Few men in America are as reviled by the liberal establishment as Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance.  According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), he is “a courtly presenter of ideas that most would consider crudely white supremacist.”  Keep in mind that the SPLC is an organization that cites Thomas Fleming, editor of this magazine, 11 times on its website for his association with such “hate groups” as the League of the South and the notorious Rockford Institute.  If you are reading this magazine, you are already tainted.  If you buy Jared Taylor’s new book, you probably risk investigation by the ATF or some clandestine civil-rights-enforcement organization.  Even reading this review could endanger your voting rights in the New World Order.

Now that you have been forewarned, allow me to summarize Taylor’s argument: The architects of the civil-rights movement, who sought to build a color-blind, fully integrated society, have achieved only a pyrrhic victory.  If minorities are well represented in our public institutions, our schools and colleges, our sports, and in the media, pervasive segregation persists in virtually every form of voluntary association.  The ideology of multiculturalism, while it celebrates “diversity,” is little more than a cover for a divisive racial power politics intended to demonize whites and impose upon them a disabling burden of guilt and self-loathing.  While blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other minorities are encouraged to express racial solidarity, whites who attempt to do the same are branded as racists covertly seeking to restore white supremacy.  Unchecked immigration across the Mexican-American border is permanently altering not only the complexion but the character of American life.  By mid-century, America will be a mosaic of minority cultures, each competing fiercely for its share of power and federal largesse.  Given this reality, whites can no long afford the luxury of disdain for racial-identity politics.  Whites today, Taylor writes, “have a choice: regain a sense of identity and the resolve to maintain their numbers, their traditions, and their way of life—or face oblivion.”

Taylor is among the few who have taken an unflinching look at the reality of racial segregation in contemporary American life.  While in the past it was almost universally assumed that segregation was a direct consequence of white discrimination, today minorities self-segregate for reasons that have nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with ethnic preference and political advantage.  Many blacks now see the integrationist ideal as merely a political tool that has served its purpose.  As Leon Williams wrote in a letter to the editor published in 2004 by the Philadelphia Inquirer,

There is nothing wrong with segregation.  Most African Americans with good sense want the same relations that most whites want.  We don’t want them living in our neighborhoods.  We don’t want our children going to school with theirs. . . . We don’t need tea and cookies and fireside chats with white people.

Taylor makes a strong case that such attitudes, while not universal among blacks, are widespread.  Education has, of course, been among the most hotly contested terrains in the struggle for equal opportunity.  Blacks were once fervent supporters of public-school integration, but today many leaders in the black community are profoundly disillusioned with the official integrationist position of the NAACP and have become advocates of segregated education, especially charter schools designed to serve black children.

The segregationist impulse is evident elsewhere.  Minorities continue to live in segregated neighborhoods, even when there is no economic necessity to do so.  Blacks and Hispanics have their own entertainment networks, publishing houses, funeral homes, telephone directories, and retirement centers.  Churches, too, despite their long-standing support for the integrationist cause, remain largely segregated.  The rationale for this is not simply a matter of preference for one’s own kind; it is a question of power.  Many black and Hispanic (and, increasingly, Asian) leaders argue that the political interests of their respective groups are best served by a refusal to integrate.  Blacks who dwell in majority-black neighborhoods, for instance, are more likely to elect black representatives to office.

This new racial tribalism has drawn a good deal of its impetus from multiculturalism—an ideology that evolved out of the “cultural pluralism” promoted early in the 20th century by intellectuals such as Horace Kallen and Randolph Bourne.  While Kallen and Bourne protested the ruthless Americanization of poor Jewish and Eastern European immigrants in the name of cultural particularity, their real agenda was to transform those hordes of the dispossessed into willing cadres in the struggle for international socialism.  While multiculturalism was presented initially as a movement promoting respect for cultural diversity, it has become evident that what the multiculturalist ideologues are seeking to promote is not simply the power of nonwhite tribes (while stripping the white majority of any claim to legitimacy), but a radically egalitarian social revolution.  Of course, many of the willing idiots who trumpet the virtues of diversity have no inkling of the real nature of the revolution that they are abetting.  Praise for diversity and its endless benefits crosses party lines, but this smug and utterly superficial celebration of “difference” is weirdly detached from the everyday lives of average Americans.

Taylor rightly notes that no one ever questions the claim that diversity is beneficial.  As corporate CEOs extol the wonders of this latest in a long line of American miracle cures, American productivity and competitiveness in the global marketplace continue to plummet.  As universities retool the Western canon to reflect our diversity, our students become increasingly ignorant, not only of the cultural and political ideals that guarantee the integrity of our Constitution but of the most basic analytical skills.  While it is understandable that a company which seeks to expand its consumer profile would want to diversify its sales personnel, it makes little sense for, say, a university to insist on proportional representation when there isn’t a shred of evidence that black or Hispanic students will more readily master the intricacies of English grammar or differential calculus when taught by an instructor of their own race.  But even worse than this failure of diversity to live up to its fairy-tale promise is the fact that, as often as not, it promotes not greater tolerance but greater conflict.  Taylor provides a great deal of anecdotal evidence that the effect of diversity in Southern California’s public schools has been disastrous.  Even after white students have all but disappeared from view, violence among rival factions of Hispanic, black, and Asian students has become endemic.  Often the insistence upon diversity is so absurd that Kafka himself couldn’t do it justice.  When, in 2004, the North Miami police department dropped its swimming-skills requirement for officers, police chief Gwendolyn Savage explained that the requirement might “give the false perception that we are not serious in our efforts to hire Haitian police officers.”  I can’t resist pointing out that Chief Savage’s explanation for the dropped swimming requirement risks the perception that the North Miami police are interested more in diversity than in the fate of drowning persons.  But if the substantial population of Haitians residing in North Miami have minimal swimming skills, then isn’t it likely that drowning victims will be disproportionately Haitian?  So much for diversity.

