The Joys of Racial Homogeneity

“A White Enclave in the Hamptons Offering Comfort and Sanctity.” So said the headline of an article by Jane Gross in the July 16, 2002 New York Times. Well, no, not quite. The real Times headline celebrates a black enclave in the Hamptons. Indeed, the article speaks with such embracing affection and approval of this all-black residential community, of its residents’ sense of mutual comfort and tribal “sanctity” in a world blissfully separated from that of the racial Other, that the question naturally occurred to me: what would it be like if the Times were to treat white racial homogeneity in the same worshipful terms in which it treats that of blacks? By way of answer, here are some slightly altered excerpts from the article in which the racial and ethnic designations have been transposed with their opposites, but everything else remains as in the original.

A White Enclave in the Hamptons Offering Comfort and Sanctity

by Jane Gross
The New York Times
July 16, 2002

… Synthia’s parents, successful young professionals, could vacation anywhere, but each summer they return to the white enclave of Azurest here, populated by doctors and lawyers, teachers and social workers, chief executives and politicians. They hope Synthia will find the same comfort and communal upbringing on this crescent of private beach.

Mr. Graham, describing Azurest, the oldest of five European-American developments flanking Route 114 on the edge of this historic whaling village, put it this way: “When vacationing among our own, in places that have been embraced by us for so long, there is a comfort—and a sanctity—that makes it possible to forget that there is a liberal multiculturalist power structure touching our lives at all.”

Dr. Broderick, who raised his children in Scarsdale on an otherwise all-nonwhite block, said he did not realize until they were adults that his three sons and one daughter had been taunted in school and lonely when they reached dating age.

“By and large their friends were from here,” Dr. Broderick said, as he traded pleasantries with Mr. Graves on their adjacent waterfront decks. “This place was a boon to us. We have tribal-type roots here.”

Only one or two black families live in Azurest. Nobody seems to know the exact count. Since homes sell by word of mouth, to friends of friends or relatives of relatives, there is not much worry that they will ever be more than a tiny minority, which is how the people of Azurest want it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 04, 2002 02:34 PM | Send

Perhaps we should demand that HUD put in some Section-8 housing there for some trailer-trash from Arkansas (relatives of a certain Chappaqua resident).

Posted by: Carl on November 4, 2002 4:47 PM

The question is why black Americans should be allowed to publicly express a sense of ethnic belonging while it is considered to be outrageous for a white to do so.

(The same double standard exists in Australia. On our 50 dollar note there is a quote from an Aboriginal leader which begins “As a full-blooded member of my race ….”)

The underlying reason, I believe, is that for white intellectuals it is an allegiance to their own tribe which is most problematic.

White liberal intellectuals want to be self-created by their own will and reason. They don’t want to be defined by, or bear responsibility to, an ethnic identity that is theirs not by personal choice but by mere inheritance.

Therefore, it is a denial of the relationship to their own ethnicity that is critical. They are not bound, however, in any way by black ethnic consciousness, and so can accept it more comfortably.

As whites are easily the majority, it is also more important for liberals to deconstruct this form of ethnicity, as it is more likely to influence mainstream culture and public policy.

Posted by: Mark Richardson on November 4, 2002 6:39 PM

Mr. Richardson, your comment on white liberals’ need to be “self-created by their own will and reason” really cuts to the heart of the matter. It is imperative that they deny the ethnic identity that was given to them by the creator - the ultimate triumph of the self-will. (The clay asks the potter: Why did you make me so? I will re-make myself according to my own will - not yours.) They simply can’t afford to allow that there is anything transcendent of their own material worldview. Any such thought undermines the very foundation of the liberals’ core belief, which perhaps expains the ferocity of their denuciation of those who think otherwise. Non-white liberals don’t seem to fully grasp the idea. I’m left with the impression they are more interested in destroying the white Christian culture for their own ethnocentric reasons than anything else.

Posted by: Carl on November 4, 2002 10:10 PM

I think it’s right that the liberal need to abolish ethnicity goes very deep and applies most of all to one’s own ethnicity, especially when the latter is socially dominant and establishes the cultural horizons within which life is carried on. As an attempt to find freedom by going beyond the horizon liberalism in fact seems peculiarly Western.

I think another aspect of the matter is the old identification of finitude with guilt. To be classifiable as one thing or another—to be finite—is to be separated from the infinite Absolute and therefore to be fallen into sin. That view of things is often attributed to gnosticism, since the gnostics viewed the creation of the world of finite existences as a big mistake that shouldn’t have happened and ought to be undone.

The Christian answer to the problem, of course, is Incarnation—the decision of the Absolute to become present in the finite. So it’s not surprising that with the abandonment among intellectual elites of the Christian view as too mysterious and paradoxical the horror at distinctions that imprison should reappear.

Posted by: Jim Kalb on November 5, 2002 8:01 AM

Have you ever noticed that wealthy white liberals who squeal for “diversity” almost always live in the whitest section of town? They never live among those they claim to worship. I know plenty of people like this.

Posted by: David on November 6, 2002 12:39 PM

The phenomenon of white, pro-diversity liberals living in white enclaves exemplifies the insight that liberals—simply in order to live in this world—must make unprincipled exceptions from their own liberalism.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on November 6, 2002 3:16 PM

The difference is that they have no other refuge from being victims of the white power structure. They have no safety from racism, profiling and discrimination except in their own circles.

Posted by: Katie on June 5, 2004 11:12 PM
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