Eeyore’s Cabinet: When Is Some Hatred, Some Racism OK?

A rare moment in nature: seeing black and white.

Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers

Part Two

Here are some puerile comments from a Sarah Jeong 2018 rant on social media. She was appointed for a while to the New York Times editorial board, which is usually and otherwise bothered by racial venom: 

Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins…Oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men…White people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants. 

OK, you reason, she was just a young pampered Ivy League sensationalist, addicted to social media, eager to gain clickbait attention. 

So here is a recent directive from the Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot: 

By now, you may have heard the news that on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of my inauguration as mayor of this great city, I will be exclusively (emphasis added) providing one-on-one interviews with journalists of color…As a person of color, I have throughout my adult life done everything that I can to fight for diversity and inclusion in every institution that I have been a part of and being mayor makes me uniquely situated to shine a spotlight on this most important issue.

In other words, the elected mayor of Chicago has announced that she will be selecting her interviews on the basis of race. If the mayor can limit who is to come into her newsroom, why not the city buses and lunch counters as well?

These examples could be multiplied, but what do they portend?

One, the hatred is not data driven. By that, I mean the writers and speakers do not look at either positive or negative numbers to fuel their deductive racism: whites are underrepresented in committing hate crimes—in contrast to African-Americans who commit many of them at a rate almost double their numbers in the general population. In recent years, police have lethally shot more white unarmed suspects than African-American unarmed suspects. And they have shot unarmed blacks at a smaller percentage than the overall percentages of African-Americans detained or arrested by police. In terms of relatively rare interracial crime, about 9 percent of all black murders are committed by whites. But about 16 percent of white murders are committed by blacks, even though whites make up about 67-70 percent of the population and blacks 12-13 percent. In sum, there is no evidence that the police or whites are targeting blacks. In terms of per capita income, whites qua whites are not dominating the nation. Asian-Americans earn on average about $20,000 more per year than whites.

There is no ‘regression’ in seeking racial fairness and equality. In terms of influence, in the 21st century, we have had a black President, two black Secretaries of State, a black Attorney General, a current black Vice President and a black Secretary of Defense. North Carolina, in a recent election for lieutenant governor, saw the Democratic black nominee lose to the Republican black nominee. There are more black officeholders in the “deep” South than ever before. In terms of “proportional representation” of the sort Mayor Lightfoot apparently demands, African-Americans are “overrepresented” (a silly word) in professional sports, in numbers in the NBA and NFL at five-to six times their percentages of the population, as well in many of the federal bureaucracies. In terms of Biden cabinet-level appointments, heterosexual white males occupy six of 23 billets.

One could continue. But the point is that by January 2020, racial relations, for all the media hype, were good—and improving. Black and Latino unemployment figures had reached historical lows. The number of would-be victims of racism far exceeded the number of purported victimizers. And that disconnect resulted in surrealism like the Duke Lacrosse hoax or the Jussie Smollett fraud.

This current epidemic of hate speech is unfortunate because it rejects the entire 60-year theme of the Civil Rights movement. It now postulates that the Martin Luther King, Jr. message of a racially blind society—assessing each other on the content of character not the color of skin—is inert. Race is now to be essential to who we are. For the Left and the Democratic Party, it is not, and will never be, incidental. It is the Left who has repudiated King.

The racial hatred rhetoric is now infused throughout the common culture, as white confessionals are standard stuff in diversity training show trials. “Proportional representation,” based on theories of “disparate impact”—jobs and admissions should reflect the ethnic and racial demography of the country without having to prove overt bias accounting for any asymmetries—is apparently dead. It is being replaced by reparatory hiring and admissions in which minority admissions to, say, elite universities, or representations in television commercials and shows, should be disproportionally adjudicated by race to reflect past bias. 

Where does it all end? 

Look to history and find an example of any multiracial society that fared well, once its various tribes became obsessed with their grievances and solidarity, and use tribal venom to advance personal and career agendas. The Civil War is a locus classicus that cost the lives of 700,000 Americans, left a century of national bitterness, racism, and impoverishment. Otherwise, ask the Rwandans, the sects of Iraqis, the clans of the former Yugoslavia, the Lebanese, or the shock troops of the Ottomans that went into Armenia. All this started with rants from academics, politicians, activists—the professionalclasses—about those who “infest” and “expose.”

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15 thoughts on “Eeyore’s Cabinet: When Is Some Hatred, Some Racism OK?”

  1. I wrote the following after your Part 1. You fully validated my criticisms in Part 2:

    Professor,

    We’ve been living for a long time with this. And you, as a believer in deterrence, know why: that in a day when even such an anodyne statement as “It’s OK to be white” is considered racist, and all the Right thinking pundits like yourself are too afraid to defy that directive, black race-haters know they can aggress all they want. There is no pushback, no viable threat of reprisal. Certainly no counter-attack.

    So you will continue to list all the appalling examples of black race hatred against whites in your ironical way which accomplishes nothing. Then you will finish your comments with a warning of what this can lead to, which likewise stops none of it and only creates an enervating depression among your readers. So sad, so unnecessary all this rage and resentment is. So counter-productive.

    But you won’t write an essay explaining why it IS OK to be white, at least not without saying how much we flawed whites have tried to be better, almost as good as the sainted Dr. King. Blacks are the touchstones of virtue, after all.

    You devote inches of column space to the ugly words of people who hate you and never attack them directly. You refuse to fight back and then wonder why the attacks keep coming.

    You surrender the Sudetenland and worry that the territorial demands might not cease.

