On June 6, 2015, dark clouds swirled over Trump Tower in New York City. Wolves howled. Lightning flashed. And The Words that Changed It All were spoken:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you; they’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs; they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards, and they’re telling us what we’re getting.
The world was thus divided between two groups of people. One group believed that the world is divided between racists and all other good and decent people. The second group was sick and tired of the first group dominating the conversation.
It is interesting to note that in 2013, Ted Cruz was already pushing legislation to militarize the U.S. border — while Donald Trump had recently called Mitt Romney’s self-deportation policy “maniacal” and “mean-spirited,” complaining that Republicans “didn’t have anything going for them with respect to Latinos,” whereas the Democrats, Trump said, “were kind.”
If this was, at its core, about immigration, then why did the Alternative Right end up associated with Donald Trump instead of Ted Cruz? For the same reason you know about Trump’s comments but not Ted Cruz’s: the media turned on the moral outrage machine in response to Trump but not Cruz.
And that’s the central clue to this whole thing.
If the critics think they can write the Alternative Right off with the typical tactics of moralistic outrage, they’re in for a rude awakening. What the critics have missed is that the growth of the Alt Right isn’t due to some sudden increase in “racist” or “sexist” views that just happen to be politically incorrect. It’s a reaction to political correctness itself.
Although there is no clean overlap between support for Donald Trump and the growth of the Alternative Right, the same basic phenomenon underlies both. Well-seasoned observers of the 2016 Presidential race repeatedly predicted that Donald Trump’s insensitivity would soon result in his downfall. Instead, every single media controversy that condemned Trump only caused his ratings to soar. Leftists were outraged that it seemed to be precisely Trump’s “racist” and “sexist” viewpoints that so endeared him to voters.
Whether he goes on to win the national election or not, what happened for Donald Trump’s campaign for the Republican nomination is exactly what will happen for the Alternative Right: its pending downfall will be predicted by critics every step of the way towards its rise. And this will happen because the critics in missing something big: They are what is fueling its rise.
When Trump’s popularity surged after the media’s attacks over his statement, it was about immigration, yes. But even more fundamentally than that, it was a statement of protest against the Left’s attempts to condemn Trump as “racist” in order to silence him for even daring to discuss how our immigration policies effect native-born Americans. Never mind that Trump describes illegal immigration as something by which “black Americans have been particularly harmed”—and is right to do so, according to a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report which found that “even those experts who viewed the effects [of illegal immigration on black wages and employment] as modest overall found significant effects in [some] occupations.”
We understood perfectly well that Trump was not “stereotyping all Mexicans as rapists.” Nor was he stereotyping all immigrants as rapists. And for that matter, he wasn’t even stereotyping all illegal immigrants as rapists (some “are good people”). But if per capita rates of crime are higher amongst some immigrant groups than others, then most ordinary Americans have the audacity to want to talk about that and formulate immigration policies accordingly.
But the Left was trying to silence the whole conversation by distorting Trump’s comments into a crude and simplistic “all Mexicans are rapists!” caricature.
By this time, we’d been watching this happen for a long time.
In 2005, for instance, then-President of Harvard Larry Summers addressed a private economics conference concerning the causes of the under-representation of female scientists at elite universities. After acknowledging that women with young children are often unwilling or unable to put in the demanding hours needed to succeed in those fields, which Summers recognized “raised a whole set of questions about how job expectations were defined and how family responsibilities were defined” , he moved on to discuss other possibilities.
One of them involved the hypothesis that there is more biological variability between men than there is between women—that the average woman has an IQ closer to the average female IQ than the average man has to the average male IQ, because there are both more “geniuses” and more “idiots” in the population of men, compared to women. This was, to be clear, a perfectly scientific suggestion with tremendous empirical backing in support of it. After discussing this, Summers moved on to address gender-based discrimination, and agreed that it should be reduced. But he expressed the conviction that discrimination explains less of the under-representation of women than the combination of the first two factors.
