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29 July 2010

The Book of James

 

James Edwards
Racism Schmacism: How Liberals Use the "R" Word to Push the Obama Agenda
London: CreateSpace, 2010

James Edward's first book, Racism, Schmacism: How Liberals Use the 'R' Word to Push the Obama Agenda, is, like his radio show, symptomatic of our times.

Racism, Schmacism by James EdwardsWhen the extreme fixation with race that fills our public discourse means that not a day goes by without some reference to it in the mainstream media, when underlying belief in the moral goodness of equality means the fixation with race is inseparable from an obsession with racism, and when the latter takes increasingly oppressive forms sponsored by the government or the institutional apparatus, those who have a visceral aversion to egalitarianism—not necessarily because they are vicious, but because they are by temperament attracted to a different system of virtues—or those who are by nature rebellious, contrarians, or outsiders, feel a compulsion to hit back. The result is a constituency of individuals who delight in thumbing their noses at the anti-racist establishment, both to differentiate themselves from the egalitarians and to signal to enforcers of anti-racism their refusal to conform and feel intimidated. And because the dominant view—particularly among what Americans call 'liberals', by which we must understand Left-leaning liberals, since even palæoconservatives there are also liberals—is that racism is something White people do to non-Whites, the aforementioned constituency is inevitably all White—though there have been examples of individuals from non-European ancestries, such as David Yeagley, who have shared in its frustration.

This is the constituency to which Edwards caters in his radio show, The Political Cesspool, and in the present book.

I was quite interested in Racism, Schmacism, because the 'racist' label is notoriously difficult for most people to handle. Even inveterate anti-egalitarians, rebels, contrarians, and outsiders often struggle to respond effectively when found at the receiving end. I find this a fascinating phenomenon. And given the fact that, while there are bona fide racists out there, the 'racist' label has, for the reason just given, been abused in the pursuit of political aims (for example, in order to silence or discredit an opponent), how best to deal with the label is an intriguing puzzle. The usual approaches are three: indignant or nervous denial (usually laden with explanations), proudly defiant affirmation, and, of course, mockery. Denials typically arouses the scorn and truculence of the attackers: they smell blood, and go for the kill. Defiance only confirms attackers in their own righteousness, and allows them to use the defiant as self-justification. Mockery, on the other hand, is psychologically more difficult for attackers to deal with, since it brings their authority, their moral force, and credibility into question. And of the effectiveness of mockery in neutralising his attackers Edwards provides ample demonstration.

The book is a short, easy, and amusing read, being comprised mostly of Edwards ’ witty commentary on the preceding few years’ worth of news stories covering alleged White racism. Said stories are discussed as in Edwards ’ show, and an abundance of internet sources are provided to facilitate independent investigation. Needless to say that the stories are absolutely ridiculous, defying belief in some cases, even for someone whose inbox is flooded daily with the reports of ‘racism’ collected by Google’s news alerts. A reader can expect to roll his eyes, shake his head, and / or find his trachea rippling with laughter practically on every page.

There is the case—why not?—of the federal hate crime investigation triggered by a ham sandwich; and there is the case of a mayor’s lengthy written apology to a Black citizen for allowing police officers to eat bananas in public. There are also several examples of White conservatives being far more paranoid, obnoxious, and vociferous in their denunciations of supposed White racism than the usual suspects. I was astounded to read, for example, that in at least one case, said conservatives even complained about their not being condemned vigorously enough in the media; and that a conservative radio talk show host branded high gasoline prices racist because they encouraged farmers to use corn for the production of ethanol, when that corn could be going to feed African children.

