Friday Ephemera
The Narcissist’s Priorities

Hush Now, Brown Person, I’ll Do The Talking

Well, here’s a thing. It turns out that “white supremacy” is surprisingly diverse. Or, as the Washington Post’s headline puts it

To Understand Trump’s support, we must think in terms of multiracial Whiteness.

The author of what follows, Ms Cristina Beltrán, is “an associate professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University.” Her areas of expertise are needless to say sweeping and numerous, extending from “feminist theory” to “Latinx, and race & gender politic,” because “Latinx” and “politic” is how we do things now. Being a leftist academic, Ms Beltrán is of course mystified by the existence of non-white Trump supporters and, by extension, non-white people who dare to deviate from her own leftist assumptions. And so, inevitably, contortions ensue: 

What are we to make of… Latino voters inspired by Trump? And what are we to make of unmistakably White mob violence that also includes non-White participants? I call this phenomenon multiracial whiteness — the promise that they, too, can lay claim to the politics of aggression, exclusion and domination.

Given last year’s scenes of rioting, looting and generally feral behaviour, and the feats of illogic to excuse such things - to say nothing of crime statistics over the last fifty years - the conceit that non-white people have somehow been excluded from participation in “mob violence” and “the politics of aggression” is faintly comical. But Ms Beltrán is not a woman to be impeded by observable reality, and hurries instead to list the many shortcomings of Donald Trump, whose seductive powers are, it would seem, dark and diabolical:

Trump… knows nothing of the history of Latinos in the United States and rarely even pretends to find value in Latinos’ distinct identities. Rather than offering his non-White voters recognition, Trump has offered them multiracial whiteness.

If the concept of “multiracial whiteness” sounds a tad unobvious and contrived, Ms Beltrán elaborates:

Multiracial whiteness reflects an understanding of whiteness as a political colour and not simply a racial identity — a discriminatory worldview in which feelings of freedom and belonging are produced through the persecution and dehumanisation of others.

“Multiracial whiteness” is, we’re told, “rooted in… indigenous dispossession and anti-blackness,” and is “a form of hierarchy in which the standing of one section of the population is premised on the debasement of others.” Motives that are perhaps more obvious than persecution, a little more mundane, are simply not considered. Readers may also wish to ponder how a distaste for racial preoccupation is framed, rather boldly, as “a discriminatory worldview.”

Multiracial whiteness promises Latino Trump supporters freedom from the politics of diversity and recognition. For voters who see the very act of acknowledging one’s racial identity as itself racist, the politics of multiracial whiteness reinforces their desired approach to colour-blind individualism.

That being bad, you see.

In the politics of multiracial whiteness, anyone can join the MAGA movement and engage in the wild freedom of unbridled rage and conspiracy theories.

That a non-white person might not be impressed by racial exoticism and its cartoonish condescension, as favoured by leftist academics who use the word “Latinx” unironically, does not appear to have occurred to Ms Beltrán. Apparently, the only conceivable motive to shun such racial fixations, in which individual identity must take second place to “the politics of diversity,” i.e., playing the racial mascot, is to indulge in “conspiracy theories” and “unbridled rage.”

Examples of these unsavoury behaviours include looking askance at the Black Lives Matter movement – a kind of looking that is clearly forbidden - and a concern that a limitless influx of illegal – sorry, “undocumented” - immigrants may not be entirely to the nation’s advantage. These fairly mainstream concerns, shared by millions regardless of pigmentation, are of course diminished and made to sound outlandish by equating them with a belief that all Muslims are terrorists, and that Democrats are “blood-drinking paedophiles.” At which point, readers may wish to consider Ms Beltrán’s own readiness to mouth fanciful conspiracies, not least regarding “whiteness” and its supposed power to rob brown-skinned people of all agency.  

In the post-Trump era, the challenge will be to prevail over the extremism of Trump’s White majority while trying to prevent the politics of whiteness from becoming an increasingly multiracial affair.

For Ms Beltrán, then, those who tire of racial tribalism and identitarian drama, and who prefer to be engaged with as individuals, are merely surrendering to “whiteness” and “white supremacy,” and are therefore the enemy, traitorous, or at best, dupes. And for Ms Beltrán, the extremist is not the person who fixates on race as the overriding characteristic and sole basis for “recognition” - as the ideological mass around which all else must revolve - but the person who doesn’t.

Via Damian Counsell, who adds

BLACK PEOPLE! Remember: You’re only black if white people give you permission to be.

Wokeness. Not even once.