The Left

Jousting with CSULB students

The Daily 49er, the student newspaper at CSU-Long Beach, asked me write an op-ed giving my side of things. This was after a big push by radical students to my disrupt classes and get me fired, including quite a few letters and articles in the Daily 49er. My article is here. Whoever writes the headlines changed it from its original: “Academic left opposes free speech, academic freedom and the legitimate interests of White Americans” to “Academic ‘left’ opposes free speech, academic freedom.” ‘Left’ is now in quotes, suggesting, I guess, that it doesn’t really exist, and ignoring completely the main topic of the article: the legitimacy of White interests. The headline writer will go far in journalism.

Probably not a lot new about it, except I am trying to emphasize more how the left changed in the 1960s from being pro-working class to being pro-multicultural and pro-mass immigration. The deep structure there, although I don’t mention it in the article, is that the Jewish intellectual movements that became dominant had given up on the revolutionary potential of the White working class because they had supported fascism. The only solution was to import an entirely new people.

There are some interesting comments on the article. Two Mexican activists seem bent on getting rid of Whites as fast as possible. I should hope that would alert White students that their future is not too bright in Mexifornia if things continue as they are. Then there’s the one by Doug Kauffman. I think he’s the one who called me a Nazi in front of my students. He seems quite concerned about Jewish issues.

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"It’s Not the Arguments"

A recent TOO piece offered an argument for the importance of solid funding for the success of any media venture, TOO included. The basic idea is an important one to discuss — that high status confers influence. Indeed, the importance of high status is a critical ingredient of theories of influence in sociology, and psychologists have argued that attraction to high status is part of our evolutionary heritage.

We see this repeatedly in the key institutions throughout the West, including the media and the academic world. Jewish influence basically stems from their influence on all of the high ground of the culture. The revolution of the Left was a top-down revolution that began in the most prestigious academic and media institutions and then spread to the lower reaches of the media and the K-12 educational system.

For all its espousal of egalitarianism, the academic world is a hierarchical system in which the highest levels are rigorously policed to ensure ideological conformity because any leak in the system would mean that non-conformists would benefit from institutional prestige. This, of course, is exactly why John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt caused such a panic attack in the ranks of the Israel Lobby. Mearsheimer and Walt weren’t just two easy-to-ignore guys from some college no one heard of; nor were they members of an easily marginalized group, such as Arabs. They were well-known and academically productive professors from prestigious institutions — the University of Chicago and Harvard respectively. This resulted in a full-fledged smear campaign emphasizing “shoddy scholarship” (typically made by Jewish activist organizations or others without the least experience as scholars) and charges of being anti-Semites on a par with the authors of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. When all else fails, …

Another example is E. O. Wilson, the Harvard biologist who in 1975 stunned the academic left with the publication of Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. Wilson included a chapter applying evolutionary thinking to humans — a topic that had been expunged from the social sciences ever since the triumph of Boasian anthropology in the 1920s. Wilson was already well-known as an entomologist and ecologist, and his position at Harvard gave him immense authority.

The Left went into full-fledged moral panic mode, led by high-profile attacks from Richard Lewontin and Stephen Jay Gould — both of whom were also at Harvard and were discussed in Chapter 2 of Culture of Critique as examples of leftist Jewish intellectuals who undermined evolutionary and biological approaches in the social sciences.

The Israel Lobby and the Left won these battles ultimately. Politicians are loathe to cite Mearsheimer and Walt, and it is unthinkable that they could attain positions in the government where they could directly influence US foreign policy. Tamer versions of evolutionary psychology are tolerated, but arguments related to ethnic interests (Salter), the reality of ethnic and racial differences (Jensen, Lynn, Rushton), and my writing on Jewish influence on culture have been expunged from the mainstream media. I have sometimes thought that my ideas would be more influential if I held a position at Harvard. But the reality is that occasional lapses from decorum have been managed quite effectively.

The result is that Whites are intellectually and culturally insecure. Any cultural confidence they have must buck the tide of elite opinion which is constantly telling them they are racists who owe whatever success they have in life to “White privelege” or other inventions of the Left. As I noted elsewhere, “one of the greatest triumphs of the left has been to get people to believe that people who assert white identity and interests or who make unflattering portrayals of organized Jewish movements are morally degenerate, stupid, and perhaps psychiatrically disturbed. Obviously, all of these adjectives designate low status.”

