The Unbearable Lightness of Identity Politics


I blogged yesterday about “The New York Times” hiring a Korean-American anti-white bigot to their editorial board. Andrew Sullivan now provides the ideological context much better and more succinctly than I ever could in his latest for the “New York” mag (I have a soft spot for Sullivan, who was the first major American blogger to take notice of the original Chrenkoff blog and say some nice things about it, even if we parted ways politically later on):

But the alternative view — that of today’s political left — is that Jeong definitionally cannot be racist, because she’s both a woman and a racial minority. Racism against whites, in this neo-Marxist view, just “isn’t a thing” — just as misandry literally cannot exist at all. And this is because, in this paradigm, racism has nothing to do with a person’s willingness to pre-judge people by the color of their skin, or to make broad, ugly generalizations about whole groups of people, based on hoary stereotypes. Rather, racism is entirely institutional and systemic, a function of power, and therefore it can only be expressed by the powerful — i.e., primarily white, straight men. For a nonwhite female, like Sarah Jeong, it is simply impossible. In the religion of social constructionism, Jeong, by virtue of being an Asian woman, is one of the elect, incapable of the sin of racism or group prejudice. All she is doing is resisting whiteness and maleness, which indeed require resistance every second of the day…


And I don’t think the New York Times should fire her — in part because they largely share her views on race, gender, and oppression. Their entire hiring and editorial process is based on them…


Yes, we all live on campus now. The neo-Marxist analysis of society, in which we are all mere appendages of various groups of oppressors and oppressed, and in which the oppressed definitionally cannot be at fault, is now the governing philosophy of almost all liberal media. That’s how the Washington Post can provide a platform for raw misandry, and the New York Times can hire and defend someone who expresses racial hatred. The great thing about being in the social justice movement is how liberating it can feel to give voice to incendiary, satisfying bigotry — and know that you’re still on the right side of history.

Indeed, the world, at least the Western world, is now a campus.

What Sullivan modestly doesn’t mention in his piece is that he himself has been at the receiving end of Jeong’s attention only two years ago, when she called him a “racist” and a “dipshit” and barracked for him being fired and silenced (he wasn’t). Sullivan’s offence?

In addressing the reasons why Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, Sullivan took a detour into racial issues, suggesting that the relative success of Asian-Americans proves that the U.S. does not have overwhelming structural racism.

“Asian-Americans, like Jews, are indeed a problem for the ‘social-justice’ brigade. I mean, how on earth have both ethnic groups done so well in such a profoundly racist society?” Sullivan asked in his New York magazine column. “Asian-Americans, for example, have been subject to some of the most brutal oppression, racial hatred, and open discrimination over the years. … Yet, today, Asian-Americans are among the most prosperous, well-educated, and successful ethnic groups in America. What gives?”

Sullivan concluded that Asian-Americans’ hard work and determination “turned false, negative stereotypes into true, positive ones.”

As Robinson pointed out, Sullivan effectively defended racial stereotypes — and Asian-Americans are an extremely diverse group. All the same, Sullivan’s point is a fairly good one: the United States is a meritocracy, and while some racial stereotypes tragically still exist, it is possible for anyone to achieve the American dream.

Sullivan could have stated his point a bit more eloquently, and he arguably should have avoided stereotyping any race. Even so, his remarks pale in comparison to Jeong’s direct attacks on people based on the color of their skin.

Sullivan thinks that Asian-Americans are successful because they value education and hard work? What a fucking disgusting racist! Off with his head. Unlike Tyler O’Neil at PJ Media above, I’m at a loss how one is to write anything about the societal meta issues without some generalising. Yes, “Asian-American are an extremely diverse group”, but every large group is extremely diverse – whites, blacks, Jews, Catholics, football fans, rock music enthusiasts, gays, etc. If you want to be “a bit more eloquent” – and more accurate – perhaps preface all the characterisations you make with “many ” or “a large section of”.   But it’s ironic that those raging the most about stereotypes  are more than happy to (negatively) stereotype all the groups they don’t like, like conservatives, Trump voters, men, white people, Christians, and so on. Or, should I say “many of those raging the most about stereotypes…”

Needless to say, Sullivan’s latest column about Jeong, where he calls out her obsession with and her rhetoric about white people – coincidentally without calling for her professional scalp – has likewise attracted criticism from the similar leftie quarters, including from his “New York” colleague:

We are truly living in two completely different world now: the ever-expanding campus and the real world.

But in other ways it is nothing new – just the same old Marxism, merely warmed up and updated for the new, naive generation. Or, as a former Clinton campaign guy explains:

Yes, this is essentially Marxism that got sick and tired of the working class which never quite delivered on its revolutionary potential. And so the working class has been replaced with the wokeing class. If you really want to understand why “YOU CANNOT BE RACIST AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE”, take “The Capital” and substitute white people for the capitalist-bourgeoisie oppressors and everyone one – but particularly people of colour – for the oppressed masses. In this Manichean worldview, where gender is fluid but politics is still very binary, one whole group of people is evil, violent, privileged and all-powerful while the rest of the society are its victims – the wretched of the Earth, the global proletariat, the exploited and discriminated against majority. The former can do no right, the latter can do no wrong. The former are vile, the latter are virtuous. The former are on the wrong side of history (we all know what happens to the ruling class in Marxist theory – though neither in Marxist or non-Marxist practice), the latter are the future.  You cannot be racist against white people any more than the working class could have been classist against the capital that exploited them. And if you are prejudiced against a dominant group  – or race, in this context – if you hate, despise, malign the whitey, well, who could really blame you? The dominant group are the diabolical beneficiaries of the unjust power structure and so deserve all your hatred and contempt. As a victim and the oppressed it would be downright strange, a case of false consciousness in fact, if you didn’t hate your victimisers and oppressors.

And so, here we go again. As Marx himself had said, history repeats itself, first time as a tragedy, the second time as a farce. So it is with his philosophy – Marxism too repeats itself, first time, during the 20th century, as a tragedy; today, in the 21st century, as a farce. Or at least let us hope that it stays just a farce.

Needless to say, Marxism was bullshit the first time, and it is bullshit in its second coming. As is any collectivist ideology that separates people into groups with immutable characteristics and pits them against one another in a historical blood-match to the death. But despite all its deadly failures, generation after generation, its siren call keeps finding many who will listen.