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Glorious past, glorious future!

Mrs. Anthony Lewis, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, has given us “gay marriage” on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. She’s evidently timing her benefaction to stick a moral point to us and wrap herself and her deed in glory even beyond their merits. Not to fall behind, here are some odds and ends in honor of the day:

  • A letter from Zora Neale Hurston on Brown v. Board. She asks the obvious question: why does it show respect for black people to say that their well-being requires integration into white society—and thus the abolition of black society as something that functions? If you look at rates of imprisonment and illegitimacy it seems that black society has indeed become much less functional in the past 50 years. If you look at the historical statistics it appears that the decline really set in—and the rate of black economic advance slowed down—during the late sixties and early 70s, just when “civil rights protections” were growing teeth in the form of “affirmative action” and the like. Is that just an unfortunate coincidence, or should it have been obvious all along that Brown and allied initiatives would bring something of the sort?
  • A slightly edited exchange with an antiracist Evangelical correspondent:

    Antiracist Evangelical: How does a Christian not feel guilty after preferring his own ethnicity in matter of immigration? As Christians, aren’t we all called to see the person and soul rather than the skin?

    Jim Kalb: I’m not sure what the problem is here, although I recognize that people believe there is one.

    The basic question in immigration policy is not whether someone who wants to immigrate is more or less worthy as a human being than some other person but what policy best promotes the well-being of the country and its people and whether that policy is at odds with the well-being of the world at large. If the way people organize themselves socially means that there’s more social trust and cooperation and a more coherent and functional culture if there aren’t a lot of new members, and what new members there are mostly have historical connections, loyalties, memories etc. similar to those already present, then limiting immigration and taking ethnic background into account makes sense. What’s un-Christian about it?

    AE: I think what may be un-Christian is the fact one is perhaps glorifying flesh and denying someone the ability to be with them just because they are not white. Aren’t Christians called to see beyond race?

    JK: But human society can’t operate as an undifferentiated blob that includes everyone in the world in everything. It depends on picking and choosing—including and excluding—on some basis or other. If an employer wants to hire someone does he have to hire everyone who says he wants the job, because if he doesn’t he’ll be glorifying something or other and denying the humanity of those who aren’t hired?

    AE: I suppose the employer can discriminate on anything but race. I guess I don’t see how the Christian can use race as a legitimate form of discrimination, as it’s not the same as ability.

    JK: Why is race radioactive, so it can’t have anything to do with any legitimate human connection? What’s so special about it? Suppose an employer hires A because he’s family, B because he’s an old friend, C because he went to the employer’s old school, D because D really needs the job, E because he happens to like the guy, and F because F has the same ethnic background as other employees. The employer has been told that diversity is a “challenge,” and so far as he’s concerned he already has enough challenges to worry about. He believes that common ethnic background eliminates one common source of suspicion, misunderstanding, and conflicting habits and expectations. He thinks it makes it more likely that unforced informal productive working relations will develop based on common habits, attitudes, values, loyalties, interests, etc. Do you believe that what the employer did in cases A - E is OK, but what he did in case F is absolutely unacceptable? If so, why?

    AE: I cannot help but feel God would prefer a heterogenous population, than one that discriminates based on flesh.

    JK: Does God dislike family celebrations, because family connections are fleshly? Does he believe people should get together only when they have no previous connection to each other?

    The real question is the existence of distinct countries, peoples and cultures. Does God believe that every country, city, neighborhood, organization and activity should feature a random assortment of people from all possible backgrounds? The effect would be that distinct peoples and cultures couldn’t exist. But then you couldn’t expect people to have the common habits, expectations and whatnot needed to run their own affairs and work together without supervision, so you’d have to put some custodian in charge of everyone. Why would that be a good thing? Why wouldn’t God view it as destructive?

    AE: Family and ethnicity are different. Families are social structures that can feature adopted children from different racial backgrounds. People of the same ethnicity aren’t automatically my family, they are strangers.

    JK: Sure they’re different. Families are one sort of human connection, ethnicity is another. As you point out, it’s possible to share common ethnicity with a person of different family background and it’s possible to share family ties with a person of different ethnic background. Both connections naturally arise among human beings and both have functions. Neither has much to do with the abilities or moral worthiness of the persons to whom one is connected. Nonetheless, both help provide a setting in which a good life becomes possible. A man without a family finds it harder to connect to the social world and so live a good life, and a man without a particular ethnic culture is I think in a similar position.

    You and many others seem to believe that taking ethnicity into account in choosing associates and building a common life denies common humanity while taking other qualities not directly related to merit like family into account doesn’t. I don’t understand why that’s so.

    AE: Why is race so special you ask? I think because it’s the only criteria that provides a solid glass ceiling without compromise. At least with nepotism, an adopted person from a different racial background may benefit. But with race, unlike nepotism, merit, ability, there is no compromise or room to advance.

    JK: Why is there such a difference? One might as well say that as least with ethnic ties a person from a different family background may benefit. I don’t see why the one has to be treated as more of an absolute than the other. I thought the question was whether ethnicity can be a legitimate consideration, not whether it’s a consideration that automatically trumps all other considerations in all circumstances.

    AE: I didn’t say God wouldn’t like distinct cultures, but when it comes down to do what is moral in these times of rapid population migrations, how can a Christian look 2 men in the eye, one white like himself, the other black, both hard-working and Christian even, but choose to not allow the black man in?

    JK: Do you believe all countries should have open borders? If not, then if you allow any immigration at all you’ll have to let some in and keep some out. Why not base the decision on what seems most likely to be beneficial overall? And why wouldn’t ethnic issues enter into that? After all, they do make a difference to social life. And why is large scale ethnic mixture a good thing that we should choose? What benefits does it confer? The costs seem more obvious to me.

