This speech was delivered at the 2015 American Renaissance conference.
Why do they hate us?
That’s a question that was famously asked by journalists, presidents, and average Joes in the aftermath of the September 11 terror bombings.
Judging by last 14 years of pointless and costly wars, of sending grandma through pat-down lines and x-ray machines, and “freedom fries,” it’s safe to say that we never answered that question with a great deal of honesty and self-awareness. Hopefully, we can do better here today.
Let’s first break the question down. When I say “Us,” I recognize that there are many different people in this room, with varying perspectives, hopes, and dreams. So I’ll define “Us” simply: We think race is biologically real, and that it has tremendous social, cultural, and historical consequences. More important, we have a passionate attachment to our extended family, and the cultures and civilization it birthed.
When I say “Hate,” I’m not referring to a passing emotion, nor a maniacal contempt, loathing, or resentment we might feel towards an individual enemy. I’m referring to something bigger. I’m referring to the total delegitimization of the White man and to what is often called White Guilt—this feeling, so pervasive, that the White race and White racism are uniquely responsible for suffering and injustice in the world and, moreover, that White consciousness and White power are uniquely wicked and immoral. These ideas could be best summed by Susan Sontag’s facile remark: “The white race is the cancer of human history.”
Sontag was a literary poser, but the sentiment behind her words is very much a part of the imaginations of millions or people, and has become a kind of implicit slogan of the unified Left.
The other day, a friend sent me a photographic essay from the hugely popular website Buzzfeed. A journalist, Isaac Fitzgerald, met with attendees at the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs, which sounds like dorky and conservative gathering to say the least. Fitzgerald asked them to send a message to the “Straight, White Male” publishing establishment (and apparently Straight, White Males in general). Here are the results.
And they all looked so sweet. . .
In thinking about the “They” in “Why Do They Hate Us?” it’s tempting to focus on the kinds of people in these images, or the kinds of people who are protesting outside this conference. (You know the type—a furry and foul-smelling species, even among the male varieties.)
In other words, it’s tempting to focus our inquiry on “leftists,” “social justice warriors,” and “granola communists,” because they personify in our minds what White Guilt is and means. We don’t quite understand what motivates them, but, whatever it is, it certainly can’t be reduced to money or career advancement. They are “true believes,” which, in a way, makes them interesting.
But in focusing solely on this low-hanging fruit, we miss the big picture. We radically underestimate just how widespread and seemingly “normal” White Guilt really is. We overlook the “banality of evil”: those little things that go on everyday—which millions take for granted and act in our unconscious—and which are slowly eating away at our future.
For when I say “They” in “Why do they hate us?” I’m actually referring to everyone—to the vast majority of the population of the industrialized world. They “hate” us. And we know it. It’s why even the brave ones among us are afraid to show their faces.
Being honest about this helps us understand the immensity of the problem lying before us. Before we have a Left problem or a Social Justice Warrior problem, or a Black or Jewish problem, we have a White problem. White Guilt is, indeed, so pervasive that it’s difficult to pinpoint, or say where it ends and begins. For millions, who don’t want to think about White Guilt, White Guilt is thinking for them.
How does something this diffuse—this unconscious and unexamined—take affect in the real world?
As likely everyone here remembers, last August, a major story emerged from Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England. A report revealed that between 1997 and 2013, some 1,400 children in the town—likely many more—experienced the worst kinds of sadistic rape, beating, and torture. In the words of the BBC, gang rape had become “a usual part of growing up in Rotherham,” this otherwise quaint town with Roman ruins and a Gothic cathedral.
Looking into the matter further, we discover that the vast majority (if not all) of the alleged rapists and child abusers were “Asian,” which, in British parlance, means Pakistani, Arab, or Semitic, and, for the most part, Muslim. Furthermore, the reason this grotesque situation was allowed to persist for so long was that the accusations, stories, and rumors that authorities heard always involving “Asian” men as the perpetrators. The Town Council constantly avoided the issue—as if they were trying to forget a bad memory—because they feared being called “racists.”
In a way, the Rotterham case would be much more reassuring if it had been revealed that the Town Council were secret Maoist revolutionaries or Muslim Power activists, or just Satan worshippers or perverts—that is, if they were part of some dark conspiracy to destroy the White race. What makes Rotherham truly horrifying is that they weren’t. The authorities in the town were, to the contrary, respectable White people, who took their positions and social responsibilities seriously.
