The self-depreciation of white Americans has intensified, whether it be intentional or not, in recent times. Whereas in the 18th and 19th centuries the cultural pride embodied by one’s national and racial heritage was considered something to be celebrated, this form of nationalism was quickly assassinated in the 20th century, when the infamous concept of “white guilt” began to permeate almost every sphere of the socio-political landscape.
White guilt, of course, is a descriptor used to define the remorse that white individuals feel about atrocities committed by people who share their skin color. Because of the collectivistic ideological framework forced into every social situation by progressive leftists, many have bought into the idea that white people are, by virtue of their essence, ontologically problematic.
The British political commentator John Derbyshire has in the past decried such ethnomasochism as “a product of Anglo-American progressivism,” as historically, human nature has always possessed tribalistic tendencies that have a skewed bias in favor of one’s race (or any identitarian denominator, for that matter).
This has led to widespread sympathy for progressive identitarian movements such as Black Lives Matter, which has left many conservatives (particularly among the Christian Right) in a bind. Meaning that one must either support such a movement or be deemed a “racist” by the rest of society.
Political columnist Brendan Bradley puts it eloquently when he states,
“The destruction of property, numerous burnings of American flags and violent acts against both civilians and law enforcement has not only been detrimental to the supposed purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement, but it has painted a picture of them in the eyes of the nation that they are doing little to change. And why would they? The constant justification they are receiving from sympathizers and enablers is doing little else but encouraging these methods to actually increase, despite how ineffective history has shown such methods to actually be.”
In the past year, the world has heard defenses for mass immigration to traditionally European lands that involve defining the German population as Nazis who must atone for their sins nearly a century ago. This, of course, is the epitome of what white guilt entails: the demonization of a collective on the basis of their fundamental existence. Despite the constant decrying of the alt-right as fascists attempting to create a racially monolithic utopia, the far left operates not necessarily as an antithesis, but as a variation, attempting to create a specifically non-white utopia.
For example, Lara Witt, a popular feminist blogger, received significant coverage by stating, “White people are evil. Whiteness is evil,” which garnered over 1,000 retweets. Moreover, a college course called “The Problem of Whiteness” is offered by Arizona State University. Social critic David Horowitz told The Washington Post in 2013 that “black studies celebrates blackness, Chicano studies celebrates Chicanos, women’s studies celebrates women and white studies attacks white people as evil. It’s so evil that one author has called for the abolition of whiteness.”
The self-demonization of whiteness as a type of universal attribute associated with the oppression of other people groups and the understanding of race as an institutionalized entity rather than something manifested in individuals is leading to an increasingly collectivist narrative. Will white Americans buy into the narrative being established, or will the refuse to be defined by the actions of others whom one has no control over? Today, it certainly seems that being “white” is the antithesis of what it means to be “diverse,” and “diversity” is beginning to exclusively mean “to vary in appearance” rather than “to vary according to experience.” Such an attitude will lead to an incredibly shallow society, devoid of any authentic understanding of what individualism truly is in favor of absolute equity and the absolute unanimity of individual outcome.
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