The “protocols” by which whites manage their forbidden racial thoughts
Try to imagine the mental state of a white person who is toiling in the conflict you describe. He has negative thoughts about black violence, black job performance, black racial preferences, black anti-white racism, and so on, but he can never speak these thoughts aloud, and he can never even allow himself to think them clearly to himself. Even I, who have written a fair amount about the phenomenon of white guilt, cannot fully picture to myself what it’s like to live day to day in such falsity, to be always maneuvering and negotiating inside one’s own head between certain thoughts that one has and the absolute imperative not to speak or think those thoughts because they are evil. I suppose that there would be, not one, but several typical “protocols” by which white people manage their forbidden racial thoughts. If readers have ideas about what these protocols might be, please send them in.
In the discussion
—Lawrence Auster, “Dr. Laura, the ‘N’ word, and the rule of black supremacy”
on Dr. Laura and the “N” word, a new subject got started which a reader suggested needs to be in its own thread. So I am copying the comments on that subject into this new entry. I begin with James N.’s comment which led to my idea of the “protocols.” An alternative title for this discussion could be: The Protocols of the Liberals of America
James N. writes:
… you are very sharp to point out that the thoughtcrime has now gone well beyond saying “nigger” or harboring any negative feelings towards blacks. It is now impermissible to think about blacks, as a distinct group with group attributes, at all (although, of course, most blacks think about themselves this way constantly).
Why might this be?
I believe it is because, if whites were able to think about blacks as blacks, then they would, in short order, begin to conceptualize THEMSELVES as a coherent group—with a culture, with a polity, with interests, with strengths and weaknesses, some in need of improvement, some worthy of defense—and, if whites were to begin to do this, it would end the world as it now exists.
I do believe, as I think you know, that the majority of whites are mired in a neurotic conflict about this—they actually DO have such mental images of blacks as a group, but they struggle to keep them from consciousness, and the resulting (classic) neurotic conflict is expressed as what we call “white guilt”.
Try to imagine the mental state of a white person who is toiling in the conflict you describe. He has negative thoughts about black violence, black job performance, black racial preferences, black anti-white racism, and so on, but he can never speak these thoughts aloud, and he can never even allow himself to think them clearly to himself. Even I, who have written a fair amount about the phenomenon of white guilt, cannot fully picture to myself what it’s like to live day to day in such falsity, to be always maneuvering and negotiating inside one’s own head between thoughts that one has and the absolute imperative not to speak or think those thoughts because they are evil. I suppose that there would be, not one, but several typical “protocols” by which white people manage their forbidden racial thoughts. If readers have ideas about what these protocols might be, please send them in.
I’ll start the submissions with one of my favorites, which I’ve quoted several times over the years. In his 1997 book, “A Country of Strangers: Black and White in America,” David K. Shipler writes: “This is the ideal: to search your attitudes, identify your stereotypes, and correct for them as you go about your daily duties.”
The Shipler type is half old-fashioned guilt-ridden liberal Jew, half self-examining Puritan who is always hard at work on himself. He acknowledges that he has a sinful tendency to harbor racist thoughts, and when he becomes aware of their presence in his head and heart he consciously sets about correcting them.. So, for example, when he sees some rowdy threatening black youths and feels an upsurge of fear and resentment, he will deliberately say to himself something like this: “My negative response to those black youths is wrong. It is based on wrong premises. I see these people out on a wilding spree, and my primitive, knee jerk reaction is to blame them. But the truth, which is so easy to forget, is that these young men have been made into what they are by white racism. They are entirely innocent, and do not deserve my contempt, but my sympathy. My anger and disgust and fear should be directed not at these blacks, but at the racist white society that shaped them. And now I turn my negative thoughts into positive thoughts by rededicating myself to the project of building a new society where racism will be no more.”
Leonard D. writes:
On the question of the “protocols by which white people manage their forbidden racial thoughts,” there are several that stand out most to me. I think what is common about them as I see them is that they are oriented around not having such thoughts to begin with.
