There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle. Kristen Hatten, the ethnonationalist writer who publicly calls herself an ethnonationalist on Facebook and Twitter and is deeply proud of her ethnonationalism, is upset that people keep calling her an ethnonationalist. She feels she’s been treated unfairly.
She doubled down on her ethnonationalism on Facebook, and then got miffed that Facebook deleted her post for containing ethnonationalism. She referred to concerned people sharing and commenting on her public tweets as “Doxing” and claimed she was going to sue. She called Destiny Hernon De La Rosa an alcoholic, which Destiny readily admits to being (and is over seven and a half months sober), and says that Destiny is a “blue-haired Liberal” which is just plain stupid. Destiny’s hair is purple.
Kristen’s husband, who’s apparently in the army deployed somewhere in Africa but who has nothing better to do than sit around on Facebook all day, threatened cannibalism:
And, of course, there were many comments from brilliant young people demonstrating that ethnonationalism is not and cannot be pro-life. It’s not even anti-abortion. These commentators did all my work for me. Take a look:
And the whole time Kristen kept running her mouth, in public, surrounded by white nationalists who keep egging her on. Unless she’s an expert troll and a method actress, she honestly thinks that she is entitled to endorse white nationalist garbage in public and have it treated as just another opinion. The people censoring HER are the real Nazis. She’s saying what she thinks. It’s just her opinion, same as any other opinion. She’s hurt that someone would call her a bad person for a difference of opinion.
Here’s the thing: white nationalism is not just a difference of opinion. It’s not something we can agree to disagree on.
We can agree to disagree on all kinds of other things. It’s possible to hold any number of outlandish ideas, even dead wrong ideas, and still be a decent, ethical person. White nationalism is not one of those things.
Let’s say that you and I both agree that we need to do everything we can to help poor people. You think that government safety nets are a bad idea and the churches and individual donors ought to take over all of that. I disagree; I think we need churches, individual charity and also a vastly improved government safety net. I’ll bet you think I’m pretty stupid to believe as I do, and I sometimes entertain the same thoughts about you. But we both have the same goal. We can discuss our differences, politely, and hopefully come to an understanding. We can work together in the areas on which we agree, because we both care for people and we’re both trying to help.
Let’s say that you and I are both deeply invested in educating our children as best we can. You think that public schools are all that and a bag of chips and that it would be disastrous to educate a child at home. I think that my daughter is flourishing through homeschooling and I’m deeply concerned with bullying and peer pressure in public schools in my area. This will probably be a huge area of contention between us. You’ll show me statistics and studies and I’ll show you statistics and studies. I’ll likely come out of it thinking you’re stubborn and annoying, and you’ll think I’m an idiotic hippie. But I wouldn’t presume you were a bad person.
Because white nationalists believe that white people are worth more than people of other races, and ought to be able to restrict the rights of people of other races.
And that means we’re starting from completely different premises.
This is a Catholic blog, so I’ll remind people that the Catholic viewpoint is that human beings are equal, created in the image and likeness of God, with intrinsic dignity and the rights that flow from that dignity. We are to look upon our neighbor as another self. And I believe that all decent and well-meaning people with whom we can work together, have some version of that rule in their attitude toward the world. Maybe you don’t believe in God, maybe you use a term other than “rights.” But to be a good person, you need to have a rule of thumb that people are intrinsically valuable, basically equal and deserve to be treated with equal respect. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Never serve your neighbor a stew you wouldn’t sit down to yourself. If I wouldn’t like to have something done to me, I ought not to do that to somebody else. If I feel entitled to take two slices of the free pizza, other people just as hungry as I am should get two slices as well. Some formulation of the Golden Rule.
White nationalists don’t start from the Golden Rule.
White nationalists don’t presume that people are all equal and should be treated justly. They presume that white people are better and should be treated better than anybody else. That people of the varying shades of brown deserve to have their rights restricted so that white people can feel “protected” and “preserve their race.”
And that’s something we can’t compromise on.
I believe that people have a right to migrate from one country to another to better their situation– and that’s not me being a weirdo socialist, that’s me as a Catholic referring to Pope John XXIII’s “Pacem in Terris.” Countries also have a right to make immigration laws to keep that process orderly and to protect citizens from a reasonable threat of harm. You and I can bicker all day about what those laws ought to be and whether the current laws are unjust (I think they are, for the record). There could be all kinds of positions on how we ought to handle immigration in a way that protects the rights and safety of immigrants but doesn’t jeopardize anybody else’s safety or rights. You could theoretically hold any one of those positions and be an ethical person. Mistaken, but ethical.
But if you believe that we should restrict immigration of certain races and only welcome people from Northern Europe because they’re white– that’s not a mere difference of opinion. That’s white supremacism. That’s treating some people as intrinsically more valuable than others. It’s injustice, and it’s always wrong.
If you like the way you look and you’re proud of the heritage and traditions of the part of Europe you came from– wonderful. I’m glad you have good self-esteem and I share your admiration for your culture. I’m proud of my Irish and Scottish heritage, myself. I love that my husband is Italian. I love that our daughter is all three.
But if you want to restrict the rights of other races to form families and have children; if you want to prevent people of different races from intermarrying when they wish to; if you value babies with skin and hair like yours, whose ancestors came from the places yours come from, more than you value babies that look any other way– that’s white supremacism. That’s wrong. And we can’t agree to disagree. I have to oppose you on it, as loudly as I can.
White supremacists are not just another group of people with silly opinions. There are not “fine people” on this particular side. They are dead wrong, they are evil, and they are dangerous.
I believe in the Golden Rule, so I hope that no violence is inflicted on Kristen or Kenny or any other white nationalists. I pray for their conversion. But what they’re saying is not just an opinion, and it’s not something that any Christian or person of goodwill can allow to go unchallenged.
(image via Pixabay)