Confronting the Cowardice of the Far Right on Race

As a political scientist in his 30s, Dr. Richard Hanania has become an influential writer on policy matters, increasingly building his reputation for thoughtful if provocative analysis, and I’d listened to his interesting podcast discussion with Steve Hsu last year. He’s quite active on Twitter and in early January one of my articles on the anti-vaxxing controversy caught his eye, prompting him to Tweet it out:

I love how Ron Unz literally believes COVID was an American bioweapon but is telling anti-vaxxers how wrong they are. You think Ron Unz is brainwashed by big pharma and the Hodge Twins know the science? What a sad scam anti-vaxx is.

— Richard Hanania (@RichardHanania) January 2, 2023

Most of his recent focus has been on racial issues and a couple of weeks ago he published a Substack article condemning the widespread public dishonesty regarding American crime statistics:

Interracial Crime and “Perspective”
Why you sometimes need to tell uncomfortable truths
Richard Hanania • Substack • May 13, 2023 • 2,100 Words

It opened as follows:

The topic of black crime has taken over Twitter. It all started when Elon Musk responded sympathetically to a Tweet that presented data showing black-on-white crime is the most common form of interracial violence. The original tweet was completely correct, and you can see Noah Carl for some of the sophistry that has been used to try to deny or obfuscate on the underlying facts.

His own candid piece soon received the remarkable imprimatur of also being favorably noticed by the Twitter CEO, one of the world’s wealthiest and highest-profile individuals. Indeed, Musk’s 140 million Twitter Followers probably give him a public reach matched by few world leaders.

My article on interracial crime is shaping up like women’s tears. Tons of readers, but ignored by leftists because it’s so obviously true, except stupid ones attacking the quotes I purposely put in to provoke them. No serious responses at all. Read it!

— Richard Hanania (@RichardHanania) May 15, 2023

Perhaps emboldened by such powerful support, Hanania has now published a longer Substack piece, linking to one of my own recent articles on racial matters and thereby introducing some of those ideas to his broader audience. Given that my body of writing is quite controversial, he shrewdly chose to present my views in the form of an imaginary, humorous debate I had with a group of right-wing activists at a secret conservative meeting held in West LA. He was also sensible enough to carefully provide a blanket disclaimer in his third sentence: “Everything I’ve ever heard Ron say has either been brilliant or insane, with absolutely nothing in between.”

Ron Unz Confronts the Far Right
A very interesting night among influential conservatives
Richard Hanania • Substack • May 24, 2023 • 3,200 Words

He invented a dialogue for me with various prominent and thinly-disguised far right influencers active on social media and had me challenge their immigration-centric political focus:

From the middle of the room, a kid who’s about 5’7 walks to the front. His name is Andy Romero. He’s got a short black buzzcut and is wearing a flannel shirt. I recognized him as the founder of American Fortress, a site that produces edgy right-wing content with a white nationalist bent. I had no idea that he would be at an event like this, rubbing shoulders with former administration officials and big donors. Perhaps the radicalization of the right has gone much further than I’d thought. Once again, I’m glad that I watch Rachel Maddow, and am able to benefit from her insights and deep research into American politics.

Andy goes on to give a speech about the topics he’s obsessed with. Inner city crime. The knockout game. The regular white guy who had bought a book about how to propose to his girlfriend but is now dead because four black youths decided to sucker punch him and put it online, and he hit his head on the pavement and died. Some professor of Africanax Studies had given a speech where she said “logical thought is the lifeblood of whiteness. Every time an argument holds together, it commits violence against the essence of black bodies.” The audience can hardly contain itself. Upon reading that line, Romero gives his trademark eyebrow raise and they love it. Then he goes on to tell us about the border being the number one threat to America. Nothing else matters.

Ron: That was a great speech Andy, I learned a lot. And I must applaud your ability to in recent years get your ideas accepted into the mainstream of conservatism. No one will admit this, but your content is driving more and more of our electoral politics. But there’s one thing about your speech that gave me pause. You said the border crisis was the main issue facing the country, right?

Andy: No, not just the border! Maybe that’s how your typical Republican politician frames the issue for the captive nursing home audience watching the boob tube. We’re going to shut down legal immigration too! America First!

