I came across an interesting commentary in another blog called, By Common Consent, here at WordPress. Most of it was off the main path into an almost patronizing critique of the whole Mormon history of racism thing that I’ve frankly typed my interest away with, into not caring much any more. I have, written extensively about it right here if you want to read it all.
I did however find the blogger’s sort of, boilerplate “liberal Mormon” throwaway central premise quite intriguing and commented myself under his article, the bulk of which this following rambling represents, presented here with embellishments that would otherwise steal way too much storage space in his comment section to be polite. So, first, a quote, posted by Steven Evans on 21 June 2017:
First, let’s define some terms, specifically what I mean by “white nationalism”. It’s not quite the same thing as white supremacy, that racist belief in the innate ‘superiority’ to people of other races. White nationalism is about maintaining dominance – cultural, economic, political – over other races. It manifests itself via cultural anxiety, a longing for “older times” when the nation was built around white identity, and its tools are anti-immigration policies and limited government services to the poor. Most white nationalists would probably not see themselves as such; rather, they see themselves as wanting to protect the cultural values, traditions, and neighborhoods of their youth (or, more accurately, their parents or grandparents’ youth). When Donald Trump says that he wants to “make America great again,” the expression taps into a fictional nostalgia and feeds anxiety, particularly among older and less educated white voters. The boundaries of what level of racism is “acceptable” are shifting as this anxiety rises and populist politicians take power. When we talk about the “alt-right,” it’s a modern collection of white supremacists, white nationalists, internet trolls, monarchists and others. The SBC proposal decries every form of racism, including the alt-right, as “antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Could Mormonism issue such a statement? I don’t think so.
For my purposes here, I must first take umbrage with his characterization of a “false nostalgia,” which in concept is an oxymoron. By definition, “nostalgia” is inherently romanticized and thus “false” in a sense, but the reality is, if his white-society focus is a genuine argument, frankly, white folks had it pretty good “back in the day,” and the concerns he later promotes as the basis of the “falsehood” of this “nostalgia” for grandma and granddaddy’s time, really have nothing to do with how well “Whitey” was getting along in the dim past. Having said that, Donald Trump’s fundamental supporter doesn’t call or see themselves as “white nationalists” at all. That’s a moniker smug lefties out of academia and Democratic political propaganda schools have hung on them with or without any consideration of their own social or political concerns.
When Donald Trump says “Make America Great Again,” it has only incidentally to do with great crowds of Black Lives Matter rioters, or a president repeatedly apologizing for the nation and bowing before foreign kings, being “black.” It has almost nothing at all to do with Mexicans and South American drug lords, job stealing illegal aliens, and roving criminal thieves, robbers, rapists and murderers having a nice caramel skin tone. It really has to do with having no need to openly invite them into the country, put out a welcome mat, protect them from deportation or legal detainment, or graciously hand out jobs, driver’s licenses and welfare to them, making ME pay for it, and having an administration and ruling political party tell ME and the rest of us “guys” for 8 years it’s the new normal, it’s patriotic, it’s not important to be unique and distinct as an American, what’s important now is to make America no better than anywhere else. And yes, it is possible for a Trump supporter (white nationalist as Evans so transparently labels them by inference at least) to be concerned about national or ethnic heritage, to “see themselves as wanting to protect the cultural values, traditions, and neighborhoods of their youth (or, more accurately, their parents or grandparents’ youth)” and yet have no particular interest in oppressing the dark-skinned masses of the world. Indeed, the “Left”makes a groin-wrenching effort to promote, propagandize, perpetuate, protect, rescue and glorify all manner of ethnic, cultural, social and “racial” heritages–with the single exception of what it labels “white” culture.
I’ll get back to that.
The most ignorant, perhaps deliberately so, statement in Evans’ article follows:
The SBC proposal decries every form of racism, including the alt-right, as “antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Could Mormonism issue such a statement? I don’t think so.
I say it is a statement, and indeed it is, though posed as a question. However, this writer’s polemic device is either entirely disingenuous, if not willful misrepresentation, or as I suppose, sheer investigative, journalistic laziness or hypocrisy. The “Church,” or “Mormonism” made exactly this statement some 6 years ago, and has expanded and reinforced it many times since. Furthermore, I have no reason to trust that the so-called “alt-right” was specifically designated in this alleged proposed declaration being alluded to by the author regarding the Southern Baptist Convention, and in any case it’s merely a “proposal,” at this point. It’s a thin stretch the writer clutches at to connect his comparison of SBC KKK-based wholesale white supremacy with the Trump movement. The device being employed here to likewise incriminate “Mormonism” (because Evans obviously thinks “Mormonism” is inherently part of the “alt-right” and “MAGA” is inherently “alt-right” as well,) is clearly to compare the openly racist, SBC, which was founded specifically in support of racism and slavery, to the LDS Church today, and conclude that the barbarians who raped, brutalized, butchered, lynched, burnt out and dehumanized the “Negro” and “Mormon” alike all through the 19th and 20th Centuries, who only renounced the doctrine that the “Negro” had no soul and therefore no shot at salvation in 1995, is more “progressive” than “Mormonism.”
Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects unrighteous actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.24
That’s a little tome titled, “Race and the Priesthood,” released in December of 2012 or so, which as you see is a verbatim denial of what Richard Evans claims is a statement the LDS Church could never make. If he “thinks not,” it’s because he “looked it up not.” Google is a marvelous tool.
Later in his piece Evans makes this claim:
The LDS history of racism is a matter of public record. W. Paul Reeve’s book is a good starting point. And while there are schismatic entities within Mormonism, there are none (to my knowledge) based on the issue of slavery. For most of LDS history, this church has been a white church, with black members deprived of full fellowship and rights to ordinances. There is no Southern LDS Convention, but none was ever necessary within Mormonism — insular and homogeneous demographics of culture and race made this church a de facto white church from the beginning.
A couple of points to be taken with this: W. Paul Reeve may have written a fine book, with some interesting insights into the Mountain Meadows Massacre amongst other things, but the best primer on LDS doctrines of the Curse of Cane, Curse of Ham, and so-called “Mormon Racism,” is my blog. Right here. Seriously. Check out the index. the whole topic is covered in a far more readable and understandable form than ever scribbled out by fashionable Mormon liberal intellectuals and historians could ever scribble it, and every bit as frank and well documented as any Sandra Tanner fan could want it to be.
(By the way, that title should read: Religion of the SAME Color, or Religion of the USUAL Color.)
Also, Evans throws out the phrase “deprived of full fellowship,” when in fact he knows well that women for example do not have the priesthood, children do not have the priesthood,
but indeed they are in “full fellowship.” So too, he knows, or should know, that while the SBC was running the KKK, the Latter-day Saints were openly named the arch enemies of the KKK by the KKK itself, and that Joseph Smith was murdered in part for inviting “free Negroes” to move into their settlements in Missouri and live and worship freely like any other Mormon (including at that time being ordained to the priesthood) and mounting a presidential candidacy that proposed to buy up all the slaves in the US, and send them to a free state of their own back in Africa. (Which James Monroe tried eventually much later on.) But read my several rants on that at the above link.
In any case, that the LDS church is a “white” church is semantically incorrect. It is a church founded by and dominated by people with Caucasian complexions. It inherited a lot of Neanderthal Christian traditions about “race” from British Isles-originated and European-originated sects that joined and converted. Brigham Young was the chief purveyor of most of these from his Quaker background. But there has never at any point been any liturgical, canonical, central mission statement about “white” supremacy, or a “white” destiny for “white” people to rule the world. You might argue that, like all “white” churches until very recently, a lot of that was assumed as a subtext. But to say Mormonism is a “white” religion amounts to a deliberate vilification for rhetorical advantage and the purposes of cheap and easy denigration of the faith.
But Evans misses the greater point. The Southern Baptist Convention could never be more “progressive” than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, because, as an “orthodox,” or “traditional” Christian sect, it not only believes America is a “Christian Nation,” which “Christians” are destined to rule, chosen in fact, by God to do so, it still believes “Negroes” all over the “Dark Continent” are going to burn in hell because they never ran into a dude with a Bible and a pond deep enough to get dunked in. Those people, under Roman, Eastern, Calvinist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Arminian, Wesleyan, indeed all conventional “Christian” dogma, are not born universal brothers and sisters of God. They are literally children of the devil by birth and righteously condemned to hell by a just God who is not their father.
Steven Evans is going to hell. Especially if he’s actually an active LDS member. Every brown and black and beige poor, oppressed, Pakistani, Indian, African, Mexican, South American, and so forth, who manages to run into a guy with a Bible, and then finally confess Jesus as Lord, (the one the SBC describes as genuine) and then gets baptized, is “saved.” (Well, maybe those Roman Catholics in Mexico, Spain, Portugal and places like South America don’t count. It’s debatable.) But all those Muslims, Hindus, Bhuddists, Godless Commies, Atheists, Agnostics, the whole lot. Mormons. Anyone anywhere who doesn’t do that, they’re all burning in hell.