In the minds of Leftists, Summers’ talk was boiled down to the extremely crude, oversimplified notion that “women are not as clever as men,” even though nothing about the hypothesis Summers referred to implied anything about the intelligence of any given woman compared to any given man (while there appear to be more male “geniuses,” there also appear to be more male “idiots” too, because the fundamental point here appears to be not that men are “smarter” than women, but that they are more variable towards all extremes).
Summers stated his conclusion in a remarkably calm and measured way:
So my best guess, to provoke you, of what’s behind all of this is that the largest phenomenon, by far, is the general clash between people’s legitimate family desires and employers’ current desire for high power and high intensity, that in the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude, and that those considerations are reinforced by what are in fact lesser factors involving socialization and continuing discrimination. I would like nothing better than to be proved wrong, because I would like nothing better than for these problems to be addressable simply by everybody understanding what they are, and working very hard to address them.”
Many, and perhaps even most, women were reasonable enough to understand that Summers was exploring a real possibility. (((Claudia Goldin))), a Professor of Economics whose own research has addressed womens’ issues, believed Summers’ speech was “utter brilliance.” (((Sheryl Sandberg))), his research assistant, remarked that “What few seem to note is that it is remarkable that he was giving the speech in the first place — that he cared enough about women’s careers and their trajectory in the fields of math and science to proactively analyze the issues and talk about what was going wrong.”
But MIT biologist Nancy Summers claimed she had to leave the room because, if she hadn’t, she “would’ve either blacked out or thrown up”; the National Organization for Women said that “apologies are not enough; Summers must go.” And a national controversy ensued which helped ensure Summers’ resignation from Harvard a year later.
Episodes like these made it become clearer as time went on that “political correctness” wasn’t just an unreasonable series of hoops we were required to jump through, retarding dialogue on certain sensitive topics. It was a weapon for destroying those who attempt to open such conversations altogether. And it worked by turning valid hypotheses into crude caricatures of what was actually said — “There is more overall genetic variability between men than between women” becomes “women are not as clever as men” — and then slandering its victims to render them incapable of defending themselves long enough to even clarify the truth about what was said (“you really want to let Larry Summers mansplain his misogyny?!”). And even apologies “are not enough”—you must pay.
Leftists are absolutely right to fear that a process of radicalization is taking place, both across the Right as well as across society at large. But Leftists, themselves, are directly and solely to blame for it—and they’re to blame for it because these are the tactics they chose. Even liberals are increasingly noticing just how blatant and counterproductive these double standards are: for example, Matt Bruenig notices that when black communities oppose gay marriage in greater numbers than any other demographic, liberals’ response is to blame themselves for not engaging black communities enough—but when poor whites oppose gay marriage, liberals’ response is to simply condemn them as a bigoted outgroup.
And amusingly enough, even as I write this, Matt Bruenig has just been fired from his employer for criticizing Neera Tanden, an Indian woman, for what he perceived as her tacit complicity in the Clinton Administration’s welfare reform. The conversation started with Joan Walsh rejecting “the moral superiority of a [Bernie Sanders] coalition led by white men vs. the will of black, brown and female voters [for Hillary Clinton],” to which Bruenig responded that a majority of young minority voters actually prefer Sanders, to which Walsh told Bruenig to “go to Hell.” Tanden then entered the conversation on Walsh’s behalf, which occasioned the response Bruenig was fired for[13, 14]—yet Bruenig’s criticisms of “white” men (((Ezra Klein))), Nicholas Kristof, and David Brooks in equally uncivil terms, calling them “fuck–ups,” “irresponsible morons,” and “moral degenerates” in years prior hadn’t been enough to cause his ousting.
Bruenig seems particularly tenacious about fighting to retain social membership in the group treating him with such hypocrisy. But inevitably, many others will respond to this kind of treatment by coming to see that they have more to gain from simply abandoning that membership outright than they do from fighting to keep it.