The revolution may well begin because of the rage of non-elite Whites. But it won’t be successful until the elite bastions of anti-White opinion are breached. And that will not be an easy fight to win.

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The Howard Zinn Cancer Spreads to Australia

I blogged recently on radical historian Howard Zinn and his lack of concern for historical truth. An article in Quadrant, an Australian journal, discusses Howard Zinn’s disastrous influence. It also discusses Zinn’s main disciple in Australia, Robert Manne — also Jewish. First, about Zinn’s most influential book:

Zinn’s radical (and radically unsound) tome, A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present, has gone through five editions and multiple printings since it was first published in 1980, selling almost two million copies, and is assigned in thousands of university and college courses in America, making it the best-selling work of history ever written by an American leftist. It also has a high profile in popular culture, being the basis of several documentaries, inspiring pop songs, serving as the basis for a highly successful graphic novel, being referenced in the Academy Award-winning film Good Will Hunting (1997), and even in an episode of The Simpsons, where Marge is shown reading the book at college. Its penetration into American popular consciousness is both unparalleled and insidious.

The Zinn cancer metastasized from America to Australia, spreading the culture of the left that has come to dominate the academic world in recent decades:

Zinn’s book had an immediate impact on the neo-Marxist, Foucaultian, and feminist academic clique that came to dominate the study, teaching, publishing, and grant-allocating activities of Australian history in the 1980s, giving rise to the four volume collectivist effort, A People’s History of Australia Since 1788. This was published in 1988 in order to promote the negative mythology of Australian history in time for the Bicentennial and to ensure that the nation had no illusions about the depths of its historical depravity.

Manne is a worthy acolyte to Zinn:

Manne [and] the many other Australian historians who follow his lead …  make no attempt to champion the Australian people or recognize their efforts to build a nation. Instead, Australians emerge from their historical writings as unrepentant and non-reflective racists who support ignorant, oppressive, and racist policies, and deserve nothing but the unrelenting contempt of morally superior intellectuals like Manne and his colleagues — a contempt they are happy to provide.

Manne is a worthy disciple of Zinn for another reason. He has no scruples about falsifying history in order to advance the Jewish ethnic agenda of undermining a confident, homogeneous White Australia. It is well known that the Jewish community in Australia has been a strong supporter of non-White immigration and multiculturalism (summarized in CofC, where, e.g., I quote Miriam Faine, an editorial committee member of the Australian Jewish Democrat: “The strengthening of multicultural or diverse Australia is also our most effective insurance policy against anti-semitism. The day Australia has a Chinese Australian Governor General I would feel more confident of my freedom to live as a Jewish Australian.” [Sound familiar?] See also here.) Manne is also totally on board with multiculturalism. Here he is discussing his Jewish roots at a website dedicated to making Australia multicultural.

Keith Windshuttle has charged Manne with professional malfeasance in claiming that the Australian government during the 1930s supported a policy of “breeding out the colour” by encouraging White men to marry “half-caste” women in order to eventually make their descendants White. Because of Manne’s position as an elite academic, his word carried a great deal of weight with the government, resulting in an abject apology to appease the contemporary gods of multiculturalism. As Windshuttle notes,

In failing to mention these three critical responses, while pretending the government gave “full endorsement” to the very opposite approach, Manne falsified Australian political history on an issue that he, more than almost any other academic commentator in the country, had the opportunity, the interest and the ability to investigate thoroughly and report honestly. If Manne can get away with behaviour of this kind, it would mean Australian universities no longer demand any standard of truthfulness from their academic staff.

I rather doubt that anything will happen to Manne. Falsifying historical and scientific data is par for the course in all of the Jewish intellectual movements covered in The Culture of Critique. Boas, who shaped American anthropology, and the Frankfurt School are great examples. (This blog discusses Boas’s falsifying data in his notorious head shape study that was used by immigration advocates for decades to argue that the environment would shape everyone into good Americans.) Luminaries like Freud didn’t really falsify data, but he produced untestable theories that successfully masqueraded as science while being very useful in the assault on the traditional people and culture of the West.