The “Christian Nation” movement is founded upon the notion that God demands this country be governed by Christians, for Christians, else it is doomed. Non-Christians are not capable of governing it according to God’s will.
Many “Mormons” would like to make the same sales pitch of course, but it’s not doctrinally possible. Because we aren’t “Christians.” They own the franchise, and it has nothing to do with believing anything Jesus Christ taught or accepting Him as Saviour, when it comes down to that. But that’s another topic I’ve written my brains dead with and you can start reading here, if you have the willpower, this character’s more long-winded than even I am:
The Church proclaims that redemption through Jesus Christ is available to the entire human family on the conditions God has prescribed. It affirms that God is “no respecter of persons”25 and emphatically declares that anyone who is righteous—regardless of race—is favored of Him. The teachings of the Church in relation to God’s children are epitomized by a verse in the second book of Nephi: “[The Lord] denieth none that cometh unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.”26
And now we finally come to my direct comments made to Mr, “brother?” Evans on his blog:
Some excellent observations, except you’ve fallen for the self-hating moniker “white,” developed by the truly ignorant elements of the “black” SJW community, as if that really were a race, or nationality, or any sort of homogeneous ethnic, religious, or social identity. It’s really a code word for “All of Western Civilization.” Or perhaps you haven’t “fallen” for it, and actually embrace the distortion of the concept as they do.
You claim “white nationalism” is, bla bla bla, all about oppressing other “races.” This is a fundamentally false proposition. Yes, in some variations, in some truly ignorant incarnations, this far from universal label may be all of that, or at least has been all of that in the case of the British Empire, Imperial Japan, et al. (Though I imagine Imperial Japan would be an example of “yellow nationalism?”) At this late date, “white nationalism,” as implied, is about a nation, not a race, and not so much really about “whiteness,” as it is about not being overrun by Mexicans, South Americans, and sneaky, murderous, Jihadi soft-invaders. It’s in reality only coincidental that skin color or “race” enters into the question at all. Mexico is not a “race.” Not wanting Mexicans to move in and take over your culture and customs is not therefore, in any possible way, “racist,” under the real definition of the word. (Though the word has become meaningless, and could be as easily replaced with “white,” or just “mean.”)
Unfortunately, yes, all of western civilization was founded and flourished, from the ox cart to iPhone, by people from the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Europe–with some obvious input from the middle east and Asia. It doesn’t matter ethnically if this “foreign” input was stolen, appropriated, miscegenated, knocked-off, copied or voluntarily added to the mix. And yes, some of this technological advancement came through contributions of “Negro” descendants of slaves and other non-“white” co-riders along the trail to modern
America, but America, specifically in a “Mormon” context, and the American religious, or “nationalistic” sense, still centers around a basically “white” complected group of people, still quite keen on preserving the great enlightenment of “Western Civilization,” as we have known it for the last several hundred years at least, probably at least from the Reformation, and definitely since the Founding Fathers codified a number of eternally correct principles into the Constitution, and sidestepped generations, centuries, two millennia of “orthodox Christian” oppression and repression, not just of the “heathen nations,” or “black and brown-skinned” cultures, but itself, its own, and anyone who deviated from their brokered interpretation of “true Christianity,” including Joseph Smith Jr.
Though most LDS folks like Glenn Beck and his fans, ignorantly imagine that today’s modern American enlightenment must surely have arisen out of conventional “Christianity” as it was presented in the day, that is only marginally true. Rather, Constitutional notions of “innocent until proven guilty,” for but one single illustration, and the very idea of a civil government not directly managed and overseen by a state church is utterly foreign to “traditional” Christian theology and politics. The most “Christian” of political or civic principles ever incorporated into United States policy and legislation would be Slavery, and “Manifest Destiny,” the attempted genocide of the Native American population.
Skin color for the record, is not a racial designator. And black and brown-skinned “races” have perpetually discriminated against blacker or browner or less brown-skinned “races,” worldwide, and within the context of their own societies, black and brown cultures and races have maintained caste systems or effective caste systems based upon skin tone. This still remains a modern consideration in nation-states, “races” if you will, like Pakistan and India. Black Muslims kidnapped black tribal animists, sold them to the Portuguese, and kicked off the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the first place hundreds of years ago, and practice it today. Brown skinned Arab Muslims wiped out black-skinned Muslims and Christians in Darfur some decade or so back, because they believed “Negroid” Muslims were not as pure Muslim as they were, and Christians of any sort were infidels who deserved nothing short of butchery.