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I did not realize the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court was the wife of extreme leftist radical Marxist and neo-Marxist “New York Times” columnist Anthony Lewis, the pundit who Henry Kissinger said “was always wrong.”

Very interesting discussion. Permit me to play the part of AE with respect to your final questions:

“Do you believe all countries should have open borders?”

No.

“If not, then if you allow any immigration at all you’ll have to let some in and keep some out.”

Agreed.

“Why not base the decision on what seems most likely to be beneficial overall?”

I would put it somewhat differently: the decision should be based on the greatest good according to a properly ordered hierarchy of values. And it should be remembered that what is *good* of any host population or immigrant group does not always correlate with their respective interests.

“And why wouldn’t ethnic issues enter into that? After all, they do make a difference to social life.”

Ethnic issues make the most significant difference when they correlate with other more important variables: language, religion, culture, political beliefs, etc. These can be identified without any explicit reference to race or ethnicity.

More to the point—an explicit government policy of ethnic favoritism will be percevied as unjust because it is based upon criteria that a) people have no control over; b) has no intrinsic moral content; c) will breed intense resentment because it declares to Americans of certain ethnicities that more of their kind are not welcome here.

“And why is large scale ethnic mixture a good thing that we should choose?”

In my opinion we should not be asked to choose, as a matter of policy, either large scale ethnic mixture or large scale ethnic homogeneity. (Anyway, the point is somewhat moot since we can’t even get Americans to prefer their own families and neighborhoods.)

“What benefits does it confer? The costs seem more obvious to me.”

There are both benefits and costs, and I can see them both. I personally enjoy the ethnic variety (does that make me a liberal?), but I have no ideological attachment to it. Such questions would be pointless if immigration policy were based upon sound principles.

Part of the problem, of course, is the apparent perception by some immigrants that the United States is a cultural “blank slate” upon which they are free to recreate the culture of their homeland. The perception exists, in part, because it is true. There is a cultural void in this country begging to be filled. It should be filled by those of us who already live here, based upon the beautiful cultural inheritance we already posses. This revitalized American culture would be strong and confident enough to deter those who would replace it with another, and beautiful enough to make assimilation desirable. But if we fail to revitalize it, to make our culture strong and beautiful, then our cultural void will quite naturally be filled by newcomers who have a culture to begin with.

As Mr. Kalb very often articulates, what little culture exists here seems to be organized strictly on the basis of economics and the functional interests of the managerial state. Real cultures—such as those immigrants bring with them—see this as an opportunity. And to tell you the truth, it is a joy to see them in action. I listen to Spanish or Vietnamese radio as often as I do English. Why? Because these refreshing broadcasts successfully convey traditional cultural values other than money, pleasure, and political correctness.

Some people refuse to accept race has always been important and are unable to articulate (without begging the question) why racial preferences are immoral while preference for one’s family is moral. One can’t change one’s intelligence, beauty, wittiness, country of origin or family, yet we discriminate all the time on these bases. These people are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They promote evil. They believe in an oppressive government that eliminates freedom of association; they believe there should be camera on everyone at all times to ensure they don’t sway from the doctrine of antiracism. They don’t care about the rampant violence present when some races are forced together or about the destruction of ethnicity. They believe their end justifies their means. They contradict themselves: they insist race is artificial, yet they believe in one race.

“Some people”? Do you have anyone particular in mind? Some people consistently exaggerate the importance of race, refuse to accept that the significance of race is limited, and deny that there are some circumstances where racial preferences are indeed immoral. For some reason these people can only imagine two kinds of worlds: a world of rigid racial castes and institutional racial barriers, or a world of multi-culti egalitarian tyranny. These people have one salient characteristic in common with multiculturalist liberals: they are obsessed with race and consider race to be, above all, a *problem* for social engineers to solve, whether they be segregationist on the one hand or integrationist on the other.

I agree that explicit government ethnic favoritism is likely to be provocative. How much so depends on public understandings, background beliefs, and just what the provision is. We have explicit government ethnic favoritism right now, for example, and people accept it although many don’t much like it. As another example, a provision intended to help stabilize an existing ethnic balance wouldn’t be the same as one that absolutely excluded some classes.

As a practical matter I suppose what I’d favor is a radical reduction in total immigration. I don’t see the point though of saying that “language, religion, culture, political beliefs, etc. … can be identified without any explicit reference to race or ethnicity.” The separation strikes me as artificial. Ethnicity is mostly a constellation of such things (at least if you put aside political beliefs as opposed to political habits) together with a sense of common origin and descent that acts to make the constellation more concrete and definite.

I wouldn’t say that “what little culture exists here seems to be organized strictly on the basis of economics and the functional interests of the managerial state.” Man is social, so no human society can exist without a great deal of culture that relates to things markets and bureaucracies can’t capture. I do think that official public ideals have to do with economics and managerial interests and those ideals are increasingly imperialistic. It seems to me that tendency is favored by the increasing cultural incoherence of the US and thus by large scale third world immigration. To repeat what I’ve said before, it doesn’t much matter in that regard what the third world cultures are like in themselves. Even if they are vastly superior to what we have here now, they still make it much more difficult for a substantive public culture to exist and therefore help make human relations more and more a matter of economics and rational value-free administration.

I, too, would favor a radical reduction in overall immigration as a stabilizing measure, and more selective immigration as part of our cultural recovery. But until our nation begins to take culture seriously, I’m glad we have many of the immigrants we have.