This story offers us a glimpse of just how powerful White Guilt can be. In our society, being a labelled a “racist” is, arguably, more damaging than being convicted of murder, for even murderers get second chances. That said, I never imagined that White people might actually prefer that their children be raped and demeaned than they be pinned with the Scarlet R.
So what does this mean for us, who are taking part in a conference on matters that some find worse than unspeakable sex crimes?
Among other things, this phenomenon means that we occupy an exceedingly strange position in modern society.
As the writer Gregory Hood remarked, we “racists”—as our enemies call us—are utterly powerless . . . yet we’ve got all the power. In other words, we might very well feel powerless, not to mention impoverished and other things, but that is not how we are viewed.
We are what huge foundations—even sovereign governments—have dedicated billions to combat—unsuccessfully! We are what rival politicians accuse each other of being. We are able, somehow, to sow inter-racial hatred around world, disrupting mankind’s natural tendency towards multi-racial harmony.
Our situation reminds me of an old joke, one that involves ethnic humor but which is actually beloved by anti-racists and leftists. There are two Jews sitting on a park bench on a Sunday afternoon. One discovers that the other isn’t reading the New York Times as usual, but is instead reading, of all things, a neo-Nazi pamphlet. When asked how he could read such trash, the Jew remarked that he loves this magazine: “It says here that the Holocaust never happened and that you and me control the world!”
Such a joke is, of course, misleading with regard to the status of Jews in modern America and the power of some Jewish organizations. But is this joke not perfectly suited to us? Perhaps we should spend more therapeutic Sundays reading the latest in Critical Race Theory?
Are our institutions underfunded? Have some of us lost our jobs or become estranged from our wives for our views? Don’t let that get you down. For, apparently, we have hegemony over the known world!
What this situation tells us is that, however futile our efforts might feel, when we do what we do, we’re doing something powerful, something dangerous. We are dynamite. And we make the rest of the world hysteric.
In case you think I’m exaggerating, I would direct your attention to the recent travails of little old me. In the fall and winter of last year, I was dragged out of a bar in Budapest by the police, thrown into jail for three days, then shipped out of the country in handcuffs. When I arrived back home, a social movement had formed dedicated to making Richard Spencer illegal.
In phrasing things this way, I’m exaggerating only slightly. The story, if you haven’t heard it, goes like this.
My organization, The National Policy Institute, was to host an event similar to this one—an English-language conference—but it was to take place in the imperial city of Budapest, Hungary. Jared Taylor was to be a featured speaker, as were other Americans, a Croatian, a noted Russian philosopher, and French activist. The Budapest event was to be something rare: It was an attempt, by all involved, to be “good Europeans,” to think as Europeans and try to overcome the ethnic conflicts and hatreds that have informed the last century, to our great misfortune.
From one perspective, our gathering would have been entirely harmless. The event was “just talk” and would have been attended by journalists, academics, bohemians, and other dreamers. But we clearly struck a nerve. We became dangerous.
As I was increasingly aware, our conference was making headlines . . . it was becoming a political football . . . and even launched a sort of “constitutional crisis” over free speech in Hungary. The event happened to be scheduled just before a parliamentary election, and suddenly, politicians were forced to weigh in on the “hate” that was about to descend on them from abroad.
And strange things started to happen. All of our venues cancelled. Also, through colleagues, we had made contract with a man named Marton Gyongyosi and the ethno-nationalist Jobbik Party. But suddenly, these contacts were claiming that they had no idea what was going on, apparently suffering from a bad case of amnesia. (I hope they’ve recovered.)
Things started getting crazy when we were denounced by the Ministry of the Interior— then by no less than the Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, who claimed that he would use “all legal means” at his disposal to stop us.
I was taken aback by all this, and I certainly considered canceling everything. But there was something that didn’t feel right about that. First off, there were some 150 people coming to Budapest from around the world. Conferences are really about meeting people and making friends, so why shouldn’t we all come together in a private setting?
On another level, I felt that our movement needed to stand its ground. And we needed to force our enemies to play by their own rules and follow through with their threats. If Viktor Orban was determined to act like a liberal caricature of a “fascist”—and demonstrate our movement’s resolve at the same time—then why should I stop him?