Intended, however, is a serious message beneath this bestiary of political correctness; and it boils down to five simple theses:

1. Modern mainstream culture in America defines a racist as a White person; and a White person as a racist, everywhere and always, forever and constantly;

2. Those who peddle accusations of racism hate Whites and seek to gain advantages at the expense of Whites; anti-racists, even White ones, are anti-White, always and everywhere;

3. Modern Whites are cowards, who have allowed themselves to be imprisoned by a word;

4. When accused of racism, it is pointless for a White person to argue, deny, rebut, or explain: he is a racist, end of discussion;

5. The only appropriate response when accused or racism is derision.

Points four and five is something people who are accused of 'racism' eventually find out for themselves. Points one to three, although beyond argument to anyone who has been paying attention, are, despite apparent exaggeration, home truths sadly yet to be recognised. For this reason, on the basis that recognition is a necessary precondition for dismantling the culture of White guilt, apologies, and reparations that has developed post-'Civil Rights' America, James has pitched his book beyond his immediate constituency: its purpose is to enlighten the benighted, not just preach to the converted.

Personally, I think the benighted will remain benighted. The converted, on the other hand, will profit from Edward's example.

James’ clean conscience, sunny disposition, and lighthearted disregard for matching his views and opinions to those approved by race relations professionals have proven an exasperating irritant for both them and militant anti-racists. Since the publication of the book, James has reported an escalation of attacks against him and his show. He is, of course, delighted: for him it means both publicity and confirmation that his approach is 100% correct. And he is not alone: in relation to the power of derision when dealing with the patrons of anti-racist rectitude, Finnish nationalist Kai Murros, author of Revolution – And How to Do It in a Modern Society, wrote to me in an email in 2009:

The ruling elite is afraid of our laughter, because it is the one thing they cannot control and laughter is a sure sign that people are already in process of signing off their loyalty to the system.

Of course, the establishment's conception of race relations today is predicated on fear – it needs to be, as it is otherwise too fragile to be sustainable. Its weakness becomes ever more apparent as it commits ever more of its resources to extinguishing laugher outside its designated ‘safe’ zones. In as much as ridicule is a projection of power, therefore, we will recognise the erosion of establishment power whenever its smug ridiculing of heretics gives way to obstreperous denunciations of, and vehement over-reactions against, self-conscious and unapologetic assertions of heresy.

But these are only humor’s destructive properties. Humor also has decisively constructive ones, which must not be overlooked. Firstly, it is associated with relaxation, and thus tends to convey among observers the sense that a person is in control of a situation—people tend to follow whomever appears to be in control of a situation. Secondly, it is associated with youth, and thus imbues anything positively linked to it with a sense of vitality and dynamism—this is how the Left won the young, and cast itself as a forward-looking movement. And, finally, it is both associated with and has the capacity to generate among observers a sense of well-being and good will, which is always preferable to nay-saying and prophecies of doom. Therefore, Edward's friendly and easy-going tone is more likely to make the curious among his audience more comfortable and receptive to his message than the projections, statistics, and apocalyptic warnings given by those who, like him, worry about what the pursuit of anti-racism (as currently defined) will mean for White folk in America and elsewhere in the long run.

Without a doubt, projections and the statistics are necessary to inform intellectual arguments, but, politically, they cannot achieve the revolution in consciousness that must a transvaluation of values, because values are not founded on rational data, but on irrational or extra-rational factors, such as belief, emotion, and aspiration. Anti-racism wants to believe in the goodness of equality even if it is demonstrated not to exist or not to be cost-effective, because a good is pursued for its own sake, and a person cannot be considered (or cannot consider himself) good unless he pursues (and is seen to pursue) the good. If a belief is mocked for long enough, by enough people, with enough confidence, it is eventually doubted; once doubted, is weakened; and once weakened, it is discredited. Obviously, it matters who is doing the mocking, so the mockers must have a firm ethical basis if they are not to remain an example of all that is bad and must be avoided. Most ordinary people today will still think Edwards is so far gone as to be a hopeless case. But the fear of egalitarians must be that his lack of fear, sense of humour, and growing audience may suggest to the many who are fed up with political correctness a pathway for psychological liberation.

The approach to race relations will inevitably change, leaving this as a social document of our epoch. Yet, the core lesson of how psychologically to deal with Puritans in general—not just their anti-racist / egalitarian iterations—is timeless, and transcends the modern fixation with race or the transient malcontent with the Barack Obama administrations.

 

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