the national interest

Republican Denounces ‘War on Whites’

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) deep in thought. Photo: Getty

Representative Mo Brooks, appearing on Laura Ingraham’s radio program, diagnoses the Republican Party’s so-called difficulty attracting nonwhite voters. “This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party,” explains Brooks, “and the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else.”

White racial victimization is a concept as old as racism itself. White reactionaries in the 19th century imagined that abolishing slavery would turn white people themselves into slaves, and the concept of white subjugation was transferred into such things as Reconstruction, black suffrage, civil rights, and so on. The war on whites has raged continuously in the right-wing mind for more than two centuries.

Brooks is characteristically fuzzy on both the motive and the mechanics of the current War on Whites. On the surface, you might find it silly to imagine that the Democrats would antagonize the majority segment of the American public. Democrats definitely need white people (whites supplied 56 percent of Barack Obama’s vote in 2012; nonwhites supplied just 11 percent of Mitt Romney’s votes). White people have other uses for Democrats, like providing campaign donations, filling cabinet roles and Congressional seats, and so on. From a pure strategic standpoint, launching a war on white people would seem like a bad idea.

Likewise, the operative mechanism of the War on Whites is in dire need of refinement. Brooks defines it as “claiming that whites hate everybody else.” But this could mean two very different things. It might mean Democrats claim that all white people hate everybody else, which is not a charge I’ve seen any leading Democrats make, not least because it would backfire on most Democrats themselves (i.e., why has Obama chosen a racist vice-president, a mostly racist Cabinet, etc.). Alternatively, Brooks might merely be pointing out that Democrats claim that only some whites hate people who aren’t white, which is self-evidently true.

However the War on Whites operates, Brooks wants America to know that he is a conscientious objector. “Democrats, they have to demagogue on this and try and turn it into a racial issue, which is an emotional issue, rather than a thoughtful issue,” he added. “If it becomes a thoughtful issue, then we win and we win big.” And the first step toward making it a “thoughtful issue” is to point out that there is a War on Whites.