Thursday, January 26, 2017


Hey it's another Rod Dreher "Reader" Mailbag! As with previous editions, you have to believe everyone who writes to Dreher has approximately the same literary style and language skills level. It's possible! And anyway it's more fun if you suspend disbelief. Ready? Good! Today's a double feature -- two guys who are thinking of joining a White Identity cult because the blacks and the liberals turn them off!

This is from Baby Skin #1:
I’m a white guy.
Let's get that straight right off the bat!
I’m a well-educated intellectual who enjoys small arthouse movies, coffehouses and classic blues. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably mistake me for a lefty urban hipster.
Dunno, but I have a feeling once you start talking the mystery's over, Mr. I'm A White Guy.
And yet. I find some of the alt-right stuff exerts a pull even on me. Even though I’m smart and informed enough to see through it.
Well-educated, and smart and informed! And white! I can see why we're all paying attention to him.
It’s seductive because I am not a person with any power or privilege, and yet I am constantly bombarded with messages telling me that I’m a cancer, I’m a problem, everything is my fault.
Then maybe it's time you made new friends. Maybe try that before becoming a Nazi! I mean it's a big decision.

After telling us he's not rolling in dough, and has to mow his own lawn despite his brains and education -- ha, tell me about it, bro! -- Baby Skin #1 tells us what's really ticking him off.
But oh, brother, to hear the media tell it, I am just drowning in unearned power and privilege, and America will be a much brighter, more loving, more peaceful nation when I finally just keel over and die.
Maybe he's more broke than he lets on and the only "media" he has access to is an old Black Panther newspaper he found at a yard sale. More likely he's one of those conservatives who lost his TV remote during the Clinton Administration.
Trust me: After all that, some of the alt-right stuff feels like a warm, soothing bath. A “safe space,” if you will. I recoil from the uglier stuff, but some of it — the “hey, white guys are actually okay, you know! Be proud of yourself, white man!” stuff is really VERY seductive, and it is only with some intellectual effort that I can resist the pull.
But though intellectual effort should come easy to a bright feller-me-lad like him, he's not sure how long he can hold out against the pull of his Aryan heritage. And if he can't, guess whose fault it'll be?
...It baffles me that more people on the left can’t understand this, can’t see how they’re just feeding, feeding, feeding the growth of this stuff. They have no problem understanding, and even making excuses for, say, the seductive pull of angry black radicalism for disaffected black men. They’re totally cool with straightforwardly racist stuff like La Raza. Why are they unable to put themselves into the shoes of disaffected white guys and see how something similar might appeal to them? Or if they can make this mental leap, why are they so caustically dismissive of it — an attitude they’d never do with, say, a black kid who has joined the Nation of Islam?
And we're about to lose him -- he, who might have been such a ornament to The Left! -- because we were too nice to blacks and Latinos and the TV was mean to Mr. Charlie. But I gotta ask: if he's so mad at liberals and so torn about going White Pride, why can't he compromise and just become a regular conservative?

Sorta answers itself, don't it?

We don't have to spend much time with Baby Skin #2, since he seems cut from the same cloth (or typed on the same laptop) -- he says libs made him Bund-curious, and you'll be real sorry when it happens (he even ends, I swear to God, "What follows from all of this cannot bode well"), but let me give you the flavor:
I totally get where [Baby Skin #1] is coming from. I’m in his shoes for the most part: white, Christian, male, straight. Add to that that I’m a Southerner. But I’m also a PhD candidate in the humanities...
The new Nazis -- they're so schooly! a discipline where my whole demographic configuration is routinely and openly disparaged as being the fount of all evil in this world.
I've been saying this for years, but why do these guys never take their studies at Liberty University or Bob Jones instead of liberal hellholes where everyone hates them? It's almost like they seek this treatment out -- maybe so they can write about it in wingnut magazines and websites! Maybe both these guys are just woodshedding for their eventual gigs at The Federalist. Or for a book: White Like Me! They better hop to, I bet Dreher's already shopping it.

UPDATE. Comments to this post are up to the usual glorious alicublog standards. Don't miss one by Jeffrey_Kramer that begins, "Maybe we aren't even meant to imagine there's an individual consciousness behind these 'letters'; maybe it's sort of along the lines of those old Reader's Digest pieces like 'I am Joe's Kidney.'"

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