First is simple ignorance. Most people do not know enough about racial differences to have a valid opinion on it. This ignorance is carefully cultivated by the press and other progressive institutions, i.e. the state and private education systems.
Another protocol is what one might call benevolence bias combined with thoughtcrime. The idea here is that people should never believe anything an expert tells them, unless they are convinced he is benevolent. But progressives have staked out certain ideas as thoughtcrime, so that the merest expression of them is proof of malevolence. Race is one: any expression of racial difference is racism is evil, ergo, anyone who talks about race must not be listened to.
Combined with ignorance is the progressive/scientific insistence on hard proof for anything. Even if you, personally, happen to feel menaced on the streets of the inner city, so what? That’s just your personal experience, an anecdote. You can’t generalize from it without a controlled study! This allows almost anyone to crimestop easily in almost any context. If you don’t know anything, and you don’t have to believe anyone who attempts to educate you, you never have to learn anything except what you want to learn. I note that the Internet has partially overcome this one, since at least a lot of us get political opinions off the Internet far more than we do from other sources, and on the net, avoiding hard proof is harder. If you just have to click on a link to see a hatefact, its much harder to avoid.
One more protocol is the modern radical rejection of the use of statistical thought about people. More familiarly, this is the delegitimization of “stereotypes.” Progressives want life to be fair, and it is true that for an individual be judged only by a stereotype is unfair. So, progressives have decided that using stereotypes is wrong. Consequentially they have educated everyone to believe that no statistical truth about people means anything if there is even a single counterexample. I don’t know how they did this, perhaps by mere negligence working with a weakness in human thought. But regardless, now if you ever attempt to generalize about any group, you’ll almost immediately be presented with a counterexample by some well-meaning listener. This is sufficient to work as crimestop for the most listeners, namely, progressives, and sadly, the progressively educated. I.e., “Men are taller than women.” “What? No, I once knew a woman who was taller than me!” “Muslims are prone to religiously-motivated violence against non-Muslims.” “No, I know many peaceful Muslims!”
James N. writes:
On the question of the “protocols by which white people manage their forbidden racial thoughts,” that’s simple—they vote for Deval Patrick and Barack Obama.
Edward L. writes:
Leonard D. wrote:
One more protocol is the modern radical rejection of the use of statistical thought about people. More familiarly, this is the delegitimization of “stereotypes.” Progressives want life to be fair, and it is true that for an individual be judged only by a stereotype is unfair. So, progressives have decided that using stereotypes is wrong. Consequentially they have educated everyone to believe that no statistical truth about people means anything if there is even a single counterexample. I don’t know how they did this, perhaps by mere negligence working with a weakness in human thought.
That is an excellent insight and one that I think certainly merits a new thread in its own right. He’s entirely correct about the left’s visceral hostility to statistical generalization and, for that matter, patterns of any kind. I would add two things:
(1) Liberals do not reject statistical generalizations when there’s any kind of affirmative action angle at stake: e.g., “If you’re a black male, you’re X times more likely to be incarcerated than if you’re white.” That kind of generalization flies because it has the effect of thrusting a sense of embarrassment onto whites and implicitly demands lesser criminal penalties for blacks. Since it’s white racism that’s notionally at stake, the disproportionate incarceration rate supposedly does not reflect intrinsically on blacks in the same unfavorable light that racial intelligence generalizations do.
Note also the habitual use of the passive voice (e.g., “be incarcerated”) in reference to blacks. This could be added to the list of protocols.
(2) The right too has militated against statistical generalization on the issue of census sampling. I don’t think that it’s quite as intellectually unsound as what Leonard is talking about, but unsound nevertheless.
[end of comments copied from earlier thread.]