The common denominator of all this intellectual work has been to undermine the confidence of Western societies and their willingness to remain racially and culturally homogeneous. The hypocrisy in all this is stunning. For example, Australian Jewish leader Rabbi Isi Leibler, a staunch defender of multiculturalism as a model of Australia, was recently reported as saying that multiculturalism has no place in Israel. “[Israel] is a country which was set up and created as a Jewish country for the Jews.” In another context he stated “”There is a need to sit together and establish a way in which Australians can recapture that spirit of multiculturalism which I think we are all proud being part and parcel of, and which is really under threat.”

As usual, one needn’t bother to look for high principle to explain Jewish activism. The only common denominator is what is good for the Jews.

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Tom Sunic’s "Camp of the Holy Ghosts"

Tom Sunic’s “Camp of the Holy Ghosts” raises a number of important issues. Should White advocates curry favor with Zionists in the hope of getting Jewish support for their aims? Sunic thinks not: “Such pathetic comments by the Vlaams Belang or the BNP, and by some American White advocates, won’t help their White constituents in the long run, nor will they appease their Jewish detractors.”

I suspect that is correct. The only reason the organized Jewish community would really get behind White advocacy in a quid pro quo for support of Zionism would be if White advocacy already had substantial power — which it does not. Jewish power and influence will be directed at supporting their own ethnostate of Israel and dispossessing Whites in the Diaspora for exactly as long as that strategy continues to work. If White activism makes headway, Jews will certainly attempt to participate in order to promote Jewish interests within that new environment.

If this is the case, then it certainly makes sense for at least some factions of White advocacy to continue to document and critique the role of Jewish power and influence in the dispossession of Whites, if only in the interest of historical accuracy. But I also think that Whites who understand Jewish influence are simply more aware of how things work and therefore less likely to succumb to Jewish ideologies like neoconservatism as a solution for White dispossession. For example, it horrifies me that even people like Glenn Beck — probably the most implicitly White mainstream conservative and regarded as an extremist by the ADL — is nevertheless solidly in favor of legal immigration:”I’m not a racist. [Illegal immigration] isn’t to be confused with legal immigration.”

Another important point in Sunic’s article is the contrast between Catholicism in Eastern and Western Europe:

The Catholic Church in Central and Eastern Europe is a projection of local White national identity and not so much the symbol of spiritual salvation. Catholic Poland, Slovakia, Croatia and Hungary take special pride in calling themselves “antemurale cristianitatis”, or “antimurale occidentis — i,e,, the “bulwark of Christianity” and the “rampart of the West” — first against Turkic Islamic invaders, then against godless communism.  Seen in retrospect, communist repression in Eastern Europe strengthened the role of the Catholic Church and the White consciousness of its congregation. By contrast, in Western Europe the liberal system is now quickly turning the Catholic Church into a multiracial clearing house.

Catholicism and Christianity in general have been harnessed to the power of the multicultural left which has reigned supreme since WWII. The power and influence of the multicultural left has permeated all aspects of Western intellectual and political life, including all mainstream Christian sects. But there is nothing inherent in Christianity that implies that it will inevitably cooperate in the suicide of the West. What is needed is to change the secular power structure and to actively encourage ethnically defensive forms of Christianity.

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The academic left’s involvement in politics

In today’s LA Times, the op-ed page was dominated by comments on Howard Zinn (“An experts’ history of Zinn”), who by all accounts was a leftist political activist as well as a professor of political science at Boston University. Zinn, who probably deserved a chapter in The Culture of Critique as an exemplar of a leftist Jewish intellectual activist, was involved in all the leftist causes of the last 60 years. He wore his political beliefs on his sleeve and was proud of his lack of neutrality in his writing, titling his memoir You can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train.  As one of the commentators, Sean Wilentz, notes,

He saw history primarily as a means to motivate people to political action that he found admirable. That’s what he said he did. It’s fine as a form of agitation — agitprop — but it’s not particularly good history.

To a point, he helped correct mainstream popular conceptions of American history that were highly biased. But he ceased writing serious history. He had a very simplified view that everyone who was president was always a stinker and every left-winger was always great.