    1. With respect, your response to Victor’s piece has too many assumptions presented as facts. Too many generalities accepted as given. Victor has a voice and his voice resonates – there is nothing futile in that. To achieve this position, of a ‘thought leader’ in a world of misinformation is something to celebrate. I am not ‘enervated’ or ‘depressed’. I used the lockdown to write my first novel and am now starting another. People are waking up, perhaps too late, to the threat the Marxist taint (funded by China and Saudi Arabia who have coopted our political elites, corporations and bureaucrats) in Western society, particularly those who once had no one to voice their concerns. Victor has played a role in that awakening. Keep speaking Victor and writing your fabulous books and essays. I am reading The Second World Wars at present and thoroughly enjoying the read.

  2. The best that most individuals can do is try their best to be honest and fair with everyone. Not any new thought: like or dislike a person based on interaction with their personality.

  3. James J. Sadkovich

    You are correct of course, which is why there are so few ethno-federal states intact.
    Thank you for identifying the true racists.
    Ivo Banac wrote an excellent study of how the Serbian media stoke hatred among Serbs in Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina prior to the attacks on Croatia, which, alas, is in Croatian, and so not available to those who do not read the language. That is true for much of the literature written during and about the wars of the Yugoslav secession, and what is available in English, including Silber and Little’s work, tends to be both partisan and superficial, with rare exceptions, like Almond and Rieff. You could also look to the Ukraine-Russian conflict in the Don Bas, the multiple conflicts in Syria (Christian and Shi’ite vs. Sunni, Assyrian vs. everybody, and so on), or Iraq or Spain (Catalonia comes to mind, but so do the Basques), and on and on . . . .
    I read your posts regularly because I find them thought provoking, even if I do not always agree with you. This one obviously touched a nerve, so this is simply my thumbs up for a piece that I enjoyed and set me thinking, but I would appreciate it not being published.

    1. I added you to the “Week In Review” which has a subscriber list. Otherwise, we do not have subscribers yet. But we are working on a system for subscription.

  4. After living through the events of the last ten years, I better understand that Socrates’ methods are still used to teach first year law students; I also understand that forcing some one to define the words they use, made them mad enough to bring Socrates to trial. I also understand that the Wisdom of the Greeks has been hidden in Aesop’s fables, which we used to teach to our children. I also understand that to know that you don’t know is one of the forgotten aspects of Wisdom.

  5. Do not ask: “What do you mean by ‘Race’?” Do not ask “What do you mean by ‘Justice’?” Do not ask “What do you mean by ‘Privilege’?’ Do not ask “Why are you afraid of ‘Diversity of Thought’?” Do not ask ” When you blame ‘old, white, men, aren’t you ageist, racist, and sexist ?” Modern culture has been canceled, and no one cares to learn any lesson from Socrates’ death, nor does any one care about Aesop’s Wisdom. It has always been dangerous to challenge the faith that we have in our own knowledge. Perhaps it is better to turn off the lights, then it is to upset modern sensibilities.

  6. We are not headed anywhere good, that’s for sure. I’ve said this since Jesse Jackson first started his racist shakedowns, and Sharpton, his poverty pimping – and look where we are now.
    What a shame.

  7. While the USA is suffering terribly from the deranged proliferation of cultural marxism, yet it is present across the ‘Western’ world. In far away Australia, I increasingly experience racism against myself and the ‘white’ society to which I am bound by skin colour. The NSW education system promotes racism along the lines of CRT. The Australian legacy media are as hostile toward Trump as are the US and UK press. I have experienced ostracism by family and friends for being a vocal supporter of Trump – even though I never could get my hands on one of those MAGA hats I want so badly! My reason Victor, as you will appreciate, for supporting Donald Trump and the MAGA movement is that a strong, secure and prosperous America = a safe Australia. Hence, my motive for admiring Trump is entirely self interested. Yet, the universality or transnational nature of racial villification, media malpractice and political ostracism, surely cannot be coincidental. Is this the work of the military-industrial complex? I’ve been teaching Nineteen Eighty-four and cannot move past the Goldstein doctrine! The ‘forever’ wars! God Bless

  8. Great article, VDH is right on. I never use the term “African-American” because then I would have to refer to everyone similarly, Irish-American, and Italian-American, and German-American….etc, ad nauseum. It gives in to what the far left wants. Use the word black or better yet negro.

  9. Dear Professor Hanson,
    Another well researched and written article.
    I have to confess I am extremely disturbed by the new administration’s approach to Iran. Reading about the recent execution death of their Olympic wrestler, hanged for the transgression of protesting the totalitarian government, and given his family was recently severly beaten and arrested protesting the incarceration of his brothers.
    How can anyone in the new administration preport to boycott the Chinese for human rights violations when simultaneously bringing back a flawed nuclear agreement and introducing hundreds millions of dollars of sanction relief into the coffers of the ayatollah.?
    I hope this will appear somewhere in one of your next articles.
    Signed
    Robert Rich
    Faithful reader

  10. Our country will hopefully elect congresspeople that agree with King. Most of the people I talk with do. If we can have fair elections (if) then there maybe a chance to start to bring our country back to what it was back when we were kids.

  11. Another trenchant piece, Professor. I still think Hispanics might be the secret saviors to this resurgent madness. Racism is relatively unsustainable in places like Southern Spain, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The problem, as Francisco Rico has pointed out, is that the Hispanic liberal tradition is far weaker and consists of fewer authors. But that is a blessing in disguise as well. Concerned citizens in California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida need only familiarize themselves with Ortega, Rangel, Alberdi, Borges, and Cervantes. Cheer up, not all is lost.

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