Taylor’s argument does not provide much solace for those who still hold out the possibility of a rainbow coalition of ethnic groups marching arm in arm toward a glorious consumer paradise free of prejudice and hate.  Americans are an optimistic folk, sometimes dangerously so.  Perhaps those who would persuade us that America is well on the way to transcending racial divisiveness are under the impression that the multiracial legions of Oprah Winfrey fans (who is abdicating her throne even as I write), conjoined by their common adoration for the Queen Bee of Daytime TV, are somehow an index of American racial harmony.  In the latter half of White Identity Taylor argues otherwise.  In chapters anatomizing the rise of black, Hispanic, and, most recently, Asian racial “consciousness,” he argues that the Balkanization of America is rapidly accelerating.  Once upon a time, “black nationalism” was associated with the likes of Malcolm X; today, radical separatism is seeping into the mainstream.  In the Millwood school district in Oklahoma City, two pledges of allegiance are now officially sanctioned: the familiar one and a black nationalist pledge that extols “One nation of Black people, with one God for us all / Totally united in the struggle for Black Love, Black Freedom, and Black Determination.”  Among Hispanics, groups like La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund have made no secret of their desire for a Reconquista of the American Southwest, and have already established a beachhead in Southern California, where the Hispanic population is now a majority, largely unassimilated to the previous majority.  These and similar organizations have worked tirelessly to stymie any effort to control the border, and they have done so with the collusion of the Mexican government.  More ominous are the resolutions, passed by a number of Southwestern communities where Hispanics have achieved majorities, prohibiting any cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

One might be forgiven for imagining, then, that, having rigorously examined the divisive effects of multiculturalist tribalism, Taylor would avoid a position which is, in effect, another version of multiculturalism.  His hard-right multiculturalism, if I may call it that, differs from the left-wing version in one significant respect: He jettisons the egalitarian rhetoric and replaces it with a “racial realism” grounded in what he calls “the science of human nature.”  Drawing upon the work of a number of psychologists, evolutionary biologists, and geneticists, he makes the key point that, because I am white, I am genetically inclined to herd with people who are white like me, and to extend them a greater degree of empathy.  Conversely, toward those who are not like me, I am inclined toward greater enmity.  We learn, for example, that a group of Italian researchers “found that when white subjects watched short film clips of needles pricking black- or white-skinned subjects, the sympathetic pain reaction was greater when the white hand was pricked.”  Notice that the white subjects were not devoid of sympathetic reaction when the black hand was pricked, nor is it likely that, outside of such contrived laboratory conditions, the racial factor would prove decisive.  The U.S. military, for example, has been integrated since the Korean War, and the evidence is very strong that male bonding in combat transcends racial divisions.

Of course, civilian life is another matter, and it is no doubt the case, as common sense suggests, that individuals generally prefer to associate with members of their own race.  Population geneticists insist that race is merely a “social construct,” which just goes to show how really stupid smart people can be.  Of course race is, in part, a social construct.  But then most concepts are.  “Health” is a social construct, but, unless I am a hypochondriac, when I feel bad, my perception is grounded in something real.  Thus, Taylor is right to insist that ethnocentrism is a key component in human society, one that we ignore at our peril.  But race is, in the last analysis, a reductive factor.  Taylor and other race realists are fond of noting that “race is an extended family” and that it is the largest unit to which we are bound by ties of “organic loyalty.”  Frankly, though, I have some difficulty in extending my loyalty—organic or otherwise—to the world’s billion-plus white folks, regardless of how much genetic material I might share with them.  Nor do I believe that the sort of white solidarity that Taylor and friends are advocating is likely to lead to anything good.  Consider the implications.  Black and Hispanic multiculturalists have already made it clear that they distrust “white” justice.  No black man, we are informed, can be fairly tried by white juries.  By the logic of his own separatist convictions, it seems to me, Taylor must allow that no white man could be fairly tried by a black or Hispanic jury.  Are we then to have a sort of racialist sharia here in America, with ethnically segregated courtrooms?  Taylor claims that he is not a white supremacist.  I believe him.  He also claims that he is not a “white nationalist.”  On that point I am skeptical.  In any event, I for one will not be marching in Jared Taylor’s White Pride Parade.


[White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century, by Jared Taylor (New Century Books) 340 pp., $24.95]