Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins to the Mainstream, by Leonard Zeskind

by Rebeca on October 12, 2009

Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins to  the Mainstream, by Leonard Zeskind Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream
By Leonard Zeskind
Farrar, Straus and Giroux  2009
645 pages
$37.50

Reviewed by Randall Radic  

Race, which is defined as “any of the major biological divisions of mankind, distinguished by color and texture of hair, color of skin and eyes, stature, bodily proportions, etc.:  many ethnologists now consider that there are only three primary divisions, the Caucasian (loosely, white race), Negroid (loosely, black race), and Mongoloid (loosely, yellow race), each with various subdivisions:  the term has acquired so many unscientific connotations that in this sense it is often replaced in scientific usage by ethnic stock or group.”

White was first used in the racial sense, as an adjective, in the year 1604.  Whoever it was that used it, did it like this:  “of those races (chiefly European or of European Extraction) characterized by light complexion.”  Certainly it was used prior to that, but this is the first recorded usage.  And it is assumed that this usage was quite common at that time, which shows how long ‘racism’ has been around.

William Perry, in 1676, distinguished between blacks and whites, calling blacks a totally different and separate species.  Blacks differed from Europeans not only in skin color “but also in natural manners and in the internal qualities of their minds.”  No one challenged Perry’s conclusions.  In fact, Europeans agreed.  There was nothing startling about these remarks.  It was common knowledge.

Of course, no one asked the blacks what they thought about it.  That would be like asking a two-year old toddler about the mathematics of infinity.

Then in 1708, William Tyson, who was a physical anatomist, discovered the evolutionary missing link.  He determined, scientifically of course, that it was the African Pygmy.  Whom Tyson called “wholly a brute,” halfway between an ape and a man. 

Ninety-one years later, in the year 1799, a medical doctor from Great Britain validated the superiority of whites.  His name was Charles White.  Dr. White published a profusely illustrated book in which he certified, without qualm and with meticulous decisiveness, that the white race is exalted over those of color.  Mostly, his proof consisted of pointing out the cosmetic refinement of white faces – their “rosy cheeks and coral lips.”  Again, no one argued with the incredible virtuosity of the doctor’s genius.  But it was nice to know that an expert confirmed what everyone already knew.

Following in Charles White’s ‘scientific’ footsteps was Robert Knox.  Knox, in his book The Races of Man declared it perfectly acceptable for whites to wipe out whole populations of blacks.  Because “the texture” of the black “brain is, I think, generally darker.”  And because there is “a physical and consequently, a psychological inferiority in the dark races generally.” 

Essentially, by dint of abstract reasoning, Knox arrived at these exaggerated, quaint and absurd conclusions.  Conclusions which Knox believed supported genocide.

Knox’s conclusions were supported by A.R. Wallace, the codiscoverer of the theory of evolution.  Put simply, Wallace explained that extermination of the colored races was nothing more than natural selection at work.  In other words, racial eradication was a self-acting, scientific law, nothing to be concerned about.  This was how the world worked.

Frederick Farrar took the idea of extermination even further, if possible.  Farrar divided the races of mankind into three distinct groups:  “savage, semi-civilized and civilized.”  And of all the races on the face of the earth, the Aryan and the Semitic were the only examples of civilized races.  There was only one semi-civilized race:  the Chinese, who, admittedly, were sliding down the slippery slope toward savage.  All other races were savage, and “irreclaimable,” because despite the whites’ superhuman efforts, the savage races were beyond hope.  They were “doomed.” 

Paul Rohrbach summed up the white man’s attitude toward the “rising tide of color” in his 1912 best-selling book German Thought in the World.  “Not until the native learns to produce anything of value in the service of the higher race, i.e., in the service of its and his own progress, does he gain any moral right to exist.”  Translation:  it is morally proper to wipe out the colored races.

What none of these esteemed white men bothered to mention, as they set forth their logical and scientific excuses for genocide, was the real reason for such European posturing:  real estate.  They wanted what the blacks had, land and natural resources.  In the end, then, the racism of some boiled down to money.  Others truly believed the colored races were of lesser value than whites.

And there were others who worried that white people would soon lose their majority status and become a minority.  Lothrop Stoddard summed this fear up in his astonishing The Rising Tide of Color, a virulently racist book that was accepted by the post-WWI world as “telling it like it is.”

White Nationalism still exists.  Full-spectrum dominance is their goal.

Blood and Politics is Leonard Zeskind’s latest effort – and his magnum opus – relates the history of the white supremacist movement.  He shows how – over the past 30 years – the white power boys have evolved a philosophy that is now two-pronged.  One prong is called vanguardism.  This faction builds small and often secretive groups composed of dedicated fanatics, who, when push comes to shove, will rise up and take over.  They will establish a new all-white government. 

The other prong is more conventional.  This faction utilizes the mainstream to its advantage.  They play politics, attempting to appeal to the silent majority, who are both white and Christian. 

Zeskind focuses on Willis Carto, William Pierce and David Duke.  But he doesn’t neglect the skinheads, survivalists, tax protestors, anti-Semites, Ku Kluxers, Christian Identity disciples, Pat Buchanan or Pat Robertson.  For they are all racists, hate Jews, oppose abortion, despise homosexuals, and consider the IRS the most evil organization on the face of the earth.  They want a gun in every home and strict anti-immigration laws, along with a giant wall to span the U.S./Mexico border. 

On the surface, the White Nationalist movement appears to be nothing more than a bunch of disgruntled nutcases, who are too disorganized to achieve their goals.  But as Zeskind demonstrates, there is a scary coherence – suggestive of a deeper wisdom – to the white power movement.  Racism is a very powerful political force.  One that cannot be lightly dismissed.  

Zeskind’s research is meticulous, and his analysis of the information is breathtaking in its practicality.  And underneath there sleeps an apocalyptic portent, which could prophesy the rise and fall of modern civilization.  For Zeskind’s themes could predict the coming of a disastrous earthquake.

Don’t miss this epic historical interpretation.  This book is hecka good!

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