I once knew this kid from Vietnam. We were both in our early twenties and we worked together in a rural area of the American South. He was nice enough, and we used to hang out a little despite not having much in common. One thing that struck me about him, however, was that he would often fret about “rednecks.” He didn’t want to go to this place or that because he was afraid that “rednecks” might be there.
At the time, I didn’t question this preoccupation of his, nor was I offended by it. This was the 1990s, well before any racial consciousness had emerged in me. Further, there had been a fairly recent incident in which a few local whites had attacked some Chinese people, mistaking them for Vietnamese. If I recall correctly, the whites were either related to Vietnam veterans or were war veterans themselves. In either case, they were not happy with their erstwhile enemies occupying space in the neck of the woods they had claimed for themselves.
This was more or less why I tacitly accepted my colleague’s division between good whites and bad whites. In order to be friends with him, any white person would have to forswear bad whites and proclaim himself a good white. In my colleague’s case, bad whites were “rednecks,” and I regret to say that he and I spent time discussing how awful those darn “rednecks” were. Had I done the opposite and defended the nativist whites at least in principle – as I would in a similar situation today – I doubt I would have lasted more than two minutes in his company. (Today, of course, such an atavistic stance would find me permanently without a career.)
In retrospect, such wedge-driving seems more a survival tactic than a divide-and-conquer scheme, at least as far as this Vietnamese kid is concerned. It pays for members of a racial minority to pit racial majority members against each other. This makes attacks upon that minority less likely. Wedge-driving may not account for all things minority groups do, but similar strategies can be found among the more traditional American racial minorities, namely blacks and Jews. They judge a white person not only by how tolerant he is of their own minority but also how intolerant he is of other whites, who are, in turn, intolerant of that minority. Hence, the intra-white divide deepens.
Jews take this a step further by judging whites not just on their feelings towards Jews, but towards any racial minority. Such a pan-minority coalition may seem counter-tribal at first (since minorities squabble all the time), but makes sense given that an overarching non-white identity has so far proven the best way to counteract the default white Christian supremacy of pre-1965 America. Thus, a philo-Semitic or judeo-neutral white who expresses dismissive views of blacks for whatever reason will likely be viewed with suspicion by a Jew. Jared Taylor, whom the largely-Jewish Southern Poverty Law Center has on their Hate Watch list and whom the Anti-Defamation League recently lobbied to be taken off Twitter, is the perfect example.
Keep in mind that wedge-driving renders a white person’s personal behavior entirely irrelevant. A white can have impeccable credentials in all aspects of life and can be friendly and agreeable to any minority member he encounters, but if he if he has negative opinions regarding any or all racial minorities as a group, then he is a bad white – even if his opinions are based on sound reasoning and unimpeachable evidence.
A recent article by Zach Goldberg in the Tablet entitled “America’s White Saviors” reminded me of all this. It’s a fascinating article – and by fascinating, I mean it uses social science to prove things that we already know; to wit, that liberal whites exhibit “a pro-outgroup bias” found among no other group of people. Goldberg cites an American National Election Studies report from 2018 which demonstrates how liberal whites “are significantly more likely to report intense or extremely frequent feelings of tenderheartedness, protectiveness, and sensitivity when considering the circumstances of racial and ethnic out-group members.”
The graph below tracks the mean differences in ingroup versus outgroup “feelings of warmth” among five major groups: blacks, Hispanics, Asian, liberal whites, and non-liberal whites. The higher the mean above zero, the more warmly inclined a group is to itself. The lower the mean is below zero, however, the more warmly inclined a group is to groups other than itself. Observe:
Note that not every bar in the chart represents its own racial ingroup; only the blue, purple, and green ones do. The yellow ones taken individually, however, demonstrate attitudes that white sub-groups have towards whites as a whole. So if the white liberal bar were to represent attitudes that white liberals have towards other white liberals, it’s safe to assume that its mean warmth would rise significantly.
This difference we see among the white respondents illustrates the success of the wedge-driving tactic mentioned above. Essentially, one subset of whites has a naturally positive predisposition towards its own racial ingroup, and the other has an unnaturally positive predisposition towards racial outgroups. This eerily resembles the pro-outgroup/anti-“redneck” attitude I assumed while socializing with my Vietnamese colleague years ago.
The intra-white disconnect becomes even wider for those whites considering themselves to be “very liberal.” The graph below signifies how radical white liberals have become with their pro-outgroup attitudes:
It’s an unsettling picture. The expanse between “Very liberal” and “Liberal” (-10.89) in absolute values outstrips the difference between “Moderate” and “Very conservative” (+6.2) by 4.69 points. No wonder white liberals seem to be on their own planet these days. Extrapolating from this data, we see that very liberal whites have a higher opinion of non-whites than the non-whites themselves do! This plays in neatly with Goldberg’s observation that
. . . in a sense, no one is put in a more strained and problematic position by the politics of white liberals than the white liberals themselves. The woke elite act like white saviors who must lead the rest of the country, including the racial minorities whose interests they claim to represent, to a vision of justice the less enlightened groups would not choose for themselves.
Goldberg convincingly demonstrates how this is a relatively recent phenomenon. He also shows how such pro-non-white (or, really, anti-white) attitudes of white liberals neatly explain their greater sympathy for non-white immigration, their growing support for affirmative action and other state-mandated pro-non-white measures, and their increasing desire to limit the political influence of white people. Goldberg understands the danger of this – at least as far as the Left is concerned – since liberal whites leading a Democratic Party in directions that its growing contingent of non-whites don’t want to go could potentially break the party in half. It could also lead to reprisals from the Right, the election of Donald Trump in 2016 being one of them.
