My recent post “Of Patriots and Ethnic Nationalists” was about changes I’ve observed in several factions of the right which I’m familiar with. It drew some pretty harsh criticism, particularly from those who I identified as the Patriot Right and at two sites I discussed in the piece, both of which I am a long time reader/commentator at: Free Republic and Western Rifle Shooter Association (WRSA).
The post was not reproduced or linked at any Alt-Right sites as far as I know, though I did send a link to Hunter Wallace at Occidental Dissent, another site I’ve been visiting for many years. So I can’t say I was able to piss off people in both groups.
Jim Robinson, the owner of Free Republic, in purging the post from his site entirely, offered a one word comment: “garbage”. So it goes.
Not surprising, as the article itself points out, Free Republic has a long history of rejecting any hint of ethno-nationalism. Though again, my thesis is that this firewall has broken down a lot in the last few years.
In any case many WRSA regulars no doubt view Jim Robinson as the prototype for ‘Lee Greenwald conservatism’ that is savagely mocked there. I’ll admit, I do.
I’m in good company having my column banned on Free Republic. Long before there were Twitter and Facebook bans JimRob was suspending people, purging articles, banning links to sources he didn’t like, and kicking people off the forum altogether.
I remember Matt Bracken’s several temporary bans in the Bush Era for pointing out a little too clearly the real nature of the pro-immigration demonstrations in Los Angeles. Not to mention the many sites that are forbidden to link from: American Renaissance, Vdare, Radix Journal, Occidental Observer and even the late, great Lawrence Auster’s thoughtful View from the Right.
JimRob has set himself us as a modern day William F. Buckley, working tirelessly to keep Conservatism pure and free from the evil influence of anyone to the right of himself.
A lot more interesting, was the detailed criticism of the article from commentator “Mtnforge” at WRSA. I’m going to respond to it here.
I’ll begin with his obvious mistakes, and move on to try to clarify what are I feel are his mis-characterizations of my post, before closing with a couple comments on his extensive use of playground insults.
I’ll be quoting his comments at length, but if you want to read them in their full original context here they are.
“This nitwit wouldn’t last one post on WRSA if he did, so he did a drive by via another blog. I hope those guys over there aren’t the suckers and white trash stupid he thinks we are here. He probably got his ass handed to him when he tried to use his superior intellect on a WRSA post, and is all butt hurt.”
Actually I’ve been posting on WRSA regularly for many many years, since it was at “the old place” over on Blogspot. A quick google search of the site shows I made at least 1/2 a dozen comments in January, and dozens more going back months. My ass hasn’t been handed to me, and I’m not butt hurt.
What has changed is that I re-dedicated myself to writing articles on this blog a few months ago. My goals for this were to be able to create articles on topics of my own, rather than always be reacting to other people’s articles as one tends to on sites like WRSA and Free Republic.
I send most of my articles over to Concerned American, the proprietor of WRSA, and some of them he picks up and publishes, and some he doesn’t. So, it’s also not the case that I’m avoiding that site, even with this commentary.
He has a set of topics he’s interested in, and a style and flow that he’s working to maintain. His output is incredible. His site has five or six articles a day, many with multiple memes and links, all done with his trademarke pithy and humorous commentary. It’s always a thrill and privilege to have him publish a piece. I did send him the “Of Patriots and Ethnic Nationalists” post, he passed on linking it. So my post was not a “drive-by via another blog”.
Moving on to areas where Mtnforge mischaracterized what I was saying, I’ll start with these two quotes from his scathing critique:
His main complaint is because he views us here as disguised white nationalists, somehow we aren’t entitled to our opinions, the scrum, and our beliefs, but he is because he hasn’t lowered himself to the mouth breather level we occupy.
He particularly has a hair across his vagina for everyone at WRSA, barely disguised as his so very humble concern and virtue for “race” relations, diversity, and lumps all the different kinds of patriotic beliefs and activity as white supremacy, and that is was such all along, we just didn’t know it.
First off, the article was not a complaint about WRSA (or Free Republic) or anyone else. I was simply making an observation that two groups, whose blogs I have been participating in for decades, which previously had almost no overlap, now seem to be overlapping a lot more. Those two groups, as indicated in the title of the essay, are the Patriots and the Ethnic Nationalists.
Perhaps I didn’t do a good job of explaining this in the original article, or at least not a lucid enough write-up for Mtnforge, who has clearly missed my main point. Let me try again:
Let’s go back ten years to the end of the second Bush term. 2008. At that point I had already been on Free Republic for a decade. There were no commentators who would ever discuss race openly. The FR line was that we were all the same, it was only patriotism that mattered, that immigration was good, but illegal immigration was wrong. MLK’s “content of their character” was the informal motto of one and all.
