I grew up in an incredibly small, overwhelmingly Southern Baptist town. The kind of place where almost everyone had some idea of when any given person in town had or hadn’t walked up in the main church (stationed straight across from the main grocery store) during the altar call to ask the Holy Spirit to come into their hearts, and “conservatism” meant being among the people keeping track more than anything else.
It was more important that your attitude towards the War on Terror was hope that Jesus and the Holy Spirit would guide George W. Bush to lead our country in “the right direction” (whatever that was) rather than having any sort of meaningful opinions about any of the policies themselves. These people weren’t “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” types; they genuinely hoped that, before it was all over and we did whatever had to be done, as many Muslims as possible would be saved.
Obviously, I had no idea yet what I was, but I sure as hell knew I wasn’t that — so it was only natural that my search for alternatives caused me to end up drifting towards the Left. Sure, like many others, I went through a libertarian phase as well. But the influences on libertarianism were heavily Leftist in spirit during this time anyway. Gary Johnson was already stating on record that libertarians are more naturally allied with progressives than with the Right, and this was the predominant mindset of most of the libertarians I personally knew. Regular contributors to the libertarian groups I was in eventually went on to design Left-wing anarchist websites with names like Abolish Work.
Save the odd comment from a Walter Block or a Hans-Hermann Hoppe (those crazy old curmudgeonly uncles of the group whose comments people were often fondly amused of, but rarely persuaded by), libertarianism was full of what were essentially just young, naive progressives who disagreed about what economic policies would best achieve progressive goals — people who really meant it when they said they wanted to eliminate the minimum wage so that more black teenagers could get jobs.
In other words, the only alternatives within reach were essentially one or another flavor of leftism. It was either “I want to save Muslims from eternal damnation in Hell for holding the wrong abstract, theological beliefs,” or “I want to save Muslims from eternal damnation to a world dominated by U.S. imperialism.” I don’t think anyone here can blame me for having felt at the age of 20 that the latter option was a hell of a lot less insane than the former (in fact, I still think it is). I didn’t end up where I am now because I discovered some new proposition that was being positively declared by some new group, and deciding that I agreed with it. I ended up where I am now because I discovered through experience who my real enemies are.
Had you asked me even a year ago, I never would have imagined that race would become such a prevalent topic in my writing. As I will discuss at length elsewhere, the Trayvon Martin case played an important role in my red-pilling. But the first thing I actually invested energy in writing was a ~100,000 word introduction and tour through philosophy of mind that eventually branched into a detailed analysis of the data from near-death experiences, where I defended the “reality” of these experiences against the claim that it’s obvious they’re simply the “phantasmagoria of a dying brain.”
I did write a couple of articles dealing with race early on. One demonstrated that a given white person is actually more likely to be shot per encounter with police than a given black person is. (The statistic ends up out of proportion to the white and black percentages of the population because there are more “given black persons” ending up in encounters with police than “given white persons” — and as I also show, this is not out of proportion to the black and white crime rates. While this is obvious to most sane people, it isn’t inherently obvious that this factor would be completely sufficient to account for the entirety of the black/white police shooting gap, or that the available evidence basically leaves no room for racism as even a supplementary factor alongside it.) The other demonstrated that the war on drugs actually came about because of the agitation of black victims of drug violence, and not because white lawmakers decided to use it as a pretext for jailing non-whites (against the claims of most liberals and libertarians).
But that was it, and as far as I was concerned, that could just as well have been the end of the focus on race in my writings. I moved on to an article discussing a feminist publication’s claim that women are “disproportionately victimized” because crime rates are falling faster for men than they are for women, even though there are still more men dying from acts of violence than women, as there have been for decades. (Karen Straughan ended up adding a comment to that one, which I’ll admit I was quite proud of.)