I’m afraid like many of us, “brother” Evans, you’re too eager to throw current events into this big historical pot of poo as if they’re just another handfull of recognized chunks in an ongoing and
familiar stew. The Trump effect may or may not have anything to do essentially with this pat, knee-jerk, historically convenient straw-man entity known as “white nationalism.” Certainly there is a fringe element of those who would have no problem couching their interests in the Trump agenda in those terms, but it’s just intellectually, if not spiritually lazy to choose to process any large movement, political, religious, or cultural, in tones that ultimately just tend to fall back on clichés and old-school polemics and apologetics to make the so-called “liberal” point.
I find those eager to weave “white nationalism” and “white supremacy” and “alt-right” and “KKK” and “Fascism” and “NAZIs” into the Trump story more often than not know little about Trump and even less about the “Right.” They look at the whole phenomenon like a set of bugs under a microscope. It’s something intangibly strange to the way they think and has to be translated through a matrix of dogmatic formulas till it falls into some pat, rote narrative category they can comprehend.
To understand Trump and company, you have to look first at the New Left. The fact is, this “liberal” self-hating white movement is essentially an hysterical over-correction of the Great Enlightenment that led our Founding Fathers to start this American experiment in the first place. As such, though it seeks to condemn western culture, it’s really just an extension of “All of Western Culture.” Unfortunately it’s a funneling, a generational concentration of every desperately loonie-left hyperbole and crackpot, naive social theory, which has finally decided to destroy itself and turn the whole operation over to even less competent, less self-sustainable, stupid young “brown” and “black” people out of crippling, historical guilt.
The simplest way to explain Donald Trump, and any of his supporters, is that he’s a “guy.” In the same way we can understand many LDS political perspectives by realizing that Glenn Beck is NOT a “guy,” but rather a purist, alcoholic snowflake who spends a year on a massive media empire, declaring that Ted Cruz is the strait and narrow gate that leads to national salvation, and that if you vote for Trump you lose your soul, that the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil, and yet, now marvels at the polarization in our current political discourse, wonders why his yet another “pivot point” and “born again” epiphany still finds so many on both the left and right unwilling to engage in a dialogue with his ministry, we can easily figure out what drives Donald Trump and his supporters, by walking into any pub, tavern, small-town bar and ordering a beer. A beer and some chips and a burger maybe. The object is a pleasant evening. All the
“guys” in the room are watching the game, playing pool, maybe having a tune together, maybe singing, maybe even arguing politics on both sides or more of the daily questions. That is, until the self-righteous reformed hookers on the Right, or the Social Justice Warriors on the Left, decide they can’t take it any more, and being by definition, zealots, compulsively impose themselves upon a perfectly harmonious scene of comfortable fraternization of the great unwashed, including most of the pretty-well washed alike.
One “guy” in the room might well be “alt-right” aligned. Even a few bona fide Neo-NAZIs might be in there. You don’t know. You don’t care. It’s irrelevant to the comity of the ongoing social fellowship you are enjoying. Some “guys” in there may at least know somebody who’s Far Right, or White Supremist. Grab some cheap “guilt by association” claim if it makes you feel better about yourself getting your arse kicked in the election. But the KKK and that ilk simply have their own thing, their own places they hang out to do it, which is not generally with the “guys” in a “guy” hangout. Their thing tends to repel regular “guys” and thus regular “guys” gravitate to “guy” bars, not Fascist clubhouses.
Likewise, the millennial snowflake warriors and BLM fanaticists, self-hating “whites” and neo-liberals, the “Antifa” who are instead “Fa,” are in today’s world far more oppressive, outgoingly violent and disruptive, than genuine white racists were in some of the worse days of the Civil Rights wars. It’s not
George Wallace standing in the school doorway screaming against integrating the school systems today. That would be fake “black” leaders like Shaun King, and BLM black-separatists blocking campuses with their “day of solidarity,” driving all “white” students off campus.
So, Glenn Beck, well he’s got no chance with the “guys.” Too snooty. Too purist. He’s a guy who HAS a “guy.” He’s not the “guy.” Glenn’s too obsessed with preaching to “guys” about drinking beer and smoking to be listened to on anything else. There’s nothing more self-righteous than a reformed drunk, or born-again prostitute, or nut-job now addicted to therapy. Everybody needs therapy. Everyone needs to reform. Look at me–see how much it’s done for me? Wouldn’t you like to have that in your life?
Well, no. Because we’re not drunks, or whores, or nut-cases. We’re just fine. If I have to choose, it’s not going to be you unless
there’s something far more dangerous and severe out there.