Assimilation, in my view, is not much of a problem, except insofar as it often happens too fast and without caution. That immigrant groups offer, at least, some very moderate resistance to public school indoctrination and MTV-culture is one reason why I can never be wholly negative about them. If you attend a high school graduation in my city, you’ll notice one thing: most of the students on the honor roll are immigrants. They speak the best, most articulate English, are the most likely to have an intact family with two parents, and they have the most involvement with their churches. That’s a good thing, and I’m thankful for the good example they set for the rest of us.

JK: “I don’t see the point though of saying that ‘language, religion, culture, political beliefs, etc. … can be identified without any explicit reference to race or ethnicity.’ The separation strikes me as artificial. Ethnicity is mostly a constellation of such things (at least if you put aside political beliefs as opposed to political habits) together with a sense of common origin and descent that acts to make the constellation more concrete and definite.”

I am puzzled by this statement. The distinction isn’t artificial at all in my experience. The United States is full of people with vastly different ethnic backgrounds who nevertheless share a common culture, religion, and language. There are nominal differences perhaps relating to their ethnicity, but these are not significant barriers to the “substantive public culture” that we both agree is necessary.

I too am puzzled. Mr. Culbreath says he “personally enjoys the ethnic variety” of America (specifically, I suppose, of California). Does he mean to say that he personally enjoys the fact that there are diverse gene pools, or that he personally enjoys the fact that there are a variety of identifiable constellations of culture and heritage, the differences among which are not simply nominal?

“Antiracist Evangelical: How does a Christian not feel guilty after preferring his own ethnicity in matter of immigration? As Christians, aren’t we all called to see the person and soul rather than the skin?”

Here you see the confused view that racial/ethnocultural suicide is mandated by Christian self-abnegation. This extremely harmful and not just wrong but completely clueless view is the third or fourth biggest factor in the stupendous-mistake-without-historical-precedent of racial/ethnocultural self-destruction going on here and in Europe and Australia.

“Aren’t Christians called to see beyond race?”

The New Testament, a book in some ways clear and in others mysterious, appears to call Christians to do a number of things that would make human happiness—and even human life—impossible, such as “turn the other cheek,” “love your enemy,” “it’s better to not marry and remain celibate but if you must, you must,” and “give away all your property—literally every dime you possess—and follow Christ.” We’re not certain of all the NT’s proper interpretations. We do know that Christian authorities down through the ages have “officially” excused us from having to follow certain *seeming* Christian precepts to the letter, lest there be misunderstanding on our part of our Christian obligations. They should now do the same with the race/national question. The Vatican should declare officially that Christian self-abnegation does not at all require national or racial or cultural self-destruction “in order to be nice to others.”

AE: I suppose the employer can discriminate on anything but race. I guess I don’t see how the Christian can use race as a legitimate form of discrimination, as it’s not the same as ability.”

To want to live in a racially more or less homogenous community and nation requires no further justification. It’s a basic human right. The Communists who drafted the various human rights statements of the U.N. in the second half of the 40s of course would never put this right in, but it’s there whether or not written down yet. Christian self-abnegation does not require the cancellation of this basic human right. The world’s Christian priests ought to be officially stating that now. Alas, they are fallible and don’t yet see the need (some in Italy clearly are close to seeing it though).

AE: I cannot help but feel God would prefer a heterogenous population to one that discriminates based on flesh.”

That’s fine. Just don’t force that feeling of yours on others, as is currently being done here and in Europe mainly by the strategy of brainwashing the society’s children from kindergarten up to believe the same thing—to believe they must suppress their natural preferences in order to be moral human beings—and by iron-fisted thought-control through police, the judiciary, and government agencies at all levels. Take the iron boot heel off the people’s neck please, AE. Take it off society’s neck. Put it on your own neck for a change.

AE: Why is race so special you ask? I think because it’s the only criteria that provides a solid glass ceiling without compromise. At least with nepotism, an adopted person from a different racial background may benefit. But with race, unlike nepotism, merit, ability, there is no compromise or room to advance.”

This isn’t the issue. There’s no doubt that Mr. Kalb and those who agree with him would strive always to bend over backward to be fair to individuals of other races in hiring, promotion, college admissions, etc. That’s not the problem. The problem is overwhelming incompatible immigration foisted by elites, which can only have the effect of erasing one race and replacing it with another against its will. (If it’s not against its will, then remove all the imposed controls that have pushed that agenda since the end of World War II and see what happens.)

AE: I didn’t say God wouldn’t like distinct cultures, but when it comes down to do what is moral in these times of rapid population migrations, how can a Christian look 2 men in the eye, one white like himself, the other black, both hard-working and Christian even, but choose to not allow the black man in?”

Here AE is begging the question: whether to accept excessive incompatible immigration is precisely part of the question being debated, yet he’s trying to use “rapid population migrations” as an independent “given.” As for individuals of incompatible races (what is “incompatible” being defined by the majority of the host race after all the iron-boot-heel thought-control apparatus is lifted from off their necks), they have their own countries, nations, races to dwell amongst just as we have ours.

Mr. Culbreath, like myself, comes from a multi-racial family. That makes it harder for him (and me, frankly) to face the fact that race is natural and significant, like sex and family, and that its natural public consequences ought not be suppressed. As much as I respect Mr. Culbreath’s writing - and I do admire it very much - he has a blind spot here. He will acknowledge that race isn’t nothing but then act as though people who treat it as something have treated it as everything.

For example, Mr. Culbreath has in the past, in discussions with me, advocated law that makes it illegal to restrict hiring in a private business to within one’s race, or tenancy within one’s rental properties to a specific race, etc. So in practice he advocates the destruction of the very things that sustain the identifiable constellations of culture and heritage that go along with race.