And the Alt Right’s critics have failed to realize just how diverse the groups coming together thanks to the fallout from Leftist behavior have actually become. As Keith Preston wrote in 2010, speaking of the webzine Alternative Right,
Alternative Right is not a party, but a collection of writers and thinkers. . . . [it] include[s] a Catholic traditionalist (Jim Kalb), a Russian nationalist (Nina Kouprianova), a racialist anarcho-capitalist (Richard Hoste), a gay-masculinist ex-Satanist (Jack Donovan), a neo-pagan white nationalist (Alex Kurtagic), a curmudgeonly Old Rightist (Paul Gottfried), and a Nietzschean-Bakuninist old anarchist (yours truly). Richard Spencer himself seems to lean towards paleolibertarianism. As a hat tip to one of the conventional pieties of our time, we might call this “diversity.”
It becomes rather difficult to maintain the facade that this is about, say, “homophobia” when this same movement includes both a Catholic traditionalist who rejects the morality of homosexuality on principle and a gay ex-Satanist who published a book whose blurb describes it as “call(ing) into question stereotypes . . . about homosexuals . . . crafted by . . . Christian fundamentalists.” What is it that unites such disparate people?
The answer, again, is fallout from Leftist tactics that we’ve come to no longer perceive as merely irritating, or even odious, but as a weapon designed to silence all of us —regardless of what we actually want to say. The Left has defined us and created our alliance by defining all of us as its enemies and therefore giving us a common goal. Why is this so hard for Leftists to understand?
Aren’t they the ones criticizing the prison system on the grounds that putting people in jail for small crimes and treating them as criminals can actually turn them into criminals by alienating them from mainstream society and giving them new criminal associates? How could it be so hard for them to see that they’ve helped create the growth of the Alternative Right through exactly the same kind of process?
When the Left makes a great show about “racism” because a village emblem supposedly displays a white man strangling a Native American, and it turns out that it actually depicts a voluntary wrestling match in which a white man earned the local Natives’ respect,, or because of the use of the word “Redskins” for a sports team when it turns out that 9 out of 10 Native Americans don’t really care, the Left is crying wolf. They’re desensitizing us to the very sound of the word “racist,” and showing us that people who most loudly condemn it are, more likely than not, simply wasting our time with non-issues.
But then we notice that non-issues like these are given great publicity whereas on the very week I’m writing this, Google can “honor” the birthday of a so-called “anti-racist” who claimed that the U.S. is “the main enemy of the world’s people” while praising Osama bin Laden as “one of the people that [she] admire[s]” — a “strong leader who brought consciousness to [his] people . . . [and] felt the U.S. government [was] racist . . .” And nothing is done.
And then we watch the progression of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. And we’re told that “All Lives Matter” is a racist slur, because black people are “literally being gunned down in the street” — even though both the national data and the best experimental studies show that any given white person who interacts with police is actually twice as likely to be shot than any given black person who interacts with police; whites only have to commit half as many crimes, and therefore have about half as many interactions with police, before one white person will end up shot as blacks do before one black person will end up shot.
And then we watch white people who criticize “Black Lives Matter” because of those statistics end up slurred and censored — never mind that the very case studies that spurred that “movement” into action were more often than not cases where white peoplewere assaulted by black people and merely defended themselves, only for the Left to attempt to ruin the rest of their lives, ending their careers, allowing bounties to be publically placed on their heads, and even requiring their parents to go into hiding as a result of the death threats. And yet, although about half of the suspects shot by police are white, most people can’t even remember the name of a single white victim — even though a black cop was let off for shooting an unarmed, non-violent white suspect just two days after the events of Ferguson, MO.
Then we realize how many people are willing to defend someone for trying to pin a white person in a hallway corner to call them racist and threaten them with a forced haircut just for wearing their hair in a certain style. And we see that these people hold this attitude despite the fact that the Rastafarians actually “appropriated” dreadlocks from the same place they took the Sanskrit word “ganja” — from Indians, whose spiritual gurus matted their hair and treated “ganja” as a spiritual sacrament much earlier; and we see how few of these people care that dreadlocks are in fact a part of “white” history, too. Never mind that dreadlocks are simply what anyone’s hair does after you stop washing it, which makes the claim that you can “culturally appropriate” dreadlocks about as asinine as claiming that you can “culturally appropriate” bad breath or body odor.