I was outside of this consensus at the time. I remember posting some long rebuttals of very typical Free Republic comments that claimed that Detroit was ruined by Democrats (or liberals, or unions.) I found that idiotic, then and now.
I grew up there, and it was the black takeover of Detroit that ruined it, not Democrats. Incidentally, yes, the black politicians were all Democrats. But there are lots of cities that have been run by white Democrats for as long as Detroit and are still reasonable places to live, not post-apocalyptic hell holes with drug gangs ruling the streets. That’s a black thing.
This sort of commentary at Free Republic was, in 2008, very on-the-edge. As was any discussion of genetic differences (or links to AmRen). Absolutely forbidden was discussion of Jewish influence, especially Jewish influence on conservatism. Even mentioning that someone like David Brooks was a Jewish “conservative” advocating for the USA to go fight wars that seemed a lot more important to Israel than the USA was likely to earn you a suspension or ban.
My point is: this has changed. A lot. It hasn’t changed completely, not everyone has changed their views. Whereas perhaps a miniscule 1% of Free Republic was visibly “race realist” (ie: someone who might read American Renaissance comfortably) circa 2008, now I estimate it’s maybe 1/3 of the participants at that forum.
For the couple of hours that my article was left up about 1/3 of the posters said things like “yeah, I used to be race-blind, think we were all basically the same, and reject any sort of thinking that was ethnically oriented. But not anymore. We can not continue to be the only race that doesn’t advocate for ourselves”.
That seems like a significant change. It’s an important change because it’s not taking place exclusively at the margins (and WRSA is much more on the edge than Free Republic, not an insult, just an observation), but in the center of the true “right wing conservative” movement.
Maybe this is all so completely obvious to Mtnforge or other readers that it’s not worth taking time to document it, but I think it’s pretty significant.
I chalk most of it up to the Obama years. Obama was quite explicitly a pro-black politician, who in every case evaluated every action with the filter: “will this be good for the hood?”. A lot of people were red-pilled by eight years of that. As a result there are a lot fewer old-school “race doesn’t matter” color-blind conservatives than their used to be.
But “a lot fewer” isn’t “none”. Glenn Beck is still out there pushing race-blind conservatism with a particular enthusiasm. I’ve always hated him for the way he grabbed onto the Tea Party movement, which was an extremely organic movement of mostly white right-wing Americans and decided that its most important mission was proving “conservatives aren’t racist” and organizing a giant rally to further deify MLK.
But he still has an audience, he’s broadcast five-days-a-week on XM satellite radio, so the “colorblind conservative” viewpoint still has many followers.
Obviously JimRob, the owner of FR, and probably the majority of posters at FR, are still “color blind conservatives”. But it’s far from the homogenous place it used to be on the topic of race.
Continuing on things that Mtnforge has mischaracterized in his comments:
and lumps all the different kinds of patriotic beliefs and activity as white supremacy, and that is was such all along, we just didn’t know it.
No, obviously not. The entire point of the article was teasing apart different kinds of patriot beliefs and showing where I think some are changing. I identified three main groups:
- traditional conservative patriotis (Free Republic)
- radical patriots or, as some prefer “freedomistas” (Western Rifle Shooters)
- white nationalists (AltRight, Occidental Dissent)
I don’t consider them all the same, or claim that everyone in one group subscribes to the views of the other.
In fact while all are opposed to leftism there are big differences between all three groups, with the third group (the white nationalists) being frequently hated by many of those who identify with the top two groups (conservative patriots and freedomistas) on my list above. But again (thesis restatement): a lot less hatred than 10 years ago. A lot more grudging agreement with some of their points.
And, another thing: who uses the term “white supremacist”? I don’t.
That’s a CNN-class term of derision. The terms “alt-right”, “white nationalist”, and “identitarian” are the preferred terms of people participating in those movements.
Because I’m not a SJW I don’t use leftist slurs to denigrate any part of the American right.
And, for another thing, I’m not going to wet my pants if someone says I’m a “white nationalist”. Mtnforge seems to take this as some huge insult. I don’t. Why should I?
It would be like a Jew becoming outraged if you called him a “Zionist”. Now any given Jewish person may or may not personally agree with Zionism, but none are going to freak out if you call them one. It’s merely a short handed way of saying “Jews who believe it’s important for the Jewish people to have an ethno-state of their own.” And truth be told, almost all Jews are pretty happy that they do have a Jewish ethno-state in Israel, and support it.
It seems like Mtnforge is still sort of stuck between accepting a lot of the positions of the alt-right (which he criticizes me for not calling out explicitly) and the Glenn Beck style: “don’t you dare call me a racist!!!” positions.
