How the rule of Minority Supremacy is enforced by white people—on their own minds

In an article I wrote in 1998, “Multiculturalism and the Demotion of Man,” I quoted a key sentence in David Shipler’s 1997 book, “A Country of Strangers: Black and White in America:

This is the ideal: to search your attitudes, identify your stereotypes, and correct for them as you go about your daily duties.

I then commented:

This, at its Orwellian core, is the mindset that enables contemporary whites never to entertain a negative conclusion about blacks, while always making whites themselves responsible for blacks’ moral and intellectual failings…. This is the intellectual and spiritual environment which, combined with racial diversification, has turned America into the opposite of itself—into the anti-white, anti-Christian, anti-rational, anti-American anti-nation that is Multicultural America.

Many years later, in a 2006 entry at VFR, I quoted an MSNBC article which showed how Shipler-type thinking was practiced by U.S. Airways ticket agent Michael Tuohey on the morning of September 11, 2001:

Tuohey was suspicious of [Muhammad] Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari when they rushed through the Portland International Jetport to make their flight to Boston that day.

Atta’s demeanor and the pair’s first-class, one-way tickets to Los Angeles made Tuohey think twice about them.

“I said to myself, ‘If this guy doesn’t look like an Arab terrorist, then nothing does.’ Then I gave myself a mental slap, because in this day and age, it’s not nice to say things like this,” Tuohey told the Maine Sunday Telegram. “You’ve checked in hundreds of Arabs and Hindus and Sikhs, and you’ve never done that. I felt kind of embarrassed.” [Emphasis added]

Embarrassed by his momentary indulgence in anti-Muslim stereotypes, Tuohey proceeded to allow Atta and his fellow fiend to board the plane. Tuohey’s Shipler-type rooting out of the stereotypes in his consciousness thus led directly to the 9/11 attack (or at least to the destruction of the North Tower of the World Trade Center by the plane piloted by Atta), which, if Tuohey had not considered stereotypes so shameful, he could readily have prevented.

A few years later, in an August 2010 entry, “Dr. Laura, the ‘N’ word, and the rule of black supremacy,” James N. and I discussed how whites must negotiate their way through their own brains to avoid racial offense:

James wrote:

… 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.”

I replied:

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.

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 … 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.”

- end of initial entry -

Jeff C. writes:

You quoted Shipler and expanded his axiom as follows: “I see these people out on a wilding spree, and my primitive, knee jerk reaction is to blame them. But the truth … is that these young men have been made into what they are by white racism.”

I feel sure that Shipler would disagree (he is probably not as vapid as your portrayal), but he might agree to a rephrasing such as this one: “Here is the ideal as you work through a situation: to identify your stereotypes and to test them. Perhaps they apply, perhaps they do not.”

Is the Revised Shipler Axiom (RSA) an ideal? If not, what is?

LA replies:

Of course the Revised Shipler Axiom is not an ideal.

You ask, then, what I think the ideal would be.

For a modest start, the ideal would be to see and acknowledge what’s in front of our faces, e.g., that black thugs are attacking whites, and that gangs of black thugs have been systematically attacking whites in cities throughout the country, Seattle, Denver, Baltimore, etc.

But this modest, unassuming acknowledgment of reality is the very thing which, as I’ve demonstrated over and over, is precluded by the nation’s media and police authorities, which never publicly identify black violence as such.

Funny that my my modest, recognize-the-facts ideal, which is the opposite of Shipler’s extremely ambitious, “overcome-all-stereotypes” ideal, didn’t occur to you.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 26, 2011 03:15 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):