White nationalism is a mystery to most people. Myself included. Although I love genealogy and learning about where my ancestors came from, I wouldn’t call myself “proud” to be white. I acknowledge that, in my society and culture, I am lucky to be white.
For example, when I go for a jog, I never worry that someone’s going to think I’m running from the cops. In fact, when I do interact with the police, they’re usually super nice to me. Coppers think white ladies are all so darned simple and innocent that I’ve never been searched or even ticketed – not even that time I was cruising down the Kennedy Expressway at almost 30mph above the speed limit. Try that as a person of color. No, actually, don’t. I’m seriously afraid of what would happen to you.
A group called National Alliance apparently doesn’t feel the same way. They recently fliered cars in my hometown – fliers that used laughably melodramatic language, such as referring to racial mixing as white “genocide.”
They’re rhetoric is so clumsy and confusing that I decided to send them a message asking them to clarify a few things. Initially, I’d wanted to ask these questions at the rally they were going to have at a nearby park, but apparently they’ve cancelled that after backlash from the community re: their flier campaign. So I contacted them over their website.
Their “About” page is just as ridiculous as their fliers. For one thing, they want all of their members to be of 100% European ancestry. What does that even mean? As I’ve pointed out before, everyone has some amount of African DNA. After all, that’s where humanity began (unless, like the Mormons, white supremacists think the Garden of Eden was located in Missouri). They also insist that they don’t accept members who are incarcerated. I’m calling straight-up bullshit on that one. In every prison TV show and movie I’ve ever seen, there’s never not a guy with a giant swastika tattooed on his chest.
Will they respond to my query? To be fair, I’m not sure they’ll know what half of these words mean, nor do I expect them to know how to use a dictionary. BUT, if I post the message here, maybe one of their scholars will see it and be able to answer some of the questions.
The most likely scenario is that they’ll ignore the logic and criticism, choosing instead cry about it like they always do. Oh well.
Open letter to members of the National Alliance (and about fifty other like-groups):
I have some questions regarding your “about” page (yes, I’m white – Norwegian-American is about as white as white can be). How do you know if one of your members is incarcerated? Do you have volunteers dedicated to googling everyone’s name periodically? How do you know if someone’s Jewish? I wouldn’t think you’d make everyone submit DNA samples; that seems expensive and invasive. If the National Alliance is so into people with European ancestry, why all the American nationalism? Why don’t you just move to Europe? You can live where my ancestors came from. We literally have less African DNA than David Duke. Do you just want white people to flourish wherever there are white people? For example, I know of some white Americans living in China right now. Are they supposed to make China white? Or are they supposed to leave and move back to America? Or Europe? And which Europeans are the okay ones? Are Scandinavians better than Spaniards? Turkey’s kind of part of Europe – are the Turkish okay? What about Russians? Moscow’s in Europe, but most of the rest of the country is part of the Asian continent (although my Viking ancestors did mate with A LOT of their women). I don’t think I can be part of a group that has such an unfocused and problematic mission statement.
I have many, many, many more questions, but that’s enough for now. The thing is, I do want an answer to these questions. White nationalism is as confusing to me as Christian fundamentalism. I just don’t get it, and when I don’t understand something, I assume it’s because I’ve missed an important detail. Somewhere, my logic train broke down.
It may be, however, that there is no answer to my questions because there is no logic. Maybe my assumptions about white nationalists have been right all along – that they’re losers who refuse to accept responsibility for the fact that they are losers, so they find an easy scapegoat – which, in turn, explains why they’re such pathetic losers in the first place: they won’t do anything if it’s not easy.
Incidentally, a friend reminded me today that I have been trying to learn to say “whitey go home” in one of the native languages – preferably Sauk, as my hometown is on Sauk tribal lands.
Also incidentally: because I feel such a connection to my hometown, I also feel a connection to the Sauk similar to the one I feel for the Vikings. It’s difficult to describe – similar to pride, but mostly I think it’s a sense of respect for those who came before me. Feelings are hard.
Please feel free to criticize this post. Like most white people in America – and especially in the Midwest – I can be thoughtless and ignorant re: issues of race and color. I only see a very small percentage of the racial conflict that happens every single day. I know that it’s happening, though, and that everyone suffers for it.
In fact – one more tangent – a few weeks ago, I was sitting at a picnic table with three white dudes and a guy drove by in an SUV and yelled out the window, “Fuck white people!” Instead of getting upset, we were like, “Fair enough.”
A member of the National Alliance might point to this incident and say, “racism!” It didn’t feel that way, though. Instead, it felt more like what I do when one scumbag treats me like dirt, so I spend an afternoon shit-talking men everywhere, even though there are many men in my life who I love. But it’s therapeutic. Am I wrong?
All I know is that I think about that guy in the SUV, and I wonder if he’s okay. I hope his anger doesn’t consume him. Anger can ruin relationships. It can destroy lives. If it’s good for his mental health to trash whitey for a few minutes, then I am happy to be a warm body to receive his anger. Maybe together, we can channel it into something positive. I wish you and your loved ones the best, angry black dude. Wherever you are.
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