Crispin Gallagher Sartwell (born 1958) is an American philosopher, self-professed individualist anarchist and journalist. He received his B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park, his M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia—where his dissertation supervisor was Richard Rorty—-and is currently on leave from his position as a member of the faculty of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
White Liberals: We’re Not Racist (August 29, 2016)
- White Liberals: We’re Not Racist, Splice Today (August 29, 2016)
- The Democratic Party has exploited black leadership.
- The entrapment of black voters in the Democratic party has been a disaster, and it’s one of the reasons that progress on racial equality has been infinitesimal or at best incremental since the Civil Rights movement.
- I think American white conservatives and white liberals are, by and large, both racist. But the liberals believe they’re not racists—in fact, they believe in nothing else with so much commitment. They insist they don't have a racist bone in their bodies; they don't even see race; they were over that a long time ago.
- What white people learned from the Civil Rights era was how not to appear to be racists, even to themselves. They came away from the 1960s knowing that racism was a matter of using the wrong words or expressing the wrong attitudes publicly. They trained their internal monologues to mirror an egalitarian or deracinated public discourse: no slurs, just a continual stream of euphemisms. That was the essence of white anti-racism: don't say the wrong thing.
- Behind all the Great-Society-style housing/anti-poverty/education programs lurked all the old stereotypes: blacks as animalistic, criminal, sexual, violent, and above all, as time went on, as pathological. The white power structures are always diagnosing the dysfunctions and prescribing a cure for the black family: high-rise housing projects, compulsory education and standardized testing, wars on poverty or drugs, self-esteem seminars. A good portion of the African-American population was simply institutionalized or interned, in public housing complexes, in urban schools, and in one of the biggest prison systems the world has ever known. It all amounts to a sprawling race gulag in which people are both dependent and hedged about with restrictions.
- Affirmative action, where we pluck your best, brightest, most ambitious or conformist, and invite them into our elite institutions. This has had some effect on upward mobility, but its primary purpose is to parade as conspicuously as possible the non-racism of the people who run the institutions. It’s primarily another way for white people to mutter to themselves, “I am not a racist.” And it’s had the effect of dividing black communities and families, like mass incarceration in the other direction.
- American progressivism maintains a hyper-consciousness of race, obsessively emphasizing its centrality to human identity and relentlessly breaking down populations by racial categories. If nothing else, aggressive affirmative action requires that everyone be identified racially. When it’s time to measure political opinions, nothing is as salient as race, and the Trump phenomenon gets explained almost exclusively in terms of racial distributions, as white rage or white nationalism.
- The two-party system is breaking down into a race system.
- Since Jesse Jackson ran for president, and perhaps up until the Black Lives Matter movement, the Democratic Party has dominated and used black leadership.
- The fact that black voters have voted over 90 percent Democratic for decades leaves them almost wholly without power. Democrats—paradigmatically, the Clintons—feint in their direction during general elections, trying to assure turnout and using them to bash Republicans as bigots and—in the usual fashion—as emblems of their own goodness.
- There's no reason for Republicans to waste any time on black voters; there are no votes there under any conditions. Rand Paul went to Ferguson and Baltimore to talk racial healing: no one cared or even noticed.
- The progressive approach has left American racial inequality intractable: a permanent, institutionalized, chronic, insoluble condition. And the electoral process has left black people without any political leverage.
- Crispinsartwell.com, column archives and other writings.
- Eye of the Storm, Crispin Startwell's blog, hosted on blogs.com.