Another article discussed the fact that the gender sentencing gap that favors women for lighter sentences than men is much larger than the racial sentencing gap that favors whites for lighter sentences than blacks, in which I made the argument that these statistics prove that “black men in the criminal justice system share more in ‘oppression’ with white men on account of being male than they share in oppression with black women thanks to their race — and white men share more in oppression with black men on account of being male than they share in privilege with white women thanks to their race.” The idea was to work towards building a critique of the “social justice” narrative as a whole; but race, as I still saw it even then, was only a small part of that picture.
Now, I’m not sure if I am technically “a” White Nationalist or not. That probably depends on your definition.
I wrote an essay I titled “Ethnonationalism for Normies” to explain that I do think there are virtues to the position — I don’t think ethnonationalists are, by any means, bad people who are doing something inherently dirty by wanting to move towards an ethnonationalist state. At worst, if I were to decide that I didn’t want to live in an ethnonationalist state, they would be people who share a preference I happen not to fully share — like people who enjoy loud psychedelic trance music and want nothing more than to go to a place like Burning Man where they can be surrounded by others who share that preference too. Even if that wasn’t my own personal taste, why the hell would I want to go out of my way to shut down Burning Man? Someone who would try to do that would be my enemy, whether I had personally planned to attend the event or not.
Even as a libertarian, I always was at least sympathetic when people would express watered down perspectives like “why couldn’t we just put a whites-only area over here, and a blacks-only area over there, and an Asian-only area over there, and a mixed area in the middle, and then let people go to whichever one they want? Obviously all of us will end up in the mixed region, but still; why the hell not? If nothing else, then everyone in the mixed area could live in peace and not have to worry about the racists who’d run off to the other regions.”
Obviously, it’s clear from the content of my articles that I share many concerns held by White Nationalists. The mainstream media and academia do in fact quite often express bias against the white majority and in favor of narratives that imply a worldview in which, simultaneously, all races are exactly the same and only environmental circumstances ever cause us to appear to act differently; and yet whites are uniquely prone to commit evil against everyone else. The races are exactly equal in goodness, strength, truthfulness, and morality! — and yet until the evil white man who unlike everyone else is too stupid and vain to recognize it stepped onto the scene, we all understood this a long time ago.
These narratives would be disastrous if taken seriously, precisely because they are false. We have articles in the mainstream press touting a study that claimed that white conservatives are “more likely to kill you” than Islamic terrorists (which, as I show, is sheer nonsense) and studies claiming that blacks are discriminated against per se in job hiring which are surprisingly easy to refute. This bias is even, in large part, responsible for the very economic crash of 2007–2008 that the U.S. is still recovering from, so it’s hardly some small, trifling matter. And yes, there are also undeniably very clear double standards in what we’re allowed and supposed to say about the socioeconomic successes of whites versus Jews, and that has to mean something.
Now, it’s not that I hold some strong sentimental attachment to civic nationalism deep down inside my heart — I’m just not quite convinced yet that we can’t comfortably secure our interests through what Greg Johnson calls “metapolitics” alone — in the cultural realm in which we expose truths like these with intelligence and explain and defend them with integrity — without actually needing to adopt any explicitly “White Nationalist” policies. If, even according to White Nationalists themselves, Jews can do such a great job of securing their own interests in even the most diverse societies as a minority, well . . . why can’t we?
I think I actually represent a rather normal, boring everyday “white perspective” in that I don’t want to live in places exposed to high levels of crime (well, duh), and I don’t want “activists” allowed to block the highways I need to drive on to get to work (well, duh) — but unless and until political violence of that sort enters the picture, I really am approximately as “colorblind” as it’s possible for a human to be in my everyday personal relationships.
But now, consider this: I’ve had extended conversations with Greg about my points of agreement and disagreement with full-blown White Nationalism. These conversations were polite, civil, interesting, and never once devolved into accusations that anyone was a piece of shit because of their perspective. You could argue that compared to mainstream arrangement, I have similar degrees of agreement and disagreement with vegans — I would love to see the kinds of industrial slaughterhouses we have in the United States today wiped off the face of the Earth, and while I ultimately prefer them being replaced with things like holistic grazing rather than exclusively vegan agriculture, that still places me far closer to vegans than mainstream society in terms of what we ultimately want, at least compared to where we are now.