The crowd erupts.

Ron: Yes, yes, I know. So immigration is the greatest threat facing the US?

Andy: All European-descended people, yes. What’s going on in Western Europe is just as disturbing.

Brahmin Hitler cuts in.

Brahmin: Yes, every nation has a right to maintain its ethnic balance based on the people who built it. This is the only issue that matters. Everything else is a distraction.

Ron: Very well. But like I said, I noticed something very curious about your speech, and I wish you would explain it to me. Your talk was a never ending list of things Americans with deep roots in the country have done. You talked about the tragic story of the man in Philadelphia. I know, there’s one of these each day, and there has been since before I was your age. The affirmative action intellectual preaching the destruction and dispossession of whites, while seeing his ideas operationalized through the Democratic Party, is similarly not new. The cities today get burned down for the same reasons they did in the 1960s! Some low-life has a problem with the police, they do the world a favor by removing him from society, and the local community is enraged that it has lost one of its precious sons.

I also hear a few other complaints related to covid restrictions, you really hate the vaccine I see. (I cringe at this point.) And then there’s transgenderism and gender theory, which I agree are signs that the world has gone mad.

Now, despite this, you sit here and tell me that immigration is the greatest threat to Western civilization. Conservatives have been wailing about the border for decades now. Yet we’ve had millions and millions of Mexicans and Central Americans come to this country, and they seem to have done remarkably little to anger you. Can you even think of a prominent Hispanic intellectual or media personality who annoys you? Ok, AOC. There was a guy named Castro who got like 0.01% in the Democratic primary last time. And then there’s…I’m blanking. I guess George Lopez insulted conservatives a few years back, does anyone remember George Lopez? But then he was balanced out by Carlos Mencia, the Honduran-American who used to have a show on Comedy Central where he’d skewer political correctness. But we’re digging pretty deep here. All your complaints are about blacks and whites. Perhaps immigration is not the threat to the country you think it is?

Ron: That’s very interesting, Marius. But I’d like to go back to the strangeness of this group and their complaints. When you’re talking about crime and the destruction of our great cities, aren’t you really talking about, well, since you like the euphemism of “Foundational American,” I’ll call them “1619 Americans”…

Brahmin: In a way, yes, but preserving the Foundational American stock is important. Whenever there is diversity, you see division, chaos, bloodshed. That’s the rule here, that’s the rule everywhere. Have you ever read Precambrian Pederast? He taught us about all that is wrong with this disgusting era. Ethnic homogeneity must be preserved, above all else.

Ron: That certainly doesn’t seem to be the rule here. Today, I live in the Bay Area. California is a majority-minority state. And yet we see very little of the violence you fear. In 1970, California was 76% white. It’s now 35% white. You know what’s happened to the murder rate in that time? It’s been cut by two-thirds! As far as racial strife, you may have seen recent news stories about the California reparations commission and San Francisco wanting to offer blacks ungodly amounts of money to compensate them for past and present racism. The Bay Area is like 8% black, they’re the smallest population of the major American “races.” Yet if you follow racial issues in the state, if you went into a coma in the late 1960s and woke up in 2020, you would be amazed at how little had changed. Well, pronouns and that stuff would be new. But on race, you have income and test score disparities, crime that we can’t be honest about, so-called “police brutality.” Only if anything, California is a lot more peaceful due to the demographic change you all decry so much…

Allison: But they vote, Ron! Who gave us these crazy policies?

Ron: I won’t dispute that Hispanic and Asian immigrants tend to vote Democrat. But look at it another way. Republicans in 2016 nominated the guy whose main message was “Mexicans are rapists.” In 2020, he still won 40% of them. Can you imagine if Republicans could actually pretend to like these people? Italians ended up pretty evenly divided between the two parties, and even Jews are headed in the conservative direction thanks to differential birth rates. I see no reason why there’s some impossible barrier to overcome between Mestizos and white Americans. I mean look at this room…

In addition to the clearly swarthy Romero and Brahmin, at least a third of the room looks to be of either Hispanic or South Asian descent.