I should add that I was confident of two things: first, that the attendees would not be endangered, which they weren’t, and second, that, I was challenging the Hungarian regime of Viktor Orban, and not Béla Kun.
The rest, as they, is a blur.
The government sent a detail of a couple dozen police officers, some undercover, to track us down at a local bar. I was arrested around midnight, and the next 15 hours were comprised of bright lights, hard benches, and being shuttled between various bureaucracies.
I was forced to sign my name to documents printed entirely in Magyar; we were in Hungary after all, but this gave the proceedings a Kafka-esque quality. I was then told that I had been declared a “National Security Threat,” which made everything even Kafka-esque-er.
Jail is the experience of having everything on your person, up to the lent in your pockets, inspected and catalogued . . . being under constant surveillance by guards, even while you sleep . . . being served substances that appear to be mix of sawdust and catfood . . .
I don’t say any of this to evoke pity. In a way, I’m deeply grateful for what happened, as funny as that might sound.
A little bit of prison goes a long way: It focuses the mind. It allowed me to better understand myself and learn how far I was willing to go. And also crises reveal character. In other words, you get to learn who your friends really are (and aren’t).
When I arrived back home in the resort town Whitefish, Montana, where I live half of the year, I spent the next few months fighting a local battle I previously didn’t think was even possible. I had been under the impression that Montana was immune to leftists (that all those people had moved to Oregon or someplace).
But, low and behold, after the town paper reported on my Hungarian adventure, a local rabbi and his band of self-righteous activists came out of the woodwork. The group called themselves “Love Lives Here” and, much like the SPLC, their lives are based on hating “hate.” In October, more than 100 mobbed the City Council meeting, telling various tales of patriarchal and racist oppression and demanding that the local government “ban” me.
These efforts, as you might imagine, didn’t go anywhere. America is still a “free country” (or sort of); at the least, you are not allowed to pass laws against people you don’t like.
My enemies then decided to pass a much tamer resolution declaring the goodness of “diversity.” In a chess move that still brings a smile to my face, I publicly endorsed their call for greater “inclusiveness,” writing for the local paper and even standing before them at the City Council.
I’m able to chuckle at this episode now, but living through it was quite painful. Being the subject of a witch hunt means alienation. It means not being at home in your home. It means the surreal feeling of being on everyone’s mind: the suspicious glances or stares . . . the polite requests not to return shops anymore . . . the knowledge that nothing will ever be the same.
But enough about me. The real question is how we should make sense of all these threads. In the case of Whitefish, we see something all-too familiar: An almost entirely White community reacts pathologically to a movement for White consciousness, even to the presence of an individual who is racially aware.
For me, this kind of antipathy and hatred towards us should never be understood as a mere misunderstanding. We should never think that they just don’t understand what we really stand for, or we haven’t given them the best argument or most convicning data set yet.
To the contrary, their hatred point us to the nature of guilt, morality, the foundation of religion, and the things that makes us social animals.
These are very uncomfortable topics for modern people, who like to believe that they are past all that—that they are post-moral, post-guilt, post-shame. For them, religion is just another lifestyle choice, like yoga or the paleo diet, something one can try out, or not. They close their eyes to the reality that morality, guilt, and shame are more than personal; they are as much social forces, which demarcate hierarchies, boundaries, and power.
Sam Francis was deftly perceptive when he observed that modern people have not really dispensed with morality and religiosity, like they think they have; they’ve just rearranged them and swapped out the parts—while maintaining the same intensity. Sam noted that for Victorians the “great taboo” was sex. And they were, from the perspective of the 21st century, profoundly “repressed.” Sexual acts and identities that are now commonplace on television were criminalized by Victorians; or seen as the signs of insanity, or denied altogether. On the other hand, the Victorians would speak about the biological reality of race—not to mention eugenics and breeding—in frank and carefree terms that utterly horrify the enlightened minds of today.
Seen in this light, modern people have become Victorians about race; they’ve become Puritans about race. Race has become the very center of their moral universe, so much so that the Rotherham Town Council was unwilling to protect children, lest it violates that unspeakable “great taboo.”
We must also recognize that this morality of White Guilt would not be nearly as powerful and successful as it is if Whites didn’t, at some level, really believe in it. Put another way, White Guilt could not have triumphed if Whites lacked a special capacity for becoming their own enemy. This is the the manner in which White Guilt functions as guilt, that is, as a personal moral experience.
