It is fascinating to watch the battle lines continually forming and reforming on America’s college campuses. At the moment, all eyes are on Evergreen State — one of, if not the most liberal publicly funded colleges in the US. Located an hour’s drive from Tacoma, it is a small state-funded school, with a majority White student body though a sizeable minority of students of color (29% in 2016).
On campuses across the country, the last few years have seen repeated incidents in which minority students seem impelled, whether by their professors or for psychological or other reasons, to protest non-existent hate crimes or the most insignificant of perceived slights, public speakers they don’t like. Vigilante mobs use threats, non-violent and violent protests to wrest concessions from the craven administrators who oversee our nation’s universities.
At Evergreen, the spark that set off the recent turmoil was an announced “Day of Absence” in which White students and campus members were told to not come to campus so that students of color would have a day free from their oppressive presence. Evergreen State biology professor Bret Weinstein had concerns with this plan, writing that it seemed, well, somewhat racist. Certainly, excluding White students from campus for a day would seem on the face of it to be spectacularly racist, but we must remember that the prevailing logic of the social justice left is “people of color can’t be racist” — which is then interpreted as “anything we do to White people is ok.” This dynamic is visible in any of the videos of the confrontations from Evergreen State or any of the other recent campus race-based protests. The template for this is for students, faculty, or protestors “of color” and their White allies to unashamedly harass, scream and swear at, insult, and on occasion initiate force or threats of force against White individuals whom they accuse of being racist, insensitive, or merely insufficiently subservient.
Weinstein’s disapproval of and non-compliance with the Day of Absence was duly noted by a Black professor, Naima Lowe, and circulated to a group of students.
Some weeks later Dr. Weinstein’s class was interrupted by The Mob appearing at his door. We all know the nature of The Mob by now. They pepper-spray and assault Trump supporters; savagely beat women trying to attend talks by speakers they disapprove of; occupy University buildings until their infantile and unreasonable demands are met. They chase illustrious intellectuals like Charles Murray and the people who invited him through liberal arts colleges, injuring a female professor in the process; and generally exude an aura of theatrical faux victimization paired with increasingly thuggish displays of violence. Comparisons to the Red Guard are apt, but this Mob is motivated by a strong racial animus, and characterized by its trademark sound: incoherent, grammatically-challenged shrieking. The Mob is manifestly anti-White, though depending on location, many of their members can be so-called White “allies,” and it is likely Jews are disproportionately represented. While much public attention is on Antifa, they are just the most organized and militant manifestation of the larger Mob. As the recent arrest of the bike lock-weilding professor demonstrates, every element of The Mob from its rhetoricians to its shock troops are deeply interwoven with our educational institutions.
So Weinstein was confronted. As usual, he tried, vainly, to reason with them. As usual, they gibbered and cursed and threatened him. As usual, the administration of the University took The Mob’s side. As usual, after being subjected to personal insults, much profanity, near-unintelligible plagiarism of Al Sharpton (“we built these cities, we had civilization way before you ever had … comin’ out your caves!”) and insistence he not wave his arms while speaking, the pusillanimous president of Evergreen State University caved to the majority of The Mob’s demented demands: more mandatory anti-White diversity training, no homework (students were too worn out from screaming at their teachers), and lots and lots of funding and other free goodies to be directed the Mob’s way.
Driven from campus and told the police couldn’t guarantee his safety there, Weinstein, who is both Jewish and a leftist, fought back. With the aid of his supportive brother (who works for Peter Thiel), he first took to Twitter to defend himself, and then did a remarkable interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News. Remarkable in the sense that events quickly pushed Weinstein out of his leftist academic comfort zone into what is arguably the most right-wing friendly news program on a major network, where he criticized The Mob, the University’s feckless administrators, and even the Left itself, in unambiguous terms. I’d like to think that Weinstein experienced an epiphany of sorts as he realized that it was the right-leaning Carlson and his Fox News viewers who were the people most concerned about his right to speak freely without harassment and most strongly denounce the witch hunt being led against him.
