The following is Part II in a conversation with Jack Kerwick, author of “The American Offensive: Dispatches From The Front.” Read Part I, “Black Muslims & the Racial-Industrial Complex.” Visit Jack’s Beliefnet blog – “At the Intersection of Faith & Culture” – friend him on Facebook, and email him at: [email protected]
Ilana Mercer: You say Barack Obama is a devotee of “Blackism.” Explain. Why do you think this president is incapable of empathizing with the untold number of white Americans dead by blacks and Muslims?
Jack Kerwick: What I call “Blackism” is an ideology, a recipe for achieving racial “authenticity.” Like any ideology, it is the distillation, the cliff note, of a cultural tradition, the tradition of black Americans. Biological blackness is necessary for authentic “blackness.” It is not, though, sufficient. Blackism is designed for the Barack Obamas of the world, those who are at least partially black biologically but for whom black culture is a foreign language. The ideology is a simple method that, being a method, is comprised of a few principles that need only be affirmed in order to achieve “racial authenticity.” One of these principles is that ultimate reality is comprised of collectivities, primarily racial collectivities. Another principle is that non-whites are perpetually oppressed by whites. It isn’t that Obama or any other Blackist would think to deny that whites (and others) can and have been harmed and killed by blacks and Muslims. It’s only that they must see such violence as stemming from “root causes” – “racism,” a “legacy of slavery and Jim Crow,” “the Crusades,” “imperialism,” “poverty,” etc. – that, ultimately, whites should have rectified.
Mercer: Like me, you are still haunted by the “Knoxville Horror”? Why?
Kerwick: This real-life story is the stuff of nightmares. In 2007, in Tennessee, a young white couple in their early 20s, Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, were carjacked, abducted, raped, tortured and finally murdered by four black men and a black woman. Newsom was blindfolded, sodomized with an instrument and shot execution-style. His body was then set on fire.
According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, “Christian suffered horrific injuries to her vagina, anus, and mouth. She was not only raped, but savaged with ‘an object.’ … She was beaten in the head. Some type of chemical was poured down her throat, and her body, including her bleeding and battered genital area, likely scrubbed by the same solution. …
“She was then ‘hog-tied,’ with curtains and strips of bedding, her face covered tightly with a small white trash bag and her body stashed inside five large trash bags before being placed inside a large trash can and covered with sheets.” The medical examiner concluded that “Christian died slowly, suffocating.” Far from being the chronic victims of interracial crime, as the Racism-Industrial-Complex would have us think, blacks are much more likely to be the victimizers: In roughly 90 percent of all attacks involving blacks and whites, the former are the perpetrators. Thankfully, your average black-on-white attack doesn’t involve the savagery of the “Knoxville Horror.” Yet the latter is the textbook illustration of the reality of black-on-white racial violence, as well as the randomness and mercilessness that far too many such attacks do involve. Beyond this, the “Knoxville Horror” is the textbook case of the media’s complicity in the evil of black-on-white violence, for just as it routinely refuses to cover the latter, so the national media refused to cover the ghoulishness in Knoxville.
Mercer: In “The American Offensive,” you recount the forgotten, white, race riots of the 1800s. You reach an unexpected conclusion about the founding American people, also a pathologically passive population. What is it?
Kerwick: Black crime in general, and black racial mob violence specifically, are huge, persistent problems in contemporary American life. Only the most self-delusional and shameless of race propagandists would think to deny this (though even they admit that black criminality is a problem, albeit, to hear them tell it, the result of a larger problem: “white racism”). WND’s Colin Flaherty is one courageous journalist who has meticulously, unapologetically chronicled this phenomenon.
Given current racial realities, then, it may surprise people to hear that most race riots in this country until well into the early decades of the 20th century involved white perpetrators and black victims. And they were brutal, making the black-perpetrated riots of today look like temper tantrums.
My point in noting this is not to engage in but another exercise of white guilt-mongering. Rather my point is to remind people that just because whites no longer engage in the type of racial mob violence for which blacks are known today doesn’t mean that history couldn’t repeat itself if circumstances were just right. Since enough violence has a way of provoking more violence, this is something worth bearing in mind.
Mercer: Since you went to press, it has become even clearer that the Grand Old Party that lies about its commitment to liberty must die. What do you suppose Edmund Burke would’ve said about the Republican Party?
Kerwick: Burke is widely regarded as “the patron saint” of modern conservatism. Burke appeals to me for a couple of reasons. First, he exhibits an acute awareness of the messiness of social reality: Burke doesn’t shy away from – he insists upon – the tradition-specificity of social orders. This, I believe, is why you never hear his name invoked by “conservatives” (neoconservatives) championing “American Exceptionalism.”
Second, while Burke repudiates the abstract universalism of his opponents (those who would locate society’s origins in an “ideal” or “idea”), he never rejects universality. Rather, he knows that both universality and particularity are indispensable to morality. Yet unlike, say, proponents of “the rights of man” or “American Exceptionalism,” Burke knew that true universality is found within particulars.
I can’t imagine that Burke, particularly the Edmund Burke who railed against the French Revolution, would’ve recognized the Republican Party as a conservative party, much less a party committed to preserving liberty. Burke was well aware of the tradition-specific particularities of social orders, and especially those of his own social order. He loathed the metaphysical abstractionism of his enemies among the French Revolutionaries and their apologists. Yet the Republicans’ creed of choice, “American Exceptionalism,” the creed that America is the only society in all of time to be rooted in an abstract proposition, is of a piece with Burke’s enemies’ insistence that societies must be organized around “the rights of man.” I think that Republicans (and their mouthpieces in the so-called “conservative media”) know that Burke would have no affinity for them. This would explain why they never invoke him.
Mercer: How does the Bashar-must-go; Putin-is-Lucifer lunacy comport with your deconstruction of neoconservatism – the creed that animates the foreign-policy prescriptions of every single Republican presidential hopeful other than Rand Paul and Donald Trump?
Kerwick: Because of the neocons’ radically ahistorical notion of America as an “exceptional” nation, the only in all time to have been founded upon a “proposition” or “principle” affirming self-evident, universal “rights” – which they in turn translate into “Democracy” – and because principles have no borders, so to speak, neoconservatives have no regard for the particularities and contingencies that define societies. All that counts is that the universal, “rights” be defended. Yet the only way for this to occur is for the United States government to have virtually unlimited power. That’s right – for all of their talk of “limited government,” neocons ache every bit as badly for a huge, activist government as do leftists of any other stripe. And this, in turn, implies that they must see enemies around the globe – or at least where there is no “Democracy.”
Mercer: À la Frédéric Bastiat, author of “The Law,” you teach: “Laws do not tell citizens what to do … they tell citizens how they must avoid acting regardless of what they choose to do.” How does this classically liberal concept of “The Law” clarify why NOT ONE “conservative” is indeed a conservative in the mold of Russel Kirk or Burke?
Kerwick: Laws have no purpose in the sense that they aren’t devices for achieving predetermined outcomes. Laws qualify, they do not specify, actions. In this crucial respect, they differ in kind from commands, orders and policies. The great apostles of liberty in the classical conservative and libertarian traditions have always understood this. Neocons and other leftists do not. The proof of this is in the neocons’ obsession with policy, particularly foreign policy, and the incessant chatter about “leadership” in government that their foreign-policy prescriptions entail. Leaders have followers, those who the former compel, one way or the other, to do as they are told. In contrast, free men and women are self-directed. This is what the law makes possible. Policies, commands and orders preclude it.
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