I don’t think his tacit acknowledgement that race has legitimate importance while denying that race can have any enforceable public consequences works. It is in my opinion a blind spot in his otherwise formidable traditionalism. I would be very interested to see the outcome if he were to grapple with race and develop a Catholic understanding of it that does not amount to PC multiculturalism. He has some unique qualifications for doing so, it seems to me.

I apologize to Mr. Culberth for using the expression “some people” in a context that implied a particular person. I could not think of a more neutral yet forceful way to challenge his ideas in the time that I had. I knew I was making a mistake. Next time, I won’t post until I think of a neutral way, a way to attack the ideas not the person. I will stop implying Mr. Culberth is an evil person. Computer problems have prevented me from responding sooner.

It’s goofy of me to get annoyed while trying to learn and not to win arguments. My annoyance came through. I suppose I would prefer not to discuss antiracism with someone that appears to hold antiracist views. I lack confidence in antiracist views because I think they are beliefs that have no more value than the opposing beliefs and the proponents can’t admit it. Maybe I am wrong. Mr. Culberth is, though, providing arguments that need to be addressed. I thank him for his willingness to discuss this topic. (I hope antiracist has not become a pejorative like racist. If it has, I apologize in advance.) Also, I am not sure that anyone that fails to use a pseudonym can altogether be trusted; this is an extremely provocative subject, and the commentators will justifiably want to screen their views somewhat or perhaps even decisively.

It is true that I might be obsessed with race. I am not a psychiatrist though. It is natural to think race is important. It has always been important, to repeat myself. Whether one person chooses to give it high importance or low importance is a personal decision. Labeling groups of people as obsessed is like saying the groups have a particular mental problem. Considering that race is important to a large majority of people in a world with billions of people, the labeling is not far from saying, “I am one of the few sane people in the world when it comes to ideas about race.”

It is my understanding traditionalism is taking into account things that every society has taken into account for a long time. There is a reason for traditionalism. Let’s continue with the race example. We can’t rationally deduce from some first principle that race must be taken into account, nor can we rationally deduce from some first principle that race must not be taken into account. So a traditionalist will accord great weight to the long-standing practice of taking race into account and expect his interrogator to offer a lot concrete proof that race must not be taken into account.

I find the following kind of proof lacks concreteness; it is conclusory and extremely vague and therefore useless. “The decision should be based on the greatest good according to a properly ordered hierarchy of values.” There are other examples, but I must be brief. Perhaps I am being too rigorous considering the space and time we are accorded here. But I don’t think so. I think comments should be written so that the average person will immediately understand what is being said. Defining terms and using concrete examples are essential to the average person, while unjustified conclusions and vagueness are useless. It is the average person that must be persuaded, and I am at least an average person. How clear we talk here should be no different than how clear we talk elsewhere. My comments and many other commentators are often conclusory and vague too, so I am not trying to pick on anyone.

It seems to me that the whole conversation with the anti-racist evangelical, while informative, could have been reduced to a concise point: The New Testament tells us that God extends the gospel offer of salvation to all mankind without discrimination, Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free. To believe that societies function better with cultural commonality, a single language, etc., in no way implies that some people are less valuable in God’s eyes, that we hate some people, that we hold them in contempt, etc. It only says that it is prudent to avoid conflicts in this world over languages, laws, customs, etc., by having identifiable nations with identifiable cultures. The gospel may be preached equally in all these nations. End of discussion.

The celebration of immigrants being smarter than the locals is not cause for celebration in a society that wants to maintain the status of its locals. That is not to say some degree of immigration based on intelligence is always a bad idea. The ideas that all immigrants are on the honor roll and the more immigrants the better is bound to cause resentment by the locals that have not been brainwashed to believe “diversity” is our strength. Applied here, diversity is a contradiction. The diversity advocates are celebrating a less diverse community based on intelligence. That kind of diversity policy is striving to acquire a super-race while at the same time claiming it is striving to not take race into account.

Here are a couple of points about not trusting those with antiracist views. I don’t mean that such people are untrustworthy people, just that they are untrustworthy about antiracism. I still consider myself a pupil on the subject and do not want to suffer undue influence from an antiracist at this time. My belief is antiracism is wrong and the burden of proof is still on the antiracist, so it is best to learn first the reasons why taking race into account is moral.

To Mr. Kalb: I mean to say that I enjoy both genetic diversity and a harmless degree of ethnic-related cultural variety (food, festivals, and what-have-you), to the extent that the latter does not prevent the existence of a “substantive public culture”.

To Matt: Your kind words, though undeserved, are most appreciated. If I remember correctly, I think you even conceded that you could imagine conditions in which you would prohibit racial preferences in economic life, based upon the prevailing circumstances of time and place. So I’m not sure we disagree about anything more than whether America, 2004, is the time and place for such limitations. Like you, I’m not an absolutist on this subject, but in the context of American life, and given the size and scale of American institutions, I think the social costs of explicit racial preferences far outweigh the benefits. My family and community circumstances do indeed give me something of a bias here, mainly because I can produce, on demand, dozens of names of individuals with different ethnic backgrounds who share the Catholic religion, speak excellent English, and are in possession of more traditional “Western” character and personality than most Anglo natives.

Mr. Murgos: Well, thank you, but don’t beat yourself up about it. And don’t worry about labeling my views as “antiracist” if you think it applies to them.

To briefly address a few of your points: 1) Acknowledging excellence and virtue where it exists, and being grateful for it, is not the same as triumphalisticly proclaiming that one group, as a group, is superior to another. A traditionalist doesn’t get too worked up about things like status and inequality. They are natural to life, and we tend to let the chips fall where they may rather than try to engineer certain outcomes.

