Noonan embraces the principle of race-conscious multiculturalism

Spending inaugural week in Washington, D.C., Peggy Noonan had exactly the same epiphany as David Horowitz. She writes in the Wall Street Journal:

The whole experience the next few days was marked for me by a new or refreshed knowledge that those who had not felt included or invited in the past were now for the first time truly here, and part of it all, in great numbers. And I suppose the fact that this would never have come about without the support, the votes, of the traditionally invited and included gave a special air of inclusiveness to the event. There was great kindness between people and true friendliness. No one was different. Everyone, whatever their views or votes, was happy.

Now we find out that nonwhites did not feel “included” when Bill Clinton, America’s “first black president,” was inaugurated twice. Only a nonwhite president makes them feel included. So this whole event, which Noonan sees as an unprecedentedly glorious moment in America, is 100 percent the function of the fact that nonwhites can identify with a nonwhite president but not with a white president.

Noonan would undoubtedly say that my interpretation of her remarks is completely off-base, because what she saw in Washington was not nonwhite race-consciousness but cross-racial unity and friendliness. But that begs the question, what was it that made this unity and friendliness possible? It was the fact that nonwhites, who, according to Noonan herself, cannot identify with, and do not feel included or invited by, a white president (even if he’s a Bill Clinton), do identify with, and so feel included and invited by, a nonwhite president. From which it follows that the only way to maintain the cross-racial brotherhood that Noonan finds so uplifting and quintessentially American is to keep having nonwhite presidents. By Noonan’s logic, if a white president succeeds Obama, nonwhites will once again feel non-included and non-invited, and America will return to a lower, less inclusive, less happy state.

Whether she realizes it or not, Noonan, like David Horowitz, has signed on to the principle that America must become symbolically a nonwhite country. Which means that everything about America that is white, including its civilizational roots in England and Europe, including its historic majority culture, including the history and identity of the American people as they existed up to the 1960s, must be progressively pushed aside. As I have said a hundred times, race-blind neoconservatism or right-liberalism leads to race-conscious (and at least implicitly anti-white) multiculturalism. Never has the point been proven more decisively than by Noonan’s and Horowitz’s embrace of nonwhite racial consciousnessness as the organizing principle of a new and better America.

Also notice how, in her happiness at the multiracial unity of Obama’s inauguration, Noonan neglects to mention the 1963 March on Washington, that day that has always been fondly celebrated by liberals because hundreds of thousands of people of different races came together in the nation’s capital and felt joined as Americans. I guess the March on Washington doesn’t count any more. In liberal society, each new step toward greater inclusion must be seen as a triumph over past non-inclusion, and therefore all past achievements of inclusion must be denied, devalued, or simply forgotten. The message accompanying each new advance of inclusion is that America has only become truly good at this moment. Meaning that up to this moment America was bad. Thus the further inclusion progresses, the worse the historic America becomes.

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Shrewsbury writes:

A typically outstanding deconstruction of faux-pious liberal blather, and as I often do with your pieces I printed it out for Mrs. Shrewsbury.

If, as one of your commenters sagaciously suggested recently, politics is to liberals what Christianity has been to less benighted souls; then Negroes, other “minorities” (who are of course the vast majority—on the global scale which the libs are always twittering and supposedly thinking about), indeed any little brown people or “other”, become the Word made flesh, faux-holy, redeeming objects of veneration. Thus the Obamanation, thrills going up legs, etc.

January 27

Irwin Graulich writes:

I think you are missing the most important points here. Cross racial unity for me is meaningless because as I have always told you, in the final analysis race is meaningless in terms of determining anything. For me, skin color is as relevant as hair color. I believe you do not feel this way, based on a number of conversations we had in the past.

You are drawing the wrong conclusions about Obama’s victory and this silly concept that America must symbolically become a non white country. I think the big reason that many conservatives/Republicans are showing some excitement about Obama, does not have very much to do with Obama politically. I think many moderates and conservatives have been saying for a long time that America is NOT a racist country, despite what liberals, the left, college professors and many blacks have been spewing for the past 30 years.

The fact that Obama was elected overwhelmingly by whites is absolute proof of the fact that people will elect a Black, an Asian, a Hispanic, a Jew (God forbid); and only shows that White liberals and Black leaders are full of crap about the America/racism thing. Your example of the races coming together for a March on Washington back in 1963 is a non sequitur. [LA replies: the majority of whites voted for the Republican candidate.]

