That’s the way the left-wing website Salon.com presents a racist column by an elderly white male leftist named Frank Joyce. A sample from the column:
The future of life on the planet depends on bringing the 500-year rampage of the white man to a halt. For five centuries his ever more destructive weaponry has become far too common. His widespread and better systems of exploiting other humans and nature dominate the globe.
The time for replacing white supremacy with new values is now. And just as some whites played a part in ending slavery, colonialism, Jim Crow segregation, and South African apartheid, there is surely a role whites can play in restraining other whites in this era. Beneath the sound and fury generated by GOP presidential candidates, Fox News, website trolls, police unions and others, white people are becoming aware as never before of past and present racism.
Blah blah blah.
I know, I know, it’s Salon.com. But you know what? This kind of thing is a big deal, and should not be shrugged off. Can you think of another web publication of its status in this country that could explicitly demonize others by race and gender, and say that “the future of life on the planet” depends on restraining them?
According to QuantCast, Salon.com reaches 11 million people monthly. (The webzine claims over 17 million.) That’s four times the readership of Slate.com, according to the same company. Though the data for National Review’s website is “not quantified,” according to QuantCast, it estimates NR’s reach to be 3.7 million unique visitors monthly — about one-third of Salon’s.
Now, if National Review ran a headline saying, “Black men must be stopped: The very future of mankind depends on it,” NR would be denounced as the resurrection of Der Stürmer. What if it ran a headline promoting a story that argued, “Gay men must be stopped: The very future of mankind depends on it”? What kind of reaction do you think that would draw from the public? Hell, NR fired John Derbyshire in 2012 for something racially provocative he wrote on another website.
And yet there will be no pressure on Salon.com to disavow this Frank Joyce column, and no expectation that they would do so. There’s a double standard in our media and academic culture for this kind of racist garbage. Do I think most liberals share Frank Joyce’s opinion? No, I guess I don’t. But I do think most liberals are not all that bothered by it being stated and promoted on a very popular left-wing website. We have come to accept it as standard leftist discourse.
There are few things more dull than a left-vs-right tu quoque contest when things like this come up. What chaps me about this is the comment that a reader of this blog named Deep South Populist made in pointing out this Salon piece:
It is plainly obvious these people want war.
I don’t know that they want it, but that’s exactly what they’re going to get, because they are calling it up with rhetoric like that. I would remind Salon.com of the widely-reported study from last month reporting that middle-aged working-class white men are dying in record numbers, and by their own hand (suicide, drugs, or drink). The day may come when they decide to turn their anger away from themselves, and on to others. We will be lucky if they only restrict it to the ballot box.
If, God forbid, that day comes, limousine leftists like the people who run Salon.com are going to bear some of the responsibility for it. This kind of racist cant is never acceptable in the public square, but you ought not be surprised by it when it comes from a fringe publication or website. Salon.com is very much not fringe, and liberals should not pretend it is. The left should ask itself if it really wants to see the country torn apart by racial violence. That is exactly what Salon.com and its fellow travelers are courting.
Tweeting about the asinine food protests at Oberlin, Freddie de Boer wrote:
If you’re a committed leftist, you need to start to criticize this kind of self-parody, because it’s killing us. https://t.co/WnNEIlRF0R
— Fredrik deBoer (@freddiedeboer) December 19, 2015
He’s right. He subsequently tweeted:
The point is to build a mass left wing movement. The point is to win. The point is to build a mass left wing movement. The point is to win. — Fredrik deBoer (@freddiedeboer) December 19, 2015
I am not interested in whether or not there is a mass left-wing movement that can win, except in the sense that I don’t want there to be one that does. The left ought to consider whether it is helpful to its causes to promote the cranky opinions of an aging Boomer who wishes to declare war on white men when so many of them have their backs against the wall.
According to the US Census, 77.4 percent of Americans today are white. Statistically, a bit fewer than half of them are males. That’s about one in three Americans that Frank Joyce and Salon.com are calling to be suppressed. Mind you, not all white males think alike (some of them, like Frank Joyce, are self-hating lunatics), but many white women are married to white males, and have white males for fathers, brothers, and sons. Do they really want to join a movement that demonizes them because of their race and gender?
The peaceable transition of America from majority white to minority white — which at this point cannot be stopped — is going to be a delicate matter, one that requires wisdom, compassion, and forbearance on all sides. Articles like this from Salon must seem like all in a day’s work from deep inside the San Francisco bubble, where Salon is headquartered. But this kind of thing gets noticed out here in flyover country, among us bitter clingers. We see — or we ought to see, and remember — that this is the kind of discourse that goes on without much objection among the left, particularly in academic settings. If the left allows itself to say these things publicly without reproof, it sends a signal about what it will do in positions of power. We know what the cultural left does on campuses, where it dominates. Do white males really want to acquiesce in their own marginalization and suppression? The defeated white males on campuses might have had all the fight leached out of them, and many members of the white working class may be too depressed, drunk, or strung out to resist.
But that’s not all white men. Yesterday, a reader who identifies himself as a white, male, Southern atheist yellow-dog Democrat who hates Republicans wrote to explain why he has become a Trump supporter. He said he has two degrees, and his job prospects are poor. He has quit believing in institutions, and is voting out of anger and despair. I would love for Frank Joyce or a Salon editor to get in that man’s face and tell him why he’s the problem with the world, because he’s white and male.
One day — maybe not this election cycle, but one not far off — somebody’s going to come along who speaks to them and for them: for the weak, the marginalized, the broken, as well as ordinary white males like the new Trump supporter, and their wives, sisters, and daughters. (There’s a reason why former far-left constituencies in France are now voting National Front.) And we had all better hope he’s a good and decent man, one who speaks to the better angels of their nature, channeling their anger and despair to constructive ends. Anybody want to bet that he will be a good guy? I wouldn’t take that bet. I pray that I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t take that bet. Would you?
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. My point is, the kind of talk Salon trafficks in for clickbait are calling up demons that will be difficult to control or exorcise. If Salon and its fellow travelers in left-liberal media don’t want to license racist triumphalist rhetoric on the right — and in turn, racist triumphalist actions — they had better start policing their own appalling loudmouths. Sooner or later, somebody’s going to get hurt.