Ron: You doubt that you can have a multiracial country? You all have built a multiracial movement based on the idea of maintaining racial purity. Don’t check your phones, you might see another alert of a Neo-Nazi Mexican mass shooter, there have been a few of those lately, and a right-wing Indian just tried to kill Biden I believe. Remember not that long ago when there was a mass shooting, and everyone would either hope it was a right-wing white male or a Muslim, depending on their politics? Well, now we have the brown white supremacist, which right-wingers on Twitter tell me can’t possibly exist, even though it’s like half their movement now.

When was the last time you even heard of Muslim terrorism? Is a brown mass shooter these days more likely to be a Muslim extremist or someone whose brain has been melted by the online right? This question would’ve been laughable a few years ago, and I guess it’s still laughable now, but for a different reason.

And the funniest part is that I suspect that all of this results from a fear of talking about what is arguably the main issue at the heart of the American experiment. That’s right, it’s the weird, sadomasochistic relationship between whites and blacks that was so well dramatized by Tom Wolfe when he was alive. Oh sure, you guys talk about race and crime. But it seems like you need your “racism” to be more inclusive. You need to pretend to exclude everyone, because it seems more consistent with universalist principles. “We just want to preserve the demographic majority, the same right that anyone else has. Oh, it’s not any particular group that’s the problem, it’s the principle of diversity. Can’t we just have a world where every nation is homogenous to the greatest extent possible and then we can all get along?”

Ron: Indeed, Richard, that is what I’m saying. And these poor kids worried about the future of the American right, are digging their own grave, because, guess what? The die has been cast, and we’re headed to a non-white majority. And so conservatism is shaping up to be a movement that represents a coalition of overweight rural whites from left behind areas of the country and short Mestizos, all crying about the passing of whiteness and also about how much the country sucks because everyone is so fat. This probably isn’t a winning message. Of course, there’s overwhelming public support for clamping down on crime and making institutions color-blind, or, as you would put it, going after civil rights law. This is what turned whites towards the Republican Party in the first place, or the disgusting ways in which white elites have let our cities be destroyed and gone to war with every American principle — merit, freedom of speech, rule of law, you name it — in the name of anti-racism.

But instead of focusing on those things and fixing the country, the American right has decided to get distracted by doubling down on becoming a movement of brown white nationalists, in a country where the majority of children born are already non-white.

Towards the end, Hanania also linked to my own long article from late last year, in which I had made similar points in a somewhat different style:

Soon after these racial upheavals began in 2020, I published a controversial essay entitled “The Political Bankruptcy of American White Racialism” in which I contrasted the ideological beliefs of that movement with the actual realities of American society:

During all of this time, a dystopian nightmare scenario dominated the fears of these individuals, involving the collapse of our stable middle-class society under a massive influx of non-white foreigners, a population impossible to assimilate and deeply hostile to our culture. Crime and social disorder would skyrocket and the cherished symbols of our national heritage would come under fierce attack. Once California and the rest of the Southwest became heavily Hispanic, a secessionist movement would naturally become a powerful political force, possibly seeking to reunite with Mexico.

This sort of apocalyptic vision was indicated by the title of one of the earliest works in the genre, The Path to National Suicide, published in 1990 by the late Lawrence Auster. Over the years, several bestsellers have been produced along roughly similar lines, including Peter Brimelow’s Alien Nation in 1995, Pat Buchanan’s Death of the West in 2001, and most recently Ann Coulter’s Adios America! in 2015. Even figures of the highest academic repute have sometimes voiced similar fears, with Harvard’s Samuel P. Huntington, one of America’s most eminent political scientists, publishing The Clash of Civilizations in 1996 and Who Are We? in 2004.

And whether we take our information from the pages of the New York Times articles or from informal smartphone videos, exactly these long-dreaded scenes of violent disorder and cultural upheaval have now appeared throughout much of our country. But the circumstances have been quite different than any of these writers had predicted.

Over the last few decades, America’s urban centers have been become overwhelmingly non-white and heavily immigrant, with residents of European ancestry these days reduced to less than 35% of the total. But within this national average, some cities are still largely white, and these have demonstrated an intriguing pattern.

