Erik Rush is a WND columnist, and the author of “Negrophilia: From Slave Block to Pedestal – America’s Racial Obsession.”
Ilana: I would have liked to read more about your family in “Negrophilia.” What is it about your background that accounts for your clarity on racial matters in our country?
Erik: I believe that since my sister and I were of mixed race, my parents believed it was important to instill in us the sort of values that would help us to overcome any derision we might face being of mixed race, and to treat others equitably regardless of their ethnicity. Their efforts to promote a reasonably healthy self-image was part of it, as well as enabling us to make value judgments on those who did treat others inequitably based on race. “Discrimination” became a “bad word” during the Civil Rights Movement, but we are, in truth, being discriminating when we intellectually sort people based on their values and worldview as much as one might using skin color as a determinant. Of course, the first is a good thing; the last isn’t. I guess I took to heart the values we were raised with; on the occasions I did run into discrimination or bigotry, my reaction was one of defensiveness or even amusement, but I never felt victimized.
Ilana: “A major tenet of ‘Negrophilia,'” you state in your book, “is that racism on the part of blacks is acceptable, or even proper” (Page 96). Do you remember the odious Rev. Joseph Lowery’s benediction at Barack Obama coronation? He asked the Lord to “help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around – when yellow will be mellow – when the red man can get ahead, man – and when white will embrace what is right.” In other words, to be white is not to be right. To be black is to have an eternal claim against errant whites – for no other reason than that they are white. This is crude collectivism. But it’s also the only permissible narrative in American society. How do we get beyond such racism if: 1) it has been framed as justice and 2) whites are too afraid to reject it?
Erik: I am frequently asked how we are to get past this or that dysfunctional aspect of race relations in America – and, I suppose in other areas to a lesser degree. My take on this is sort of a “cut the head from the snake” approach. This racial orthodoxy has been advanced primarily by the radical left, which has gained preeminence in key areas of American society: Government, education, the press and entertainment. However we accomplish this, we are going to have to neutralize their influence in order to ameliorate the effects of that influence. In the short term, all we can really do is speak our truth, encourage others to do the same – and write books like “Negrophilia” (and your forthcoming, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa”).
Ilana: A woman accused you of not being sufficiently concerned about “your people” who were dying all over the world. You corrected her by telling her that blacks were indeed dying in Africa, mainly because they were killing each other. You recommended that she decamp to that continent where she would be appreciated as a sex slave or as lunch. She really got you going. What pushes your buttons, in general, about this particular angle?
Erik: When people base their arguments on selective, convenient slices of history and attempt to wax profound when they are, either through ignorance or intellectual dishonesty, operating from false premises. Ad hominem attacks are also rather annoying, but they’re easier to dismiss.
Ilana: You state with considerable candor that, “Some who come upon my columns wonder how it is that I ‘get away with’ saying so many things that are considered racist. Upon recognizing me as black (or of mixed race), they have their answer. Unfortunately, the truth or falsehood of [things racial] is perceived as being predicated upon the race of the source.” Over and above the convention you describe so well, there is the issue of truth as relative. How do we get away from this postmodern perversion, whereby truth is not immutable, but, rather, viewed as a political construct; a relative thing to be manipulated by politically savvy factions?
Erik: My personal belief is that the moral relativity that has taken hold – again, a device of the political left and intellectual elites – is largely based on the gravitation away from Judeo-Christian ideology. Even those who were not particularly religious used to have an appreciation and respect for that convention as socially stabilizing. Of course, if you can manipulate the truth, you can get people to believe absolutely anything, so that reveals the who-and-why of this phenomenon. And it is easy in this scenario to deny that the social malaise to which this gives rise even exists! So, once again, we have to educate people as to the political and social realities they have been shielded from and/or neatly avoiding for so long.
Ilana: I see no difference between the conservative and the left-liberal establishment when it comes to leveling the “racism” libel with respect to unpopular speech or patterns of voluntary associations. Members of the chattering class practically trip over one another in showing off their ability to detect and denounce signs of racism in their unfortunate victims. It’s hard to say who huffed and puffed louder over poor Don Imus’ transgression: Al Sharpton (left) or Amy Holmes (neoconservative). Of late, you had the very funny Greg Gutfeld and his crew competing to cuss an Iraq war veteran from Texas, who, in desperation, set up a college scholarship for white males only. As if there were not a perfectly rational, not racist, reason for this: the well-documented marginalization of white males in the academy and the workforce. (See Frederick R. Lynch’s, “Invisible Victims: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action,” 1991.) Is there a place in a free society for the roving thought police? How realistic is it to hope that American opinion-makers would, for once and for all, quit deploying the racism epithet to shape society in politically pleasing ways?
Erik: Yes, this is a frustrating phenomenon. Of course, you have the left, which not only continues to exploit blacks and advance their orthodoxy relative to race, but there’s a sense of desperation given progressives’ taking a beating in the U.S. as far as policy goes; thus, there is a heightened intensity in their rhetoric. Then, there’s the right, which has collectively decided that now is the time to counter what the left has been doing with regard to race politics. Largely, this involves talking to death all of the injustices you mentioned. I’d love to see race become a non-issue, but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, since these rival factions perceive that they are fighting for their lives, rather than for mere political preeminence.
Note: The headline of this column, “Black Racism,” is taken from a chapter in Erik Rush’s book, “Negrophilia: From Slave Block to Pedestal – America’s Racial Obsession.”