We’ve long crossed the line at which false claims of “racism” are just a matter of crying wolf; we’ve reached the point where it has transformed into a blatant attack against white people, plain and simple. And when we look to events in Europe, we see that “political correctness” is actually concretely ruining peoples’ lives, and we realize how much we actually stand to lose if we don’t stand up to it. Child sexual exploitation rings were actually allowed to continue abducting, raping, and torturing hundreds of children undisturbed for fifteen years—why? Because the police were afraid of being called “racist” if they prosecuted the Pakistanis responsible for it. The lesson seems to be that if we don’t act preemptively, we’ll be headed for the same ultimate fate. And that is how the left not only desensitized us to charges of “racism,” it actually started to make some of us actively angered by them.
And that is how the Left created the “Alternative Right,” as well as the rise of Donald Trump. First, not only did they desensitize us to charges of “racism,” they taught us how easily it can be — and how often it is — used as a blatant weapon against perfectly innocent, decent people. Second, they forced all of these “unapproved” conversations underground. When people are told that they don’t belong in the mainstream conversation anymore if they’re worried about crime rates amongst illegal immigrants, or if they want to know how to make sure that a Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal or that a mass sexual assault like what took place in Germany during New Year’s Eve celebrations of 2016 don’t happen here, neither their concerns nor their opinions are thus eliminated.
And for that matter, neither are the conversations they’re trying to have.
They’re just being siphoned off someplace else. And if, thanks to the Left, the only places where that can happen now is the wilderness to which everyone else outside the Leftist fold has been banished, that’s where they’re going to be held. Perhaps some of those people will be critical of some of the details they’ve been taught about the Holocaust — with more or with less “noble” motivations behind their skepticism. Perhaps some of them actually do dislike other people for no other reason than their race, nationality, or religion. Most likely, these groups never would have had any reason to interact with each other at all — but now, it’s the Left’s fault that they’ve been pushed into one space and are therefore beginning to cross-fertilize into new movements. Out of what began, and what perhaps could have been left as, disparate groups of isolated individuals each holding an unapproved interest or two, the Left is creating a movement by giving them all something in common: the Left, its common enemy.
And by 2010, these forces finally became powerful enough to unite groups as different as Catholic traditionalists and gay masculinist ex–Satanists into the same movement. No matter how deeply Jack Donovan and Jim Kalb might disagree with each other about the nature of homosexuality, what they hold in common is that they are both adult enough to hold a conversation about it that isn’t dominated by attempts to gain status over each other by playing moral outrage games. And if they decide that their disagreements are intractable, they’re adult enough to just walk away.
That’s not to argue that the members of the Alt Right are paragons of the virtue of tolerance as liberals conceive it. Yes, nearly the whole of the Alt Right will admit to holding a commitment to some for or other of tribalism — and for many, this tribalistic instinct will become attached in some way to race. But is the left any less “tribalistic?” Of course not. In fact, the entire point is precisely that the Left’s double-handed tactics are creating white racial consciousness where in many cases none at all existed previously. Whites are beginning to consciously form their own tribes, in many cases because it’s been repeatedly beaten into them that they do not belong to the tribe of the Left.
Research has found that while all other extracurricular activities increase a person’s chance of being admitted to college, membership in ROTC, 4–H, and Future Farmers of America clubs actually decreases it. What is this, if not blatant discrimination by the Leftist tribe against a culture that is overwhelmingly white, rural, and conservative? In turn, cultures that largely happen to be white, rural, and conservative are realizing thatthey have no better choice than to form tribes of their own — because after this many years reading headlines like “I Don’t Know What To Do With Good White People” and “White Men Must be Stopped: The Very Future of Mankind Depends on It” — and after enough articles like “Dylann Roof is White Like Me” and “White America is Complicit [in Roof’s crime]” contrasted with articles like “Stop asking Muslims to condemn terrorism. It’s bigoted and Islamophobic” — it has become clear that compromise and negotiation are not actually being offered to us in the first place.