But other historians are much more sympathetic to Zinn. Eric Foner, who is described by one reviewer as the “sainted PC commissar for US history and Reconstruction fabulist” is, like Zinn, an academic radical activist. Foner says about Zinn:

The idea that historians have to be neutral about everything they study is the death of history. Every historian has beliefs and feelings about what they’re studying. Howard made them very explicit. The teachers you remember are the ones with a passion for history who made it clear what they thought. They were not polemicists. They respected the canons of historical scholarship, as Zinn did, but they cared deeply.

Well, I’m not sure how much Zinn respected the canons of scholarship in creating what one commentor called an “eternal struggle between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.” The print version of the Times op-ed provides some quotations from Zinn’s work A People’s History of the United States. The Western culture = evil, native peoples = good theme is obvious. Europe of the Renaissance was “dominated … by the religion of the popes, the government of kings, the frenzy for money that marked Western Civilization and its first messenger to the Americas, Christopher Columbus.” The natives, on the other hand, are all about hospitality and sharing, and they have no concept of war. (Imagine the horror if someone made blanket assertions about Jews as having a frenzy for money.)

As an evolutionist, the idea that Western culture is uniquely evil is ridiculous, but the idea that it is uniquely evil has been common among Jewish intellectual activists, most notably the Boasian anthropologists. As I noted in The Culture of Critique,

one consequence of the triumph of the Boasians was that there was almost no research on warfare and violence among the peoples studied by anthropologists (Keegan 1993, 90–94). Warfare and warriors were ignored, and cultures were conceived as consisting of myth-makers and gift-givers [or, as hospitable, loving, and sharing people, as Zinn would have it]. (Orans [1996, 120] shows that Mead systematically ignored cases of rape, violence, revolution, and competition in her account of Samoa.) Only five articles on the anthropology of war appeared during the 1950s. Revealingly, when Harry Turney-High published his volume Primitive Warfarein 1949 documenting the universality of warfare and its oftentimes awesome savagery, the book was completely ignored by the anthropological profession—another example of the exclusionary tactics used against dissenters among the Boasians and characteristic of the other intellectual movements reviewed in this volume as well. Turney-High’s massive data on non-Western peoples conflicted with the image of them favored by a highly politicized profession whose members simply excluded these data entirely from intellectual discourse. The result was a “pacified past” (Keeley 1996, 163ff) and an “attitude of self-reproach” (p. 179) in which the behavior of primitive peoples was bowdlerized while the behavior of European peoples was not only excoriated as uniquely evil but also as responsible for all extant examples of warfare among primitive peoples. From this perspective, it is only the fundamental inadequacy of European culture that prevents an idyllic world free from between-group conflict. 

The reality, of course, is far different. Warfare was and remains a recurrent phenomenon among prestate societies. Surveys indicate over 90 percent of societies engage in warfare, the great majority engaging in military activities at least once per year (Keeley 1996, 27–32). Moreover, “whenever modern humans appear on the scene, definitive evidence of homicidal violence becomes more common, given a sufficient number of burials (Keeley 1996, 37). Because of its frequency and the seriousness of its consequences, primitive warfare was more deadly than civilized warfare. Most adult males in primitive and prehistoric societies engaged in warfare and “saw combat repeatedly in a lifetime” (Keeley, 1996, 174).

Howard Zinn was obviously in this tradition. But because he plugged into the anti-Western zeitgeist of the academic left, he had a long and happy career at Boston University — untroubled by student activists trying to get him fired.

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Kevin MacDonald: The multi-cultural left's broad definitions of 'racism' — and aggressive tactics

Kevin MacDonald: The story of Bob Kellar, a city councilman in Santa Clarita, has been getting a lot of attention in Southern California. The LA Times (“’Proud racist’comment roils Santa Clarita”) describes the context:   

The controversy stems from a Jan. 16 anti-immigration rally in Santa Clarita; Kellar spoke and referred to a statement by former President Theodore Roosevelt that the United States has a place for only one flag and one language.

Kellar said those remarks caused some people to accuse him of being racist to which he replied: If believing in America causes people to think he’s a racist, “then I’m a proud racist.”

What this really shows is that the left has a very low threshold for what constitutes racism among Whites. Advocating one flag and one language is not going to be enough to stave off White dispossession and is certainly not racist by any reasonable definition of the term. In this video interview, Kellar says “of course, I am not a racist. I am anything else but,” and then says he will continue to “do what’s right for all the people of this great nation.” Of course, the LA Time gets right in line by labeling Answer Coalition, the organization protesting Kellar, as “anti-racist.”

