Obama Wants to Create More Victims of White Privilege
For a couple of years Obama and the U.S. Census Bureau have been working on adding to the 2020 census a new ethnic group, or “racial category.” This new addition to the conga-line of victims of white hegemony is called “Mena,” comprising people from the Middle East and North Africa, which includes very culturally diverse peoples from Berbers to Israelis, Arabs to Persians. All sorts of soothing rationales have been put forth for this move, such as helping government and scholars “understand more about trends in health, employment and education,” as USA Today put it. But in reality the change would create even more clients for what radio hosts Larry Elder calls “Victicrats,” the Democrat Party and identity politics hustlers who gain political power and influence by claiming to champion the “people of color” victimized by “white privilege” and racial oppression.
The White House is frank about how altering the census would make this happen: impacting how the Voting Rights Act is enforced and Congressional districts are drawn; creating affirmative action plans and monitoring discrimination in housing, bank lending, and education; and identifying new recipients of government largess. That is, targeting those who would be inclined to vote Democrat once they are the beneficiaries of more government patronage. In addition, since most of these people identify as “white” on the current census, giving them a different option would support the Democrats’ narrative of a demographic shift that is reducing whites to a minority, and that will create The Coming Democrat Majority, as John Judis and Ruy Teixera called it in their 2004 book. Removing some 10 million “Menas” from the white category would confirm that thesis and comfort those still grieving over Donald Trump’s electoral refutation of that hypothesis.
More broadly, this scheme to alter the census reveals just how incoherent and corrupt are our ethnic and racial identity politics. Take the category “Hispanic.” It ignores the diversity of class, religion, culture, and language that separates these groups and create their identities. It asserts that a Mixtec Indian from Oaxaca, who speaks Mixtec instead of Spanish, supposedly shares an identity with a third-generation Mexican-American from California, who speaks English instead ofSpanish. Such a broad term is meaningless, collapsing together Caucasians, blacks, Indians, mestizos, and mulattos who happen to have Spanish surnames.
The same is true of all the other racial categories. “Black” could mean an American descendant of slaves, or a mulatto born of a white woman and a Kenyan, or an immigrant from countries as different from one another as Nigeria and Trinidad. It ignores regional, class, and educational differences among American blacks, predicating their “blackness” solely on skin color and the assertion that they are all victims of endemic white racism. “Asian” is equally ridiculous, for it bases identity merely on inhabiting the same vast continent. It’s amazing that the people who fervently worship at the altar of diversity endorse crude racial categories that are left over from the “scientific racism” of early 20th century progressives, and that erase the incredible diversity of human cultures and individuals.
The worst category, however, is “white.” These days “white” is an ideological artifact, defining millions of diverse peoples by their alleged “privilege,” notions of “supremacy,” racism, xenophobia, sexual repression, and neurotic fear of the dark-skinned “other” and cultural differences. Or, as a professor at California State University San Marcos recently said at a “Whiteness Forum,” “a system of power based on racist ideology maintained discursively, institutionally, and materially.” This definition of “White” reduces 200 million Americans to a caricature based on late fifties sit-coms like The Donna Reed Show and Father Knows Best, an antiseptic, homogenous suburban world where everybody is white, middle class, church-going, and sexually uptight.
This ideologically loaded definition of “whiteness” also erases from our public awareness the millions of poor and working class people struggling with unemployment, drug addiction, reduced life expectancy, and destructive patterns of behavior similar to those plaguing the black inner cities. J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy called attention to these problems for about a month, but hasn’t led to a sustained recognition and discussion of this disaster, or demands for government intervention to address it. To progressives and the mainstream media, the alleged epidemic of “hate crimes” against American Muslims, or the outbreak of “microagressions” on Ivy League campuses is infinitely more important and worthy of government action.
In reality there is no such thing as “white people.” The colonists who rebelled against the British Empire and created the United States were differentiated by religion, region, dialects, economic interests, and origins. That diversity explains our political order, one based on recognizing these differences, but institutionally balancing them in order to protect both the freedom of the people and their diverse interests and identities.