Back in the ROK days during March 2015, Donovan Sharpe, a black columnist for the site, asked me a series of questions over email for an article he was writing on race relations. He ended out using almost none of it, but it was a good interview all the same. I saved the correspondence in case I ever started the blog again. It’s been almost a year and for some reason I haven’t published it yet. So here you go. This is it in full, minus some preceding and concluding thoughts that aren’t very relevant. The […] are just to mark the a new email by the same person.
DS: By the way I’ve got an idea for an article I’d like to involve you in. I’d like to write about race relations in America specifically between blacks and whites. I’d like to get your perspective because 1) you’ve lived in the South your entire life and 2) you’re able to articulate your thoughts intelligently.
BN: Sure. What do you want to know?
I’ve got 6 or 8 questions I’d like you to answer candidly. Don’t pull any punches. They’re on my laptop so as soon as I get home I’ll send them to you.
This should be a great read, man. Thanks for the participation.
Okay, first question. What are race relations REALLY like down south? Are Southerners really more accepting of persons of color or is it just a front?
Race relations in the South vary where you go, but in general they are
benign. There weren’t many slaves in mountainous areas, so black
people are almost non-existent Appalachia and the surrounding hill
country. I’m told that people in those areas are sometimes so racist
to the point where they want slaves back, but I can’t confirm that.
There’s also been a lot of downward migration in the last few decades.
The South is one of the more economically prosperous areas of the
country. So that’s changed the demographics a lot, especially in the
cities. Charlotte and Atlanta are very different from rural Alabama,
and the peninsula of Florida barely has a Southern culture anymore. I
don’t think many people have a problem with this, including me.
In the North and West, things are pretty segregated. Blacks live on
one side of town, and whites live on another. So without interacting
with each other, it’s easy to assume that there is no value in
stereotypes. But white people still want blacks to keep away. Matt
Forney had a really good article on that:
Down here cities are smaller, and the race of a neighborhood can
change within just a few blocks. Whites and blacks interact with each
other more and often go to the same public schools. So the rest of the
country thinks we’re racist because we’re a little more open to
stereotypes (and because of the moral superiority it gives them), but
they are the ones who completely avoid interacting with blacks. Or if
they do interact with them, it’s their one friend at work whose dad is
a lawyer, and they assume they are colorblind because they have a
certain quantity of friends with dark skin. Randy Newman had a really
good song about this:
Are we more accepting of other races or is it just a front? I’m too
young to speak for the old days, but today the answer is “both,” like
I imagine is the case with the rest of the country. Most people will
deny they are racist at all, even while saying something about race
differences. Or they’ll say “Many black people…” to make sure they
aren’t using a generalization.
Redneck people tend to be more unapologetically prejudiced or at least
frustrated, although again it varies by person. They’re reluctant to
talk about it, but if they sense you are open to hearing about it,
they’ll start ranting. You can usually guess about these people even
before that. There’s no bond like two people who share an opinion that
would make them social outcasts (much like the bonds between red pill
men). I’d say they aren’t so much white supremacists as they are white
separatists. And even if they are white supremacists, they aren’t
malicious about it. They keep to themselves and expect other races to
do the same.
Honestly I’m the same way. Blacks can have their society how they want
it so long as it doesn’t affect me. I wouldn’t deny a black man a job,
but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to live near the ghetto. It’s not
that I’m more racist than the average person; I’m just more honest
If white people move away, liberals criticize the “white flight”. If
we move back in, they criticize “gentrification”. I don’t have a moral
problem with either option. You can’t own a neighborhood, so I don’t
understand why gentrification is so wrong. But I’m a white flight
person myself. Right now I live in the ghetto, and I want to get as
far away from these people as possible.
Colorblindness is a white privilege. It’s for people who live in safe
parts of town. If a white person interacts with black people enough,
he will become racist to some degree. You walk down a deserted street
at night and see a black man approaching, so you make a point to look
away or cross the road. Sure it’s discrimination, but it’s better to
be a racist than to get stabbed.
Or you watch the news and see a black unwed mother with five kids
crying about how her children deserves food stamps, and you think “Of
course because she’s black.” Black person cuts you off in traffic or
is just driving too slowly? “Goddamn niggers think they own the
country.” Nevermind that white people are horrible drivers too.