2) Racial preferences are sometimes morally obligatory (medical research), sometimes morally indifferent (choosing a friend or a spouse), and sometimes immoral or imprudent. Racial preferences can be immoral or imprudent, in part, for the same reasons that family preferences can be immoral or imprudent. When family loyalty goes bad, it plunges into tribalism with all its associated hatred and violence. As I have said many times before, families must live, work, worship, and cooperate with other families, and it is more or less the same with ethnic groups. When different families and ethnic groups happen to occupy the same space, then it is usually best that they share as much common life as possible, and that public provocations like “No Smiths allowed” are kept to a minimum.

Actually, it seems to me that the good-fences-make-good-neighbors point goes a bit beyond the prudence of avoiding conflict. Particular culture is a positive and indeed humanly necessary good because man is social and must be human in some particular way. Some sort of boundaries and thus separation is necessary for particular culture to exist at all. Multiculturalist dogma—the view that everything should be mixed as much as possible—is thus essentially antihuman.

Mr. Kalb: I should add that it doesn’t bother me in the least that certain groups—recent immigrants and migrant workers, for instance—are unable to participate in the general public culture because of language and cultural barriers. It only becomes a problem when the self-appointed “representatives” of these groups demand full participation anyway.

Mr. Culbreath wrote:
“So I’m not sure we disagree about anything more than whether America, 2004, is the time and place for such limitations.”

That is possible, and I thank you for the reminder of how we ended up in that discussion. I think your recollection is quite right.

But perhaps too much is made of the difference between prudential judgement and dogma, which can at times obscure concern for what is actually true. So we may be further apart than it appears :-)

Mr. Murgos wrote:

“Also, I am not sure that anyone that fails to use a pseudonym can altogether be trusted; this is an extremely provocative subject, and the commentators will justifiably want to screen their views somewhat or perhaps even decisively.”

That is precisely why I don’t really like pseudonyms. It seems to me that traditionalists, of all people, believe that men should be held accountable for what they say and do, and do *not* believe in expressing every thought or prejudice that comes into one’s head. Perhaps using one’s Christian name also makes one more likely to think before pounding the keyboard.

In any case, the fact that some feel the need to use pseudonyms when discussing race and ethnicity demonstrates the extreme volatility of the subject and the present need for circumscribed public behavior.

JK: Do you believe all countries should have open borders? If not, then if you allow any immigration at all you’ll have to let some in and keep some out. Why not base the decision on what seems most likely to be beneficial overall?”

Because basing immigration decisions on a sensible criterion like that would deprive the liberals and the “Christians” of a golden opportunity to feel holier-than-thou by sacrificing their own ethnoculture—consigning it literally to death—in the name of “being nice to third-worlders.” These personalityless people get an extremely powerful high from this. For many of them it’s the first time in their lives they’ve felt important, or moral, or whatever—the first time in their lives they’ve felt like somebody instead of like nobody. They will absolutely cling to this opportunity for dear life: not for anything in the world will they consider going back to their usual state of hopelessness, despair, depression.

Mr. Culbreath writes,

“Ethnic issues make the most significant difference when they correlate with other more important variables: language, religion, culture, political beliefs, etc. These can be identified without any explicit reference to race or ethnicity.”

I find this unclear but Mr. Culbreath may at bottom be answering, in effect, “no” to the question once put in a VFR poll: “If the populations of China and Europe had been exchanged one with the other in antiquity would the subsequent histories of the two places have turned out differently?” The answer is “yes.” Someone who answers “yes” is more likely to be critical of excessive incompatible immigration than someone who answers “no.”

“[A]n explicit government policy of ethnic favoritism will be perceived as unjust because it is based upon criteria that a) people have no control over; b) has no intrinsic moral content; c) will breed intense resentment because it declares to Americans of certain ethnicities that more of their kind are not welcome here.”

a) This is a non sequitur: the existence of different races doesn’t do away with the right of racial groups, communities, and nations to preserve their traditional predominant racial make-up if they wish. b) It is in no way immoral. c) This is true. But lots of things breed resentment, and that can’t be helped. When the wildebeest resists the lion’s attack it breeds resentment in the lion. When the Jews returned home after two thousand years it bred resentment in the Palestinians. When we kicked the Taliban out of Afghanistan it bred resentment in Osama bin Laden.

“[W]e should not be asked to choose, as a matter of policy, either large scale ethnic mixture or large scale ethnic homogeneity.”

Does this mean get rid of governmental constraints and let people choose what they actually prefer, as they simply go about their daily lives?

“I personally enjoy […] ethnic variety […]”

We all do. There’ll be none if the world’s races are mixed—only one big China or one big India or one big Mexico or something. There’ll be ethnic variety in the world only if peoples and nations are permitted to maintain their ethnic identities. A taste for ethnic variety is properly satisfied not by changing the ethnicity of the place you live in, but by foreign travel.

“Some people […] exaggerate the importance of race […].”

Is opposing one’s own race’s extinction exaggerating the importance of race?

“The United States is full of people with vastly different ethnic backgrounds who nevertheless share a common culture, religion, and language. There are nominal differences perhaps relating to their ethnicity, but these are not significant barriers to the ‘substantive public culture’ that we both agree is necessary.”