As the newspaper article makes clear, the focus is on illegal immigration, not immigration in general. Even opposition to illegal immigration becomes politically risky and likely to bring out aggressive protestors waving signs and pointing fingers. Advocating cultural assimilation becomes “racism” — the most deadly charge in contemporary American public life.

But of course, this tactic works. Politicians who value a peaceful life and good media coverage will certainly avoid talking like Bob Kellar.

What strikes me is the sheer aggression of the open borders crowd. In the past week my classes have been disrupted by student activists calling me a Nazi, claiming that I advocate genocide, and generally making life unpleasant. The reason for this renewed activism is my association with the American Third Position. This is a recording of Gustavo Arellano’s show on KPFK, January, 28. (KPFK-Radio Pacifica is a self-described “Progressive and Independent” station. Ironically, KPFK portrays itself as a staunch advocate of free speech.)

Arellano begins by baldly asserting that A3P and I advocate deportation of all non-Whites, including African Americans and every other group, legal or illegal, no matter how long they or their ancestors have been here. Not only that, he claims that A3P advocates suppression of all LBGT’s (lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender, for those not in the loop of leftist acronyms). (For  the record, my position is that gays and other sexual minorities have ethnic interests just like everyone else). For these supposed crimes, he advocates that I be fired from my academic position.

This is the summary A3P statement on immigration:

To safeguard our identity and culture, and to maintain the very existence of our nation, we will immediately put an indefinite moratorium on all immigration. Recognizing our people’s right to safety, and respecting the sanctity of the rule of law, we will immediately deport all criminal and illegal aliens. We believe, too, that American citizenship should be exclusive and meaningful. As such, the American Third Position will end the practice of automatic birthright-citizenship for children of illegal aliens. To restore, with civility, the identity and culture of our homeland, we will provide incentives for recent, legal immigrants to return to their respective lands. 

This reflects my views. Pretty clearly, it does not advocate a blanket deportation of non-Whites. There is nothing in it that can reasonably be labeled as racist. Deporting illegal aliens is the official policy of the US government and I really don’t know why anyone would oppose deporting criminal aliens. Further, I have no doubt that this statement reflects the views of a strong majority of White Americans — even though they and their political representatives are terrified to say so publicly. 

It’s obvious that the activist left cares nothing for the truth or accurate depictions of the ideas of those who disagree with them. But as long as it is effective, they will doubtless continue to do it.

I can’t help but point out the obvious: people like Arellano are ethnic activists for their own people but they would deny me the right to act on my ethnic interests or even to identify as a European-American. He has a strong ethnic identity as a Mexican. (His column “Ask a Mexican” runs in the Orange County Weekly.)

I am not at all surprised that he wants the best for his people, including getting as many of them as possible to become US citizens and to pursue political power here.

But people like me have ethnic interests too. It’s not about hate. It’s about conflicts of interest over the ethnic composition of the country. And even though politicians like Bob Kellar shy away from explicitly asserting their ethnic interests, they are tapping into a growing rage among White Americans that their country is being taken away from them. At this point it’s not possible to see where this rage will lead, but it will certainly make for interesting times.

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More on the academic culture of the left

Kevin MacDonald wrote this week in his blog, “Kevin Lamb’s TOO review of William Tucker’s book on Raymond Cattell is a microcosm of how far the academic world has sunk.”

Don’t I know it! Frankly, even if I had a good shot at getting a decent academic job at an American university, I don’t think I would take it, for the same reason MacDonald wrote about in a previous blog: “My fate in life is to work at a university. What that means right now is to be completely immersed in the culture of the left.”

The hostility toward White men and Western culture that I noticed got very strong about 1995 is just too much for me. Absolutely everything I’ve observed since only confirms it’s gotten worse — much worse.

For instance, the leading journal in my field recently eulogized a former President of the American Studies Association: “When Emory became an assistant professor at Princeton in 1972, he joined an overwhelmingly White and male academy, one steeped in privileges of tradition and exclusion.” That’s White folks for you. It’s all about exclusion and privilege.

One wonders if he approved of the rate and degree of change during his watch.