Leonard D.’s notation of the “hatefact” innovation reminded me of something quite remarkable that occurred recently in a conversation with friends. They are a successful, middle aged couple and I had presumed they were “conventional liberal” in their political outlook. We got to talking about Obama, and without pulling any punches I politely indicated some of my misgivings about the man’s constitution. My friend (the husband) asked for some examples of unfavorable Obama doings and I mentioned the case of his having edited the Harvard Law Review without making any written contributions to it during his editorship (except for a single, unsigned piece he wrote before becoming editor).
My friend’s response was somewhere between incredulity and a near-audible hiss. When he replied, with cocked head and crinkled brow, “Why would you know that?” it sounded as though he had said, “How dare you!” I replied that I like to read up on certain subjects and that this was not an arcane or privileged piece of information. The conversation stayed friendly, but he repeated, “How would you know that?” before we were finished. I think back on that exchange in amazement.
I also think back and consider that here is a man who has probably not been challenged on his now-reflexive beliefs, nor challenged himself, since his days in college.
Yes, a hatefact indeed. That’s a very revealing anecdote.
Thanks. I was almost happy in a way when he said it because it was so revealing!
Alan M. writes:
Might I suggest that the central axiom of these “protocols” is the insertion of a virus at the root of our thinking: the negation of the logical concept identity. It is inserted along with the negation of the concept of non-contradiction. These twin viruses of a revolt against reality can explain a lot.
Imagine a computer, which operates entirely on the logic circuit (0 = 0, 1 = 1, 1 <> 0), suddenly changed so that 1=0, 0=1, and “I am not true” … sometimes. What a faulty computer that would be. If a computer chip would be based on these two flaws, it would not operate and would not leave the factory.
Now translate that into our minds which depend on logic to work with reality. (Aside: logic is required but not sufficient for a human mind).
We are told that two men = a man and a woman. We are told that everyone is equal—only when white people seem to do better than blacks. When blacks do better than whites, then we are the lesser. We are told that tolerance is the highest virtue and intolerance must not be tolerated. We are told that guns and the use of force are bad but then told to suck it up as more and more laws are put in place, backed by the power of guns and force.
These logic flaws, which operate at the very root of who we are and at the very root of logical thinking, disrupt all ability to think logically and, hence, think truthfully. However, as we are more than logic, we fall back on other aspects of our mind and somehow make do, compensating for these other flaws despite reality. These compensations result in all sorts of distortions of human nature. The difference, though, when compared with computers, is that the breakdown in our society only slowly comes into view and is only fully realized over several generations. This allows those who perpetrate these crimes against reality to claim that the results are not bad, because, “you see, everything is still working just fine!” We are just now reaping the benefits of several generations of this type of “non-thinking.”
Ultimately, however, reality wins. Always.
The question is how big the price will be to adjust back to reality, and will it be too late.
Don C. writes:
I am a Catholic man of European ancestry in my mid-twenties. Most of my friends are the same. In the last couple years, I have been very conscious of a gradually increasing boldness among my friends on questions of race. I feel as though people are sort of “testing the waters” of acceptable opinion with little comments or jokes about bad neighbor hoods or girls named “Obamaniqua.” Moments like these are almost always followed by a solemn silence, a light scolding (“Ooh, you’re bad. haha”), or an expression of helpless dismay (“I know. Isn’t it sad?”) Then the matter just hangs in the air and we all sort of understand that we share some vague sentiment of concern. Some of us have kids now; the rest are approaching that point. Our thoughts are turning to their safety.
I have been reading sites like yours that discuss these matters for about the same period, two to three years. Yet I almost never instigate or respond to these moments of testing the waters. I read because I am trying to become sane. I hesitate because I am trying to become a saint. As I learn about these issues, I want to keep a firm hold on the reality that these are sons and daughters of Adam called to adoption in the sonship of Christ. They are already my natural family. It is my mission to invite them to my Father’s spiritual family. My Church is the divinely instituted sign and instrument of the unity of the human race. (Lumen Gentium, 1) Any understanding of racial difference I have must be conditioned by Christian truth and charity.