Culture is partly genetic. Completely replacing a population with a different race, as Bush is attempting to do to California (and later to the whole United States if he wins a second term) inevitably changes the culture. But that’s strictly of secondary importance. A preference for not seeing one’s race or nation extinguished needs no justification. What if the young men in some Icelandic small town just prefer oggling white Nordic girls who walk down the street, and the young men in some Rwandan small town just prefer oggling Negro Hutu girls who walk down the street. That’s their business, not yours or mine. It needs no justification, and it’s their right not to have their community’s race changed by unbridled capitalists, Bush-Soros Tranzis, neo-Marxists, holier-than-thou Christians, neo-con or WSJ open-borders fanatics, or whoever else is running around changing races these days against the wills of majorities.

I just read this article at Vdare.com, my last bit of browsing for the evening:

http://vdare.com/allen/marriage_initiative.htm .

How someone like Mr. Culbreath could read this article, or any of a thousand like it at Vdare.com and elsewhere, and not walk away “mugged by reality,” is beyond me.

The comments above by Unadorned, Mr. Kalb, and Matt have been very helpful. I don’t understand Mr. Culberth’s comment: “A traditionalist doesn’t get too worked up about things like status and inequality. They are natural to life, and we tend to let the chips fall where they may rather than try to engineer certain outcomes.” I am concerned about my status and how I will be treated in a country that is likely to become more and more intolerant of anti-antiracists like myself. Segregation is a proven humane and prosperous way of life, but it appears at this point that Orwell’s warning against government control over thoughts is not being heeded by our elites in their selfish desire for re-election.

Certainly any system including segregation can develop unjust qualities. These can and should be rectified. The unjust aspects of 1960’s segregation in America don’t justify the rampant violence perpetrated by the formerly segregated culture and by their de facto allies: immigrants and white perpetrators unleashed by the idea of treating all criminals the same. I would support harsher sentences for violent whites alone if that were the only way to reduce violent crime.

Yes Unadorned, the article is just another exhibit that proves multiculturalism and antiracism are based on a desire for power and not on a desire for fairness.

Zora Neale Hurston’s critique of Brown v. Board of Education is air-tight. It is unanswerable. No leftist, Marxist, neo-Marxist, neo-“con,” holier-than-thou Christian, or woman will be able to answer it without changing the subject.

The Brown v. Board decision should not be taken as the last word on the subject. The aim of Normals (Normals are people who prefer normalness, or so-called “conservatism,” to degenerateness, or so-called “liberalism”) should be the overthrow of Brown exactly as it is the overthrow of Roe.

Robert E. Lee fought essentially a defensive war. Let’s not make the same mistake twice.

Unadorned: “I find this unclear but Mr. Culbreath may at bottom be answering, in effect, ‘no’ to the question once put in a VFR poll: ‘If the populations of China and Europe had been exchanged one with the other in antiquity would the subsequent histories of the two places have turned out differently?’ The answer is ‘yes.’”

I, too, would have answered “yes” if I had posting privileges on VFR. What history might have looked like in that case is anybody’s guess. What’s more, I’m not clear on how you want that truth to relate to the subject at hand. Asserting that racial differences exist is one thing; claiming that racial differences make a substantive public culture impossible is something else again.

Unadorned: “Someone who answers ‘yes’ is more likely to be critical of excessive incompatible immigration than someone who answers ‘no.’”

Quite so. I am critical of both excessive immigration and incompatible immigration, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who isn’t. Yet we would probably disagree on whether, say, more than 10,000 immigrants per annum is *excessive*, or whether immigration from Mexico is *incompatible*.

Unadorned: “The existence of different races doesn’t do away with the right of racial groups, communities, and nations to preserve their traditional predominant racial make-up if they wish.”

Now we’re getting somewhere. You believe that racial groups have “rights”, as if races were capable of collective desires and that anyone who thwarts those collective desires commits some kind of a crime. Do I understand you correctly?

If so, this is a perniciously false idea on several levels. For any group to have “rights”, it must have a clearly definable identity, and it must be capable of expressing a collective will. Individuals have rights, families have rights, and nations have rights. These have distinct and unambiguous borders, and they possess authority within those borders. Racial groups have no such characteristics.

It is easy to see how granting rights to racial groups is a false and pernicious idea: racial “rights” would literally dissolve the rights of individuals, families, and nations, which by their very natures transcend racial classifications.

Insofar as racial groups are capable of expressing a common mind (and I am far from conceding this point), one need look no further than the history of the Jews to see that ideas of racial autonomy and self-determination conflict with the designs of Providence more often than not.

Unadorned: “When the Jews returned home after two thousand years it bred resentment in the Palestinians.”

And for good reason. The establishment of modern-day Israel was a tragic mistake: in fact, it was a crime. If that’s what you mean by “racial rights”, I’m afraid we are very far apart indeed.

Unadorned: “Does this mean get rid of governmental constraints and let people choose what they actually prefer, as they simply go about their daily lives?”

For the most part, yes. But I gave up my libertarianism years ago. We still need laws to keep the peace, and some of those laws might legitimately prohibit institutionalized racial segregation.

JC: “I personally enjoy [ … ] ethnic variety [ … ]”

Unadorned: “We all do. There’ll be none if the world’s races are mixed—only one big China or one big India or one big Mexico or something. There’ll be ethnic variety in the world only if peoples and nations are permitted to maintain their ethnic identities.”

First, I said I enjoy ethnic variety. I did not say that I have an ideological commitment to maintaining ethnic variety exactly as it exists today, or yesterday, or at any other time or place. Ethnic groups and their associated cultures are fine things, but they are not immutable and should not be elevated above other considerations. Charity towards one’s neighbors in new surroundings, for instance, eventually demands some pretty drastic changes (language, dress, etc.).

“A taste for ethnic variety is properly satisfied not by changing the ethnicity of the place you live in, but by foreign travel.”

