News & Politics

Open Letter to a Friendly Neighborhood Racist

Dear Jeff,

When a kid breaks a bone, he only wants the pain to stop. Yet, for a bone to heal properly, it must be set. Sometimes, the path to less pain goes through more. That childhood lesson finds fresh relevance today in a moment when our political discourse has revealed painful truths.

As a biracial Republican, I have for years defended our party against accusations which I held to be false. When confronted with the charge that Republicans harbor racists, I presented myself as evidence to the contrary. I have always felt welcome in our party. I have always shared a sense of solidarity with its activists and officers, because we shared allegiance to certain fundamental beliefs. Among those beliefs were the notions “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” and that as such men properly ought “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

While those beliefs remain dear to an overwhelming majority of Republicans, this year’s presidential campaign has brought to light a subversive subculture which categorically rejects them. Some within our party, including people I know personally, have long harbored racist views. They subscribe to the ethnocentric notion that the American nation is defined by whiteness. You, Jeff, are among these by your own admission. Your vile philosophy must be rooted out and excised from the body of Republican thought.

For weeks, I have written and commented extensively about the alt-right, a rebranded form of white nationalism which has — rightly or wrongly — cited the candidacy of Donald Trump as an inspiration. You have been among my most vocal detractors during this time. Until recently, I was willing to grant you the benefit of some doubt and assume that your opposition to me was rooted in allegiance to Trump and not in agreement with the alt-right. You have recently eliminated any doubt from which to grant that benefit.

Congressional candidate Rick Tyler placed a campaign billboard in Tennessee which read “make America white again.” He did an interview with a local newscaster in which he calmly articulated a racist worldview, saying explicitly that America would be a better place with more whites and fewer non-whites. In response to this, I called Tyler a mild-mannered monster. He’s no slack-jawed yokel, I said. He’s an articulate intellectual making a sincere effort to affect the culture.

Here’s some of what you said in response:

  • [Tyler] is not a Trump supporter, despite anyone’s efforts to make that claim.
  • He does not cite the vaporous “alt-right” as far as I could see.
  • Use of terms like “slack-jawed yokel” is multiple orders of magnitude more offensive than anything I heard from Rick Tyler.
  • I am sick and tired of being psychologically attacked for having the NORMAL trait of preference for people who share characteristics with me. I refuse to allow political bullies to tell me for whom I am permitted to feel an affinity.
  • Use of the term “monster” as applied to Rick Tyler, absent any information beyond what has been presented, is so embarrassingly stupid and asinine that no response is worth my time. If you agree he is a monster based on what is presented here, you’re an idiot and I feel little affinity for you. It is sad how the cultural Marxists have so completely co-opted your mind…
  • … I would vote for Rick Tyler.

I find it odd that you would go to lengths to deny the existence of the alt-right, and try to distance both Trump and yourself from it, then go on to declare allegiance to its definitive worldview. You claim that you would vote for a guy who put up a billboard reading “make America white again.” Which is it? Does the alt-right not exist? Or are its views worthy of your vote?

Here is what Rick Tyler — the man you say you would vote for — told WRCB:

Just like I take care of my biological children before I take care of someone else’s… from a genetic biological standpoint, your race is an extension of your biological family, then it stands to reason that you should look out for the interest of your racial family first before you would look out for the interests of other racial families.

Let’s chew on that a bit. Let’s start with how it applies to me. My father is black. My mother is white. Which racial family do I belong to?

My wife is white. We have two boys. Which racial family do they belong to?

Should my sons, when they grow old enough to dispense charity, meter it out three-quarters to whites and one-quarter to blacks? Would that align with Tyler’s sense of racial integrity? Or is there simply no place for them in any racial family?

How should the two sides of a biracial family interact? Should they at all? Should there even be biracial families, Jeff? Or does interracial marriage constitute some form of ethnic betrayal?

Over 9 million Americans identified as multi-racial in the 2010 census. That was a 32% increase in the category over ten years. Where do we fit into your paradigm? Are we without a nation on account of our mixed heritage?

Beyond the absurdity of this “racial family” concept, the real problem with Tyler’s view is the context in which he offers it. If, for whatever reason, you want to dispense your resources toward the furtherance of what you perceive to be an extended family, have at it. However, when you run for public office and thus apply to govern public policy and administer public funds, your racial preferences have no place at the table. This should go without saying.

To “make America white again” in a political context implies an abuse of public policy to ensure ethnocentric outcomes. That is the antithesis of equality under the law. It is precisely the opposite of what Jefferson was writing about in the Declaration. It is literally the opposite of Martin Luther King’s dream. Believing that America must be white, and advocating for public policy to that effect, makes Rick Tyler a moral monster worthy of scorn. By defending him, by saying you would vote for him, you place yourself in that same boat.

Like the setting of a bone, discovering such vile views among people in my acquaintance hurts. But it also serves an essential purpose. The discourse stirred by the candidacy of Donald Trump has lifted a veil which had concealed an ugly truth. Alcoholics are told that the first step toward recovery is admitting their problem. The alt-right has confronted Republicans with ours. Now we have the opportunity to do something about it.

For my part, I will continue to speak out against racism wherever I see it, drawing no distinction between the ethnocentrism of Black Lives Matter and the ethnocentrism of the alt-right. When we make America free again, you may pursue whatever irrational racial allegiances you want. Neither I nor anyone else will stop you. But you don’t get to wield government force to bring about ethnocentric policy. Not today. Not ever.

– Walter Hudson