Stuff White People Like: The beginnings of racial self-consciousness?

Christian Lander’s stuffwhitepeoplelike blogspot is getting huge traffic and some media attention. Of course, it’s not all white people they’re talking about, mainly yuppie/progressive/educated/non-race-conscious whites with disposable income.

Some of  what these white people like is pathetic, like having blacks as cultural heroes:

[Mos Def] is everything that white people dream about: authentic (”he’s from Brooklyn!”), funny (”he was on Chapelle show!”), artistic (have you heard “Black on Both Sides?”), an actor (”he’s in the new Gondry film!”) and not white (”I don’t see race”).”

(Note: For those readers who haven’t heard of him, Lander writes that despite being white, Michel Gondry is another cultural icon that white people like, most likely because he did cool things like direct David Chappelle’s Block Partyand lots of music videos for bands like Daft Punk. His latest is Be Kind Rewindwhose title alone should make it a white person classic. Lander saysit might be the biggest event in white person film since The Royal Tenenbaums.”)

Another of Lander’s examples shows the powerful sense of guilt that seems to haunt all whites, even for trivial stuff like not recycling:

If you are in a situation where a white person produces an empty bottle, watch their actions. They will first say ‘where’s the recycling?’ If you say “we don’t recycle,” prepare for some awkwardness. They will make a move to throw the bottle away, they will hesitate, and then ultimately throw the bottle away. But after they return look in their eyes. All they can see is the bottle lasting forever in a landfill, trapping small animals. It will eat at them for days, at this point you should say ‘I’m just kidding, the recycling is under the sink. Can you fish out that bottle?’ And they will do it 100% of the time!

So the bad news (not exactly news) is that whites are not at all racially conscious and even look up to non-whites as cultural icons. And they are excruciatingly scrupulous about doing the right thing, even when it comes to recycling a plastic bottle.

But the good news is that whites may at least be beginning to see these traits as white. As Gregory Rodriguez (who doubtless eagerly awaits the minority status of whites) notes in a Feb. 25 L.A. Times op-ed:

As unusual as Lander’s site is, it is also part of a sociological trend among whites who live in increasingly non-Anglo cities and regions: their transformation into a minority group. Whites used to think of themselves as standard-issue American — they had the luxury of not having to grapple with the significance of their own racial background; they were “us” and everyone else was “ethnic.” Not anymore.

Demographic shifts have put a new kind of pressure on that category of people who were once just considered the norm,” says Mike Hill, author of “After Whiteness: Unmaking an American Majority.” “White identity is becoming particularized and minoritized. No longer the normative category, it’s becoming one of many identities.

This pressure naturally leads to a greater sense of self-consciousness as the new minority begins to negotiate their relationships with members of other minorities (everyone else).

Exactly right. It’s a very small and even grotesque beginning, given the traits that Lander points to. But perhaps at long last white people will start thinking of themselves as a group — a group with some very peculiar and maladaptive traits. Does any other group worship cultural icons from another race?  Is any other race so incredibly prone to guilt that they have an anxiety attack for failing to recycle a bottle. People like this doubtless feel a sense of moral uplift when they vote for Barack Obama.

Being so spectacularly guilt-ridden and self-hating is perhaps viable in a society that is overwhelmingly and permanently white. But such attitudes are suicidal in a society rapidly becoming non-white.

Part of the white delusion is to suppose that deep down, everyone is just like them and could be made to be just like them with a little tinkering:

It is a poorly guarded secret that, deep down, white people believe if given money and education that all poor people would be EXACTLY like them. In fact, the only reason that poor people make the choices they do is because they have not been given the means to make the right choices and care about the right things.

A great way to make white people feel good is to tell them about situations where poor people changed how they were doing things because they were given the ‘whiter’ option.

In fact of course, there is no reason at all to suppose that the non-white future will be at all like these pathetic self-haters. There is no reason whatever to suppose that the soon-to-be non-white majority will be so fastidiously moral and anxiety ridden. Unlike whites, these groups are aggressively asserting their interests, and there is little reason to think they will stop when they become the majority.

Indeed, quite a few of the prospective non-white majority have the same negative opinion of whites that these progressive whites have of themselves. Mos Def is their cultural icon, but he is also a “socially conscious” rapper, who is nothing if not deeply ethnocentric and none too fond of white people.

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But these white people are still living in a dream world where they lunch onexpensive sandwiches and agonize about getting the exactly right high-performance bicycle.

It’s going to be a rude awakening.

Lander points out:

Too many white people don’t like to be reminded that they’re white. They like to think that white people are those evil corporate right-wingers or the uneducated masses who vote the wrong way. But ‘enlightened whites’ are white people too and have just as much of a group mentality as they think the red staters have.

They do indeed have a group mentality, but one that is leading them to oblivion. Making the group mentality explicit and then deconstructing it for its child-like ignorance of real-world realities is certainly a start.