Thus I am comfortable thinking of races as branches of a family. I rarely visit my second cousins. If they were drunkards, we would probably whisper about them disapprovingly. In the same way, I am comfortable talking about the appalling state of black neighborhoods behind closed doors. So long as discussion remains relatively private, academic, “blogospheric,” I think stats on crime, intelligence, and DNA are illuminating and perhaps useful.
I have a nervous uncertainty about what the implications of this data are for public policy. I know what Aristotle thought they were. Some men are suited to intellectual work. Other men are suited to manual work. The trouble is that the affirmation of racial difference feels like a denial of human nature. For minds lacking metaphysical discipline (most), the two acts are easily entangled. When men forget they are from Adam, they forget they are men. Thus I fear that white advocacy might easily slip to ambitions of white supremacy. This is the primary reason I hesitate to speak.
I often feel as though race is a worldly treasure to be held loosely for a time, a good to be enjoyed relative to the glory of God and the salvation of souls. I would like to know what is being insinuated in calls for a white ethno-state. I have only my imagination to serve me here. Many of the possibilities make me shudder, Isabella’s expulsion of the Jews being the penultimate parallel scenario. I presume the ultimate needs no mention.
First, the jokes made by your friends serve no useful purpose and have nothing to do with any legitimate grappling with the problem of race.
As for the moral problem that you see in race consciousness, that can be solved by understanding that the acknowledgement of group distinctions that matter does not affect the way we deal with people as individuals. We can recognize that we belong to a different group than another person, and give that difference its due importance, while also recognizing the bond of humanity under God that joins us to that person. The fact that we see individuals of other races as our fellow children of God, does not require that we ignore all distinctions between us as peoples and allow other peoples to take over our society en masse. But that is what we are currently doing.
Finally, before you worry too much about the prospect of whites becoming race conscious and doing bad things to others, please remember the actual situation in which we find ourselves, a situation in which other peoples are expanding themselves into our cultural space and permanently altering our society, but we are not expanding into theirs. It is only whites who are expected to write themselves and their historical cultures out of the book of history, while other peoples are expected to preserve theirs. What moral or religious teaching would call it right and good, for one group to commit suicide for the sake of other groups, while those other groups continue as before?
As I wrote at the end of the chapter, “The Meaning of Multiculturalism,” in The Path to National Suicide:
Finally, if we want to consider “cultural equity,” there seems to be an extraordinary kind of inequity in the proposition that the United States must lose its identity, must become the “speechless, meaningless country” that Allan Bloom has foreseen, while the countries that the new immigrants are coming from are free to preserve their identities. In a hundred years, the United States will have become in large part an Hispanic nation, while Latin America will still be what it has always been; Mexico has strict immigration laws even against other Latin Americans. China, Korea, the Philippines and India will still have their historic cultures intact after having exported millions of their people to America, while America’s historic culture will have vanished. If the situation were reversed and North Americans were colonizing Latin America and Asia, it would be denounced as racist imperialism. Why, then, does every other country in the world have the right to preserve its identity but the United States has not? The answer, as I’ve tried to show, is that the end of multiculturalism is not some utopian, “equal” society, but simply the end of American civilization.
Here’s where the morality of national and racial suicide embraced by today’s Christianity leads:
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 21, 2010 12:37 PM | Send
Several churchmen joined the chorus yesterday criticising president Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to expel dozens of Roma from France, with one priest praying for Mr Sarkozy to be divinely struck by a heart attack. Father Arthur Hervet of the church of St Martin Esquermes of Lille in northern of France said he was turning to God because he did not believe those in power have any plans to help the Roma, except deport them. “I pray that Mr Sarkozy has a heart attack,” said the 71 year-old priest, adding a war was being waged on the Roma community.
By coincidence, if you want to call it that, I came upon this item immediately after I finished my first reply to Don C.