©2015 By ILANA MERCER
The following is a conversation with Jack Kerwick, author of “The American Offensive: Dispatches From The Front.” Jack received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Temple University. A lifelong Roman Catholic, his work on philosophy, politics, religion and culture has appeared in various publications. He teaches philosophy at Rowan College at Burlington County in Mount Laurel, NJ.
Ilana Mercer: In “The American Offensive,” you address the demographic drumbeat meant to downgrade and demoralize what is derisively called the “white vote” in this country. Explain, with reference to 2016.
Jack Kerwick: To no slight extent, it is GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s American-friendly position on immigration that accounts for why both Republican and Democrat Establishmentarians alike despise him. For a half-of-a-century, American policy has overwhelmingly favored non-white immigrants from the Third World. I think that the doctrine of “American Exceptionalism”—the doctrine that America was “founded” upon some ahistorical abstraction (an “idea” or “proposition”)—coupled with an ideology of anti-“white racism”—the belief that whites are uniquely “racist”—informs contemporary immigration policy. The objective is to simultaneously neglect and repudiate the country’s Eurocentric, Christocentric history. Trump challenges this narrative. Thus, he is vilified by those who stand to gain from it. 2.
Mercer: No sooner does one immigration give-away fail (the Schubio Gang of Eight), than a new political zombie will resurrect the marvelously intuitive idea of importing masses of migrants from countries in which Christians are being exterminated. On the eve of Christmas, tell us who’s killing whom around the world.
Kerwick: For all of the talk about “Islamophobia,” in reality it is Christians (as well as other religious minorities) in Islamic lands around the globe who are routinely subjected to unimaginably barbaric treatment courtesy of their Islamic oppressors. In as much as this phenomenon of Islamic-on-non-Islamic cruelty transpires throughout Africa and the Middle East, it transcends ethnicity, nationality, and culture. Open Doors (OD) is an organization “dedicated to serving persecuted Christians throughout the world.” OD reports that 40 of the worst 50 countries on Earth for Christians are countries with majority Muslim populations. Still, to listen to the left and (faux) right, with all of their talk of “Islamism” or “extremism,” one could be forgiven for thinking that none of this is happening, that the problem is with something they call “Islamism” or “extremism,” rather than with everyday practitioners of Islam.
Mercer: Slavery was abolished by white Christians; it is still practiced robustly—even religiously regulated—by some Muslims. Tell our readers about this never-discussed reality and the tenets that permit slavery in Islam.
Kerwick: Though, as you mention, white Christians of the 18th century spearheaded a moral revolution that resulted in the abolition of slavery around the world, it is still practiced in parts of the Islamic world. Not being an Islamic scholar, I can only say so much as to why this is the case. Unsurprisingly, the Qur’an not only authorizes, but commands, the practice of slavery. Moreover, Muhammad owned slaves, and—this is crucial—observant Muslims are expected to emulate the example of “The Prophet.” While it’s true that the Bible—the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures—also allow for slavery, there is no analogical relationship between it and the Qur’an on this score. The Bible’s teachings are contextualized within a narrative interpretive framework. The Qur’an, in glaring contrast, has no such framework. The kind of chronological or historical sequencing of events in the Bible is not to be found in the Qur’an.
Mercer: I take it you mean to say that the rough passages in the Hebrew Testament do not apply to anyone any longer, unless, in the words of scholar of Islam Robert Spencer, “you happen to be a Hittite, Girgashite, Amorite, Canaanite Perizzite, Hivite, or Jebusite.”
Kerwick: Exactly. When God commands the Hebrews to kill “unbelievers,” He always refers to some specific group, in a specific place and at a specific time. In Islam, however, “unbelievers” refers to all non-Muslims, everywhere, forever after.
Mercer: Very many black Americans are adopting Islam. Why is this a powder keg?
Kerwick: That Islam—or at least a racialized version of it—has attracted scores of black Americans, to say nothing of black American criminals, over the decades is no secret. This connection between black Americans and Islam is at once revealing and troubling. It’s revealing in that it suggests that those who have been reviled for noting the impulse for militancy within the Islamic tradition just may have been on to something all along, for it is precisely the perception of militancy that appeals to those blacks who feel alienated from mainstream American culture. After all, it isn’t Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism or some other non-Western faith to which they’re gravitating, but Islam. That the phenomenon of alienated black Americans endorsing a militant ideology is troubling is self-explanatory. Those who are already ripe for violence now have a theological justification for violence.