Two of the American cities that have experienced the longest and most sustained urban chaos and anti-government disorder over the last couple of months have been Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, and these are two of our cities that have remained the most overwhelmingly white, each in the range of 65-70%. The flashpoint of America’s racial convulsion was Minneapolis, and its city government has now voted to “defund” the local police department while nearly a quarter of its officers have already announced their plans to quit. Minneapolis is another major demographic outlier, still being 60% white.

Meanwhile, whites had already become a minority decades ago in my own state of California, and this shift has been especially strong in the larger cities, with white Europeans probably down to little more than 20% in Los Angeles and San Jose, while remaining perhaps 35% in San Diego and San Francisco. During my younger years, LA had been America’s most overwhelmingly white large city, and over the last half century it had also developed a reputation for especially deadly racial rioting, becoming notorious for the Watts Riots of 1965 and the Rodney King Riots of 1992. But the disorders this time were very mild by comparison, and almost entirely limited to Westside looting by the local black population, now reduced to less than 10% of the total. Unrest in other California cities has been even more minimal in recent weeks, nothing at all like what has wracked so many other American urban centers.

The Political Bankruptcy of American White Nationalism
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • July 27, 2020 • 3,400 Words • 1,505 Comments

The article provoked a great deal of discussion across the Internet and drew nearly 250,000 words of comments. I argued that the urban racial upheavals convulsing America not only demonstrated the obvious failure of white racialism as a political movement, but also completely destroyed the theoretical framework that its leading proponents had spent decades constructing. Contrary to all their expectations, there was an obvious inverse relationship across our urban centers between the very heavy presence of non-white immigrants and social disorder.

A major change in belief must sometimes quietly simmer for a while before some event brings it to the fore. America’s urban racial upheavals and my related article had appeared in the summer of 2020, but I first began noticing some apparent ideological reconsiderations in November and December of the following year, shortly after the Virginia election. AmRen has long been closely associated with VDare, which has spent more than two decades primarily focused upon the threat of non-white immigration. Now suddenly both these publications began seriously discussing whether Hispanics might be realigning themselves with the Republicans—generally regarded as America’s “white party”—while also suggesting political strategies to accelerate that process. Two major VDare articles explored this important issue, as did a couple of hour-long AmRen podcasts by its founder and his staffers, along with various news articles the latter had excerpted and linked on their website. Occidental Dissent, a smaller White Nationalist blogsite, also ran numerous items on this same topic.

This political reassessment by leading white racial activists should not be exaggerated, and their writings correctly noted that the white majority vote still dwarfed any possible contribution from Hispanics and Asians, who together had been less than 15% of last week’s electorate. But this shift in their positioning on the issue still carried profound ideological and political implications.

The future importance of America’s rapidly-growing immigrant population had long been apparent to Republicans, and GOP leaders have been heavily promoting Hispanic political outreach for at least a quarter-century, with President George W. Bush, Karl Rove, and the late Sen. John S. McCain being the most prominent public advocates. But through all those years and decades, VDare, AmRen, and similar white racialist organizations had ferociously attacked and ridiculed those sorts of proposals, which they denounced as the height of establishment idiocy and betrayal. Indeed, this longstanding dispute over Hispanics probably represented one of their sharpest points of disagreement with their mainstream conservative antagonists. But now, they themselves were suddenly saying much the same thing, a truly remarkable reversal, even if they obviously refused to advertise it as such.

I actually suspect that such a political rapprochement between white racialists and such non-white groups as Hispanics and Asians would be much less fraught with difficulty than might be expected.

Consider the interesting example of Gregory Hood, a leading White Nationalist of the younger generation, who works as a top staffer at American Renaissance while frequently writing under different pen names for kindred publications such as VDare. A few years ago, he published his collection Waking Up from the American Dream, and its introductory essay was his personal account of how and why he had joined such a vilified and marginalized movement, a piece that he had separately published in 2015.

Hood explained that he came from a moderate and very mainstream family background in which radical white separatism would have been seen as anathema if it could even have been imagined. His ideological transformation had been due to his personal experiences at a liberal arts college, where he had encountered an atmosphere of extreme “political correctness,” including widespread racial bullying by black students and organizations, and his resulting reaction had left him a committed White Nationalist.

