There’s something extraordinary about the sight of a mob in sportswear carrying store-bought torches. I saw the pictures and the videos: pleated khakis trundling bravely through a nearly deserted campus, chanting real actual Nazi slogans, giving confident and well-practiced Sieg Heils, unmolested by police; perhaps not defended by pundits from right or centre, but always carefully criticised in such a way as to make clear the other side has its trouble spots too.
They wore no hoods, emboldened perhaps by our country’s recent political lurch rightward. After all, much of what they seem to want also lurks on the agenda of the party in power, and perhaps even that of our President.
The cameras and microphones were there for them. “The… issue is being allowed to advocate for your interests as a white person, just like other groups are allowed to advocate for their interests politically,” said the man who arranged the march, Jason Kessler.
Allowed. An interesting thing to say for someone clearly already being allowed.
It struck me what they were doing was borrowing language and appearances, attempting to stand on the shoulders of freedom fighters and martyrs for justice. They don’t want us thinking “hate group”. They want us thinking “we shall overcome”.
But overcome what? If, as Martin Luther King famously suggested, a riot is the voice of the unheard, then what could it be that a mob of the very much heard might desire? I remembered their chants. Apparently what a mob of the heard wants is to not be replaced.
Fascinating, extraordinary — to fight to not be replaced. It suggests this is where they think our culture is heading: the wholesale replacement of Biff and Skip and Chadwick. Which further suggests they believe the position they hold is one they are keeping others from. It necessarily follows that they think holding this position is as good and right as is denying it to others. Thus, privilege acknowledges its privilege even as it pleads oppressed inequality.
This is why villains are stealing the aspect and bearing of heroes: because the heroism and moral clarity of civil rights is something others have, which they do not, and they cannot bear for others to have something that might otherwise come to them.
The civil rights movement fought and bled and died, so that everybody might have a chair at the table. These venomous crybabies want to fight to make sure they sit in the only chair, and expect to have it credited to them as moral virtue.
If I were to name the sickness presently coursing through the national veins, I might name it this way: Too many of us have confused the idea of oppression with that of opposition.
Ask yourself, if these well-fed fellows fail, who will strip their vote?
What statues and flags will fly commemorating their ancestors’ theft and rape and murder and enslavement?
Who will legally nullify their marriage?
What proposals have been made to keep bathrooms or bakeries safe from them?
Who will pack them into trucks and tear them from their homes and families?
What pipeline will be sent through their water table? No. The defeat for them is they will be prevented only from doing it to others.
Then ask yourself: to whom will those things happen if they succeed?
Imagine if these people faced real oppression. Nobody is trying to make them buy insurance for “male healthcare”. There is no history of centuries of bad science devoted to “proving” their intellectual inferiority. There is no travel ban on them because of their religion. There is no danger for them when they carry dangerous weaponry publicly.
Their lawns were never decorated with burning crosses. Their ancestors were never hanged from trees. The President has not set up a hotline to report crime committed by their hands.
When you see little Jason Kessler chased into the bushes, he is not being oppressed. He is being opposed. He doesn’t like it. And so what?
Julius Goat is a pseudonym
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies