The Great Silencing
By • 10/10/08
Whites are terrified
of criticizing minorities.
Recently, many Republicans have been complaining bitterly about John McCain’s failure to take advantage of many of Barack Obama’s obvious weaknesses. In particular, why has the McCain campaign ignored Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s white-bashing pastor? Today, McCain finally released an ad revealing Obama’s history with the disgraced minority activist group ACORN, which pressured banks to make risky loans and has a history of voter registration fraud. But why did it take McCain so long to raise this association when it is so embarrassing for Obama? And why hasn’t McCain used the financial crisis as an occasion to denounce affirmative action, which is deeply unpopular with voters? After all, government policies that pressure banks to make loans on easier terms to non-whites than whites are certainly a form of affirmative action.
McCain’s avoidance of these topics is an example of the great silence on racial issues that leukophobia, or the fear and loathing of white people, forces on America. As we saw in a previous article, leukophobia attributes to whites a uniquely racist, intolerant, greedy, and violent nature. So entrenched are these hostile stereotypes in the minds of Americans, and particularly of the elites, that any white who criticizes non-whites is immediately suspect. It is as though criticism of minorities were the thin end of a wedge that will end in lynchings and genocide. This paranoia is particularly pronounced when it comes to Republicans, since they are, in Howard Dean’s words, the “white, Christian party.”
Leukophobia makes fundamental issues of race entirely unmentionable. The most momentous problem in America today is the coming of white minority status, a process that will bring with it enormous changes and conflict. Yet the demographic transition is virtually never mentioned by politicians, and, when it is, always welcomed as a wonderful boon.
Imagine this scenario. Someone in last week’s town hall debate between Barack Obama and John McCain, in which the candidates answered questions from the audience, stands up and asks, “According to the Census Bureau, white people will become a minority in the US by 2042. Given these demographic trends and the widespread acceptance of interracial marriage, American whites will probably cease to exist as a distinct people within two or three centuries. Senators McCain and Obama, do you believe the extinction of the white race in America is a good thing?”
Of course, the people responsible for vetting the audience for the debate would never allow such a wild-eyed maniac in. However, if one did manage to get past the gatekeepers, how would the candidates react? They might well refuse to answer. If they did, they would no doubt brush the questioner off with a few stern words about intolerance and racism and do their best to move on quickly. No matter how reasonable it is, our elites put concern for white survival on par with neo-Nazism.
Leukophobia not only prevents the discussion of fundamental racial issues but also more superficial ones. Consider the regime of censorship that the McCain campaign has imposed on its own supporters. Last month, Didi Lima, a Hispanic Republican Party official who was working for McCain, was removed from her post for saying, “I’m very much afraid that the Democratic Party is going to do [to Hispanics] the same thing that they did with the African-American culture and make them all dependent on the government and we don’t want that.” A McCain spokesman said Lima’s comments “are not tolerated on [McCain’s] campaign.” Apparently, Republicans are no longer allowed to notice high black poverty and welfare dependence rates.
Similarly, some young immigration restrictionists attending the Republican National Convention were told to take down a sign saying “Build a Fence” by the Secret Service on the orders of the Republican Control Room. Signs reading “Viva McCain” were welcome, however.
Of course, none of this discourages the liberal media, who accuse Republicans of racism on the most contrived of pretexts. When Sarah Palin impugned Barack Obama for “palling around with terrorists” like William Ayers, an Associated Press article called the remark “racially tinged,” despite the fact that Ayers is white. When McCain put out an ad comparing Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, the New York Times accused him of appealing to whites’ fears of interracial sex.
The very racial makeup of the Republican Party is enough to put some commentators on edge. Thus, Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post called the Republican National Convention “shockingly—unAmericanly—white.” Last month The Huffington Post’s Nora Ephron seethed, “I forget how white [Republicans] are, and mean-spirited, and thin-lipped.” For these commentators, the very whiteness of the Republican Party renders it suspect and dangerous. A more consummate expression of leukophobia could scarcely be imagined. When they are pilloried for the color of their skin, no wonder Republicans are afraid to complain about Jeremiah Wright.
A recent experiment performed by psychologists shows that whites are nervous about even mentioning race when talking to non-whites, even when race is crucial to the conversation. “Whites are strategically avoiding the topic of race because they’re worried that they’ll look bad if they admit they notice it in other people,” said one of the researchers.
This week, we witnessed the terrible consequences of the great silencing. After all, the current financial crisis and terrifying stock market crash are in part due to America’s failure to confront racial reality. Given their tendency to seek immediate gratification regardless of long-term costs, blacks and Hispanics are naturally worse credit risks than whites are. Thus America’s decades-long effort to create a world in which “the improvident races” have rates of home ownership equal to that of whites was a sure way to destroy the credit markets. If America were capable of confronting hard truths about race, we would all likely be better off today.
No matter how much money we may be losing as a result of the financial crisis, and no matter how devastating the long-term effects on our economy, it is impossible for a race realist to watch the current debacle without some degree of satisfaction. A country that silences fundamental truths deserves to crash. We are finally seeing a castle built upon the sands of cowardice and wishful thinking crack at the foundations. Hopefully, a more courageous and honest nation will emerge from the rubble.