William Saletan makes some interesting points at Slate. Among other things, he notes that today’s white nationalists seem to be claiming they must dominate America not because they are superior to those other races, but because they aren’t.
Racist terrorists who have left behind manifestos or other writings—Dylann Roof (Charleston, 2015), Robert Bowers (Pittsburgh, 2018), John Earnest (Poway, California, 2019), and others—generally regard whites as victims. That’s their standard excuse for murder: that they were acting in self-defense. They’ve fretted about “ethnic replacement,” “demographic annihilation,” and “white genocide.” Crusius claimed to be fighting a “Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me,” he wrote. “I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”
The alleged El Paso shooter, Patrick Crusius, actually wrote that whites were threatened “as stronger and/or more appealing cultures overtake weaker and/or undesirable ones.” In other words, he was less about white supremacy and more about white preservation. The “invasion” of nonwhite immigrants would overwhelm “white culture,” whatever Crusius imagines that is. Further, he fears whites themselves would disappear though intermarriage.
I find the culture thing annoying. In the realm of the fine arts, “white” culture is more or less European culture, which includes Spain. Your average wingnut wouldn’t know a work by Murillo or Velazquez from one by Rembrandt, and wouldn’t care. So it’s folk and popular culture that concerns them. Apparently wingnuts feel oppressed by mariachi bands, which is a damn shame because mariachi music makes me happy. If mariachis don’t cheer you up, there’s something wrong with you. And dare I say — La Bamba?
And speaking of invasions, let us not forget that Texas used to be a state of Mexico. But I digress.
So we’ve got these pathetic weenies who feel oppressed by frijoles and accoustic guitar music and are terrified their supposedly recessive DNA will be wiped out by aggressive, curly-haired dominatrix DNA from someplace not European. And these bozos think they deserve to be protected and preserved, why, exactly?
An article at Psychology Today on the Psychology of Racism says, “racism (and xenophobia of all kinds) … is primarily a psychological trait — more specifically, a psychological defense mechanism generated by feelings of insecurity and anxiety.” Well, of course it is.
In other words, racism — and xenophobia of any kind — is a symptom of psychological ill-health. It is a sign of a lack of psychological integration, a lack of self-esteem and inner security. Psychologically healthy people with a stable sense of self and strong inner security are not racist, because they have no need to strengthen their sense of self through group identity. They have no need to define themselves in distinction to — and in conflict with — others.
Do read the whole article, it’s quite good. So, your average racist is an individual with a badly integrated personality, low self-esteem and a deep sense of insecurity. Note that none of this rises to the level of “mental illness,” unless you want to define half the population as “mentally ill.” Marching around with tiki torches and assault weapons makes them feel stronger. I would add that men who are abusive of women have similar issues.
These specimens see themselves as big, strong men, but they aren’t strong at all. They are armored. They are defensive. People who go through life armored, whether with weapons or just belligerence, are weak people. Genuinely strong people don’t need armor except on a battlefield.
Trump is a very armored man, I have noticed. He is all belligerence and self-defensiveness. He is so insecure he wouldn’t allow press to cover his recent visits to Dayton and El Paso, but the White House public relations people assure us Trump was “greeted like a rock star.” Sure he was. And then there’s this:
While visiting a hospital in El Paso, Texas on Wednesday after a mass shooting that left 22 people dead, President Donald Trump found time to boast about the crowd size at a campaign rally he held in the city several months ago.
Trump was meeting with a team of medical staffers at the University Medical Center, where eight victims of the shooting are still in recovery, when he suddenly brought up the rally he held in El Paso (for which his campaign still hasn’t paid back its debt of over $400,000 to the city).
“I was here three months ago and we made a speech,” he said before shaking the hand of a hospital employee who said he was at the front row of that rally (which was held in February, not three months ago).
“That was some crowd,” Trump bragged. “And we had twice the number outside.”
That led to a tangent about 2020 Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke and the counter-protest he had led on the day of Trump’s rally.
“And then you had this crazy Beto,” he continued. “Beto had like 400 people in the parking lot. They said his crowd was wonderful. But we had some—”
Trump then interrupted himself to admire a hospital worker’s Trump-themed socks.
“Oh wow! Look at that,” he exclaimed. “Don’t tell it to the press because they won’t even believe it.”
I started to say Trump must have intestines of jello, but even jello beats whatever he’s got. Total wimp.