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On the Sky King’s Stoicism

Richard Russell

1,200 words

We judge people. Even when people express sincere suicidal feelings, we can’t help judging them. They may be exhibiting a lot of self-pity or emotional chaos, because the situation they’re in justifies it. Their circumstances may be such that we would feel exactly the same way if we were in their shoes. Still, when we see these behaviors, it nudges us towards assuming that these tendencies must be what led to them ending up in their predicament in the first place. It’s unfair, but it’s natural: This often causes us to sympathize less. And usually when people end up in those situations, things like self-pity and emotional chaos come along for the ride.

Richard “Sky King” Russell displayed none of it.

If you followed the story closely, you’re familiar with the now-iconic, simple statement Russell made when air traffic control suggested that Russell could get a job as a pilot if he landed the plane: “Nah, I’m a white guy . . .” Most mainstream reports on the incident, of course, left this out.

It would be very easy to make this analysis political. Being white really did make it less likely for Russell to become a pilot. And the same mainstream media which devotes so little attention to that is now censoring Russell’s dying words because he noticed that this is the case.

This is hardly an unsubstantiated allegation. In the words of attorney Michael Pearson, who recently sued the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), “A group within the FAA, including the human resources function within the FAA — the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees — determined that the workforce was too white  . . . They had a concerted effort through the Department of Transportation in the Obama administration to change that. It’s the safety of the national airspace that’s at risk here . . .”

But I want to take a slightly different approach. The significance of “Nah, I’m a white guy” isn’t just that he identified race as a causal factor in his life situation. It isn’t even mainly that he did so. Rather, it was the tone. It was his calm, stoic acceptance in the face of perceived hopelessness. Something about that attitude can be strangely beautiful — a way to retain a sense of nobility in the most ignoble circumstances. Romanticizing that sentiment in art is a theme that goes all the way back to Shakespeare and beyond. What we resonate with in the story of Richard Russell is archetypal.

If I must die,
I will encounter darkness as a bride,
And hug it in mine arms . . .
Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene I[1]

Russell could have said the same thing in a number of different tones. For example, he might have said, “Fuck you, do you think they’ll ever give me a job? I’m a fucking white cis male, how many n***** diversity hires do you think are in my way?” Despite opening the same political conversation as before, it just would not have held the same fatalistic poignancy as his actual statement did. Had he delivered it in that way, Russell would have seemed unhinged. Instead, he simply said:

That is why “Nah, I’m a white guy” is such a strong statement for us. We know the score. Nah, you can’t bullshit us. We know they aren’t giving us that job . . .

The story of Richard Russell unifies two attributes that we don’t often find together. The first is masculine mastery: How did he learn to pull off a damn barrel roll without any flight training? How many men would like to believe they would be capable of pulling off a heist like this?

The second is his child-like aura of simplicity. Russell could have spent his entire chat with air control raving about the world’s politics and then flown into a government building. Instead, all he wanted to do was pull off one last cool thing and see a few pretty sights before calmly checking out. He even spent his final moments worried about hurting or inconveniencing other people through his actions. At one point, he said to the air traffic controller, “Oh, shoot. Man, I’m sorry about this. I hope this doesn’t ruin your day . . .” When it was suggested that he should land at an Air Force base: “I think I might mess something up there . . .” Then he asked air traffic control if they can give him the coordinates to go see “that mama orca with the baby,” in reference to this grieving orca that carried its dead calf around for seventeen days.

The chorus of these two attributes has created a myth to outlive the man. In that core of exasperation with the modern world, which could have led to the desire to do something to change it if only he had found a way to channel that feeling, we find an icon of our own frustrations, all melted down into a single image.

Of course, just as reports of mass suicide at the iPad-manufacturing Foxconn facility led managers to install safety nets preventing suicide by jumping rather than taking a serious look at why people wanted to kill themselves in the first place, Michael Huerta of the FAA has assured us that he takes security “very, very seriously” and plans to “change protocol or put additional steps in place” to make sure baggage handlers don’t have any more opportunities to get that close to the planes.

The feeling that the modern world isn’t worth living in is something to which most of us can relate. In a mass consumerist, atomized society, we’ve all become completely replaceable. Hit popular music even features choruses like, “I can have another you in a minute . . . So don’t you ever for a second get to thinking you’re irreplaceable.” And the modern world sings this chorus to us from every corner. There’s always someone who can do our job faster or for less money in another country. There’s always someone in the dating market willing to put out a little faster. Divorce rates continue rising. There are continually fewer and fewer meaningful bonds that actually make people “irreplaceable” as time goes on.

