Filed under: Analysis, Anti-fascist, US, White Supremacy
Today, Turning Point USA communications director and Alt-Lite rising social media star Candace Owens was one of 8 people invited to the House Judiciary Committee to testify on white nationalism and the rise of far-Right violence in the US and abroad. Owens, who was asked to testify by Republicans, predictably argued that white nationalism was not a threat and echoing Kati Gorka and others, claimed that the government should instead investigate those who were opposed to fascism, antifascists.
Owens, who has appeared on far-Right conspiracy programs like InfoWars and argued that events like Unite the Right were in fact staged and who recently stated that the German Nazi regime was fine until it left the borders of Germany to become “globalist,” argued in front of the committee that white nationalism was nothing more than a scary boogeyman created to get Democratic votes. She stated:
The goal here is to scare blacks, Hispanics, gays, and Muslims into helping [Democrats] censor dissenting opinions, ultimately into helping them regain control. White supremacy, racism, white nationalism, words that once held real meaning, have now become nothing more than election strategies.
Ironically, Turning Point USA has often been linked to the Alt-Right itself, had to fire several people in leadership when racist and anti-Black text message exchanges came to light, been documented rubbing elbows with members of the Proud Boys, and several weeks ago it was revealed that members of Identity Evropa were involved in infiltrating the group. Turning Point USA’s leader, Charlie Kirk, the son of wealthy architect, “Robert W. Kirk…the project manager for Trump Tower in New York,” even went on record about the problem of white nationalists working inside the organization. Speaking with VICE he stated:
“Groups like this borrow mainstream political language, mix it with hate, in order to confuse students who are maybe unaware of their intentions. It’s a moving target, but one TPUSA is committed to identifying and calling out when it’s brought to our attention.”
Organizations like Turning Point USA, which was seeded, funded, and kept afloat by wealthy billionaires, people from within the fossil fuel industry, and connections to the Trump organization, Fox News, and the Republican party, exist as a clear middle ground between the Alt-Right and electoral politics. They also represent the current strategy of the MAGAfied Republican party post-Unite the Right, which is to deny that white nationalism is a problem, or that it even exists, and instead claim that the real danger comes from “the Left,” while at the same time, mining the far-Right for talking points, ideas, and conspiracy theories to animate the base. But while demonizing immigrants and flirting with Q-anon sells, it more importantly helps distract from the GOP’s full on class war assault.
But beyond these easily debunked lies about where the majority of political violence aimed at the public comes from, is another set of talking points that was set in motion back in the early 1990s from someone that would in fact give birth to the Alt-Right and work to mainstream white nationalist talking points within the coming terrain, helping to build the foundation of what Tucker Carlson and Candace Owens now utilize today. This person is none other than Richard Spencer’s mentor, Jared Taylor.
“In its own modest way, Paved With Good Intentions was part of a steady evolution in what it is permitted to say about race in the American “mainstream.”‘ – Jared Taylor
Like Gavin McInness who would later write for Taylor’s white nationalist publication, American Renaissance, Occupy livestreamer turned far-Right media grifter Tim Pool, and Candace Owens herself, Jared Taylor began his political career by presenting himself as a former liberal. After launching American Renaissance in 1990 and then publishing his second book (the first being about Japan, where he grew up) in 1992, Taylor soon found himself entering more mainstream circles as he promoted his book, Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America. In the wake of the LA Rebellion, Taylor’s book would soon find its arguments were embraced by much of the wider Right, in a post-civil rights period that was trying to come to terms with explosive rebellion within neoliberal society.
Published by a “well-regarded house, Carroll & Graf,” according to Leonard Zeskind in Blood and Politics, it was also reviewed in the Wall Street Journal which wrote: “Mr. Taylor’s book is easily the most comprehensive indictment of the race-conscious civil rights policies of the past three decades.” Peter Brimelow, who would go on to speak at various white nationalist conferences alongside Richard Spencer and Taylor, and who still rubs elbows at mainstream events, such as this year’s CPAC, also reviewed the book in the National Review. Taylor also appeared on Crossfire, a show hosted by paleoconservative Pat Buchanan, another Republican with one foot in the mainstream and another in white nationalism, as well as on Bob Grant’s radio show. FAIR also commented on the wide range of publications that allowed Taylor to promote his views in the wake of Paved being published:
Taylor, the self-described “racialist” and “white separatist” editor of The American Renaissance, has had articles on race published in the Baltimore Sun (2/4/94) and the Cleveland Plain Dealer (11/30/90). His work has been positively cited by columnist Tony Snow (Chicago Tribune, 5/16/94) and Patrick Buchanan (Houston Chronicle, 3/5/93).
While seen as someone on the edge of the mainstream, Taylor still found himself with a path to the center, all the while presenting himself not as a Klansman, but instead as a former liberal that finally had come to see an inconvenient truth.
But the importance of Taylor’s work resides largely in the simple arguments that it makes within its pages; arguments that have fundamentally reshaped and guided Right and “conservative” discourse.