There is one other point that people fail to recognize about the Obama phenomenon. Many black leaders, Democrats and liberals have always said that there is a Black way to speak, think and look—hence the whole “rapper” phenomenon. Many Republicans and conservatives were always disgusted by that “quasi-racist” concept. So now we have a black guy (yes, I know he is half white), who went to Harvard, speaks extremely well, is as bright as any white guy in politics, makes Pat Buchanan look like an idiot, looks great in a Brooks Brothers suit, wears the right ties, has a nice family—basically the Obama’s have embraced a Republican/conservative lifestyle, sharing those values as well.

It shows that this successful black guy has chosen the same day to day family values as conservatives and is far from the Barney Frank, Tupac Shakur, Puff Daddy Combs, and Ted Kennedy “nutjob” lifestyles.

I am still giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, although his selection of George Mitchell as Middle East envoy is a particular disaster. I am reserving comment on everything else for at least 30 days.

LA replies:

You evidently didn’t notice that Noonan wasn’t talking about you and your feelings about race. She was talking about the fact that nonwhites feel “included” for the first time because the president is nonwhite. So race does matter to them.

Irwin Graulich replies:

You are right. Sometimes, I don’t care what others are saying. I was taking what you wrote, and what Noonan had said and giving you my own perspective on it.

Anyway, as far as nonwhites feeling included for the first time—I understand that idea. Also, as I have already said, I think that many non whites now see for themselves that America is NOT a racist country—as I have always believed!

For me, if there was a Jewish president, I would not feel any more or less included than I feel right now. What bonds me to a president is his values; not his race, religion, ethnicity or anything else.

LA replies:

You write:

“Anyway, as far as nonwhites feeling included for the first time—I understand that idea.”

Fine. Then it turns out that instead of disagreeing with Noonan and with my interpretation of her, you accept her premises which I identified: If nonwhites can only feel a part of a America if there is a nonwhite president, and if they can only see America as a non-racist, good country if there is a nonwhite president, and if this is also the only way for many whites to be assured that America is a non-racist, good country, and if this new positive feeling of nonwhites and whites toward America is a great thing to be celebrated and encouraged, then, in order for America to see itself as non-racist country, the race-conscious demand of nonwhites for a nonwhite president—and thus, implicitly, for a national culture that reflects nonwhiteness—must become the organizing principle of American society.

Thus America certifies its race-blindness by reflecting and empowerng race-conscious nonwhites. Thus the race-blind (white) American creed finds its ultimate fulfillment and destiny in race-conscious (nonwhite) multiculturalism.

The apparent contradiction is built into the logic of liberalism (a.k.a. “conservatism”): if a country empties itself of its historic particularist content and turns itself into a universalist empty vessel, the empty vessel will inevitably be filled by other particularisms which do not see themselves as universalist. Meanwhile, the apostles of universalism, having given up any particularism of their own, will end up celebrating the takeover of their country by these new particularisms, calling it a victory for universalism.

Irwin replies:
For many non whites and whites, the way to show that America is not a racist country was by electing a black. I am wondering if I should say a Black Democrat—because had Alan Keyes or Clarence Thomas been elected president, I wonder if those 2 constituencies would feel just as good!!!!! Good question!!!!

Should Obama lose the presidency to Newt Gingrich in 2012, I think that people will continue to believe that America is not a racist country. One guy breaks the glass ceiling and it is broken for a long time—although I am afraid that at some point it could be repaired. [LA replies: Possibly you’re correct. But nonwhites will not identify with or feel included by the next white president. The great Oneness that makes Noonan and Horowitz so happy will not be there. My point concerns the adoption by neocons of the multicultural logic that leads inexorably to the de-Europeanization of America.]

To say that America is “emptying itself of its historic particularist content” to become more universalist is virtually impossible, as long as most of us still adhere to the ideals of our Founding Fathers and The Constitution. You are giving way too much credit to the left’s ability to throw those values out the window without a great fight. With all the pressure and money, they still cannot get the gay marriage thing ratified—and this has been their focus for 16 years.

LA replies:

You define America exclusively in terms of documents and abstractions. You seem to have no notion of what cultural conservatism is about.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 26, 2009 09:00 AM | Send

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