Greenfield: The Myth of White Supremacy
The largest mob lynching in the South was of Italians.railed. “Lynch law was the only course open to the people of New Orleans.”The 1891 lynching of 11 Italians in New Orleans, after a roundup of over 1,000 Italians, grew out of an internal conflict among Louisiana Democrats and was praised by progressives of the era. “These sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins,” the New York Times editorial board
Future Louisiana Gov. John M. Parker, who helped organize the lynchings, described Italians as “just a little worse than the Negro, being if anything filthier in habits, lawless, and treacherous.”Columbus Day was created as a quasi-apology to Italian-Americans for the lynchings which held only until Democrat identity politics began tearing down statues of the Italian explorer. The myth of white supremacy is a story retroactively invented during the civil rights movement. The KKK targeted Catholics and Jews. It hailed the “anglo-saxon white man” rather than viewing skin color as the only thing that mattered. The black-and-white view of history in which bigotry was as binary as 1950s drinking fountains in Alabama reflected only a very brief reality during a decade or two in which the Irish, Italians and Jews had come to be accepted. An era of growing tolerance for minorities was ironically the prerequisite for both the widespread acceptance of the civil rights movement and the distortions of civil rights history that we are dealing with today. White supremacy was a myth born out of a more tolerant era in which prejudice toward black people briefly became the most defining form of bigotry. One that most people quickly rejected. Baby Boomers, the most influential generation in history, mistook their youthful experiences for absolute reality. Knowing nothing of history and caring even less, they used their vast cultural powers to make the 60s into the ‘ground zero’ of American history. Generations have grown up with their ahistorical view of “white supremacy” encoded in education and entertainment.
The myth of white supremacy has divided Americans into an artificial racial binary created by the aftermath of the civil rights movement. The descendants of Italians, Irish and Jews who faced persecution and lynchings are denounced for their “white privilege”. Historical revisionism has become even more grandiose with attempts like the 1619 Project to define all of American history around the racial binary. Critical race theory insists that the racial binary is inescapable.admired Hitler. And the Nazis tried to influence African-Americans. “There have never been lynchings of colored men in Germany. They have always been treated decently,” Nazi propaganda aimed at African-American GIs claimed. “So you don’t have to be afraid to be with Germans.” Liberal Jews struggle to tell the story of the Holocaust in the face of a dishonest mythical racial binary that groups Jews and Nazis together. And there is no way to tell that story or any other, those of lynched Italian immigrants, the Swedish immigrants on the plains, the Irish fighting for their rights, and the manifold conflicts that shaped Europe and modern civilization, not to mention the entire history of the Middle East, without demolishing the big lie of the racial binary. America was not defined by “white supremacy” and nor was any other place. The KKK and the Nazis were not “white supremacists”, they were upholding power for their own group while persecuting and killing a broad spectrum of people from other groups. Having light colored skin did not mean getting a free pass from the KKK, let alone the Nazis who killed millions of people, the vast majority of whom would be considered white by today’s woke cultural establishment. What we think of as “white supremacy” is a racist movement that arose largely in response to the civil rights movement. It quickly became marginalized and while its proponents hate black people, they also hate Jews. Recent domestic terrorist attacks carried out by self-identified white supremacists have been evenly divided between targeting Jews and black people. A growing number of white supremacists are Latino making the racial binary even more senseless. But the idea of Latinos as a non-white race is an absurd addendum to the racial binary which is entirely detached from European and Latin American history and can be traced back to a liberal search for new minorities to recruit in the wake of the civil rights movement. Having decided that Latinos are non-white, liberals are confused when some Latinos decide that they are not only white, but members of a white master race. But the entire concept of La Raza or ‘The Race’ came from a Mexican intellectual who was an enthusiast of Nazi Germany. Marcus Garvey, the founding father of black nationalism, and Jose Vasconcelos, the founding father of La Raza’s Latino racial nationalism, were both admirers of Hitler’s racialism. Contrary to the myth of white supremacy, in which white racialism is evil and those of other races is good, white supremacy, black nationalism and Latino racial nationalism derive from the same sources. Racists of all races admire other racists. The greatest woke lie may be that the alternative to racism is anti-racism. Liberals used to know that the alternative to racism is not hating others. But rather than admit that white supremacy and the racial binary are a myth and that the