Given the Jewish character of the Tablet, it’s not surprising that Goldberg frets over how the radicalization of liberal whites can also negatively impact Jews. If liberal whites increasingly blame racial inequalities on their own ingroup through an “unjust world bias” and increasingly view Jews as members of their own ingroup (as Jews often insinuate themselves to be – a well-known subterfuge Kevin MacDonald refers to as “crypsis”), then it follows that white liberals will view non-liberal Jews as poorly as they view non-liberal whites. And from here, all roads lead to Israel.
Along with the sweeping changes on race and immigration issues is the reversal of white liberal attitudes toward Israel. Between 1978 and 2014, white liberals consistently reported sympathizing more with Israel than the Palestinians. Since March of 2016, this trend has turned on its face. Currently, significantly more white liberals report greater sympathy for the Palestinians than for Israel.
Israel is the standing testimony to the hypocrisy of the liberal and pro-Zionist Jewish diaspora. How can a people be so liberal and Left-wing on one side of the world while having no issue at all with their brethren being so conservative and Right-wing on the other? Sure, there are diaspora Jews on the Left (e.g., Noam Chomsky) and Right (e.g., David Horowitz) who try to remain consistent, but the majority of them do not. Goldberg is simply waking his readership up to the fact that the more racially “woke” white liberals become, the more anti-Jewish they will become as well. And this goes not just for Israel but for diaspora Jews as well.
The surveys show that among white liberals, Jews are perceived to be privileged – at least in comparison to other historically victimized groups. Having made a full recovery from the Holocaust, Jews are no longer the downtrodden collective that white liberals can readily sympathize with. Other groups lower on the privilege hierarchy and less tainted by association with whiteness now have priority.
I’m sure most Counter-Currents readers will disagree with Goldberg on whether or not white liberal antipathy towards Jews is a good thing. On the other hand, I am sure they will not disagree with him that these trends are indeed happening. As the radical Right becomes more woke on the Jewish Question, so will the radical Left. And these days, everyone is becoming more radical.
Another thing I am sure we can all agree with Goldberg on is how social media serves to accelerate this radicalization. To Zach Goldberg’s credit, “America’s White Saviors” is an excellent article, but its section on social media might its best part. At one point, Goldberg demonstrates how an abuse of social media can lead to what’s known as the “availability heuristic,” which is the “tendency to overestimate the prevalence and significance of things we are frequently exposed to and thus more easily able to recall.”
Thus, all people – but white liberals especially – will cocoon themselves in social media and repeatedly view reports of a certain political bent which will then warp their views of the world. There is much more to Goldberg’s treatment of social media, and I urge everyone to check it out to get the fuller picture.
One of the article’s weaknesses appears close to the beginning. Goldberg makes a half-hearted attempt at explaining why white liberals are now strafing their own people, but fails, in my opinion, to capture the motivation behind it. He offers the following reasons:
- The psychological tendency of liberals to have a broader scope of empathy than conservatives.
- “Polarizing” events such as the Michael Brown shooting and the Ferguson riots.
- The migrant crisis.
- The “rise of millennials as a political force.”
- The rise of social media.
The first reason may or may not be true depending on how one wishes to define its context, but the tendency it describes is preexisting, and therefore has little explanatory power.
The same is true of the second reason. Why would Michael Brown and the Ferguson riots trigger white liberals in the 2010s when Rodney King and the LA riots didn’t trigger them in the 1990s?
Goldberg hardly touches on immigration in his article, so it’s hard to see how the third reason is a causal factor here. In fact, he only mentions immigration as evidence of the phenomena he wishes to describe. How can something be both cause and effect at the same time?
The fourth reason tells us nothing. Sure, millennials are liberal, and their rise will shift American politics to the Left. But why are they so liberal to begin with? Goldberg doesn’t say.
As for the fifth reason, yes, Goldberg makes the case that social media has played a major role in the tragic transformation of the white liberal these past few years. But he himself accuses social media only of accelerating the change, not causing it.
So, then, what causes it?
I believe the answer is very simple and goes back to the pro-outgroup and anti-“redneck” attitude I espoused when interacting with my Vietnamese colleague. We are witnessing the direct result of the wedge-driving tactic that all racial minorities must employ in order to survive. With more racial minorities and a greater proportion of people in these minorities, the more powerful this tactic becomes. Due to sheer numbers, minorities in America are in the process of cleaving the still-majority white population in half. The wedge may not have gone all the way through yet, but it will. And when that happens, there can only be war.
Everything the Zach Goldberg describes in his article is the natural and inevitable consequence of multiracialism. This is the reason for white liberal pro-outgroup bias, and this is the reason why the United States may one day soon crack up along the white/non-white divide, indeed, the Mason-Dixon Line of the twenty-first century. And as we approach this historic moment, let’s hope that a critical mass of people will realize that the one and only thing that can avert such a catastrophe is White Nationalism. Simply carve out a portion of the continent for whites who share a natural pro-ingroup bias and leave the rest to everybody else. Wedge-driving will have little power in such a world. And this will bring peace . . . even if it is peace among “rednecks.”
Spencer J. Quinn is a frequent contributor to Counter-Currents and the author of the novel White Like You.