If you want to know why so many young people call today’s American society Clown World, start with this: In a moment where race relations have forcibly erased all other possible subjects of conversation everywhere from the kitchen table to television news, the best-selling book in America is an oddly racist treatise on “whiteness” written by a white “corporate diversity trainer”. Every single person who spends time reading Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility would be better off reading Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man: that’s a brilliant work of art that any English-speaking human would be better off for having read, written by a thoughtful and perceptive African-American, rather than a dime-store novelization of those bizarre corporate meetings where someone screams at you for thoughtcrime while you mentally calculate how many times you can look at your iPhone in any given ten-minute period before it gets taken away.
In addition to being a litmus test for limousine liberalism, White Fragility further exposes a genuine division in the American Left. A secret (and, sometimes, not so secret) battle was waged over the past two decades as to who would guide the Democratic party. You had the class-and-economy people, represented by Bernie Sanders at one extreme and William Jefferson “It’s the economy, stupid!” Clinton at the other. Then you had the all-about-race-and-gender people, who started off way behind in this race but eventually overtook and then purged their opposition. No doubt they would attribute this overnight success to the essential justness of their cause; a cynical person might point out that Bank Of America is perfectly willing to donate one billion dollars to people who frame the American discussion in terms of race but will not give a single penny to anyone who wants to overturn the existing economic order.
Seriously. Take a look at the OpenSecrets pages for Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. Warren’s top donor was the hard-left EMILY’s List, which gave her under $150k. Biden’s top donor was a hedge fund manager, who gave him EIGHT MILLION DOLLAR. Hell, Biden has gotten $1.9 from… wait for it… Bain Capital. That’s right. The 2012 “Republican” candidate for President just gave nearly two million bucks to the 2020 “Democratic” candidate. After hearing that, do you still think there is any genuine difference between the “mainstream” politicians in this country?
Matt Taibbi is firmly on the “class war” side of the Democratic divide, so it’s no surprise that he would be slightly cynical about the idea of white women earning millions of dollars as experts on race relations. What is surprising, for me at least, is the complete and pitiless broadside he launches against DiAngelo’s rather feckless and aimless book. You’ll want to read it.