Black “Patriotism” is a White Illusion

Are blacks patriotic? In an article last year at Front Page Magazine, Richard Poe spoke of his renewed belief that they are. I replied—in a comment to FrontPageMag that a reader has just reminded me of—that this black patriotism Mr. Poe felt he saw was largely illusory. Since it’s related to my recent post on “The Hilarious Dilemma of Liberal Patriotism,” I’m re-posting the comment here.

Black “Patriotism” is a White Illusion

Richard, I was just reading your hopeful column on your glimpse of black patriotism and a “common American soul” at the performance you attended of “Three Mo’ Tenors.”

Sorry to throw cold water, but as someone who used to have similar experiences and glimpses, I think that that is an illusion. Just as the left has in the last 10 years become “patriotic” because they have now taken over America, in the same way, many blacks seem “patriotic” today because America has largely been redefined in terms of blackness, with blacks being placed like sacred symbols at the center of America.

The black patriotism you observed was a patriotism toward blackness. Most blacks are now thoroughly racialist in their thinking and allegiances, even as whites have long since given up any racial thinking, even to the point of having no will to defend themselves from racially-motivated violence and murder.

You speak of a common American soul. But if you were to go beyond the surface with any of these “patriotic” blacks you were observing and mention any serious issue ranging from the Florida post-election to the OJ Simpson verdict to slavery reparations to racial profiling, you would instantly discover an utter abyss between their “soul” and yours.

The reality is that our racial situation is now so grim that white conservatives have a tremendous temptation to find some grounds of hope that don’t actually exist. It’s similar to the situation that the Israelis are in. The thought of endless war with the Arabs was so unbearable that they fooled themselves into believing that the Arabs were ready to make peace, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Whites in America indulge in the same kind of illusions regarding blacks.

Fortunately, our situation is not as desperate (yet) as the Israelis’. The racial harmony you hope for could still be restored, but it would require whites insisting on the common rules that America once followed but then abandoned. Under current conditions, in which we have open black racialism on one side and complete non-resistance to such racialism on the other side, white invocations of “brotherhood” only exacerbate the black racialism and the white non-resistance. True racial peace can only be achieved by whites taking the lead and insisting on a common standard for all, not by whites going sentimental (like GW Bush) about a non-existent interracial brotherhood.

Lawrence Auster (

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 12, 2002 12:06 PM | Send

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