White Trouble

‘You know what, people? I’m not black, but there’s a whole lots of times I wish I could say I ain’t white.’
-Frank Zappa

So, I don’t normally like to share ugly crap I’ve found on the internet, and I have been known to ask people not to do so, which I realise is a bit presumptuous of me. But I say this more as a warning than as a curio.

Tonight I opened a private browsing window and visited a white nationalist website I knew about and visited years ago, when I first became aware that there were such things on the internet. I won’t share its name unless asked very, very nicely in private, because I don’t want them to have the publicity. But if you track these things, you’ll probably know who I mean. Back then it seemed like a bunch of nutters in a dark corner of America. I thought, back then, that it was hideous but darkly amusing, because I didn’t see any way it could ever amount to anything.

It was still the same, in many ways. A core of nothing but racism, surrounded by an intellectual framework that was internally sturdy and consistent, just unsupported by reality. They want to live in a part of the world where there are only white people. They think people who aren’t white are inferior to them. They back this up with…well, as far as I can tell, nothing: made-up crime statistics without citations which don’t correspond to actual research, and quotes from other white nationalist people saying how inferior people are who aren’t white. But, because it’s prejudice, and because they know most people don’t agree with them, they wear it with the air of people who have reluctantly accepted the painful truth. (Of course, that’s a classic bullshit move: I was once a nice person like you, but then I got mugged by reality. But mugging victims shouldn’t be the only people who get to determine what happens to muggers.)

I was curious to see how they, or at least a respected member of their community, responded to Trump. I found an article written the day after the election by a guy called…no, fuck him, I’m not going to give him the publicity. I’ll call him Smegma McCock, because it’s not that far from his actual name, if you know your Celtic patronymics. He welcomed the Trump victory, because although he regards Trump as too pragmatic to be a white nationalist, he was enthusiastic about the fact that Trump had promised to deport immigrants. The numbers of immigrants that Smegma McCock wanted deported was far in excess of any that Trump himself had ever thrown around, but little Smegma clearly regards Trump as a useful idiot for white nationalism. He was looking ahead to 2024, and Donald Jr running for president. Smegma McCock knows that the traditional white nationalist base is declining in demographic terms, but he also knows that there are going to be millions of younger angry, uneducated white men out there who don’t think of themselves as white nationalists because they’ve never fucking heard of it, and he regards it as his and his pals’ job to be a white nationalist elite that recruits these people and educates them and mobilises them, so that 20-30 years down the line, they can have a white America.

It was frightening. I don’t think it’s very realistic. But these people now regard themselves as having a big chance, and they must be immensely heartened by some of the people who appear to be in the running for Trump’s administration.

One of the things that I read was the site’s Introduction, in which they were clearly trying to give a warm welcome to disaffected white people and make them feel at home and articulate their grievances. I’m not going to quote exactly, because I understand how google searches work, and if I did, you could then do a text search and find the article, but the gist of it was: don’t you feel angry at how many dark faces there are in the streets? Don’t you feel that immigrants are overrunning us? Aren’t you concerned for the future and for your kids, with all these Third World people running around?

In other words, it was the same old shit I encountered 14 years ago in Ireland when a small fringe group calling itself the Immigration Control Platform put a flyer through the letterbox of the house of my then-girlfriend, now my dear wife. (Read her blog. It’s way better than mine.)

And my answer is, no. If I’m angry, it’s because you presume to speak for me. If I’m concerned for my kids, it’s because people like you are out there. You presume to talk to me about ‘Western civilisation’? Do you even speak any language other than English, or maybe German? There was a quote from Horace on the homepage; needless to say, it was in the form of a rhymed English couplet, not the original Latin. Horace, of all people: the ultimate court insider, a self-confessed crap soldier, one of whose most appealing poems (Satires II.6) is basically A Portrait of the Artist as a Craven Political Functionary.

Well, it’s never fun to tread in the shit that is modern bigotry, but I will be on my guard for these fuckers, and I urge you to be, too. Education is the key. Let kids grow up around kids who are both different from them in ways that don’t matter, but also just like them in all the ways that do matter, and the sooner we can all get together and figure out how to fix this planet before it turns to a ball of salty dirt.

I will end as I began, with Frank Zappa’s great warning cry about racism. Reader, I don’t know you, but if you’ve read this far and not wanted to troll me, you’re okay by me.

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White Trouble

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