Nikole Hannah-Jones’s Tenure Tantrum Shows How Identity Politics Mobilizes Victimhood For Power

Nikole Hannah-Jones’s Tenure Tantrum Shows How Identity Politics Mobilizes Victimhood For Power

The brains behind the now widely-debunked ‘1619 Project’ was granted university tenure despite having not gone through the process for tenure — or even hiring — solely because she advocates for racialism, which baldly rejects the Civil Rights laws of the 60s, and whose ideological champions tacitly condemn Martin Luther King, Jr. for his complicity in maintaining “white supremacy.” She was a fashion hire. A cult “get.” She’s neither a teacher nor a scholar: she’s a flavor of the month.

Now that’s power.

We are living under a tyranny of manufactured victimhood. If, as the new racial essentialists insist, racism is a structural idea that rejects individualism and is instead a function of collective power based around immutable traits, it’s time to look at the academy, K-12 schools, the NEA/AFT/ACLU, Hollywood, Big Tech, corporate media, and woke capital, and ask, who really has the power, and so by their own standards are guilty of increasingly “systemic” racism?

Racial essentialism — often hidden behind euphemisms like “race consciousness” or the Orwellian “anti-racism” — is the racial theory that is shared with proponents of Critical Race praxis, black separatists, the Klan, the Nazis, the CCP, and imperial Japan, just to name a handful of adepts.

They only differ on who is cast as the antagonist in their identity politics narrative.

To put a finer point on this observation, I’ll note that White nationalist Richard Spencer, who returned to the D party in 2020, quipped, “individualism is for fags” — reinforcing the thesis of my 2015 piece in The Federalist where I argued white nationalism is but a competing collectivist narrative, pitted against other collectivist narratives (such as, eg., La Raza, or later, BLM).

These various identity politics strains are all products of the left: just as Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini vied for control of socialism, identity politics fetishists vie for a particular collective’s dominance. Intersectionality — another illiberal Marxist guide rail — was conceived and introduced to put an academic thumb on the scale, to rig the victim Olympics while further atomizing society into competing identity factions.

The U.S. is a propositional nation. As such, it will necessarily fail under the weight of government-sanctioned racism and tribalism.

We HAD overcome.

But for people who make their nut on roiling racial tensions by filtering all knowledge through an epistemological framework that is at once racist and Marxist (the class consciousness of “vulgar Marxism” has been re-mapped with race consciousness, while keeping the dialectic of oppressor/oppressed), racial harmony is bad for business. In fact, “colorblindness” has been re-cast as a reinforcement of “white supremacy.”

As I wrote back in 2005, an obvious problem with the grievance aspect of identity politics is that the grievance needs to be perpetually maintained in order to justify the identity aspect of the politics. This has never been about “social justice” or “racial justice.” In fact, anti-racism maintains that anti-white racism is justified to bring about “equity” — or equality of outcome. It is collectivist and redistributionalist. It is anti-individual, anti-choice, anti-liberal, and anti-liberty. It is about power, nothing more.

Circling back, some grifter demanding tenure — and receiving it — based entirely on the ideological assertions shared with the Klan, is not some small thing; instead, I’d argue, it’s everything.

Somewhere, Bull Connor smiles.

This article has been reprinted with permission.

Jeff Goldstein is a lapsed academic and writer living in Colorado. He likes tacos, ’79 Cabernets, and his favorite color is magenta.
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