So, maybe his beliefs are in transition, I’m not sure. But it seems odd to criticize me for:
“He totally leaves out its ok to be white, to prefer and to discriminate for your own kind, and love your culture and its history. That somehow is the most sinister thing imaginable.”
and, at the same time:
Which we all on WRSA are guilty of by association, and members of the secret society of white supremacy. He even gives us the benefit of the doubt its barely our fault we don’t know what a KKK member is or what the skin heads are about, we are confused.
I’ve talked about Free Republic above, so let me move on to WRSA, and what I think.
To begin: I would never say that “all” or “everyone” on WRSA thinks anything! And therefore I would never condemn “all on WRSA” for anything.
It’s a fascinating place because Concerned American doesn’t block people or purge comments. It’s one of the most open forums out there, and as a result you see a tremendous variation in viewpoints, a lot of back and forth. And even some just amazingly rude and profanity filled trash-talking between members, that most other website would delete.
It’s refreshing and enlightening, and sometimes infuriating. It’s unique in the sense that one can encounter a lot of different and opposing beliefs in a 15 minute reading of a single story and comments.
The openness of WRSA has always permitted a small group of self-proclaimed white nationalist commentators to speak their peace on the forum.
To name a few of the most obvious off the top of my head: Lt. Greyman (who’s icon is the flag of the Northwest Republic), Haxo (who’s constant topic of focus is the influence of Jews) and Pat Hines (whose icon is the flag of Southern Nationalism). Pat is well known in Southern Nationalist circles, and posts regularly on Occidental Dissent, as well.
So, unlike Free Republic, where anything remotely approaching white nationalism is immediately taken down, and the poster purged – on WRSA I’ve been able to actually watch the reception of people like Haxo and Pat Hines, over a period of years, by other forum participants.
And again, my perception is that whereas five years ago many would virtue-signal against Haxo (say, calling him an anti-semitic moron obsessed with “jooos”), and clearly many still do (maybe including Mtnforge? I haven’t noticed…), now an equal number amplify his comments with agreements and extensions.
So, again, my thesis: race realism up to and including white nationalism (which, if you think about it – is a logical endpoint of the “soft” race-realism of places like American Renaissance) is gaining adherents and influence in both the traditional conservative patriot right and the more radical “freedomista” patriot right.
Whether that is a good or bad thing depends on your viewpoint. Hate me if you must for pointing it out, but factually, I do believe it’s happening.
I’m going to skip over my supposed “disdain for people who prepare”, that’s a secondary criticism of his. Again, it’s a mischaracterization of my views. But this post is already too long. Perhaps I’ll address it in another post.
I’ll close with my thoughts on his insults and my writing style.
Mtnforge throws a lot of insults at me. Perhaps he’s never read anything else of mine, including dozens of my comments on WRSA, but he’s totally mischaracterized me, and insulted me:
… Get a load if this SJW in cuck drag
… the guy is a fake, or really naive as any troll of SJW is.
… A sure indication this is a work of propaganda by a crafty troll or agent provocateur.
… he is afraid of the risk being directly offensive and taking his lumps.
… He also has a certain disdain for people who prepare
Mtnforge views being offensive as a badge of honor:
Take a number of guys on here, we aren’t afraid to offend in order to make a point or bring up a different perspective. That’s the sure sign of someone being genuine, regardless of right or wrong, good or bad.
Maybe it’s just a style difference.
I don’t know most of the people commenting at WRSA or other sites I visit . I’ve never met any of them In Real Life (IRL). (I’m clearly failing on one of WRSA’s prime directives: “Meat Space, Baby!”)
There are a few guys I’ve been talking to on the forums (and sometimes PMs) for so long that I consider them friends, and I do think I know what they are all about. But for the much larger group of guys who I’ve read a few dozen posts from, well I choose to take the high road.
I try not to be needlessly offensive and attack people by calling them names or characterizing them as trolls or fakes. Maybe they are, or maybe I’m just missing something they didn’t manage to communicate clearly to me.
I have self-segregated from real SJWs and liberal idiots. I don’t go trolling on HuffPost. I don’t even have “liberal” friends anymore, with a very few exceptions. That makes my life better, and saves a lot of frustration.
So, I tend to give people posting at WRSA (and also AltRight, and yes, Free Republic) the benefit of the doubt and assume that I probably agree with them on more stuff than not. But also acknowledge that we probably disagree on some things too, maybe even important things.
I write to clarify and amplify my own understanding of things, and hopefully to enlighten and persuade people who are persuadable. None of that is helped by large doses of invective and insults, in my opinion.
But, others have different goals and different styles, so I’m not going to get too upset about all those insults. I bet if I met Mtnforge and we sat down for a beer I’d probably like the guy.
And for the record: I’m a big fan of both “armed liberty” and “it’s OK to be white”. Hopefully that’s clear now.