country is dealing with intergroup conflicts, as it always has, and that the boundaries between those groups are often artificial, Democrats and the media are doubling down on the racial narrative that lies at the heart of their power base that the civil rights movement still defines our history. When we stop treating people as heroes or villains based on their skin color and actually look at what they believe, we will actually be able to address real bigotry, instead of convoluted exercises in racial power politics like redefining black racism as reverse racism or anti-racism. Bigotry is inherent in human nature. No one of any race, ethnicity or creed is immune from it, but that doesn’t mean that we need to be bound by it. The impact of different bigotries can be defined by power, but power comes in different forms, and it has been a very long time since any large racial group in America was powerless: either politically or physically. America doesn’t face a problem of white supremacy, but a multitude of quarreling groups who distrust each other and who have come to believe that success is a zero sum game. Democrat identity politics is so busy creating new groups from sexual fetishes and immigration that it never gets around to noticing that none of the existing groups get along with each other. Diversity has ceased to unify, as it briefly did during the high points in American history, and has become a politically convenient source of division. The emphasis on a racial binary only makes all of that worse by turning Italians, the Irish, the Jews and, these days even Asians and Latinos who can be accused of “internalized whiteness” into scapegoats for Democrat social disasters. White supremacy isn’t the issue, identity supremacy is. Generations have been told by the Democrats, by their educational systems and entertainment that they are defined by identity politics and that positive change will come when they narrowly fight for the interests of their group, while suspecting the worst of members of other groups, especially white people. Non-white people are taught to believe that white people are hoarding power. In San Francisco, black people are being urged to demand slave reparations from the Asian population. Women are encouraged to resent men. Transgenders are told to hate women. Within the LGBTQ movement, gay men have become scapegoats. California just passed a ban on “caste discrimination” among Indians. This is what the utopia of the perpetually aggrieved looks like. This isn’t white supremacy: it’s identity supremacy. And if we don’t move beyond it, there will be no nation, only one long endless civil war across the fractured territories of what was America.The racial binary denies the oppression of anyone who can be seen as white. In an extreme example, Whoopi Goldberg sneered that the Holocaust was “white people doing it to white people. Y’all go fight amongst yourselves.” When the racial binary is the only measure of prejudice, thousands of years of Jewish, Irish, Slavic, Catholic, Protestant and other histories of persecution, oppression and martyrdom are irrelevant because the participants are “white”. Outside the racial binary, no one else’s oppression matters and so no one else’s history matters. The myth of white supremacy doesn’t just grotesquely twist American history around the racial binary, it usurps and eliminates the histories of Europe and even the Middle East. Jesus, a Jewish man, is depicted as black. Cleopatra, a Greek queen, also becomes black. The decade of distortion of the civil rights movement reaches thousands of years back to racialize the past. And in the process it eliminates the histories and struggles of much of the world. White supremacy is a myth. The KKK was not upholding a racial binary, but the supremacy of its particular group, Southern Anglo-Saxons with a certain pedigree, against all comers, French, Irish, Italians, Jews, blacks and anyone else who wasn’t a member of its narrow demographic. But that’s what inner city gangs also do with Latino and black gangs clashing over turf. It’s also reflected in the early 20th century urban clashes between Germans, Irish, Jewish, and Italians. The KKK was not a unique phenomenon. Similar identity politics battles go back to the founding of America with nativists fighting off the Irish in New York City even in the early 1800s. The Nazis, another group that tends to be used to represent a simplistic racial binary, weren’t white supremacists either. National Socialist ideology believed that Germans were descended from the Aryan peoples who had migrated out of India. That was why they adopted the ‘swastika’, a Buddhist symbol, as their emblem. The Nazis conducted extensive outreach to Arab and African Muslims, to Asian and Latin America, and recruited black soldiers into the Wehrmacht. Hitler’s closest ally outside of Europe was Imperial Japan. The Japanese and Chinese were declared to be honorary aryans. While the Nazis were chasing people like my father, a blonde blue-eyed teenager who was valuable to the partisans because he looked a lot more like the Aryan ideal than Hitler, black entertainers were working in Berlin and Paris, and black soldiers were fighting for Germany. The Nazis despised black people and criminalized any relationship with German women, but they viewed Jews and gypsies as an urgent racial threat to be exterminated at all costs. Black nationalists like Marcus Garvey