So, now, as I’ve pointed out, there is something even worse out there. Given the choice, I, as a “guy,” am not going to sidle up with a movement that tells me just for waking up in the morning, I’m a piece of human filth who’s raped and pillaged the entire world, a member of a satanic “white” race that has stolen everything it has from the “brown and black” races, that has no inherent value or “culture” to offer the world, that I am the only “race” on the planet that can be bigoted or “racist,” that I owe anyone with darker skin a living and reparations, that gangs of black thugs are free to beat and rape and steal and murder as compensation, or “reparation payments” for outrages none of my friends or family perpetrated on people who weren’t for the most part any of their family either, some hundreds of years ago. And yes, this is what the “Left,” the SJW’s and BLM-types are teaching in today’s universities and other classrooms at all levels.
What happens when the SJW come spit in my face while I’m hanging with the “guys,”trying to finish my beer and burger? (And this is the norm, not an exception–it is not the so-called “alt-right” who’s instigating these clashes and violence. It is quite often false-flag trojans or overt counter-demonstrators or simply open instigators who come against “freedom of speech” events or truly mainstream conservative speakers and programs.) Well, I am now forced to pick sides, and as a “guy,” I’m not very concerned with the “alt-right” in the room, because they’re not making trouble and they’re not a threat to me. They’re just quietly drinking beer and being unobnoxiously backwards. The BLM/SJW thugs are the ones in my face. The punks George Soros and Bernie Sanders and the DNC pay to come put a bad face on me and mine are. So, yeah, might be a few real Right Wingers in the bar fight that results. But I’ll choose to deal with those later. Those have been castigated and relegated to the fringes of society of a couple of generations now. I have a more immediate and personal problem to deal with.
Even the Holy Beckites will tend to join ranks with the Trumpsters, and put up with their New York Gumba/Wiseguy “guyness,” if that’s the choice between Bernie, Hillary, and their attendant New Left taskmasters. But Trump is not a function or outgrowth of the Tea Part Movement. That’s just silly. The movement’s uncontested central leader, Glenn Beck, spent half a million of his own dollars and a full year preaching that Donald Trump was the end of freedom–a despot and tyrant waiting to happen. Likewise, central Republican insiders openly sabotaged Trump with a fake “dossier” made up by some would-be ex British “spy.” It is not the old Left’s much-hated “neocons” backing Donald J Trump either. it’s just regular “guys.”
From a “guy’s” perspective, the New Left is out of control. This bunch they murmer amongst themselves, isn’t my old pals from the union bitching about better wages and working conditions. This isn’t my best black friend getting me involved with a Civil Rights march against actual racism and bigotry you can see and feel–it’s some entirely perceptual, micro-subtle concept of “oppression” and privilege that’s totally intangible and impressionistic. I’m not changing my life and nation on THAT whim, thinks Bubba!
And Donald Trump is the only one clearly telling me, Bubba sees, that he wants to clean this whole confusing new mess up. Or at least throttle it back, contain it to within normal social standards of discourse. It’s like Barack Obama just getting elected, and the way he skirted the whole law-and-order issue flicked a switch and gave a green-light for every screaming Leftist, especially the black variety, with all those particularly bigoted demands they would make of me, to flood the streets with violence and thuggery, and call it “demonstration,” or “resistance.”
There’s not any deep ideology in the Trump experience. It’s all down to self-preservation. Bernie Sanders learned that even a self-avowed Socialist and far-left “liberal” wasn’t good enough for BLM. Ask Don Lemon how much being black and a normal “liberal” counted in his favor with BLM. I’m all for healthcare reform and some social services and whatnot.
Equal rights fine. Race, don’t care. Live and let live. God bless America. I’m just not down with having some whining weasel out of a very privilaged, sanctified, politically and legally enforced abstract ramblings of academia forcing me to eat excrement every day and confessing I’m a white scumbag by birth and nature, expecting me to be obligingly handing over what little I have of money, power, and influence, on a leftist whim, as if that would actually fix the problems of either the nation or the world. And yes, that is what the New Left is proposing.
There’s a racial angle to the Trump Movement, but it’s not one injected by the so-called “alt-right.” It’s a reactionary development arising out of the interjection of mostly bogus BLM-Nation of Islam ideology-base black-separatist/reparationist attacks on the “white” culture. Meaning “All of Western Society.”
And the full truth of the matter, is they have no viable alternative to offer, apart from mythical, irrelevant examples of ancient Egypt, and maybe Liberia. I’m not interested in re-making America into either. Neither is any other “guy.” Whatever color he or she is.