White Angst Akbar Print
Politics
Written by Ben Merkle   
Friday, 06 November 2009 16:01

When President Obama first commented on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. he began by admitting that he didn’t know the facts of the case, nevertheless he was still ready to assert that the police had acted stupidly and that we all needed to remember that American police had regularly treated Latinos and African-Americans unjustly. Then, yesterday, when Nidal Malik Hasan went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, shouting Allahu Akbar and killing thirteen US soldiers, President Obama again admitted that the facts were unknown to us. But this time he wisely urged that no one jump to conclusions about the case. Positively Solomonic.

The double standard here, a quickness to suspect race profiling and abuse when a black man is arrested and then caution and restraint when commenting on a Muslim shooting spree, is nothing new.

We have come to expect our political and cultural leaders to bear a grudge against vanilla America. It is expected that American leaders will be dominated by a strange obsession with self-loathing and a weird infatuation with relishing the sensation of our own cultural guilt. From affirmative action to Title IX to hate crimes legislation, we have grown accustomed to the American establishment hating and despising the American establishment. And so we shouldn’t be surprised that our nation is actively looking for ways to privilege those things that are alien to and even violently hostile to western culture.

Now there is an inevitable frustration that this sort of ludicrous behavior fosters. But more than the injustice to which things like affirmative action inevitably lead, there is an incredibly frustrating incomprehensibility to the whole thing. What sense does it make for a culture to be defined by self-loathing? We are at a point where it is difficult now to hear someone referred to as a middle class white male, without that description being intended as an insult. But what is truly strange about our situation is that the person who made the jab will usually be white, middle class, and probably male themselves. There is nothing more chic in modern America than a loathing of modern American culture.

It is even stranger when this sort of self-detestation arises in a culture that is convinced of the Darwinian worldview. You claim that the only way to the top is dominance and survival of the fittest. And then suddenly the culture at the top begins to loath itself for being at the top. How does this make sense? It is cultural suicide. And we have to wonder why.

Now, change the subject for a moment. If you have watched much of Douglas Wilson’s interaction with Christopher Hitchens over the past year or so, you have seen a fantastic example of the power of the presuppositional argument. “There is no God. Deal with it.” Right. Have it your way. “But if there is no God, then there is no such thing as objective good or objective evil. Deal with it.” You can watch this play run again and again, from every single position on the field, and it scores every time. So you start to wonder, aren’t they ever going to come up with an answer for this one?

The quintessential example is always Hitler and the Jews. If there is no God, then there was nothing objectively wrong, morally speaking, with what Hitler was doing. Six million dead. Deal with it.

But maybe that is what America is still trying to do. Maybe we are still trying to deal with it. If we can’t say that Hitler was morally wrong, then perhaps we are, collectively, trying to say that he was at least factually mistaken? Is white, self-loathing one desperate attempt to still win that debate? Millions of angst-ridden whities, asserting that we are not the supreme race. No. We are worms. We are deforestating, river-pollutating, carbon-spewing, indigenous-people-displacing, worms.

It doesn’t answer the presuppositional argument. It is a desperate attempt to answer the most commonly used version of the argument. But it is the best shot at an answer and so they desperately cling to it.



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Last Updated on Monday, 09 November 2009 12:10