Any animal can feel shame. My dog feels shame, whenever I’m capable of actually disciplining the lovable creature. Caught in the act, he will assume the prone and penitent posture of a devout monk. Shame, however it might appear, is based on fear.
Guilt, on the other, is shame when one is alone. Guilt is shame without fear of a master, tribal elder, or public disapproval. Guilt is disembodied shame, internalized shame. Guilt is our ability to punish ourselves. And that psyche violence we inflict is what we call our “conscience.”
In a notable book, Paul Gottfried understood modern White Guilt as a skewed form of Protestantism, with slavery or the Holocaust replacing Original Sin. But in fact, the White man’s ability to inflict guilt on himself goes back much further, well before Protestantism, to the dawn of Christianity in Europe; indeed, it points to something eternal in ourselves.
In the epic poem Beowulf (circa 950 AD), the first great piece of Old English literature we have, the narrator relates,
That was sorrow to the good man's soul, greatest of griefs to the heart. The wise man thought that, breaking established law, he had bitterly angered God, the Lord everlasting. His breast was troubled within by dark thoughts, as was not his wont.
At this point in the poem, Beowulf is alone, isolated from any potential public disapproval; yet he is troubled by internal “dark thoughts.” Beowulf’s concerns are honor and his standing in the eyes of God; but such feelings are, no doubt, antecedents to the “dark thoughts” felt by modern men and women who mentally tread on race and power.
Looking past Beowulf, we might be able to glimpse, off in the distance, another version of ourselves with another morality—one that is utterly immune to White Guilt, in fact, to guilt in general. There was a time in our history when we practiced what Nietzsche called “Master Morality,” a morality that is self-contained in a way that only an aristocratic morality can be:
We are we. We are strong. We rule. We are good.
And, on the other hand: They are they. They are weak. They are bad.
The greatest revolution in morality occurred when these basic, natural, unthinking assumptions were brought into question, when we began doubting ourselves and giving legitimacy and honor to the “Other.” Some of us might long for a return to that older Master Morality, perhaps in the form of an unthinking, affirmative nationalism. But I doubt anything like that is possible or desirable.
For one thing, we should not underestimate how our conscience—our self-questioning, self-doubting, self-loathing mechanism—has made us deep and made us interesting. And we should not underestimate the degree to which we will need our conscience in the future, to confront the great challenge of the century— not any sexual hot button of the contemporary Right but the question of how we can become guardians of the natural world and the creatures that live in it, and restrict our unrelenting economic Will To Power.
That said, we should also never forget that the Jews and early Christians who, at the dawn of a new age, announced that the meek shall inherit the earth—that the first shall be last—that the most pitiable are the most righteous—were waging war against their masters—their “Other,” embodied by Rome—waging a psychic, unconscious war of doubt, guilt, and pity.
In turn, we should not forget that there is a fundamental asymmetry to the White Guilt phenomenon. There is a difference between being sick with guilt—as so many millions of White people are—and, on the other hand, promoting White Guilt as a means of making your enemy sick and decadent.
Why do they hate us?
Secretly—and gradually not-so-secretly—our enemies are giddy imagining a world without us, just as so many Whites embrace their own oblivion. White guilt is the foundational morality of the global transformation we are now experiencing, what could be called The Great Erasure. It is a transformation of a world created and once dominated by Europeans into a world that features many European shapes and forms—democracy, feminism, free love, iPhones—but which is a world without Europeans in it.
In other words, “Sit down and let us abolish you.”
Opposing this coming world—and offering alternatives to it—is the mission of our movement.
In order to achieve this—in order to learn to fight again—we must rise and greet the dawn with a clear conscience.
- Susan Sontag, “What’s Happening in America?” Partisan Review, 1966, accessed April 15, 2015, http://johnshaplin.blogspot.com/2012/11/whats-happening-in-america-1966-by_8613.html. ↩
- There is the possibility that we’ve totally misunderstood the people outside the conference hall: in fact, they are groupies and rabid superfans, who’ve come all this way to shout our names, hold up signs, maybe get an autograph. ↩
- R. K. Gordon (trans.), Beowulf (London: Dover, 1992), 42. Quoted in Peter Frost, “The Origins of Northwest European Guilt Culture,” Evo and Proud, accessed April 15, 2015, http://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-origins-of-northwest-european-guilt.html. ↩