Almost every day we get an understanding of what a closed society is and what it does to those who think differently. The latest revelation came – where else – from the New York Times, a publication that flatters the ego and tastes of our elites and reveals the attitudes and attitudes demanded by the new regime. They want to rule us on this. Donald McNeil, a Times writer nearly four decades old and a highly respected science correspondent, was evicted for committing the new thought crime of merely using a racist arc in connection with an attempt to mention and analyze an earlier racist use of the term from a student. He was on a trip with students who had asked him whether he believed it was right that a classmate of theirs who had been suspended for using a racist bow should actually be suspended. McNeil asked questions and considered the incident to find out what had happened. You could say he was looking for understanding. However, such an investigation is apparently no longer permissible.
As Theodore Dalrymple recently noted in this area, there is no defense to use against the claim of objective racism, that is, intent and context no longer play a role in determining a racist claim. If one is classified as racist by a listener, then one is inevitably a racist. Andrew Sullivan noted that McNeil’s apology appeared to have been forced by the Khmer Rouge. I found McNeil’s apology to his fellow clerks nasty and humiliating – to himself – and to any reasonable criteria for fairness and justice.
When such events occur, we must take stock. You strongly suggest that a new ideology, a new spiritual meaning, is now gripping the souls of those around you, especially academics, journalists, business leaders, lawyers and government bureaucrats.
His personal declaration of sin against identity politics deserves Rubashov’s ultimate apology in Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, a 1941 novel widely regarded as one of the truly definitive literary investigations of communist totalitarianism. Rubashov was imprisoned for counterrevolutionary political crimes allegedly committed against the communist regime. Although we are never told it is the Soviet Union, the similarities of Rubashov’s interrogation and trial repeat the Stalinist era. However, this old Bolshevik is not really guilty of what he has been charged with. His most famous last admission is completely false and yet not simply a lie. He is convinced that he owes such an apology to the regime to which he dedicated his life. In the end, Rubashov cannot believe in the communist regime because it holds his soul morally, even though it will execute him for crimes he did not commit against it.
McNeil too could finally not believe in a progressive egalitarian ideology that has now turned into an almost totalitarian conception of race and identity. McNeil appended his execution with an apology for objective violation of the growing list of identity politics crimes. All of this to quote the words of another person – which neither he nor any reasonable American until three minutes ago thought was a racist act. When such events occur, we must take stock. You strongly suggest that a new ideology, a new spiritual meaning, is now gripping the souls of those around you, especially academics, journalists, business leaders, lawyers and government bureaucrats. The fact that these souls are those of our elites, with excessive persuasive (or rather indoctrination) abilities and the associated stick of shame and exclusion, makes our situation even worse.
McNeil’s alleged crimes were just the latest iteration of an ideological coup built on a deeply flawed anthropology that in turn builds a regime that forges a world against the human person, family and community. This anthropology assumes that we are projections of race and gender and that we measure everything accordingly. Dismissed is the noble, truly liberal understanding that we are beings of reason, soul, and conscience and that we should know the truth about ourselves. Consider Thomas Chatterton Williams’ questions in self-portrait in black and white: Unlearning Race: “What do you get in return for subordinating your racial or ethnic identity? What is big and powerful enough to fill the identity void that excision has left on the breed? “And the answer Williams gives is freedom. But freedom, what is it? What could it possibly mean in the vortex of identity politics? Williams looks at James Baldwin, who watched The Fire Next Time:
For the kids. . . you have to be careful not to take refuge in a delusion – and the emphasis placed on skin color is always and everywhere and forever a delusion. I know what I am asking is impossible. But in our time, as in all times, the impossible is the least that can be asked for.
Such freedom is certainly not what citizens of identity politics can endure or even consider. Instead of going beyond race and wondering what it means to be a human person, they decided to make race just as central to the human person in ways that an old lineage segregationist would understand and appreciate.
Proof: Ibram Kendi’s basic argument in How to Be an Anti-Racist claims that one is either racist or anti-racist, the latter being an ongoing struggle for racial equality results against a society full of racism. Here is the anti-racist logic that supports McNeil’s resignation: America is permeated with racism, it envelops minorities, and even referring to racist terms means continuing to bury minorities on bigoted ground. Kendi is the leading voice on race, especially anti-racism, in America. Look at its definitions.
Racist: One who supports a racist policy through their actions or inaction, or who expresses a racist idea.
Anti-racist: someone who supports anti-racist politics through their actions or who expresses an anti-racist idea.
Inaction makes one a racist, and falling under that umbrella is belief in a color blind society. After all, Kendi’s Carl Schmitt-like statement that you are either a racist or an anti-racist cannot leave room for color blindness because she “does not see racism and lapses into racist passivity”. There is no such thing as a “non-racist” either. Why? “It is a claim that means neutrality:” I am not a racist, but I am also not aggressive against racism, “notes Kendi. And we are told,” There is no neutrality in the fight against racism. “There is no room for inaction or Passivity in the anti-racist. To be an anti-racist one has to get involved in his crusade by becoming a full time ideologist.
But such declarations by sheep and goats, which are fascinating to some, are hardly new and remain the consistent thread of totalitarian politics: friend against enemy (Schmitt) or bourgeoisie against proletariat (Marx). Kendi claims a racist category of political warfare that must be completed before an anti-racist future can be born. Consider an admonition from Lenin to get a feel for what Kendi is really doing:
The root of communist morality lies in the struggle for the consolidation, for the consummation of communism. From the point of view of communist morality, only those actions are moral that contribute to the building of a new communist society.
Compare with Kendi:
The only way to resist racial discrimination is through anti-racial discrimination. The remedy for past discrimination is current discrimination. The only remedy against discrimination is future discrimination.
This will turn the American political order into a profoundly illiberal one, defined by constant conflict. We’ll be on a war basis.
Kendi knows his Lenin, no?
This struggle requires racial justice – the new catchphrase – or equality of outcome and achievement for all racial groups. It is a constant and never-ending struggle that requires total state commitment to total racial equality. Such justice can be achieved through present and future discrimination against whites, Asian Americans, or any group that has disproportionate wealth, property, professional achievement, educational status, and other traits of success compared to other racial groups. The anti-racist spirit ignores the fact that disparities are in no way synonymous with racism, as Thomas Sowell argued in Discrimination and Disparities (2018). Individual freedom under the rule of law can and will go to hell.
Hence, we see a rationale for the Biden administration’s insistence on ending discrimination against Asian Americans while dropping the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Yale University for allegedly discriminating against Asian American applicants. However, Asian Americans already make up an oversized portion of the student population at Yale based on their percentage of the broader population. As Kendi would reiterate in this regard: Current discrimination against Asian Americans is justified because other minority groups have failed to achieve justice in Yale. Unfortunately, the Biden government is anti-racist in the sense of Kendi.
Kendi et al. Have declared their terms for rejecting the American Constitution, which as a non-racist document must be racist. It must either be buried or transformed. The freedoms and limits of our constitutional order – individual freedom, free markets, rule of law, religious freedom, civil society and the family – must be radically restricted and once again put at the service of racial equality of the results. Neutrality with regard to the legal organization of family, education, property, public order and religion, among other things, is not possible. Ultimately, Kendi dictates a closed society of racial socialism.
Will America move to anti-racism and all of its works? I wish the answer was clearly no. But those who have real power in America have joined the anti-racist cause with thoughtless devotion.