Mercer: What do you mean by the terms “Racial-Industrial-Complex” and “racially correct suicide”? How can they be combated and averted?
Kerwick: The RIC consists of those who stand to gain from promoting the myth that “racism”—white “racism”—is an omnipresent, omnipotent force. Since the RIC is every bit as entrenched and powerful as any other industry, its countless agents must labor inexhaustibly to create ever-expansive notions of “racism.” Only if these professional “anti-racists” can show that there is a need for their “services” can they justify their existence. “Racially correct suicide” consists in valuing some delusion of “racial justice” over any and all other considerations—including that of improving, or even just maintaining, the quality of life in America. For example, following recent incidents of Islamic mass murder in places like France, American commentators were quick to jump on their high horses and castigate Europeans for allowing the formation of “No Go” zones, high-crime bastions of Islamic immigrants into which even authorities dare not travel. Yet America has its own share of “No Go” zones—even if many of these are bastions of Hispanic immigrants. I refer to America’s barrios. And to judge from the backlash that Donald Trump has faced in the wake of his proposal to suspend Muslim immigration—a proposal that is hot on the heels of the mass killing in San Bernardino—it’s hard not to conclude that his critics would prefer to avoid the charge of “racism” or “Islamophobia” rather than avert harm to Americans. This is “racially correct suicide.” Combatting the RIC is no easy task. The only way that I can think of to fight this juggernaut is to cut through the rhetoric and unmask—continually unmask—this self-serving sham for what it is.
Mercer: Barack Obama as a devotee of “Blackism.” Explain. Why do you think this president is incapable of empathizing with the untold number of white Americans dead by blacks and Muslims?
Kerwick: What I call “Blackism” is an ideology, a recipe for achieving racial “authenticity.” Like any ideology, it is the distillation, the cliff note, of a cultural tradition, the tradition of black Americans. Biological blackness is necessary for authentic “blackness.” It is not, though, sufficient. Blackism is designed for the Barack Obamas of the world, those who are at least partially black biologically but for whom black culture is a foreign language. The ideology is a simple method that, being a method, is comprised of a few principles that need only be affirmed in order to achieve “racial authenticity.” One of these principles is that ultimate reality is comprised of collectivities, primarily racial collectivities. Another principle is that non-whites are perpetually oppressed by whites. It isn’t that Obama or any other Blackist would think to deny that whites (and others) can and have been harmed and killed by blacks and Muslims. It’s only that they must see such violence as stemming from “root causes”—”racism,” a “legacy of slavery and Jim Crow,” “the Crusades,” “imperialism,” “poverty,” etc.—that, ultimately, whites should have rectified.
Mercer: Like me, you are still haunted by the “Knoxville Horror”? Why?
Kerwick: This real life story is the stuff of nightmares. In 2007, in Tennessee, a young white couple in their early 20s, Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, were carjacked, abducted, raped, tortured, and finally murdered by four black men and a black woman. Newsom was blindfolded, sodomized with an instrument, and shot execution-style. His body was then set on fire.According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, “Christian suffered horrific injuries to her vagina, anus, and mouth. She was not only raped, but savaged with ‘an object’…She was beaten in the head. Some type of chemical was poured down her throat, and her body, including her bleeding and battered genital area, likely scrubbed by the same solution [.]” “She was then ‘hog-tied,’ with curtains and strips of bedding, her face covered tightly with a small white trash bag and her body stashed inside five large trash bags before being placed inside a large trash can and covered with sheets.” The medical examiner concluded that “Christian died slowly, suffocating [.]” Far from being the chronic victims of interracial crime, as the Racism-Industrial-Complex would have us think, blacks are much more likely to be the victimizers: In roughly 90 percent of all attacks involving blacks and whites, the former are the perpetrators. Thankfully, your average black-on-white attack doesn’t involve the savagery of the “Knoxville Horror.” Yet the latter is the textbook illustration of the reality of black-on-white racial violence, as well as the randomness and mercilessness that far too many such attacks do involve. Beyond this, the “Knoxville Horror” is the textbook case of the media’s complicity in the evil of black-on-white violence, for just as it routinely refuses to cover the latter, so the national media refused to cover the ghoulishness in Knoxville.
Mercer: In “The American Offensive,” you recount the forgotten, white, race riots of the 1800s. You reach an unexpected conclusion about the founding American people, also a pathologically passive population. What is it?