The Left isn’t criticizing tribalism because it actually opposes tribalism on principle — it just opposes the interests of our tribe. As Christopher Robertson writes in In Defense of Hatred,
John is a man who is “anti-gun.” He claims that guns are immoral. Indeed, they are what’s wrong with the world, and that if only we could get rid of them, we could get on with the joys and difficulties of living, without the unnecessary dangers of lethal violence breathing down our necks.
John also carries a gun.
When asked about this apparent hypocrisy, he vehemently declares that this does not in any way mean he likes guns, or isn’t anti-gun. His gun is only to shoot other people with guns (“or people who support gun ownership,” he adds as an afterthought). But that is why everyone else owns guns too, you point out. You’re not an anti-gun advocate fighting fire with fire: in defending the legitimacy of your own gun carrying, you have become, to whatever small degree, a gun-rights advocate.
“Not at all,” he says, “because unlike those guys, who just love to carry guns, I’m doing it because gun-owners deserve to be shot.”
This caricature of an anti-gun-rights activist ceases to be a caricature when looked at metaphorically. “Hatred” is a kind of gun. It is a fundamentally coercive state designed to intimidate or to will oneself into violent action.
What is ridiculous is not John’s articulated position. It is his characterization of himself as anti-gun. He’s not against guns, but against guns being used by the wrong people, and for the wrong reasons.
The anti-hate activists, in all their forms, ooze with hatred. Like John, they attempt to square this circle by saying that they only hate “those who hate.” Their intolerance is reserved for the intolerant. But this does not make them “anti-hatred” any more than John’s justifications make him “anti-gun.” More to the point, they never bother to explore why the targets of their own hatred hold the views that they do. Like John, they just assume that those people are just nasty, stupid bigots. Who cares if theyalso think they only hate others who are themselves hateful, or legitimate threats? Who cares if they only carry a gun because they know someone like you does too?My hatred is valid. Your hatred isn’t.
The same is true of the Left’s pretenses of concern about “tribalism.” What the rise of the Alternative Right — and, to a lesser extent, the popularity of Donald Trump amongst the American public in general — represents is a wising up to the dishonesty of these tactics. Having seen how the game works, we no longer see any reason to care to try to ingratiate ourselves to a Left that will attempt to destroy our reputations, destroy our lives, and destroy our careers if we should step out of line by even asking the wrong questions — a Left that exercises racist double standards and practices tribalism while pretendingto be opposed to “racism” and “tribalism” merely in order to disarm us and advance their tribal interests. Watching the career-destroying and mass-rape producing machinations of political correctness has finally convinced us that a world without “racism” and “tribalism” simply isn’t in the cards. It’s convinced many of us that, for better or worse, the only question that is truly in the asking at all is, “whose tribalism?”
And, at the same time as it’s done so, it’s pushed us into halls of conversation whereeveryone who has been on the receiving end of those tactics for any reason has been forced to gather together. Now, thanks to the Left, when the person who (let’s say) has been disaffected by the lies of the Black Lives Matter movement or the Cologne immigrant mass rapes looks over and sees a Holocaust denier, he may only now think to himself, “You know, both of us have been tarnished, labeled, and cast out of the mainstream conversation in just exactly the same way. I used to assume that the slanders of racism against him were valid, but now I can’t assume that anymore, because I see clearly now that the process by which people are deemed worthy of that kind of censorship is illegitimate. What if what he’s actually trying to say has been just as distorted by people trying to silence him as what I’ve been trying to say has? At the very least, I ought to reconsider the possibility, now that we’ve both been thrown into the same boat.”
A process of radicalization is taking place; and the Left should be terrified. Because the more it tries to rely on the same tired tactics to try to silence this movement, the more they are fueling its rise in the first place and the darker their future will continue to become.