But I don’t think there’s any substantial discrimination. The KKK is
pretty much dead. I’ve never heard of any hate crimes happening
(although I’m sure they do). You could open a store in the whitest
part of town, and if you dressed and talked like a white person, you
could be successful. White people want to believe blacks are the same
as them, so the key to success is to avoid any signs at all you’re
from the ghetto. That sounds like terrible, but that’s the result of
decades of being taught to be colorblind. We’ll never approve of
ghetto culture, so instead we’re taught that blacks at heart are just
like us. One way or another, black people will have to give up some of
their blackness to become successful. Whether that’s fair or just is
another question, but it is reality.
At least that’s the case in the places I have lived in, but I’ve heard
that in the extreme rural areas like northeast Tennessee or north
Florida, things are more dangerous.
White guilt is definitely present here. People don’t trust blacks, but
they won’t admit it to themselves. It’s more of an uneasiness around
them. Even if the black person is successful, white people feel like
they can’t be themselves around black people, because people think
blacks get easily offended and maybe even violent. I find this kind of
ridiculous, because we don’t talk about race in casual conversation
anyway, and also because black people aren’t as easily offended as
people think. And even if they were easily offended, nobody wants to
get arrested for fighting over something small.
I was in a class of about a dozen people, about half white and half
black. I made a joke about how I’m colorblind so I can only tell race
based on hair style. The black people broke into loud laughter, and
the white people just looked really nervous. That’s what race
relations are like down here. The black people want whites to
acknowledge their blackness, and the white people think they aren’t
allowed to. Race is a large part of one’s identity, so why would a
black person want a white person to be colorblind?
I don’t think they ever asked that of us, but we continue to have a
pissing contest to show just how non-racist we are. We can’t put down
the white man’s burden. We’ve always got to be helping the other
races, and we always have to bring them up to our level. This is why
the SJWs always feeling like they have to make a scene every time a
cop guns down a ghetto thug. Supremacism is saturated in the white
man, whether he is an extreme liberal or a Klan member.
Never in history has the white race been able to leave the other races
alone to deal with their own problems. The most progressive fat
feminist blogger in Manhattan screeching about the need for diversity
and intersectionality really just wants to believe that all blacks,
muslims, Mexicans, gays, and whoever are basically the same as her and
would be so if not for some kind of invisible social force.
Ethnocentrism is the hallmark of a liberal. They have no respect for
I don’t want blacks to be the same as me. I want them to have their
own culture they can take pride in. And that doesn’t have to be the
same as the ghetto culture. For example, in the mid 20th century, the
black race absolutely dominated the music industry, and even when the
whites began getting their hold back, the blacks were still strong
competitors. Today all black music is terrible. I’m not sure what
happened, but I’ve never met a young black person that listened to old
black music. They claim we whites stole it (another myth for another
day), but they won’t hold onto what they already have.
One of my biggest issues with black people is that I can’t understand
what they are saying. They mumble their words while talking at a
really loud volume. If I ask them to repeat themselves, they say it in
the same way as before. Also, they always make a “that’s racist” joke,
not realizing that white people are sick of hearing that.
We’d like to put the old racist days behind us, but black people make
it hard. Not just in the jokes and complaints they make, but in the
society they live in. We’ve given blacks equal access to universities
and jobs, but black society has fallen into deeper degradation than
ever. So whites are frustrated with that. We want blacks to be as
successful as us so that we don’t have to feel guilty about black
I haven’t heard back from you. Was that too offensive? You told me not
to pull punches.
Oh no dude, not at all. I had to bang out a reporter article on Tag The Sponsor that ran yesterday so I’ve been caught up in that the last few days.
Your answer was brilliant. I’ve lived in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Florida and your assessment is spot on.
Next question: One of my best friends in college was from Aiken South Carolina. He had a confederate flag in his room and at the bottom it said “Heritage Not Hate.” That was totally fine with me because I knew who he was as a person. What say you?
Your doing reporter articles now? I thought it was just me. I knew C
Contrary was for a bit, but I’m not sure I’ve seen anything from him
in a while.
I figured you weren’t offended. Just checking in.
Wasn’t Charlotte awful? Sprawling mass of suburbs. Traffic’s terrible.
No middle class. Property is ridiculously expensive.
A good summary of my views is here:
Almost no one today flies the confederate flag out of hatred, nor
would anyone assume it was out of hatred if they saw it even if that
person thinks you shouldn’t fly it. And I think even in the 1920s it
still wasn’t the dominant use of the flag. People say it’s for
heritage. However, it’s really for redneck pride.
