Robert S. Griffin
April 21, 2014
Below are some suggestions to white people whose racial identity and interests might bring them under attack. This is directed to racially conscious white people of whatever stripe: white analysts, white advocates, white activists, white separatists, and white supremacists. While the focus in this writing is on racially grounded assaults, it may apply to aggressions against those who don’t defer to the ideologies and agendas of those currently in power in any area, diversity, gender, politics, whatever it is. I invite readers to think about that, and to add their own best thinking to what I offer here. With that said, here’s my advice to those who care about white people and their future in a culture that is committed to shutting them down hard and hurting them.
Protect yourself. They’ll do anything to you they can, and it makes no difference whether you are right and what they are doing is unfair. Justice has nothing to do with it: you are the enemy and they’ll destroy you if they can; it is about power, not morality. Assume that you are all alone, that there is nobody covering your back. Someone might bleat on an Internet discussion list that you got screwed, but that’s about as far as it will go, or at least you better not count on any more support than that. You have a career going and bills to pay and perhaps a wife or husband and children to guide and support and parents to care for, and as far as I’m concerned, those are your first obligations. Until you are sure about what you are going to do and its consequences, don’t create a paper trail that can be used to get you. If you write, use a pseudonym. Keep your name off membership lists. Don’t write anything in an e-mail message you wouldn’t mind being a front page story in the newspaper. If you are going for a job or a promotion, tell them what they want to hear. If you are up for tenure as an academic, lay low until it comes through. Bottom line, stay underground until you are clear that you want to go above ground.
Get in the best shape you can. Figure you are in a war. Get battle-ready. Put your mind and body in the best condition possible. If you have some physical or mental issue, habit, addiction, whatever it is, that is getting in your way, get it out of your way, starting now.
Don’t buy what they tell you about yourself. The people doing the talking in this country tell you that being for minorities is good but being for whites is bad, that you are bad, that they are the action and you should kowtow to them and keep quiet over in the corner. Constantly tell yourself another, more positive, story: you are the action; you are as central as anyone in this world.
Find likeminded people. You aren’t alone. There are people that think as you do and who will like and encourage you. They may be right around you or you might have to go looking for them. You might have to contact them on the sly.
Don’t assume that explaining and placating will do you any good. When they come after you, there is always the tendency to try to talk your way out of it. “See, I’m not really a racist [or anti-Semite or sexist, whatever they are alleging], and actually, some of my best friends . . .” It is tempting when they get on your case, or as a way to prevent them from giving you trouble, to suck up, placate, soften your edges, smile, come off as a nice guy, a benign guy, a no-threat-to-anybody guy, an I’m-really-on-your-side guy. I suppose those kinds of things can work, but you have to assume that reason and logic and whether you are a good person doesn’t cut it for anything; no matter what you say, no matter how much you pander, as soon
as they can, they’ll slit your throat.
Play to your strengths. And what might they be?
• Legal recourse. People don’t like to get sued. The first person to contact if someone dumps on you for your racial beliefs or actions is an attorney. Don’t say or do anything until you do.
• Use the system. What they want to do is keep it just you and them. They call you into a room, hit you with the charge. You reason and explain and beg (it feels really good to them to have somebody prostrate themselves like you are doing). Then, after waiting you out with a patronizing slight smile on their faces, they fire you or whatever it was they had in mind when they called you into the room. Make it about more than you and your attackers; get it out of that room. Kick it upstairs. Take it to their boss. Invoke the grievance or review system. If you have a union, get it involved. Knowledge is power: know the system, the organizational chart, everything that is written down. Nobody should know more about how the system works than you do.
• Go public. Most often, they want to mess you over without anybody finding out. And you go along with that because you are embarrassed, or you feel helpless, or deep down you think you are as bad as they say you are, or you’re scared, or they’ve promised you a positive recommendation or some extended insurance coverage if you keep things inside. And perhaps it is your interest to go along with playing it that way. But keep in mind that the ones coming at you usually don’t like it when outside people know what they are doing. The thought of what’s happening to you getting on TV and in the newspapers, you trashing them publicly in some public forum, or it actually happening, is most often very aversive to the ones trying to do you in; and the impression that you will do that if they attack you might just get them to back off or cut you a favorable deal.
• Counterattack. It makes sense when people hit you to defend yourself, but while you are doing that be thinking about how you can attack them and put them on the defensive. Just as it was on the playground when you were a kid, letting the bully know that you aren’t just going to roll up in a ball and take his abuse, and that you are going to do your best to break his nose if he touches you, is a good way to present yourself. And the key is, don’t be kidding: when the fur flies, break his nose, and knock out his teeth too. He doesn’t like that.
• Keep in mind where this ends up. At the end of our lives we make a fundamental judgment about ourselves: that we lived an honorable life or we didn’t. An honorable life doesn’t mean we did the right thing every time, but basically we did. Basically we didn’t sell out. Living an honorable life doesn’t mean we never lived irresponsibly, but basically we lived responsibly. Living an honorable life doesn’t mean we never shortchanged ourselves and other people, but basically we lived life on the square. I think we always have to keep in the back of our minds that there will be a time when there is only the past and what we have done with it; and that what will someday be the past is now and tomorrow and the next day and the next month and the next year. The question today and tomorrow and next month and next year is what is the honorable thing to do? It may take a while to get ourselves to the place where we are doing the honorable thing, racially and otherwise, but I think if we keep plugging the best we can we have a good shot of someday, down the road, smiling peacefully and saying “Yes.”