G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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At The American Conservative, Rod Dreher reports about a melee that took place in a Baton Rouge area mall:
What is not reported in the media, but what’s hitting Baton Rouge comments boards and social media, is that both mobs were all black. Turns out a friend of mine was there in the Mall of Louisiana with his family when all this went down. Scared his kids to death. I asked him if all the stuff on social media about this being a black thing was true. He said yes, that’s what he saw. Later, another friend at Perkins Rowe saw the same thing there. Black kids, guys with their pants falling down, causing trouble.
People in Baton Rouge have told Dreher not to go to that particular mall because, “too many black people go there”. He channels John Derbyshire:
Gosh, why do white people [ed: and Jesse Jackson] get nervous when they see groups of young black males coming? I couldn’t possibly imagine.
White people will grumble among themselves about the problem, and sooner or later, they’ll do what white people do when they get tired of having to deal with this crap: pick up and move.
He is also frustrated at something that has bothered the alt-right for a long time: eraced news stories:
Whether they’re right or wrong to do so, or somewhere in between, the most interesting thing about all this — to me, anyway — is how none of it will be talked about in the media. In the white community around here at least, this is going to be the biggest thing on people’s minds, and in their conversation, over the next few days — but you won’t see any of it in the mainstream media.
And he speaks to the individual calculus performed by individual whites:
Poverty, neglect, racism, broken families, drugs — they all factor into this mess. Everybody knows that. But for many Baton Rougeans, the more urgent matter is: Will I have to run for my life if I go to the mall? That’s not an abstraction.
Since most white people are just plodding along like everyone else in this world, they do what it is in their power to do. Moving, as Dreher argues, is one direct and immediate way for white people to take control over their own safety. Avoiding particular parts of town or particular venues and events with lots of blacks – Derbyshire’s Rule 10(d) – is another immediate way for regular Joe Blow whites to control their lives. They don’t have the time or the privilege to wait for the world to change or become civil rights activists. Many blacks probably feel the same way but their actions and opinions would never been considered racist.
The question Dreher poses and the one I find interesting as well is whether or not avowed anti-racists think that white people who think and respond this way are being racist. I’m curious about the boundaries of racism and the way it is perceived by both sides.
The stock of Dreher and TAC are rising and they have the ear of the prestige pundits that write at left-of-center web outlets so it will be interesting to see if and how they respond to Dreher’s tangible argument. Derbyshire’s was more hypothetical and his argument was more pointed and National Review has always been such a bogeyman that liberals are unwilling to give it or its writers much wiggle-room. That’s not really the case with Dreher and his employer. Essentially, Dreher has not to my knowledge been accused of being racist, so if he’s not perceived as being racist but holds thoughts that are associated with racists, then what does that make him and the many other white people like him?