That being said, a friend gave me a flag, and I hung it from my
apartment window in downtown Jackson to piss off the blacks and
liberal law students.
At any rate, people often compare confederate flag to the swastika in
that it’s too strongly connotated with an evil ideology (in this case,
the KKK). That’s not true at all. The KKK used the flag, but they
weren’t the only ones. The flag can have many contexts, where as the
swastika was particular to a certain time and ideology.
Furthermore, there are many nationalistic symbols for Germany, but
there is only one symbol for the South.
Finally, people claim that it’s wrong to fly the confederate flag
because it’s offensive to blacks. Well, the blacks will have to get
over it. You can’t go through life expecting to never be offended. Nor
does anyone ever give me a reason why being offensive is necessarily
wrong. Instead of teaching whites to ignore their heritage, they
should teach blacks to be more empathetic.
There’s that Brad Paisley song about the confederate flag that caused
a lot of controversy. I think he should have been more wise in the way
he worded it, but more than that I think the media wanted to find a
reason to crucify him. They took the most semantic meaning of the
words and ignored the greater picture. What they didn’t want to hear
was his clearly intended message, that blacks and whites should try to
understand each other and be tolerant of the differences. Because then
that would be empowering to both races, and liberals are only
interested in making everyone as hateful as they themselves are.
Misery loves company.
Yeah I’m doing reporter articles now. I did 2 this week so along with last weeks post and the one going up tomorrow I’ve churned out 4 articles in the last 10 days so I’m going to give my brain a couple days off before firing up the ol’ muse on Thursday or Friday for next week’s post.
Great answer by the way. I remember the shit storm about the Brad Paisley track. So here’s my next question: Is the alleged “disconnect” between blacks and whites real or is it embellished by the media? If it’s as advertised what do you think can blacks and whites in the South do to try to understand each other better?
Two reporter articles in one week? I get two a month. It’s good they
are spreading it around between authors, but more than that I like the
Is the disconnect between blacks and whites real or embellished by the
media? I think the media is so cut off from reality that it’s
something of a moot question. The media pushes a narrative that boosts
In our enlightened western society, we think that every problem has a
solution. I’m not sure that is logically sound. Some problems cannot
be solved. It’s not good or bad but just is.
The black race has always had a culture of poverty. Therefore black
people will always live in poverty, even if a few escape it. Likewise,
the white race has always had a culture of supremicism (which is not
entirely undeserved; see link below). Therefore white people will
always want to convert blacks to their standard. Roosh was somewhat
wrong when he said that western culture is lost beyond recovery, but
he isn’t entirely a product of western society.
If I had to give a solution to the issue, I would say that both sides
should not assume too much about the other. Whites should neither
assume that blacks want to live the ghetto culture nor that they want
to live an American Dream. Blacks have very open access to education
Blacks should also quit assuming that whites are always out to get
them. Sure, there are micro-aggressions, but more than that, whites
want to help black people if for no other reason than to alleviate
their white guilt.
Another issue is these awful black activists. If racial disparity was
solved tomorrow, what would Al Sharpton do for money? He has no
marketable skills beyond public speaking. He has to drum up
controversy in order to keep bread on his table. But what (I imagine)
many blacks who donate to him don’t realize is that he is perpetuating
racism. He makes blacks look like crybabies. Nothing we do will ever
please him, so why should we try? And if he represents all blacks,
then why should we bother trying to appease a people who are only
interested in victimhood? You can’t progress a people who won’t let go
of the past. South Park had a really good episode on this.
Black people need to realize that although very bad things happened to
their ancestors in the past, that generation of whites is mostly dead.
The white people today did not enslave them. We did not enforce Jim
Crow laws. The people who put you in poverty are dead. We the
individuals want you to be happy and successful. So black people need
to cut us a break.
And if the blacks don’t begin to pull themselves up, eventually the
white guilt bank will run dry, and the white people will get fed up.
The blacks are on borrowed time. Eventually we will get tired of
subsidizing their thug culture. A major political mistake most people
make is assuming that the ideological trend of the day will continue
on into the future.
An excellent read on some of this is Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton.
It’s a Christian book, but most of it will apply to non-Christians. He
discusses how American charity is perpetuating poverty instead of
alleviating it, both here and abroad.
As far as poverty in general (taking race out of the equation), both
political parties are wrong. The Republicans say, “We have open
education for everyone. If someone isn’t wealthy, that’s their fault.”