I don’t know Professor Weinstein, and have no idea how he normally identifies himself ethnically. I know that a popular truism in some alt-right circles is that Jews are not White. I know that this argument has a strong historical foundation; that Jews deliberately separated themselves from the majority communities they lived amongst in Europe, practiced strict and one-sided endogamy, and continue to largely maintain strong ethnocentric self-identification as Jews to the present day. More to the point, I recognize and agree with the critique that Jews strategically shift between using their Jewishness or Whiteness as it suits them to advance their collective interests while serving up a harsh critique of Whites, as in the Whiteness studies field they largely pioneered and dominate. I don’t mean to diminish the importance of any of these complex issues.
But my argument here is more basic. To this Mob of young people screaming “Black Power” at him, Bret Weinstein is White. His Jewishness is irrelevant. Similarly, his email indicated that he thought that the “Day of Absence” was discriminatory against Whites and that this discrimination was wrong. His attempt was to defend the rights of Whites. This was the sin that led The Mob to demand his head.
Like Weinstein I am also a Jewish, White-looking college professor. But unlike him I am not a leftist or a progressive. When or if The Mob comes for me, my Jewishness, such as it is, will be even less protection than his was. And his was no protection at all.
I think of events such as this as an ideological sorting opportunity. Weinstein thought he was a reasonable leftist, and possibly does to this day. But as The Mob turned on him, Weinstein must have noticed that suddenly he was on the same page as people on the opposite side of the political spectrum. This wasn’t a deliberate choice, but a side effect of his willingness to stand up for his White students.
My political and philosophical views and personal associations led me across this divide quite some time ago. But like Weinstein, a factor in my journey was the realization that to The Mob I am just another White male. Those who believe Jews are not White can disagree, but my lived experience as a minority in non-White communities in multiple locations inside and outside of the US informs my view. I was always White to them.
While I hope for a happy ending for Weinstein, I wonder how many other Jews will follow in his footsteps? As a former leftist I recognize their extreme reluctance to cross the divide. Most on the left still hold the view that societal conflict is fundamentally based on class divisions. They hold out hope that The Mob’s anger is rational and can be assuaged by giving them more of whatever it is they demand. Strongly Jewish-identified leftists are more likely to cling to the illusion that they are not like “the White oppressors,” but are in fact “victims” of the same “systems of oppression” — which they think makes them allies of people of color. The Mob will eventually disabuse of them of this notion.
I’m increasingly reminded of the distinction that Kevin MacDonald repeatedly makes between ordinary Jews and the extreme ethnocentric Jewish activists he discusses in The Culture of Critique and Cultural Insurrections. I don’t expect professional anti-White Jewish activists — Tim Wise and his ilk — or the majority of the Jewish left to stop their incitement. Most will be gleefully encouraging the The Mob’s sullen grievances right up until the moment their ideological children turn on them. But among ordinary, non-radical Jews one can sense the growing disquiet. Consider the vote in the 2016 presidential election. Only 35% of American Jews voted for Trump and it seemed at times as if the entire Jewish elite was working to defeat him. But despite this, and the claims that Trump was unleashing dangerous new forces of White identity, fascism, and anti-Semitism into the body politic, when the dust settled it turned out that Trump had the votes of 59% of married Jewish men and 42% of married Jewish women. Granted this was a small sample, but these results suggest a profound split within American Jewry, along multiple lines, one whose ramifications are still too early to discern.
My guess is that as The Mob continues to rampage they will nudge these more conservative Jews towards the nationalist side. As to what happens next, I don’t know. Perhaps Jewish ethnocentrism may even start to take a backseat to assimilation as Jews realize that their Jewishness not only doesn’t protect them but may even make them high-level targets of the intersectional left. I don’t expect most Jews to join the dissident right or more extreme positions as our new ideological home. And perhaps, as in Orthodox communities, Jews may be becoming more clannish while also maintaining their own form of conservativism.
But what is increasingly clear is that The Mob doesn’t care if you’re a feminist, trans-rights advocating, cultural Marxist Jew who has spent their life trying to help foster social change, or a run-of-the-mill Jewish Trump supporter. At the end of the day, to them, we’re just Whites. The SJW Frankenstein monster is turning against its creator. Don’t be surprised when they come for you too.