Before any of you white supremacists out there start to object, I want to preface this by saying that I have nothing against white people. I’m white. Some of my best friends are white. And while I don’t subscribe to the doctrine of white supremacy, I know for a fact that there are a lot of white people out there who are quite articulate. Nevertheless, I can’t help but think you have to be pretty stupid to be a white supremacist.
I heard an interview on NPR with Pete Simi, author of American Swastika: Inside the White Power Movement’s Hidden Spaces of Hate, about Wade Page, the Sikh temple gunman. Simi had interviewed Page before, and noted that one of Page’s formative influences was his time in the American military. Page told Simi that if you entered the military not a racist, you would still leave as one, and by “you” I assume he meant a white person who was probably pretty racist to begin with. Why? Because the American military treated black soldiers and white soldiers differently. Black soldiers, for example, were promoted over more deserving white soldiers and they weren’t disciplined for offenses like white soldiers were.
First, I doubt that’s true at all. None of my friends in the military have ever mentioned it, and given racial politics in this country I find it very hard to believe that black soldiers are coddled in the military, except by possibly treating them more equally than society in general (which itself would be a crime from the racist’s perspective). I suspect this belief is the result of selective evidence and confirmation bias. If you are a white supremacist, you believe that black soldiers don’t deserve promotion. Thus, if they get promoted, then it must be because the military is biased towards the black soldiers. Given the shaky psychology of many white supremacists and, as Simi noted, their drinking problems and inability to hold jobs, I would think it’s much more likely that black soldiers would be promoted above them, which would just make them angrier at the unjustness of a system that prefers competence over skin color.
But even it was true that the American military was biased toward black soldiers and against white soldiers, wouldn’t the obvious target of hatred be not the black soldiers, but the military leadership? The black soldiers benefiting from their preferential treatment are no more individually to blame for their success than white Americans who have benefited from their preferential treatment in American society. And unlike the subtle racism that benefits white people in America, this racial injustice would be caused by an identifiable group of people. So even if it were true, it would seem a logical place to vent your hatred through assault would be a military base or the Pentagon rather than a temple. On the other hand, people attending worship services are less likely to carry M-16s than soldiers on a military base.
In my experience growing up in the deep south, the sort of people who espouse white supremacy or aggressive racism are always unachieving white people. Though a subtle racism is pervasive though all classes (or at least was when I was growing up) the most outspoken white racists I have met were always unsuccessful by any measure. Successful white people may owe some of their success to being white, just because being white in America makes many things easier for you, but they’re unlikely to attribute any of their success to being white. Quite the contrary, most white people are content to believe that their skin color gives them no advantages whatsoever. However, just being white isn’t enough to get by, even in America, a lesson lost on the white supremacists. If you’re white and still one of life’s losers, I guess it makes some twisted sense to demonize a group of people and stew in your illogical fantasies, but it’s still pretty stupid.
The stupidity is present even in the reviews of Simi’s book on Amazon . All the reviews are 4 or 5 stars except for this absurd review giving one star:
I’ll be anxiously awaiting your next books on the Black Power movement aka Black Panthers, the Muslim Brotherhood movement and the Hispanic Reconquista movement that claims the Unites States stole the southwest from Mexico. These groups have their own “spaces of hate” so let’s see some reporting on them as well. In fact, these movements are a bigger threat to white Americans than the any “white power” movements are for people of color. Case in point – when was the last KKK lynching? Ah yes.. the 60’s… But almost DAILY we see Black on white hate crimes that get BURIED by the mainstream press. Tsk Tsk – your bias is showing..
Well, someone’s bias is certainly showing. I’ve noticed on Amazon that oftentimes the worst “reviews” have absolutely nothing to do with the product. Products get one star because the shipping was slow or it wasn’t what the buyer wanted in the first place. This review doesn’t even have anything to do with the book and seems to be by some sort of racist who wants to avoid the painful fact that sometimes white people do stupid and awful stuff. The rhetorical move is what I call the “But what about….” Simi has written an extensively researched book on the white power movement. The racist ignores it and says, “but what about other races doing bad things,” as if there were no other books in the entire world about whatever other topics he was interested in. The “anxiously awaiting” comment is particularly pathetic, because it’s pretty clear the reviewer doesn’t read books.
Seriously, if you take a look at the person’s other reviews on Amazon, only two are about books, the review of Simi’s unread book and another review about a book on multiculturalism and education that just rants about how bad it is that people from other cultures are ruining our “cultural fabric,” and I’m betting that fabric is white. Again, another stupid review about a book most likely unread. I guess that’s part of the stupidity of racism or any sort of ingrained hate. It blinds a person to everything but their obsession.
Well, not everything. The reviewer thinks a $350 bidet toilet seat is the “best invention ever,” and not just because it’s white (which it is).
I love this toilet seat – it installed very easily (make sure you have an outlet near your toilet however). I love the warm toilet seat – never knew what I was missing! The wash and bidet features are perfect and I am sure I will use 1/10th the toilet paper now. I just use the OVER-PRICED toilet paper now to dab dry versus trying to use it to do the entire job. I predict I will be saving money on buying TOO MUCH TOILET PAPER from this one purchase and it will pay for itself within the year.
It’s not just people from other cultures and races that ruin our cultural fabric. Apparently there’s some sort of conspiracy by toilet paper manufacturers, who sell that “OVER-PRICED” toilet paper (those toilet paper factories are probably run by foreigners or brown people). What does expensive toilet paper cost, like a buck a roll or something? If using 1/10 the toilet paper will pay for itself in a year, then the racist reviewer must use something like a roll of toilet paper a day. Then again, I guess if you’re that full of shit you need a lot of toilet paper.