Undercover Black Man’s first appearance at VFR
For those who have not seen it, here is my original exchange with Undercover Black Man at VFR in April 2006, one month before he wrote his letter to David Horowitz detailing my “racism.” Notice in particular my responses to his charge that I only oppose bigotry against Jews, not bigotry against blacks, and how my reply made no impression on him, then or later.
One point I did not make then is that there is no anti-black bigotry in today’s world that remotely compares to anti-Semitism. You do not have millions of people all over the world pathologically convinced that blacks are the source of all evils in the world; you do not world opinion supporting the destruction of a tiny black country which they see as the fulminating source of international conflict and wars. Anti-Semitism is a uniquely pathological and powerful phenomenon, and that statement is true whether or not the person making it is a Jew. However, it is central to UBM’s attack on me that the motive for my opposition to anti-Semitism is not my conviction that it is wrong and evil, but my supposed Jewish tribalism.
An interesting question arises: If I had simply ignored UBM’s first e-mail to me instead of taking his criticisms seriously and replying to them at length, would he then have written his letter to David Horowitz seeking to destroy my most important mainstream writing outlet? In other words, was UBM’s rage against me triggered, not by my treating him with some supposed racist indifference or contempt, but by my treating him respectfully, as a person capable of rational discussion—a respect which, as the discussion proceeded, became impossible to maintain? If I had instead determined from the start that any dialog with a black guy who had a racial grievance against me would be futile and counterproductive (as a commenter suggests in this discussion), would UBM have then left me alone? Is benign neglect the answer after all?
You wrote:LA replies:
I don’t agree that it was so obvious that I shouldn’t have replied to him. He asked me a good and seemingly sincere question that was worth addressing: why was I so critical of AmRen on the Jewish issue, but not on the black issue? Also he seemed intelligent. There was no reason to think he was some kind of treacherous character. Also, I have not reached the point of believing that there can be no common ground at all between me and any blacks, which is your position. You also miss the point that I have frequently replied to people at VFR with whom I don’t have common ground, my purpose being not to reach agreement with that person but to clarify the issues between us and to bring out where that person really stands.EG replies:
Basically, yes, there is a fundamental schism here: I don’t see the utility in having a dialog with blacks, intelligent or otherwise, unless perhaps they are sincere separatists with whom something can be discussed. But even there, I would not trust them—I think the time and effort is better spent addressing whites. Yes, these can be whites with whom you disagree. The bottom line is that I am, likely, more “extreme” on the race issue than you.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 14, 2007 02:15 PM | Send