The nation as a whole won’t mourn Richard Russell’s death, because they see him as entirely replaceable. The airline probably had another baggage handler the very next day. Within days, if not hours, the news cycle doubtless had another shocking news bite to broadcast repeatedly. Only Russell’s family will truly feel he is “irreplaceable” — but our nation is no longer held together by bonds of extended family. But the fact that we are searching to hold on to this lost sense of common roots is why we will mourn his passing.

As Nietzsche put it, it should be possible “[t]o die proudly, when it is no longer possible to live proudly.” The modern world offers fewer and fewer of us a life that could be called “proud.” However undignified suicide may be in general, Russell’s method was as dignified as any act of suicide could possibly be. Seeing that, we can only assume that he found in death a dignity he was unable to obtain in life.


[1] The analogy here is intensified: “to die” in Elizabethan slang also means “to have an orgasm.”

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  1. Peter Quint
    Posted August 16, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    You know there is a precedent to this incident, a few years ago a man left a manifesto on the internet, before flying his plane into a IRS building. He covered all these sentiments in more detail.

  2. Posted August 16, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    brevity is poignant….poets know this.

  3. Chaz
    Posted August 16, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I think it interesting how people depending on their point of view or political identity ideology leave certain things out like when this was talked about in liberal circles they leave out the “I’m a white guy” part and here you leave out a significant part as well..hmmm.

    .” When it was suggested that he should land at an Air Force base: “I think I might mess something up there . . .” Then he asked air traffic control if they can give .

    He goes on to say after “ill mess things up” how they would just ruff him up at the air-force base.
    another glimmer into some other dark places people wish to ignore when it suits them.

    Rich attempted to be honest with people incapable of the same all around him, but he was still a lost soul in a profoundly sick society.

  4. Comtaose
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    This is a fine and moving article, sublime, lofty, almost poetic. But I want to take a different approach to it with some honest and concrete views of my own which might sound critical but are absolutely written with a good conscience and intention from a supporter and comrade’s sincere heart.

    The article has a highly and admirably idealistic touch throughout itself in both content and style, and is indisputably beautiful in aesthetics. Perhaps I have thought too much, so correct me if I was wrong. In my humble and subjective opinion after reading the article, what makes me worried is its thick fatalistic brush which lacks a realistic dimension in terms of the real-life struggle that our movement faces and thus might become misleading to our people in the White nationalist movement.

    The last paragraph reads almost like a give-up call for the real-life struggle to me. “If you cannot live proudly, die proudly” and such glorification of “proud and dignified” death indeed made me feel frustrated and uncomfortable. While I understand the author’s sentiment and he might not mean to call on us to give up living and fighting and just go dying with dignity, his words and expressions very much strike a common reader as such a death-inducing exhortation. But isn’t the ultimate purpose of our struggle the preservation of the White race and its sustained survival, civilization and prosperity? If we all imitate the “Sky King” to die ourselves without hurting enemies physically or materially, wouldn’t the whole White Nationalist movement be rendered pointless in its most fundamental and genuine sense?

    And here is this part from the article: “Rather, it was the tone. It was his calm, stoic acceptance in the face of perceived hopelessness. Something about that attitude can be strangely beautiful — a way to retain a sense of nobility in the most ignoble circumstances. Romanticizing that sentiment in art is a theme that goes all the way back to Shakespeare and beyond. ” Shall we all emulate the “calm stoicism”, the “strangely beautiful way” and seek the “nobility and romanticism” in the face of perceived hopelessness by ending our lives at our own hands instead of taking the fight to the enemies, thus saving our avowed and sworn enemies – the invading anti-White colored masses and their enablers aka. White traitors – great troubles of having to plot against us, replace us and eventually eliminate us?

    While I cannot fairly call the death of “Sky King” futile in the specific context of his, and admittedly his death is honorable and memorable, the point of dying, if one must, should be weighed by its effect, and to maximize the effect, one may consider to take as many lives of enemy as possible when one dies. If I were Mr. Russell and decided to end my own life, I would ram my plane into the municipal government building of the city of Charlottesville or the official building of ADL or SPLC while leaving a message of sound reasons and solidly presented condemnation aka. a declaration of war. I know people would say that this would play into the enemy’s hand and they would use it as an excuse to intensify their suppression of us, but I don’t think so. They have been suppressing and harming way too long and would certainly continue to do so even if we behave like meek lambs with all kinds of excuses that they spin 24/7 in their controlled mass media. Such a different way of killing oneself while taking enemy lives as many and as sensationally as possible would certainly strike a great and indelible fear into the collective heart of our enemies, dampen their morale, and diminish their flagrance and rampancy and teach them a lesson that they cannot freely ride roughshod over us without paying a dire price. Of course, it is wise in most circumstances that we avoid the idea of suicide per se, but if we have too, we do want to give both a physical and mental blow to our enemies, the heavier, the better, because they will consequently fear us more, knowing that when push comes to shove, one White man will stand up and charge and strike them hard and off-guard, and one such an example will inspire and encourage more Whites, when desperate, to physically and corporally terminate their evil and depraved existence in this world by imitating the model and initiating more such unpredictable and unpreventable attacks like triggering an uncontrollable wild fire.