I found his account quite credible and interesting, but in a comment I noted certain aspects of his story that perhaps he himself might not have fully recognized:

I got the impression that the author grew up on the East Coast and probably went to college there as well. Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me that all the groups that so enraged and offended him were black-activist types. I noticed that he didn’t even seem to say anything about Asians or Hispanics, who together probably outnumber blacks 2-to-1 nationwide, at least among the more youthful age cohorts.

I live in California, where blacks are 6% of the population and Asians+Hispanics 55%, and I’ve never heard anything like this about the behavior of those latter groups. I strongly suspect that’s a big part of the reason that there seems to be almost zero White Nationalist sentiment in California, despite whites now having become a shrinking minority of the population over just the last generation or two…

What I’m about to say may sound extremely odd, but I’ve long suspected that “White Nationalism” itself is almost a PC-type sublimation of other sentiments. When black-activists constantly denounce or harangue you, and you feel their group unfairly benefits from Affirmative Action, you naturally become increasingly hostile towards them. But the notion of being “anti-black” has become so deeply stigmatized under modern cultural indoctrination, that the individuals instead prefer to think of themselves as “pro-white.” Meanwhile, immigrant groups relatively free from media brainwashing are sometimes much more candid in their sentiments.

Although a single election result can easily be dismissed as an outlier, several in a row have now revealed a new American political landscape that must be recognized. According to the exit polls, white voters favored Republican candidates by a 60-40 margin, while Hispanics and Asians leaned in the opposite 40-60 direction, certainly a clear difference but hardly an unbridgeable ideological chasm.

And even these figures may considerably exaggerate the influence of ethnicity in such voting patterns. Although Texas is solidly Republican and Florida is evenly divided, the bulk of Hispanics and Asians live in heavily Democratic states such as California, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey. Moreover, both these groups are considerably younger than whites, and youthful voters skewed very heavily Democratic. So their overall voting patterns may not have differed so greatly from whites of the same age and region.

The increasing political amalgamation of these non-white populations with the existing white majority is a development of enormous consequence for our country’s future. If these trends continue, the voting behavior of members of these rapidly-growing groups will become much less determined by their ethnic ancestry than by the same set of factors that influence the choices of their white counterparts, not only the aforementioned impact of age and geography, but also characteristics such as education, affluence, occupation, and religiosity. And if this occurs, then from a political perspective Hispanics and Asians would become little different than Americans of Irish or Italian heritage.

Hispanics and Asians Join the White Political Mainstream
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • November 14, 2022 • 6,400 Words

Finally, I was very pleased that Hanania closed his article by using a clever technique to introduce his readership to some of my most important and controversial ideas of the last few years:

At this point, I can feel the energy go out of the room. A few of the attendees pick at one or another of Ron’s points, but they’re clearly deflated and realize that he has given them a lot to think about. An hour and a half later, he is driving me home.

Me: Wow, Ron, that was something else. I really wish you would’ve elaborated on the vaccine thing a little bit more. Their desire to “own the libs” has really swallowed every other part of their brain, even though they like to think they’re more sophisticated than regular conservatives, and I appreciated you recently taking apart some of the most ridiculous claims of the anti-vaxxers.

Ron: Thank you, Richard. We’ll have to do this again some time.

Me: Oh yeah, I had a lot of fun. What do you think you should try to convince people of next time?

Ron: I believe that covid-19 has a non-zoonotic origin.

Me: So lab leak? That’s it? That’s very mainstream at this point, it’s impossible to find a right-winger who doesn’t believe that this was all the fault of the Chinese.

Ron: Who said anything about the Chinese?

Me: Wait, is this another one of your anti-American conspiracy theories? You’re now going to tell me that the US government accidentally inflicted covid on the world?

Ron: Who said anything about it being an accident?

Me: Please stop Ron, there are only so many mind-blowing ideas I can digest in one night. Let’s talk about the pleasant California weather for the rest of our trip, and how nice it is to live in a state with such natural beauty and low levels of violent crime.

Reprinted with permission from The Unz Review.

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