Saturday, January 23, 2021

On Multiracial Whiteness

Via iSteve, a WaPo op-ed on "Multiracial Whiteness".

Of course, it's easy to make fun of the obvious oxymoron, but let's admit this is a step up for us from the usual accusation of "racist" or "white supremacist". It's still terrible branding, which is why Cristina Beltrán uses it, given her intent to impugn. I prefer the name "American" without hyphens or qualification. But I'm not here to quibble over naming.

Rather, I want to counter her accusations of "agression, domination, and exclusion" with a definition of my own. What I call American and what Cristina calls "Whiteness" lies at the intersection of:

  • Identity. Who are you? Whither lie your loyalties? Do you look upon the faces of Mount Rushmore and say, "that's my heritage"? Do you read the stories of Jamestown and Plymouth Rock and say, "these are my people"?

  • Values. What do you uphold? Do you believe in limited government? Self-reliance? RKBA? Do you respect the principles, both in law and in practice, contained in the Bill of Rights?

  • Social Competence. Do you, on balance, generate positive rather than negative externalities? Do you earn your own living and pay your own way? Do you adhere to Commandments VI - X?

Not all of us sit perfectly at this intersection, and not all the time. But the further we stray from it, the further we stray from being American.

This is not to be naive about the correlation between this intersection and being racially white. It is not to deny that the process by which non-whites are assimilated into this intersection has broken down under the weight of the rapidly rising percentage of non-whites. And it is not to pretend that the official culture is not now actively hostile to that assimilation and doesn't disincentivize it in various ways.

It is only to say that the intersection itself doesn't require one to be "White" in its strict biological sense of having the majority of one's recent ancestors descend from the European peoples, but only requires something like what Ruth, the Moabite immigrant and ancestor to King David and Jesus, said to her mother-in-law Naomi:

Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God."

Likewise, as God through Christ can graft we Gentiles onto the Tree of Life*, so have we gun-toting**, MAGA cap-wearing***, Republican-voting**** Americans grafted non-whites into the tree of Multiracial Whiteness.

* The metaphor is made stronger by my observation that the most of the graftees come to the American intersection by way of Evangelical Christianity.

** Only metaphorically. I lost all my guns in a boating accident last Tuesday in the Gulf, never to be seen again.

*** Also metaphorical. I've never actually worn one of those.

**** Since it looks like such voting is on its way to being a firing offense, I should probably abjure on this one as well.

1 comment:

heresolong said...

FWIW I am white and I meet all three of the intersectionality points with a correlation factor of close to 1.

Outstanding article and I will be using and referring to it. The key to the current downward trend in "Americanism" is, in my opinion, the observation that "this intersection has broken down under the weight of the rapidly rising percentage of non-whites" although I wonder if it would be reasonable to put more blame, rather, on the hostility to assimilation that you mention in the next sentence. I don't know the answer to that. I tend to lean towards the idea that multi-racial societies where there is not a significant majority of one race or the other, generally don't work. I can't think of a counter-example to that statement.

I have a "Make (my town) Great Again" hat that I've never worn. A friend made them as a joke after another friend decided to run for city council shortly after the 2016 election. I haven't worn it because it was immediately interpreted as "I support PDT" instead of a play on words for a local election. (Of course it was).