Outrageous defense of white nationalist ideas
By Stanley Heller
I was stunned to see Hearst Connecticut Media print a veiled defense of the ideas of the El Paso killer. In his opinion piece, attorney Norm Pattis questioned whether the views in the “manifesto” (likely written by the alleged killer) were those of a “white nationalist.” Pattis quotes from the manifesto the sentence “if we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable” and he wonders if “defending your way of life” is really white nationalist — that is, an idea that there is some race of whites who deserve to rule over society or the world.
What is this “way of life” that is under threat? Desperate Latinos come to the U.S. to find jobs, decent housing and a society ruled by laws. How is that a threat to anyone? They take the worst jobs for the longest hours and lowest pay with a goal of sharing the American Dream. How is that a danger to anyone?
Pattis quotes the Italian writer Machiavelli, “When an entire people aims to possess itself of a country and to live upon that which gives support to its original inhabitants it must necessarily destroy them all.” I haven’t read the “Discourses” so I don’t know the original context, but Pattis’ meaning is clear. He’s dignifying the paranoid notion that Latinos are coming to take over the U.S.
This is a classic white nationalist lie, a version of the fear of “invasion” by immigrants that was sprinkled throughout the killer’s manifesto along with other nonsense like his hatred of “race mixing” and his fear the country was losing “genetic diversity.”
Pattis sneers that anyone owes anything to the “historically disadvantaged.” “History” didn’t disadvantage anyone. It was people with power who looked down on what they called “lower races” and who enslaved blacks, exploited Italians and Jews and other ethnics and preyed on Latin America to steal its resources.
Patis says, “If Crusius raises questions about these new and novel claims of social justice, he is labeled a supremacist.” The sentence is staggering. Did Crusius “raise questions”? Did he challenge someone to a debate or did he blow people to pieces with an AK-47?
“I don’t owe you a thing on account of my race,” says Pattis. No you don’t, not because of your race, but there is a real question of whether the United States owes a debt to certain ethnic groups and nations for decades of U.S. enforced mistreatment, slavery, Jim Crow and imperialism.
“I doubt that Crusius is a white supremacist. I suspect he is scared,” says Pattis. Someone who writes that he supports the Christchurch (New Zealand) shooter and that fool’s hate-filled manifesto isn’t a supremacist? Is he really just fearful, just a worrier? He’s scared, scared that his supposed race won’t be a majority and that the cops will treat his word just like everyone else’s.
We do need to unite and build bridges, but that won’t happen if real grievances of past ill-treatment of ethnic groups are dismissed as “identitarian.” Unity must be built upon justice.
Stanley Heller, of West Haven, is administrator of Promoting Enduring Peace, a peace and environmental organization founded in 1952.
The decades after Reconstruction were brutal to U.S. Blacks. Blacks men were rounded up and jailed for bogus reasons and enslaved. See the PBS video