I take the world as I find it. Whle I do enjoy ethnic variety, it is not my wish to import foreigners to satisfy my tastes, nor to export non-whites to satisfy your tastes.

Unadorned: “Is opposing one’s own race’s extinction exaggerating the importance of race?”

As long as there is at least one racially pure family somewhere (perhaps that family will be yours), your race will not be extinct. If there are no others remaining, then it seems that you would not object, since it obviously wasn’t the collective will of your race to maintain its own purity.

Every “race” changes genetically and culturally through the generations: there are no exceptions, and there never have been. True, the pace of ethnic change is faster in our times for the same reason everything else changes faster in our times, but in my opinion there is nothing to be feared about such changes in themselves. The question for our times is not, “Will our culture change?”, but rather, “Will our culture retain what is good in its possession, recover the good that has been lost, and acquire the good that it never had?”

Part of the good, certainly, includes various customs and traditions of ethnic origin that are worth preserving for their own sake. Can these exist side-by-side with the customs and tradtions of other ethnic groups and still be sufficiently American? In many cases, though perhaps not all, the answer is most certainly “yes”.

Mr. Culbreath writes,

“Asserting that racial differences exist is one thing; claiming that racial differences make a substantive public culture impossible is something else again.”

If race-replacement immigration will change the culture people have, like, and would rather keep, must they still endure it? Can’t Christians who favor forcing it on a population find other ways of getting their self-abnegation moral highs? Can’t they just fast forty days or something? Race-replacement immigration is not an irresistible force of nature like the tides, though that is how the race-replacement loonies try to represent it. It is being deliberately engineered by coalitions of elite forces and can in principle be brought screeching to a halt in five minutes. (Certainly, no one wants to be like King Canute. Hey, do they still teach about King Canute in high-school? It’s Anglo-Saxon, you know—a lot of that stuff is a hate crime now…)

“I am critical of both excessive immigration and incompatible immigration […]. Yet we would probably disagree on [how much is excessive and which kind is incompatible].”

Just don’t forcibly replace the traditional race here, and I’ll be happy. So will majorities of Americans, judging by poll after poll.

“You believe that racial groups have ‘rights,’ as if races were capable of collective desires and anyone who thwarts those collective desires commits some kind of a crime.”

The people of a country, nation, region, tribe, or racial or ethnic grouping have a moral right to the preservation of that entity’s racial or ethnic make-up. They have a fundamental human right not to have that racial or ethnic make-up changed against their will, just as they have a right not to have their language changed against their will though languages themselves of course have no “group rights or desires.”

“[O]ne need look no further than the history of the Jews to see that ideas of racial autonomy and self-determination conflict with the designs of Providence more often than not.”

I’m not sure what’s being referred to here: the Nazis? Nazism’s crimes don’t invalidate national, tribal, racial, or ethnocultural consciousness, identity, pride, love, or tenacious, determined self-preservation, any more than Lenin’s, Stalin’s, Mao’s, Castro’s, or Pol Pot’s crimes invalidate social justice.

“The establishment of modern-day Israel was a tragic mistake: in fact, it was a crime. If that’s what you mean by ‘racial rights’ I’m afraid we are very far apart indeed.”

Is there something wrong with the establishment of modern-day Armenia? Will there be something wrong with the establishment of an independent Kurdistan, which some observers think is in the works? After the world-wide de-colonisation from 1947 to the 60s many new nations were established around the globe. Was there something wrong with that? You are right that forced “population transfers,” forced expulsions based on ethnicity in the aftermath of border changes, are tragic. The way to make them less tragic is through Steve Sailer’s concept of “good ethnic cleansing vs. bad ethnic cleansing”: you very generously compensate those who must move, so generously that, in effect, a bargain satisfactory to both parties is struck ( http://www.isteve.com/kosovo.htm ).

“We still need laws to keep the peace, and some of those laws might legitimately prohibit institutionalized racial segregation.”

I’m against legal racial segregation because I view it as intolerably inhumane toward Negroes. I know Mr. Murgos feels differently, and he explains himself well. I’m a Yankee who never lived south of the Mason-Dixon line. Maybe there are reasons Southerners know of that Northerners don’t. Mr. Murgos is obviously a decent, highly moral, completely humane person. I’ll keep an open mind. In the meantime, what I oppose is *legal* segregation. If groups segregate themselves privately that’s none of government’s business, and of course I oppose governmental measures aimed at forcing them back together again, like school bussing, affirmative action, etc.

“First, I said I enjoy ethnic variety. I did not say that I have an ideological commitment to maintaining ethnic variety exactly as it exists today, or yesterday, or at any other time or place. Ethnic groups and their associated cultures are fine things, but they are not immutable and should not be elevated above other considerations.”

What considerations should override them if majorities want to keep their country’s ethnicity the same?

“Charity towards one’s neighbors in new surroundings, for instance, eventually demands some pretty drastic changes (language, dress, etc.).”

Why must elite race-replacement schemes which the people don’t want bring “new surroundings” that then require all these “drastic” changes on the part of the people?

“I take the world as I find it. Whle I do enjoy ethnic variety, it is not my wish to import foreigners to satisfy my tastes or to repatriate non-whites to satisfy your tastes.”

1) If you “take the world as you find it” how can you be critical of the establishment of Israel? 2) I’m against the excessive importation of incompatible races, ethnicities, religions, and ethnocultures in furtherance of race-replacement schemes, wage-lowering schemes, neo-Marxist “diversification” schemes, etc. I favor repatriation of all illegals and also of non-whites and other incompatibles who have been brought here in excessive numbers as a result of the 1965 Kennedy-Celler Immigration Holocaust bill—not those who were already here or their descendants.

