Culture & Ethics
Weikart: In His Own Mind, White Supremacist Gunman Was Only Following the Science
After the supermarket shooting in Buffalo, NY, a woke church in my neighborhood quickly posted on its marquee sign, “WHITE SUPREMACY: AMERICA’S ORIGINAL SIN.” According to some, white supremacy is of pandemic proportions in the U.S. It takes surprising shapes — even people of color can be white supremacists, we’re told. It is not only widespread, but growing rapidly. Evangelical Christianity is tainted by it. Political conservatives “enable” it, or worse. Apparently it’s so on the march as to be a “harsh reality” in, of all places, our politically correct neighbor Canada.
President Biden this week said it is “running through our body politic.” If so, it’s strange that I’m not sure I’ve ever met a genuine white supremacist. But we know they are out there. Even if in reality they are only a minuscule minority, one mentally ill young man with such ideas in his mind can perform an act of shocking evil, as happened last weekend in Buffalo. It’s worth understanding why, not simply assuming that we know.
Reading the Manifesto
Historian Richard Weikart is among the few analysts who have troubled themselves to read the gunman’s manifesto. When he did, Weikart found that the mental profile of this shooter, like others before him, defies almost every stereotype about white supremacy currently being circulated. The accused killer, while upholding the vilest racism and anti-Semitism, disdains Christianity and conservatism. In the individual’s own telling, he took inspiration from what Professor Weikart in his recent book calls Darwinian Racism. The killer explains that he is only following the science — the very best evolutionary science.
Weikart writes on this at Townhall:
[H]e continually claims that he is a man of reason and logic, and he tries to demonstrate that his racist views are actually scientific, not based on religion or emotion.
He also appeals to science to explain why races are unequal. According to this young man — and most white nationalists today — races arose through biological evolution. He argues that races are subspecies that have diverged, not only in physical traits, but also in their mental and moral characteristics. He believes that the white race has evolved to have higher intelligence and that blacks have evolved with greater biological tendencies to crime, rape, and other immoral behavior.
Built upon this Darwinian framework, he became obsessed with what he considers the on-going competition between races in the struggle for existence. To be sure, he does not actually use the term “struggle for existence,” but he does use the term “struggle” a number of times. He also describes the Darwinian struggle for existence, which is competition between organisms to out-reproduce other organisms. Darwin stated that this struggle was most intense within a species, and he also proclaimed in The Descent of Man that some indigenous races were being driven to extinction by other races (primarily the Europeans) in the human struggle for existence.
White supremacists, including the Buffalo mass murderer, are obsessed with the differential reproductive rates between the races, believing that this will result in the defeat of the white race in the Darwinian struggle. Their “replacement theory” is intended as a warning that the white race will be replaced by other races.
In His Own Words
This fits a pattern with recent mass killers, as political scientist John West has also noted. You would need to peer into the shooter’s soul really to understand the origins of his madness and hatred. No one can do that. All we have to go on are his own words. For all the denunciations of opponents from political partisans, cynically using this terrible crime to tar competing views, isn’t it strange that so few media folks or politicians appear to be interested in the young man’s own account of himself.