While that is technically true, we see that poverty is a cycle,
perhaps even more today than before. People who grow up in poverty
rarely break out of it. Jamall from the hood will likely not become a
doctor. And should he get accepted to an Ivy League school, he will
likely drop out, because he does not have the proper background to
succeed in that environment. (My ROK article in a few weeks is on the
worthlessness of public education.)
The Democrats say, “We need to give more money to bring the poor up to
the level of the financially secure, and we need more social programs
and equality laws to enforce it.” But we’ve been doing that since the
1960s, and there is a greater gap in poverty than ever. LBJ declared
war on poverty in Eastern Kentucky (one of the most third world places
in the country both then and now). Clearly we lost the war on poverty
as well as the war on drugs. And today’s youth are more financially
stagnant than ever. So the social programs haven’t done anything to
And we see that a few black “community organizers” (whatever that term
means) are beginning to denounce the Democrat party. The Democrat
policies have done nothing to bring blacks out of poverty, as seen
through simple empirical analysis. Welfare programs are a short-term
fix on a long-term problem. My rant on this is for a different
question (in part because I’m very not sober right now), but the
Democrats need people to live in poverty and ignorance to secure their
The problem is that both political parties have the same fundamental
beliefs. They are both all about opportunity. That is to say, the
ability to do what I the individual want. We think that justice must
involve equality. We think that equality means that we have a human
right to live life as we want, even if we aren’t sure what it is we
want. And what we should or need is a secondary issue. The Ben and
Jerry’s slogan sums this up perfectly, “If it’s not fun, why do it?”
We blame the baby boomers for this, but it extends centuries back.
America was founded by hippies who were influenced by hippies
centuries prior to them.
But society isn’t built out of individual volition. Instead of
focusing on the desires of individuals (which are often misguided and
misinformed anyway), the government should focus on cultivating a
civilizaiton. Which is a major reason why I’m neoreactionary (my
Orthodox Christian beliefs playing another major factor).
I’ve actually read very little neoreactionary literature. I very much
came to that conclusion prior to the red pill. I also think freedom of
speech is a stupid idea, although in a democracy, it’s an absolute
Although Orthodox Christianity isn’t quite red pill or neoreactionary,
a core narrative today is that secularism began in the middle ages
when the western part of the Church — what we now know as Roman
Catholicism — began to over-think ideas and become obsessed with
categories and logic. For them, theology was a fashion statement.
Everyone was trying to come up with a new trend. The second half of
the middle ages is considered the height of Catholic thought, yet it
ended in the protestant rebellion. Is this a coincidence? No, the
protestant reformation was the natural outgrowth of the attitudes the
Roman church had had for the last few decades. If doctrine is up for
innovation and doubt, then why bother with a formal church at all?
[Editor’s Note: Probably should read “for the last few centuries.”
And so we see that the protestants carried that mentality, which in
turn was adopted by secularism. Progressivism and its close cousin
Doubt was begun by medieval Catholicism, and it’s no surprise that the
Catholic church is on the same brink of implosion as the rest of
western civilization. Catholicism and protestantism is and has always
been nothing more than Christian-colored secularism. There has been
the same attitude of doubt for over 1000 years. And not the healthy
kind of doubt that makes you understand what you believe, but the
toxic kind of doubt that makes you search for something new and
DS: Okay next question: I’ve found that Black people these days are far more racist than White people. Agree or Disagree? Why?
Let me make an addition to the confederate flag question. I have a
cousin’s cousin in Lexington in Eastern Kentucky. She told me that
people often wave the confederate flag, even though they weren’t part
of the confederacy, and that during the Civil War the common people
were sympathetic to the confederacy but that the state government
wanted to remain neutral.
She said it’s dangerous to be black there. I’m somewhat skeptical of
that, but I could see it in the mountain towns. Lexington is in the
foothills of Appalachia. But farther northwest in the state like in
Louisville, it’s more Midwestern than Southern. Kentucky as a whole is
borderline South, much like the Virginias.
Are black people more racist than whites? Of course. Or at least, they
are more vocal and discriminatory. They certainly keep each other’s
backs more. I’m not sure that’s necessarily a bad thing, though. I’d
be more okay with it if we were allowed to do the same.
Which of the two is more racist in actuality? I’m not sure. But most
white racism is benign, whereas black racism often hurts people.
They’ll gun you down for being white and walking on their side of town
and then justify it because of slavery.
I didn’t enslave anyone. I didn’t kill any Indians. And most of the
white people who did kill Indians only did it because the Indians were
trying to kill them first.