Louis Farrakhan for being tribal. For being a vicious, hateful, short-sighted villain, sure. But for being tribal, no. After all, it is only natural. Louis Farrakhan is doing essentially what Bruce Springsteen says he should. He takes care of his own. And, given the increasing anti-white hostility from people like Beyoncé and her legion of fans, whites should take care of our own as well.
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