Did you know there’s a genocide happening? It’s true! Apparently genocide is being waged viciously against white people across America! Horrifying, isn’t it?
It’s understandable if this news comes as a shock. When one thinks of genocide they most often picture, well, real, actual genocide: the deaths of millions, the ruthless destruction of an entire culture, unheard pleas for mercy and humanity. When one thinks of genocide they probably don’t really think about vague xenophobic concerns about the racial demographics of a country tipping ever so slightly. They probably don’t imagine people starting families with others of different races and recoiling as if that was actually a bad thing.
If this dissonance puzzles you, there’s an easy explanation for why. It’s because, not only is so-called “white genocide” not a genocide, it’s actually a made-up fucking fairy tale concept.
For those who push this idea, “white genocide” is simply the idea that someday white people won’t be the majority anymore, and that this is tantamount to the active organized slaughter of an entire group of people. Never mind that genocide is a real horror. Never mind the historical trauma of Rwanda, Sudan, the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the crimes of the Khmer Rouge, the atrocities committed in Indonesia. The real horrors of genocide are when, in the next decade, you may not hold the majority of power in your nation.
In order to understand this deeply stupid invention, it’s necessary to understand whiteness as a concept, which is just as artificial as the anxieties it often spawns in those who claim it. It’s telling them that “white genocide” so ostentatiously links the disappearance of whiteness with a loss of power, because history has demonstrated that whiteness is inseparable from white supremacy. They are two ideas joined irrevocably at the hip, and those who fear the elimination of whiteness as a piece of political and social capital have unknowingly admitted to this in their campaign to preserve that capital.
The idea of white fragility has become more widespread in recent years, but there’s no demonstration of that fragility as potent as “white genocide.” In its very conception it reveals whiteness to be so unstable as to be potentially disrupted by the mere existence of non-whiteness in its vicinity. Those who crow endlessly about this apparent destruction of whiteness fail to realize that, in revealing the frailty and falseness of their identity, they make a very compelling argument for the death of the idea of whiteness. And, no, that doesn’t mean killing white people, for those of you who are still childish enough to think that’s an option anyone is seriously weighing. Don’t worry. You’re safe.
What it does mean is divesting from whiteness as a legitimate identifier. It means recognizing that the clamor to achieve whiteness is not a sign that whiteness is valuable. Rather, whiteness is the ethnic equivalent of a product you’re told on late night television you absolutely must have. Calling into question the legitimacy of whiteness means acknowledging that the value of whiteness has come only through concentrated historical violence towards those who haven’t been given the label. It means recognizing that racism is a grotesque sort of social market manipulation, a means by which a dominant group continues to assert the legitimacy of their dominance by emphasizing an invented aspect of their identity and then seeking out increasingly normalized ways to punish those who weren’t so lucky as to randomly come into that identifier.
If we want to talk about the relationship between whiteness and genocide, look no further than the Holocaust. Antisemitism is founded on the concept that Jews are actually not white. They are then not insulated from the sort of violence Antisemitism encourages. In the wake of the atrocities of Hitler’s regime, many engaged in the project of “making” Jews white, redefining the Jewish identity so that those who identified with Judaism could have access to the privileges of whiteness. In many ways, the same is true of Armenians. Throughout history whiteness has portrayed itself as a safe haven from political violence, an exclusive fortress, membership to which entitles one to protections and supremacy.
“White genocide” unintentionally admits to how foolish this is. It reveals a group clinging to the artificial primacy of the label they invented because implicitly they know it’s a lie they’ve created to justify their repeated social and political cruelty. “White genocide” is white fear of the falseness of their dominance boiled down to its essence. Perhaps most thrillingly is that most who push this concept probably don’t even know that. They can’t see how pathetic it is to have to invent a threat to justify continued exercise of a previous invention, one whose seams are tearing now simply because it was always shoddily made. If the supremacy of whiteness was actually an elemental truth, then the idea that a little immigration or multiculturalism could dismantle it would be absurd. But since white supremacy is a fiction, the introduction of even the slightest contradiction to it has the potential to decimate this fantasy. By trying to convince others that this decimation is in fact happening, the supporters of the idea of “white genocide” have unknowingly admitted to the lie inherent in their self-professed dominance.
There is no “white genocide.” There is no war on whiteness. All that’s happening is that a poorly made system, a shoddily crafted lie is beginning to crumble under the slightest scrutiny. Whiteness is disintegrating. It’s eating itself alive. Under the weight of its own stupidity, its foundations are giving way.
I know what genocide is. That’s not genocide.