Days of Future Past
The first major argument made by Taylor in Paved is that while horrible things happened to indigenous people and African-Americans on American soil, those were things that happened in the past. The argument continues that despite this, while some racism may remain on a personal level, on a structural level, it has been eradicated. As Taylor wrote, “Though America is by no means perfect, racism is no longer central to its national character.” Taylor concludes then that government programs from welfare to Affirmative Action are thus misguided and misplaced, and in fact only make things worse for both society as a whole and “formerly” oppressed groups.
This is an argument that has been picked up on and expanded by people such as Tucker Carlson and Candace Owens. Both have argued that it can’t be possible for racism to exist in today’s world, since there is no longer racial slavery or Jim Crow. According to them, what is called racism today is simply a liberal mental creation that uses identity politics to scare voters into becoming Democrats (although Democrats are really the party of the KKK) and demonize white men, they argue.
As Owens argued during the hearing, talk of white nationalism is simply an electoral strategy created by the Democrats. As Dinesh D’Souza wrote in his 1995 book (which Jared Taylor saw as a continuation of his work), The End of Racism, the US “no longer has the power to thwart blacks or any other group in achieving their economic, political, and social aspirations.” Coming full circle, as Zeskind wrote, Taylor believed that “[a]fter the passage of the Voting Rights Act and other civil rights laws in the 1960s…any remaining problems of race lay with the inadequacies of black people.”
But the argument then evolves. Not only is structural racism over, as is also, structural patriarchy, and thus any attempts to rectify these ills are misguided, but moreover, that if there is racism today, it is racism against white people themselves. This again has become a huge talking point on the Right, as white men are now presented as the chief victims in a multi-cultural society in which white people are fast becoming a minority. According to Taylor, this narrative has caught on and is influencing the wider Right as well as policy. As Taylor wrote on V-Dare:
Since I wrote Paved With Good Intentions it is has become possible to criticize “affirmative action” not only for the treacly, liberal reason that it hurts blacks by discrediting the accomplishments of whose who can succeed without preferences, but for the straightforward reason that it is unfair to whites.
In 1995 the Board of Regents of the University of California voted to abolish racial preferences, and two years later California voters approved Proposition 209, which forbids the state to practice race or sex preferences.
Similar bans have been put to the vote in other states, and although in June 2003 the U.S. Supreme Court failed to find racial preferences in college admissions unconstitutional, many universities are scaling back and even eliminating preference policies. Some progress is being made.
From this vantage point, the viewing of racism as something to be relegated to the past or simply existing in the imaginations of liberals, Leftists, and participants in social movements, and moreover, the conception of white men as the chief victims of today’s “real racism,” one can begin to swallow the final pill: the idea of “white genocide” and the “Great Replacement.” And if this final analysis is arrived at, then no amount of violence carried out in the name of ending it will be seen as problematic. After all, what’s 50 dead people in a mosque the face of “genocide?”
Fake News Doesn’t Care About Your Mass Shootings
At a time when anger is rising about everything from Trump, to income inequality, to mass detention of people at the border, to increasing far-Right violence against members of the public, many of those within the wider Right are pushing to run defense. This in itself speaks volumes about people like Candace Owens and others, who weaponize their identity while attacking the very idea of structural white supremacy and auxiliary far-Right violence. Ironically, it is people like Owens who have become some of the largest stars within the far-Right, as they have given the struggle against multiculturalism a multicultural face. The end result is organizations very closely tied to the State, mass media, and large corporations acting as a shield for far-Right groups carrying out everything from bombings to mass shootings. The purpose of this seems clear: to above all create a sense of unity on the Right behind Donald Trump and his surrounding cult at a time when the far-Right coalition that elected him is in danger of breaking apart as public support continues to slip.
Towards this end, grifters like Carlson and Owens will continue to promote a series of conspiracy theories, lies, and literal fake news to advance their set of ideas. But central among them will continue to be the foundational ideals laid out by Taylor that structural white supremacy is a thing of the past and white genocide is the wave of the future.
At their core, idiots like #CandaceOwens and #TurningPoint back a system of industrial capitalism, surveillance, and US empire that's more globalized than any Soros trope they get paid by wealthy backers to spout. pic.twitter.com/U15VCkSiBv
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) February 9, 2019
The final irony in all of this however, is that the people that first wrote, cultivated, and hammered out these ideas: paleoconservatives, “race realists,” white nationalists, and the Alt-Right, have largely been pushed out of the public square, only to have their ideas looted from them by a coalition of trolls, YouTube grifters, and multiracial Trump devotees who ironically insist that they do not even exist.
For poor and working people and autonomous social movements, its up to us to show that this reality only further hammers home our point. That organizations such as TPUSA and the trolling class are largely creations of both billionaires and algorithms; made possible, supported by, and more importantly – kept alive, by segments of the mass media and sections of the elites. Their religious like devotion to people like Trump is only matched by their ability to mascaraed his administration has a friend to the poor and workers, while the elites loot the country, fill their pockets with wealth we create, dehumanize and attack entire sections of the population, and destroy the living environment.
White supremacy has always been a system based around the cross class relationship between the ruling class and reactionary sections of the middle and working class. As wages plummet and the cost of living rises, the wealth gap grows, crisis mounts on every front, and fascists mow down everyone from school children to church worshipers – its up to the grifters like Owens and Tucker to make sure that the rest of us keep telling ourselves that the syrup on shit we’re being fed is in fact pancakes.