The same journal also has a long essay by one Jodi Kim (I assume she’s Korean American) about (White) Americans adopting Asian babies. Representative sentence: “It is also a highly racialized and gendered process implicated in the United States’ imperialist, capitalist modernity and indeed its foundational or constitutive projects of racial formation and ‘nation building’ both domestically and internationally.” Please go back to Korea if you hate your adopted country so much.

Or this: “The films make visible how the conditions of possibility of transracial adoption surface at the disturbing nexus of the successive forced migrations engineered by US and Western capitalist modernity, cold war imperialism in Asia, the White heteronormative bourgeois nuclear family ideal, and the long-standing imperialist desire to ‘save’ the world.”  Tranraical adoption is part of Western imperialism engineered by evil “heteronormative” (!) White people trying to “save” the world?  Okay, let’s send all the non-White children back to their Asian homeland.

And this all comes within the first two pages.

Interesting footnote from the essay: “Since 1954, over 200,000 children have been adopted from South Korea, including 150,000 sent to the US and the remainder to Europe.”

Recently, China has become the main source for such adoptions. Why? As a footnote tells us: “Almost all transnationally adopted Chinese babies are abandoned girls.” Golly, who’s the bad guy in this tale, the Whites who adopted them or the non-Whites who abandoned thousands of babies?

I’m not surprised by such writing, though, since it is so routine in the humanities in America. Over a decade ago, for example, I read social scientist Derek Freeman’s account of debunking Margaret Mead’s Franz Boas-inspired book. The title of Freeman’s account is The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead: A Historical Analysis of Her Samoan Research. Here’s a telling story about the sad state of social “science” these days.

In an earlier book, Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth, Freeman ignited a firestorm in the world of anthropology by challenging, in one professor’s words, “the Mother-Goddess of American Anthropology.” From the publication of that book in 1983, Freeman “was subjected to a highly emotional and, at times, flagrantly ad hominem campaign that reached its apogee in Chicago during the Eighty Second Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, when . . . there was a special session (to which [he] was not invited) devoted to the evaluation of [his] book.” Descriptions of the meeting from those who attended ranged from “a sort of grotesque feeding frenzy” to “I felt I was in a room with 200 people ready to lynch you.”

Whatever happened to dispassionate search for truth and the advancement of science?

Another excellent point MacDonald makes concerns both the brother- and sisterhood of victims, and its hierarchy with Jews at the top:

What’s striking is that Jews and other non-Europeans wear their ethnic identity and sense of victimhood proudly and explicitly. The Whites typically have their own sense of victimhood — as gays or as women. In my experience, the heterosexual White males become adept at effusive expressions of guilt in order to be accepted into the system. In this culture of victimhood, all the rewards go to those who make alliances with other victims.

Zoom in on another tribute in our field’s journal to a fallen multiculturalist, a person who can best be described as the patron saint of American studies. I really don’t think you readers need this pointed out, but the author hates the idea that America has any White identity at all. She is writing in tribute to a fellow Chicana, “internationally recognized cultural theorist, creative writer, and independent scholar Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa.”

Remember, this is the leading journal in the field. That means that publishing there is the route to tenure and recognition. The route to tenure is to wallow in one’s victimhood, and in the victimhood stakes, this woman is thrice blessed — female, non-White, and lesbian: the diversity trifecta all in one person.

I quote at length only to give you a feel for what is going on in the academy these days:

I was introduced to your borderlands theory at the same time that I left the El Paso/Juárez border, never realizing how your work would impact my own scholarship in a field that I, at first, found as White as a midwestern winter. 

On May 21, 1980, almost exactly twenty-four years before your death, you wrote “Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers,” in which you visualized other women of color engaged in the radical act of writing and theorizing about our own lives, contemplating our raced/sexed/gendered/ classed realities and histories, and reclaiming our right to write. “Forget the room of one’s own,” you wrote, “write in the kitchen, lock yourself up in the bathroom. Write on the bus or the welfare line, on the job or during meals, between sleeping or waking.” . . . 

First, I should admit: I knew nothing about either you or the field until 1985, when I began my Ph.D. in American studies at the University of Iowa. Once there, I was dazed by cold and culture shock. From what I gleaned in my classes, “doing” American studies meant reading White male historians, White male literary critics, and great White male literature, trying to find the immanent “American” mind and character—a concept so riddled with problematic assumptions about what “American” meant that I was ready to pack up my bags and run for home. 

