USA retribalizing: Outlook Poor

USA retribalizing: Outlook Poor. By Victor Davis Hanson.

Elected governments were rare in the past. They did not appear until over four millennia after civilization first emerged in the Near East. Constitutional systems were fragile at birth. And they are on the wane today. Nation after nation seems to be devolving into autocracy. Multiethnic, multiracial consensual governments have been even more brittle and sporadic in history.

The Roman, Ottoman, and Soviet empires were multiracial. But they were not consensual. Instead, they required a degree of force to ensure calm among rival tribes and warring peoples — violence that we would find incompatible with our notions of modern democracy.

Today, India and Brazil are large multicultural and multiethnic democracies. But neither, so far, has guaranteed their citizens either prosperity or security.

So present-day multiracial America is a great experiment in the unknown. Can its various tribes, and races unite around the Constitution? Or will they inevitably revert to form and give their first loyalties to those of shared superficial racial or ethnic affinities?

Regressing to skin color:

Until about 2008, it was generally believed America had made great strides in rendering race incidental rather than essential to our characters. We were moving away from the racial collective of our past to the individual. That was the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr., who emphasized content of character over color of skin.

Barack Obama’s presidency, however, resurrected tribal identity politics. He rebooted the banal word “diversity” and made it synonymous with anyone and anything “nonwhite.” Thereby, he instantly diminished class as the true barometer in postmodern America of who was oppressed and who the oppressor.

As a result, rich Punjabi immigrants, Korean-American orthodontists, Obama himself, or Oprah Winfrey (the victim, supposedly, of being denied a look at a $38,000 crocodile skin bag) all supposedly shared some sort of oppressed solidarity by virtue of not being completely white. …

But if the well-off mysteriously could become victims, stranger still, millions of the poor could be reinvented as white victimizers. …

The left is stirring up hatred with its identity politics:

Racialism of any sort remains an accelerant of hatred and violence. In a multiracial, intermarried, and assimilated society, who is to be defined as a “marginalized person”? Who declares someone a beneficiary of “white privilege”?

That is not a rhetorical question. College admissions, hiring, and career trajectories now hinge on ignoring meritocratic data. Nor do class, background, and income matter.

Instead, it becomes critical to stake a claim to a still undefined level of nonwhiteness that pushes one over to the oppressed side of the ledger if one wants to achieve advancement, now meted out on the basis of sympathy.

The resulting drumbeat of white demonization finally permeates every level of society.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, along with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, promise us that they will ferret out “white rage” and find “white supremacists” within their ranks. Neither offered nor was asked to produce any concrete evidence that there are large numbers of conspiratorial whites who so self-identify or act as supremacist — at least in a way different from any other like-minded chauvinists who self-reference their own ethnic loyalties as Latino or black soldiers.

The NBA and NFL are among the least diverse organizations in the country. But in reactionary fashion, they almost alone now in America insist on purely meritocratic athletic standards. They have little worry that activists will allege that excellent rebounding, shooting, and dribbling are merely “constructs.” … Otherwise, to remedy such “disparate impact,” the NFL and NBA would need to mentor, groom, and recruit Latino quarterbacks or Asian centers.

Segregation returns:

The use of racial preferences (i.e., “racism”) to stop racism hinges either on proving systemic racism in current America or resorting to the Aeschylean notion that the sins of the past generations must fall on present generations …

But are such “systemic” notions really true? Several ethnic minorities enjoy higher per capita incomes than do whites. Whites commit hate crimes at lower percentage rates than do blacks. In some categories of rare interracial crimes, blacks, for example, are far more likely to attack whites violently than vice versa. They are also disproportionately responsible for the upsurge in hate crimes committed against Asians.

White officers are not more likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than are minority officers. At least in terms of all those arrested each year; the police are not less likely to shoot disproportionately white unarmed suspects than black unarmed suspects. …

Most of the white community, in the fashion of the pre-Civil Rights South, is not insisting on racially segregated dorms, segregated graduation ceremonies, segregated events, and segregated campus safe spaces. But elite whites are guilty of promoting such indoctrination of students that their race is the touchstone of their entire identity. …

History has been reformulated to “prove” that all of America was inherently racist at its founding. But that charge must ignore that the struggle to oppose and then to end slavery was the crisis that had already split the country at the very birth of the republic. …

Once a society goes tribal, only skin color matters:

Where does the current constant fixation on racial, ethnic, and religious difference lead? To the Lebanon of the 1970s, the Latin American civil wars of the 1980s, the former Yugoslavia or Rwanda of the 1990s, or the Iraq of the 2000s?

Tribalism is like nuclear proliferation. Once groups begin separating and self-identifying by shared superficial appearances, then all will fragment by tribe if for no other reason than self-protection as they enter a bellum omnium contra omnes.

What is the result of the constant racial stereotyping of 230 million of all different lineages and classes as some single-minded, hateful undifferentiated borg called “white”?

Do we remember the Yale lecture by New York psychiatrist Dr. Aruna Khilanani, who bragged, “I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their [sic] body and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step, like I did the world a favor?”

What comes from normalizing elite racist discourse like the following from a Damon Young, a New York Times contributor: “Whiteness is a public health crisis. It shortens life expectancies, it pollutes air, it constricts equilibrium, it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars, it flattens dialects, it infests consciousnesses, and it kills people . . . .”?

Why then would we not see a mass murderer like Darrell Brooks driving his car to kill as many of the air polluters and climate change killers as possible in Waukesha?

Racially motivated murderer in Waukesha


Did Brooks have a “bounce” in his step in the aftermath? Did the Black Lives Matter organizer who rushed to the scene to gush over the mass murder as the possible start of the “revolution”?

It might already be too late to turn this around.