The rhetoric about white privilege and systemic racism coming from black opinion leaders has always seemed borderline suicidal. Blacks, constituting 13 percent of the population, are telling whites, 60 percent of the population, that they are racist, bad people, the cause of blacks’ problems, and they had better change their ways or else. Right or wrong, that rhetoric has been guaranteed to produce backlash by some portion of the 60 percent against the 13 percent. So far, this effect has been masked because the strategy has worked so well with white elites.
Ordinarily, you can’t insult people into agreeing with you, but white guilt is a real thing. In the summer of 2020, many white college students and young adults agreed that they had sinned, even though they hadn’t realized it until now, and joined in Black Lives Matter marches. The New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and MSNBC gave sympathetic coverage to the protests and, to varying degrees, downplayed the riots and looting.
Meanwhile, many middle-class and working-class whites have not been insulted into agreement. They’re just insulted, and to their minds unfairly insulted. I’m not talking about white nationalists and white supremacists — their numbers are relatively small. My concern is the extremely large majority of middle-class and working-class whites who don’t think of themselves as racists and have not behaved as racists.
Tens of millions of these people live in towns that have no black residents or just a few, and racial issues haven’t impinged on their lives. They don’t understand why they are being accused of racism. Still other tens of millions live in large cities where racial problems have been real, but they see themselves as having treated black and Latino neighbors and coworkers with friendship and respect. They believe that everyone has a God-given right to be treated equally. Now all of them are being told that they are privileged and racist, and they are asking on what grounds. They are living ordinary lives, with average incomes, working hard to make ends meet.
They can’t see what ‘white privilege’ they have ever enjoyed. Some are fed up and ready to push back. …
Government in the US increasingly loses its legitimacy:
Events since the summer of 2020 make me think it is too late to talk about if whites adopt identity politics. Many already have. That’s the parsimonious way to interpret the red-blue divisions over wearing masks, the widespread belief in red states that the 2020 election was stolen, and the rage that resulted in the invasion of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
This is all evidence that the federal government has lost its legitimacy in the eyes of many whites. If that reaction spreads, the continued ability of the federal government to enforce its edicts in the reddest portions of the nation will be thrown into question. The prospect of legal secession may be remote, but the prospect of reduced governability from Washington is not.
Reader Philip Barton:
It is written in stone that we are facing an epic collapse everywhere. The rebuilding is of more importance now — in what manner will the rebuild be attempted? If it is socialism, then the foundations for new societies cannot be established. Socialism is not a way of building a nation, it is a philosophical excuse for the confiscation of wealth already created.
But if the collapse is accompanied by an acute realization of the real reason for the collapse — governments — then a fast rebuild is entirely possible.
We live in interesting times 🙂