    Last but not least, I want to talk a bit about stoicism. Stoicism is certainly an admirable traditional virtue with great influence and relevance on nationalists across the world. However, in today’s White nationalist struggle, while stoicism retains much of its relevance and wholesomeness, its importance and necessity must be judged by the nature of individual cases, instead of being summarily praised or endorsed. In my opinion, the importance of stoicism trails that of fighting spirit, bravery, fortitude, steadfastness, relentlessness and many other qualities for the success of our struggle and advancement of our cause. I just want to give one extremely telling negative example of stoicism. Everyone knows Tibet, being annexed and occupied by the Han Chinese dominated Chinese regime, has seen its people ethnically cleansed and forcibly assimilated, and its religion and culture suppressed, harassed and mercilessly vilified and vitiated. To demonstrate their justified protest, however, many peaceful and stoic Tibetan monks, under the influence of the stoic and pacifist teachings of Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism, decided to end their own lives through self-immolation in silent protest against the tyranny of the China instead of bringing the fight to the enemies. Did this act actually achieve anything meaningful or effective except a deep sigh of sorrowful lamentation from their sympathizers? Of course not, the brutal and callous Chinese regime haven’t feel a pain or itch over the suicides of innumerable Tibetans, and I actually have met Chinese gloating at the “stupid and useless deaths” of the “dumb” Tibetan monks who killed themselves to protest the Chinese government rather than rising and resisting it with arms.

    A former Israelis Prime Minister had once said: “We would rather make the whole world our enemy and survive than have the world pity and miss us and perish.” The oriental Jews i.e. Chinese demonstrate the same unruffled and ruthlessness. They both have been extremely successful in advancing their agendas and getting things done. It is the modern White men and Japanese who lacked this resolve and mental toughness. We certainly can keep our “nobility” and “honor” as we are inherently better than them as human, but in order to achieve our ultimately important purpose, we may want to do ourselves a service by going after “substance” instead of “style” and taking up some of our enemies’ tactical strengths and advantages.

  5. Olorin
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    This event is a once-in-a-generation litmus.

    You have shown your color.

  6. SO
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Only the good die young.

  7. Grounded
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I agree that this guy may have been discriminated against for being white and that that’s a shame, but he’s not a king. Giving up is what our enemies want us to do. When these evil nonwhite invaders take our jobs and force us to do miserable work, they laugh at us or call us weird when we become desperate to get out of it. They’ll say “see, that white guy was bad all along” and increase they’re anti-white hiring practices. Losing our composure will help them and hurt us.

    Parasite nonwhites come from corrupt third world nations where they could never have the success they have in white countries because people are like them. Jews make twice as much as white gentiles in the west but between a third and half as much in Israel. Asians make a little more than whites in the US, but their nations are generally poorer. Hispanics aren’t third world people but they’re not first world either. Two thirds of blacks have IQ too low to contribute to an economy and are a dead weight loss. Yet they take our jobs and force us to do miserable service industry jobs to serve them. We can’t let them break us. We need to keep our composure and eventually deport them all back to the underworlds whence they come.

    So maybe the so-called Sky King would have made a great pilot if not for anti-white hiring practices, but he didn’t help himself or us with his suicide.

    • Airline Girl
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Pilots are in high demand. Anyone with a licence can find employment. The bottleneck is the training, which can cost $70,000 plus living cost for a couple of years. Airlines may discriminate against white candidates, but the flight schools take anybody who has the cash and passess the standard entry exam.

      People without money often start by joining the Air Force, or getting cheaper licences for small aircrafts, or they become aircraft engineers, or even software engineers, and they work long years to build up the savings. Working as a baggage handler and waiting for a miracle is definitely not going to get you a pilot licence.

      The Sky King was a good man and I understand that his death came to symbolize many things to many people. But in reality, he is more of an example of how people in the modern world often don’t have the necessary life management skills and the sober, realistic outlook on life that our grandfathers had.

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