Kerwick: Black crime in-general, and black racial mob violence specifically, are huge, persistent problems in contemporary American life. Only the most self-delusional and shameless of race propagandists would think to deny this (though even they admit that black criminality is a problem, albeit, to hear them tell it, the result of a larger problem: “white racism”). WND’s Colin Flaherty is one courageous journalist who has meticulously, unapologetically, chronicled this phenomenon. Given current racial realities, then, it may surprise people to hear that most race riots in this country until well into the early decades of the 20th Century involved white perpetrators and black victims. And they were brutal, making the black perpetrated riots of today look like temper tantrums. My point in noting this is not to engage in but another exercise of white guilt-mongering. Rather my point is to remind people that just because whites no longer engage in the type of racial mob violence for which blacks are known today doesn’t mean that history couldn’t repeat itself if circumstances were just right. Since enough violence has a way of provoking more violence, this is something worth bearing in mind.
Mercer: Since you went to press, it has become even clearer that the Grand Old Party that lies about its commitment to liberty must die. What do you suppose Edmund Burke would’ve said about the Republican Party?
Kerwick: Burke is widely regarded as “the patron saint” of modern conservatism. Burke appeals to me for a couple of reasons. First, he exhibits an acute awareness of the messiness of social reality: Burke doesn’t shy away from—he insists upon—the tradition-specificity of social orders. This, I believe, is why you never hear his name invoked by “conservatives” (neoconservatives) championing “American Exceptionalism.” Second, while Burke repudiates the abstract universalism of his opponents (those who would locate society’s origins in an “ideal” or “idea”), he never rejects universality. Rather, he knows that both universality and particularity are indispensable to morality. Yet unlike, say, proponents of “the rights of man” or “American Exceptionalism,” Burke knew that true universality is found within particulars. I can’t imagine that Burke, particularly the Edmund Burke who railed against the French Revolution, would’ve recognized the Republican Party as a conservative party, much less a party committed to preserving liberty. Burke was well aware of the tradition-specific particularities of social orders, and especially those of his own social order. He loathed the metaphysical abstractionism of his enemies among the French Revolutionaries and their apologists. Yet the Republicans’ creed of choice, “American Exceptionalism,” the creed that America is the only society in all of time to be rooted in an abstract proposition, is of a piece with Burke’s enemies’ insistence that societies must be organized around “the rights of man.” I think that Republicans (and their mouthpieces in the so-called “conservative media”) know that Burke would have no affinity for them. This would explain why they never invoke him.
Mercer: How does the Bashar-must-go; Putin-is-Lucifer lunacy comport with your deconstruction of neoconservatism—the creed that animates the foreign policy prescriptions of every single Republican presidential hopeful other than Rand Paul and Donald Trump?
Kerwick: Because of the neocons’ radically ahistorical notion of America as an “exceptional” nation, the only in all time to have been founded upon a “proposition” or “principle” affirming self-evident, universal “rights”—which they in turn translate into “Democracy”—and because principles have no borders, so to speak; neoconservatives have no regard for the particularities and contingencies that define societies. All that counts is that the universal, “rights,” be defended. Yet the only way for this to occur is for the United States government to have virtually unlimited power. That’s right, for all of their talk of “limited government,” neocons ache every bit as badly for a huge, activist government as do leftists of any other stripe. And this, in turn, implies that they must see enemies around the globe—or at least where there is no “Democracy.”
Mercer: À la Frédéric Bastiat, author of “The Law,” you teach: “Laws do not tell citizens what to do … they tell citizens how they must avoid acting regardless of what they choose to do.” How does this classically liberal concept of “The Law” clarify why NOT ONE “conservative” is indeed a conservative in the mold of Russel Kirk or Burke?
Kerwick: Laws have no purpose in the sense that they aren’t devices for achieving predetermined outcomes. Laws qualify, they do not specify, actions. In this crucial respect, they differ in kind from commands, orders, and policies. The great apostles of liberty in the classical conservative and libertarian traditions have always understood this. Neocons and other leftists do not. The proof of this is in the neocons’ obsession with policy, particularly foreign policy, and the incessant chatter about “leadership” in government that their foreign policy prescriptions entail. Leaders have followers, those who the former compel, one way or the other, to do as they are told. In contrast, free men and women are self-directed. This is what the law makes possible. Policies, commands, and orders preclude it.