The Thinking 

Conflating Loyalty and Hatred

May 30, 2012


AT The Orthosphere, Bonald briefly considers the liberal belief that to identify with one’s own ethnic group or race is to hate others. He writes:

David Yeago at First Things points to the Lutheran Church’s statement against racial discrimination as proof that one can accept the genuine moral insights of modernity without buying into the dubious anthropology of liberalism. He points out that the the statement does not base itself on a notion of abstract rights or a religion-free “public reason”; rather it argues that “hatred and prejudice” destroy the unity Christ wills for His Church. Ah, but extracting one’s soul from the clutches of liberalism is harder than Yeago realizes. It binds us most strongly in those assumptions we don’t even notice ourselves making. Is it obvious that all preference for our co-ethnics is equivalent to “hatred”? Is it really impossible for such a preference–or, to bring matters from the level of feeling to that of conviction, such a loyalty–to coexist with a charitable desire that all peoples be baptized and saved? If I don’t want race X in my family or business, does that necessarily mean I want them to be damned? Premoderns would have found this claim odd. I don’t find it odd (and there’s no particular race of people I would mind having as coworkers or relatives), but neither do I find it obvious as Yeago seems to. It is in fact this very conflation of particular loyalties with “hatred of the Other” that is one of the most dangerous ideas in the liberal arsenal.

                                                 — Comments —

Paul writes:

Even intelligent black people know the prolix Yeago is wrong. A black co-worker and I often discuss sports at length. Just today I was pondering out loud why our favorite college got a 2013 highly-rated, non-Southern, white football commitment around 9 months before the deadline. He follows recruiting closely. I don’t. He knew right away.

He knew the boy had bonded with an earlier 2013 highly-rated, non-Southern, white commitment at a common exhibition game earlier this year. My co-worker said it was natural for two white players to have someone to bond with on a mostly black team. He said it is not racism; it is just the way it is. He said the white boys possibly, for example, don’t like rap music, etc. He said it was a good sign because probably we have been missing out on talented white recruits because we have so many blacks.

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