Are you suffering from White Anxiety?
At the New York Times, Ross Douthat has a new article about the “White Anxiety Crisis,” which has emerged as the liberal buzzword to describe the millions of frustrated and alienated White Americans who live out in flyover country.
Ten years ago, Pat Buchanan was a lone voice in having the audacity to raise many of these grievances in a public forum. Now, Ross Douthat observes that the rhetoric of White racial dispossession has silently penetrated a much larger cross section of the mainstream.
In the 2008 presidential campaign, the conservative grassroots made an issue out of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s attack on the “US of KKA.” Questions were raised about Barack Obama’s tolerance of the anti-White venom that Rev. Wright spewed from his pulpit.
During the Sotomayor confirmation hearings, the conservative grassroots dwelt on the notion that a “wise Latina” was more qualified to sit on the federal bench than a White man. Immediately after the Sotomayor nomination, Barack Obama was trashed for siding with Henry Louis Gates, the “Big Cheese” of Harvard, over Officer Crowley.
A few months ago, Rush Limbaugh made waves in the liberal blogosphere for drawing attention to the White student who was assaulted by blacks on the Belleville school bus. Over the last two weeks, White conservatives (smelling blood in the water) have made a huge issue out of Eric Holder’s Justice Department turning a blind eye to a slam dunk case against the Black Panthers.
The Tea Party has balked at the NAACP’s accusation of racism and has responded with righteous indignation. There has been a noticeable rhetorical shift from (humility) “we must work together to overcome racism” to (anger) “how dare you call me a racist.”
The race card has been played so many times that Whites now take offense when it is used.
The notion that White people are getting the shaft in Barack Hussein Obama’s America is increasingly commonplace. It is still bound up in kosher MLK-style anti-racism, but there is a gestating sense of White identity and White interests.
Conservatives are increasingly willing to go there.
Arizona, for example, banned ethnic studies and passed its anti-illegal immigration law. There is now talk of attacking birthright citizenship of the children of illegal aliens. John McCain has been forced to repudiate his support for comprehensive immigration reform.
In the background of all this, Ross Douthat traces the “Roots of White Anxiety” to America’s dysfunctional meritocratic system of selecting its elites. He cites studies which prove that rural and working class Whites from the Red States are discriminated against in college admissions at elite universities.
If you are black or Hispanic, your race works to your advantage. If you are black or Hispanic and poor, you are even more likely to get admitted. On the other hand, if you are White, the reverse is true: if you are rural and working class, you are less likely to be admitted to Harvard or Yale than someone who comes from an urban and upper middle class background.
The authors of the study cited by Douthat suspect that elite universities reserve all their financial aid dollars to recruit non-White minorities to increase “diversity” on campus. In other words, insofar as “institutional racism” exists, it works against Whites.
“Consciously or unconsciously, the gatekeepers of elite education seem to incline against candidates who seem too stereotypically rural or right-wing or “Red America.”
This provides statistical confirmation for what alumni of highly selective universities already know. The most underrepresented groups on elite campuses often aren’t racial minorities; they’re working-class whites (and white Christians in particular) from conservative states and regions. Inevitably, the same underrepresentation persists in the elite professional ranks these campuses feed into: in law and philanthropy, finance and academia, the media and the arts.”
The ladder of upward mobility into the American elite no longer exists for conservative White Christians from Middle America. Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and Jews are free to enter elite circles. In fact, the system works to their advantage and provides every incentive for them to do so.
This worries Ross Douthat. He senses that the singleminded pursuit of “diversity” in college admissions is building up to an epic backlash.
There is now a yawning divide between the American elite and Middle America. The poor sufferers of “White Anxiety” are increasingly vocal and militant about organizing to advance their interests. The rhetoric of White Nationalism has found a much larger audience in the diluted implicit form.
Douthat wants to bridge the gap by siphoning off the most intelligent and able Whites from the Red States into the multicultural elite. This is a tactic the British and French regularly used in their colonies to pacify the natives and deter violent social revolution.
I can’t help but wonder: when the English were displacing the Indians in Virginia and Massachusetts, were they suffering from a “Red Anxiety Crisis,” or did they have legitimate grievances worthy of consideration? White Americans are facing a similar demographic oblivion around mid-century. To the Indians credit, they fought back.
I want this gap between Washington and Middle America to continue to grow. I want the present system to continue to lose what remains of its legitimacy. As in 1776, when the American colonies alienation from the British Crown reached its breaking point, there is only one logical outcome.