So why is that White Nationalists have welcomed me whereas vegans usually treat me like scum of the earth despite how deeply I share one of the largest planks of their ultimate goals which mainstream society stands against them on? Why don’t we find ourselves in even strategic alliances? How many vegan communities do you think would welcome me as a speaker on the horrors of modern concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) if I was open about the fact that I’m actually undecided about adopting a vegan diet?
I think the answer really is as simple as that White Nationalists are ironically far more “tolerant” people as people than the stereotypes would have you believe.
Over the course of the last several months, I’ve been working through an intensely difficult personal situation. Just recently, my wife has been dealing with resurfacing memories of the childhood rape that left her with lifelong PTSD. And I’ve been talking openly about my own experiences with mental illness as I battle alternating waves of Tony Soprano-level panic attacks, temporary but repeated and serious episodes of chronic fatigue and depression, attacks of something I can’t find any explanation for besides auras from temporal lobe seizures that have literally given me half-hour episodes of physical inability to speak, and more.
Based on all of this, one would imagine I would have found a better home somewhere on Tumblr than anywhere within the political “Right.” But — I’m sure partly because anyone close to me can see that I am fighting these things, and not just trying to wrap them around me like a blanket as the entire definition of my identity henceforth — I’ve found a tremendous amount of personal support from people I’ve met through these political networks (including Greg himself). I’ve only had a couple of people imply judgmentally that I deserve what I get if I don’t just pick myself up by my bootstraps, and because I treated them like human beings and simply explained what I’m actually going through in response to their comments without resorting to self-righteous moral objection because they dared say such an offensive thing, even they ended up joining the ranks of those on my side and sincerely trying to figure out how to help.
And at the same time that I’ve found those experiences so remarkable for changing my expectations, I’ve run into two liberals who were sharing those old “Right-wing extremists are more likely to kill you than Muslim extremists” article. In response to their posts of those articles, I linked to my rebuttal (for which I literally read through the entire database and looked at each case that was classified as “Islamic” or “Right-wing” terrorism to see what grounds the authors had for doing so) — and I was immediately faced with spit-spraying screams accusing me of having committed the unforgivable moral sin of racism, and treated like I was either a dangerous monster or a prejudiced idiot with zero possibility of redemption from there on. All this for correcting the statistics on per capita rates of ideologically motivated violence between these two groups that they were interested in first, because of another article that did it badly — an article they liked when they thought its conclusion reflected badly on whites. And as soon as I show that the very numbers they wanted to wave so haughtily around against whites actually do in fact reflect more poorly on Muslims than they do on white conservatives, they immediately act like I’m scum beneath even continuing to converse with.
“Democrats are the real racists”-type arguments might suck as a rhetorical strategy, but to be perfectly frank, I still think there’s a large grain of truth to them. They’re the ones who are motivated into their conclusions by race itself. They’re the reason I can’t just write a simple article or two addressing racial topics and move on, because after I write that first couple of articles, from then on what I think about those topics is basically the entirety of who I am to them, whether I want it to be or not.
While we have plenty of room in our regular understanding of the world for the person who holds all the “correct” progressive beliefs about race but is a hypocrite because he still choosee to live in a nice, liberal, secluded white area and effectively acts like a white separatist in his actual private life (like the notorious anti-racist “white” guy Tim Wise), there is no room for the person who doesn’t hold all those “correct” progressive beliefs about race and instead holds a whole host of “offensive” ones, and yet nonetheless doesn’t “practice racism” in his personal life at all, still treating anyone he’s admitted into his personal circle the same regardless of race.
If I were black, would I prefer a Tim Wise who gives a speech with themes I like and then packs up to go sleep at a home placed as far away from me and my town as possible, or a Chuck Norris who would meet me at a Texas Roadhouse to talk honestly about his “offensive” beliefs? The “politically correct” Left is full of Tim Wises, but the “politically incorrect” Right is full of Chuck Norrises, as well. And Leftists really can’t seem to wrap their heads around either archetype.