Everyone needs to stop talking about ‘white people’

Everyone needs to stop talking about ‘white people’, by Brendan O’Neill.

It’s time to take down the modern left’s obsession with white people.

For following Trump’s shock ascendancy to the White House … it’s become clear what all this ‘white people’ talk really represents. It’s not a radical, post-racist attempt to expose where power lies in society and discuss how it might be challenged.

On the contrary, it’s a racially charged, dehumanising expression of class contempt by well-connected white people, and some non-whites, for the wrong kind of white people: bad whites; unthinking whites; the dim or undeserving poor; or what used to be known, in times when vile elitism at least had the decency to be honest, as ‘the underclass’.

It’s part of a power struggle between different groups of whites, in which the PC white people point to blacks and say “we are morally superior because we care more about them.” The blacks are just mascots, and will be dumped and forgotten when the argument moves on.

In the week since Trump’s victory, all eyes, and bared teeth and claws, have been on white people. Fifty-eight per cent of white voters, including 53 per cent of female white voters, went for Trump. Cue rage against white folks. ‘Dear White People’ letters, easily the most grating trend in modern journalism, quickly appeared. One reminded Trump voters who think of themselves as ‘good white folks’ that ‘human history is full of examples where “good” people… did wicked things to their fellow citizens’. So you might actually be evil, you just don’t know it, because you’re stupid. …

There’s been widespread tut-tutting over ‘white privilege’, of course, the buzzphrase of our age, which suggests that history has gifted to white people a sense of superiority over all others. …

It’s a PC fantasy to pretends that all large groups of people, such as races, are statistically identical. Which is why the PC people draw silly conclusions about society.

For example, for decades now only West African blacks have appeared in the Olympic finals of the 100 meters men’s sprint. That’s stupendously unlikely if you believe all races have identical abilities. What, the Asians and whites aren’t trying, and wouldn’t like to win a medal in that event, even though they they try so very hard in every other event? Oh say the PC, it’s because black people grow up in ghettos and must learn to run faster?? Where as rich whites and Asians with access to the best coaches from age five somehow aren’t competitive? Unreal ideas lead to stupid policies.

For a few years now, the term ‘white men’ has been used as shorthand for evil. Apparently white men are running, and ruining, society, the economy, the internet, and everything else. Now, following Trump’s rise, ‘white women’ are getting it in the neck, too.

Voodoo perhaps? Or is there some biological reason this tends to happen? Science has some specific answers, but they are furiously resisted by the politically correct. Back to culture:

That many of these attacks on white people are coming from white people is revealing. This doesn’t only point to a weird self-hatred among white leftists and white observers. More importantly it tells us that the term ‘white people’ doesn’t actually refer to individuals who happen to have white skin, who are Caucasian. No, ‘white people’ is a highly moralised category, a profoundly charged term, not a descriptive one. ‘White people’ is more akin to ‘underclass’, ‘untermenschen’, in that while it presents itself as merely an identifying phrase it is in fact underpinned by prejudice and fear and loathing. It’s not a factual term; it’s a hateful one.

There are so many problems with the way ‘white people’ has become the go-to phrase for every radical and edgy commentator – most of them white, for God’s sake – who wants to signal their sensitivity to issues of race and power. …

‘White people’, in its political rather than descriptive sense, is such a perverse phrase. As if the white man who owns a bank is indistinguishable from the Rust Belt white guy who works on a production line. …

Terms like ‘stay in your lane’, used by supporters of Black Lives Matter to chastise whites who want to help lead the fight for black equality, confirm how divisive the new racialism is, and the impossibility of solidarity in an era of skin-colour determinism and politics-by-identity. …

The white-people obsession turns whiteness into a kind of original sin, a marker for wickedness. To be white is to be corrupted — from the moment of birth — and so one must spend one’s time atoning and apologising. This is why we have the cult of white privilege-checking, where well-educated, racially minded ‘progressive’ whites will ostentatiously watch what they say around blacks, take a back seat in debates about race and power, and preface their every utterance with the words ‘I know I’m white, so this might be invalid, but…’. This privilege-checking is best understood as a performance of sensitivity, of heightened awareness – of superiority, ironically. …

Read it all. In modern leftist discourse “whites” has really come to mean the deplorables.

Brendan O’Neill is another who started in the old left, whose main focus was assisting people in the lower classes. O’Neill didn’t progress to the identity politics of the new left, with its electoral coalition of the fringes. As the cohort of left activists moved from the lower classes to the upper classes on the back of a meritocratic education system and increased class mobility after WWII, they switched from supporting the lower class to being contemptuous of it. From the 1980s they switched their political methods to assisting new mascots like gays and blacks, instead of lower class workers.