I can’t tell you the intellectual malaise I wallowed in that first semester, feeling for the first time in my life like a cultural alien in a White wilderness. Little did I know I was in the throes of what you called the nepantla state, “that uncertain terrain one crosses when moving from one place to another . . . to be disoriented in space is to experience bouts of disassociation of identity, identity breakdowns and buildups.” Little did I realize I was experiencing my first rite of passage as an academic border crosser. 

And then, you came to town. I couldn’t believe it, a tejana fronteriza dyke like me, speaking the same three tongues I speak. Lenguas de fuego, you named them, tongues of fire—the queer tongue, the decolonial tejana tongue, and the forked tongue of the border. You were finishing up with Borderlands/ La Frontera: The New Mestiza (a doctoral dissertation, if I ever saw one) and were trying out some of your theories—La Facultad, the Shadow Beast, the Coatlicue State, Mestiza Consciousness—on a multicultural college audience in Iowa City. Even among all those maricones and tortilleras (who knew I would find such queer Latinidad in Iowa?) your lecture settled over us like cosmic dust from another planet. The Whites in the room, even the liberal ones wearing Guatemalan shirts under their parkas, shifted uncomfortably in their seats; the more honest ones stared at you as though you’d just dropped a crop circle in their cornfield. 

I saw how the queers, the rape survivors, and the people of color responded with recognition to your idea about a certain faculty of mind that people who live in the margins develop early in life, a “survival tactic,” you called it, that teaches us to become aware of the racist, the rapist, or the homophobe in the room before that person even approaches. The African American and Latina professors, whatever their sexuality, saw themselves reflected in that beastly mirror of self-doubt and self-hate that you explained was a consequence of internalized racism and sexism. As a border dweller myself, I completely identified with your discussion on linguistic terrorism and the way those of us who are bred in the borderlands develop an ability to negotiate two languages and two cultures as a way of protecting ourselves against cultural schizophrenia. 

But when you got to the part about how identity must be fluid like the river, how we must shed our skins by entering into the Coatlicue state of death and renewal, the immersion into crisis when an old self dies and a new self awakens with a tolerance for contradictions and ambiguity and a talent for seeing through “serpent and eagle eyes”—you lost us. More accurately, you plunged us into that nepantla state.

Now ask yourself if the writer of the above — or the intended audience — can ever gain freedom from the constraints MacDonald identified. To wit: “In the humanities, it’s a lost cause. The triumvirate of the Frankfurt School, psychoanalysis, and Marxism is impervious to scientific findings and is intensely political; it will strenuously resist significant change.”

Since I’m skewering the academy in which I’ve spent so many years, let me also allude to Christopher Donovan’s current TOO article “A Window on the Warping of Whites: The Swarthmore College Alumni Magazine.”

To be honest, I share the same experience about my alma mater that he writes about Swarthmore. My school is a good second-tier private institution, one with a historically White ethnic/religious background that continues to this day. Yet it tries to go more upscale by aping the same trends Donovan highlights. In every issue they try to cram more photos of blacks and articles about Jews into the publication than I find even remotely warranted.

Yes, Donovan gets it exactly right: “What’s so amazing . . . is the totality of intellectual takeover.”

Again, this is not new. As a thirtysomething in 1992, I returned from six years of working abroad and did an unpaid internship at the leading pro-American manufacturing think tank in D.C. The other nine or so interns were college kids who just wanted to play softball with other interns during the hot Washington summer. Few of them even knew what the think tank dealt with.

When they found out about the pro-American slant of the think tank (a car maker—since gone bankrupt—was the biggest funder), they nearly rebelled.

They came from Cornell, Harvard, Bates . . . and Swarthmore.

So I think I’ll remain aloof from the American academy and earn my bread elsewhere. I don’t want to work somewhere where I’m always unfairly attacked because I was born a White male. Plus I don’t want to be around people teaching or educated at places like Swarthmore—or any other “good” university.

Needless to say, I send not a penny to any of the three universities from which I gained degrees. I’ll let others fund those glossy photos of high-achieving African Americans and “socially active” Jews.

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