In support of Geert Wilders, the anti-immigrant, Dutch version of Steve Bannon who just lost his bid to be prime minister of the Netherlands, Steven King—not to be confused with Stephen King, the novelist and verifiable smart person—tweeted the following: “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
Those who recognize white nationalist dreck when they see it immediately trounced on King for his openly racist comment. But to date, King—a U.S. Representative from Iowa and verifiably stupid person—has neither retracted the tweet nor denied he holds white nationalist sentiments. And judging from his long history of blurting out the some of the most ignorant and dimwitted statements to come from within the Republican hierarchy—in itself, an endless source of ignorance and dimwittery—one has to assume King truly believes that he, himself, is a valuable member of the “civilization” and “culture” that he so ignorantly and dimwittedly defends.
Which brings me to the question I have been asking white supremacists since my earliest days of writing opinions. Being: Just what the hell have you ever contributed to civilization?
Frankly, I don’t believe most white supremacists are sharp enough even to offer a clear and coherent vision of what comprises a “civilization.” They see it as an amorphous whole, a big blob of rolling circumstance with white people—white men, in particular—in the driver’s seat and everyone else either going along, or getting in the way. To them, “civilization” either is as it always was, or it’s falling to pieces. I suppose you could say, from the supremacist’s viewpoint, a successful “civilization” is like a well-run town hall meeting, where all the questions are pre-approved, everyone likes what the guy on the stage says, and the minorities didn’t find out about it until the next day.
In short, if you are a white supremacist, you would regard “civilization” as a result, not a process. A noun, rather than a verb. It is something that was erected communally, like a big Amish barn, by particular nationalities and ethnicities and racial identities. And any influence from outside the approved circles does nothing but damage and endanger the structure.
And this is, first and foremost, the reason white supremacy is so popular among the very stupidest white people. They want to believe they are a part of—and can actually take some measure of credit for—what smart people, one by one by one, have bequeathed the world.
The truth is, civilization, and it’s doppleganger “culture,” have nothing to do nationalities, ethnicities and racial identities. Nationalities did not write the Iliad or Oliver Twist or the U.S. Constitution. For these, we must thank Homer, Dickens and Madison—not the Greeks, the British Empire, or early Americans.
Ethnicities did not paint the Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, compose Mozart’s Requiem, or formulate Descartes’ philosophy. To believe so would take away dramatically from what rightfully belongs entirely to Leonardo, Mozart and Descartes.
Racial identities did not invent steam locomotion, moveable type and the wheel. No sir, that would be Richard Trevithick, Johannes Gutenberg and … uh … most likely some fella … or lady … back in the sixth millenium BCE.
Being Nordic, Aryan, Germanic, Gaelic, Gaulic, Anglo, Saxon, whatever … none of that meaningless bloodline bullshit had squat do with how we have come to have great machines, great music, great art, great architecture, great literature, great medicine, or even great cuisine. If it did—if “white” truly did represent something supreme—then would not every Nordic-Aryan-Germanic-Gaelic-Gaulic-Anglo-Saxon-Whatever Tom, Dick and Harry have come up with something for which to be remembered?
Instead, I would name you several billions of perfectly white people from over the centuries who did nothing whatsoever to enhance civilization …
… but, of course, I can’t, because we have never heard of them.
* * *
The point being, bloodlines don’t invent things. Or create things. Or teach things. Those accomplishments are the province of individuals. And if history has shown us anything, it is that inventiveness, creativity and wisdom have come from every twig on the human tree, only because every twig has had its share of inventive, creative and wise individuals.
Civilization is nothing more than the accumulation of what remarkable men and women have done with their lives. And like pixels on a screen that, collectively, combine to make the big picture, they come in every color.
So, Steve King … you verifiably stupid white supremacist blowhard douche, you … what exactly have you done that would convince us you are more valuable to this civilization than “somebody else’s babies?” Might you have a collection of your own poetry secreted away? … something demonstrably superior to what Maya Angelou or Langston Hughes have given the world?
Could there be some musical compositions in your portfolio? … anything even approaching the importance and influence that Scott Joplin or Duke Ellington have had on American culture?
Maybe a book. Has he written a book, our white nationalist idiot from Iowa? Something more powerful and culturally significant as those written by Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin? … or Borges and Márquez? … all, at one time, “somebody else’s babies.”
Maybe the Congressman’s contribution came in science? Or the military?
Seems not. He didn’t stay in college long enough to graduate, and like so many tough-talking Republicans, he avoided the draft with serveral deferments—unlike so many African-American and Hispanic kids who didn’t avoid the draft.
A superior engineer? … nope. A remarkable businessman? … nope. A talented doctor or visionary legal mind? … nope.
A kind and generous soul, even?
No, it seems all Representative Steve King has done with his life is run for office and say stupid things. Tragically for the civilization, that’s all it seems to take to succeed in Iowa.