“As long as there is at least one racially pure family somewhere (perhaps that family will be yours), your race will not be extinct. If there are no others remaining, then it seems that you would not object, since it obviously wasn’t the collective will of your race to maintain its own purity.”

1) I don’t have a concept of “racial purity.” “Race” by itself will do fine in all contexts, thanks very much. 2) “Collective will”? Poll after poll has expressed America’s “collective will” not to undergo race-replacement. 3) Extinguishing a race except for one family, as you put it, is an atrocity, a crime against humanity. It’s genocide.

“Every ‘race’ changes genetically and culturally through the generations: there are no exceptions, and there never have been.”

Good. Let’s let those natural processes—the “forces of nature”—continue to work.

“True, the pace of ethnic change is faster in our times for the same reason everything else changes faster in our times […]”

Does acceptance of natural changes over time, whatever those may be, entail acceptance of deliberate governmental race-replacement policies?

”[…] but in my opinion there is nothing to be feared […]”

Preference, righteous indignation, opposition, etc., are not “fear.” Calling them what they aren’t won’t facilitate communication.

“The question for our times is not, ‘Will our culture change?,’ but rather, ‘Will our culture retain what is good in its possession, recover the good that has been lost, and acquire the good that it never had?’ “

Fine. Can all this take place without forced massive race-replacement? If not, does race-replacement work in both directions, or only in one? Can whites move massively into non-white countries and replace the people there entirely with whites? I mean, is there tit-for-tat? Or is that a no-no?…

From an article in Vdare.com tonight:

“Never in history has the extinction of a culture been so brazenly and graphically promised by its enemies or so embraced and welcomed by its leaders.”

( http://vdare.com/misc/coombs_english_language.htm )

Truer words were never written.

Unadorned: “If race-replacement immigration will change the culture people have, like, and would rather keep, must they still endure it?”

This question is so loaded that I really don’t have time to unpack it, but I’ll give it a whirl anyway. What is “race replacement” immigration? Replacement means that one thing takes the place of another thing, one thing moves in while another thing moves out. Immigration involves people moving in: by definition it does not include people moving out. If by “race replacement” you mean that the host “race” becomes transformed into something else by intermarriage, well, that can’t happen without it’s collective consent. That is, if you go in for the notion of collective racial choices in the first place. And it still doesn’t mean that one race replaces another race.

Unadorned: “Can’t Christians who favor forcing it on a population …”

I’m not in favor of forcing race replacement on any population. See above.

Unadorned: “…find other ways of getting their self-abnegation moral highs? Can’t they just fast forty days or something?”

Why the anti-Christian mockery? Perhaps you take issue with the fact that Christians don’t generally view their neighbors of another race as foreign invaders, genocidal conquerors, or agents of President Bush’s race-replacement program?

Unadorned: “Just don’t forcibly replace the traditional race here, and I’ll be happy. So will majorities of Americans, judging by poll after poll.”

Deal.

Unadorned: “I favor repatriation of all illegals and also of non-whites and other incompatibles who have been brought here in excessive numbers as a result of the 1965 Kennedy-Celler Immigration Holocaust bill —”

I suppose there is widespread support for mass deportations of non-white American citizens in “poll after poll” as well, eh? I don’t pay much attention to polls, so I’ll have to take your word for it. Certainly nice to have all the cards on the table, though.

Unadorned: “— not those who were already here or their descendants.”

That’s mighty generous of you, but I don’t quite understand the arbitrary significance of 1965. Incompatible is incompatible. The host of VFR has publicy lamented that the Negro was ever brought to these shores due to racial incompatibility, and I would surmise that you agree with him. Therefore, if we’re going to break up families and neighborhoods and cities and regions and nations for the sake of racial compatibility, there is no reason not to do a thorough job of it.

Unadorned: “The people of a country, nation, region, tribe, or racial or ethnic grouping have a moral right to the preservation of that entity’s racial or ethnic make-up.”

No, they do not, except in the fertile imaginations of a few rootless and insecure men grasping for an identity of some kind.

JC: “[O]ne need look no further than the history of the Jews to see that ideas of racial autonomy and self-determination conflict with the designs of Providence more often than not.”

Unadorned: “I’m not sure what’s being referred to here: the Nazis?”

No, the Jews, and their collective rejection of Christ and the Catholic Church—a rejection motivated in part by an exaggerated concern for “racial preservation”.

JC: “The establishment of modern-day Israel was a tragic mistake: in fact, it was a crime. If that’s what you mean by ‘racial rights’ I’m afraid we are very far apart indeed.”

Unadorned: “After the world-wide de-colonisation from 1947 to the 60s many new nations were established around the globe. Was there something wrong with that?”

Yes, almost everything was wrong with that sorry epoch, but that’s more of a detour than I want to take at the moment.

Unadorned: “You are right that forced ‘population transfers,’ forced expulsions based on ethnicity in the aftermath of border changes, are tragic. The way to make them less tragic is through Steve Sailer’s concept of ‘good ethnic cleansing vs. bad ethnic cleansing’: you very generously compensate those who must move, so generously that, in effect, a bargain satisfactory to both parties is struck ( http://www.isteve.com/kosovo.htm ).”

That’s insane. Most people who are deeply rooted in their homeland can never be paid enough to leave. You could never pay me enough money to leave the United States, and you could never bribe me enough not to fight an invading army.

What is truly amazing is that you defend the armed, forced, bloody, and criminal “race replacement” of the Zionists (that’s where your term “race replacement” really applies), but have nothing but scorn for the peaceful, legal, and largely accepted immigration of non-whites to the United States.

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