What Is A White Supremacist?


THE TERM “WHITE SUPREMACIST” is rapidly replacing the more straightforward “racist” in mainstream journalism. The term is also being used to describe the belief system of Philip Arps, the self-confessed Nazi who was sentenced earlier this week to 21 months imprisonment. On social media, especially Twitter, the term is being used, anachronistically, to characterise the ideas of explorers and colonialists living in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While it is not unusual to encounter such terminological misuse in the writings of radical post-modernists, it is worrying to see the mainstream media subsume so many different historical and ideological phenomena into this single, catch-all, expression.

The current misuse of the term “white supremacy” is also highly dangerous politically. By singling out this particular form of racism and misapplying it to famous figures from the past, as well as to people living in the present, the users of the term risk not only its rapid devaluation, but also the angry retaliation of those who feel both themselves and their beliefs to have been wrongly and unfairly condemned.

Because the number of New Zealanders subscribing to the beliefs journalists now describe as “white supremacist” is by no means a small one. Indeed, it is likely that a majority of older Pakeha New Zealanders still adhere, either wholly or in part, to the notion that the achievements of western civilisation – of white people – far outstrip those of any other. They may be careful about who they share these ideas with, but they hold them nonetheless.

It is certainly the case that this assumption of western superiority informed the response of practically all the western nations to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. When President George W. Bush explained the terrorists’ murderous attacks by saying: “they hate our freedoms, they hate our way of life”; very few white Americans, or whites living in any other western nation, failed to grasp his racially-charged sub-text: they are less than us.

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The mainstream media, itself, is equally guilty of assigning considerably greater value to the lives of westerners than to human-beings living in other parts of the world. A cruise liner carrying wealthy Europeans runs into a Venice wharf, injuring half-a-dozen, and it’s headline news around the planet. An overcrowded ferry-boat collides with another vessel and sinks, drowning 200 Indians, and all it rates is a one-line mention three-quarters of the way down the news bulletin. What other message can we draw from that, other than – whites are more important?

So, racism is a hard habit for westerners to break. The use of the term “white supremacy”, however, should properly be restricted to the specific political actors and the particular historical context from which it emerged. It refers, primarily, to the political regimes which arose in the southern states of the USA in the years following the American Civil War – most particularly in the decades immediately following the withdrawal of federal troops from the states of the defeated Confederacy in 1877.

These regimes were built on the bedrock requirement that whites must in all conceivable circumstances: economic, social, cultural, legal and political; be placed ahead of and above blacks. The poorest and most ill-educated white farmer had to be able to count himself better off, both subjectively and objectively, than his black neighbours. White supremacy wasn’t just a matter of personal racial animus, it described a comprehensive and internally coherent system of race-based rule. A “white supremacist”, accordingly, is a person who not only subscribes to the principles underpinning the infamous “Jim Crow” system, but also – like the contemporary Ku Klux Klan – strives for its return. Obviously, the term may also be legitimately applied to the very similar systems of race-based rule erected in South Africa and Rhodesia between 1948 and 1992.

It is important to acknowledge that a political entity driven by the principles of genuine white supremacy will be very different from one in which the official goal is racial assimilation, as was formerly the case in New Zealand. It will also be quite distinct from a regime, such as Nazi Germany’s, whose official goal was the physical elimination of all races deemed to be a threat to the herrenvolk – the master race. This is because, in both the American South, and in Southern Africa, blacks were absolutely essential to the successful operation of the white-controlled economy. Without plentiful and criminally cheap black labour, the white supremacist regimes on both continents would not have been economically viable.

This is why it is so dangerous to conflate all economic, social and political systems in which racial prejudice and inequality thrive as “white supremacist” regimes. Simple racial chauvinism is very different from the conscious creation of a race-based economic and political system. If, however, the media persists in lumping together every Pakeha who takes pride in the achievements of western civilisation with avowed Nazis, like Philip Arps, or genocidal eco-fascists, like the Christchurch shooter, then not only will the charge lose all its definitional and moral force, but, sooner or later, those so lumped will come to the conclusion that they might as well be hung for sheep as lambs.

Those on the Left who are promoting the use of this term, presumably as a way of shaming Pakeha New Zealanders into acknowledging and renouncing their “white privilege”, may soon come to regret driving their boots so forcefully into such a large pack of sleeping dogs. Giving these mutts the bad name of “white supremacists” will in no way blunt, or shorten, their political teeth.

What happened at Orewa in January 2004, can happen again.



      • And don’t forget women – in just about every modern and post-modern culture. Ever been a woman ?

        “Europeans runs into a Venice wharf, injuring half-a-dozen, and it’s headline news around the planet. An overcrowded ferry-boat collides with another vessel and sinks, drowning 200 Indians, and all it rates is a one-line mention three-quarters of the way down the news bulletin. What other message can we draw from that, other than – whites are more important? ” No.

        I think this suggests that the well-heeled who are leading seemingly showy glamorous lives are more important than poor people, often struggling to exist.
        Poor is non-sexy, regardless of colour.

        If eg, you are a rich person working for maybe a bank like ANZ, and you take money you shouldn’t, you are not required to repay it even though you can well afford to.

        But if you’re a poorer person working for anybody at all
        and you put your fingers in the till, you get done for it, regardless of colour, and are usually required to pay for it whether you can afford to or not.

        Money makes the world go around. I suggest that the rich, the powerful and the greedy, regardless of their colour, have historically exploited others regardless of their colour.

        Do you really think that marauding Romans capturing people the same colour as themselves, said,”No, we can’t use blokes like us as galley slaves ?”

        I also suggest that ‘white supremacy’ is a deliberate and dangerous tool now being utilised for cynical purposes in the USA – at the most simple level, because
        demographically, globally, white is on a downer, which is very different from what Hitler was about.

        • I am very well aware of the need for woman to have there space, less they get headaches at inappropriate times Y’know.

        • Overcrowded ferries are usually grossly overloaded in complicit contravention of best practice and local regulation: accidents waiting to happen.

        • Muslims can be white, yellow, black, etc .. they have access to social media too.

          One thing which is true, I’ve never met a Muslim who doesn’t hate LGBTQ people .. so really aren’t Muslims a hate group too?

          • Y’know it use to be that people refused to eat Chinese because people were a bit thing about Asians, Y’know, and Chinese food is fucking delicious. And now there’s a Chinese takeaway damn near on every kiwi corner. Just think how much gayness there’ll be in the next 20 years. hilarious!!!

  1. What is a white supremacist/racist?
    Generally a person who doesn’t like immigration. But happy to take refugees. A person who isn’t comfortable with how their culture is rapidly evolving. Same the world over-nothing special here. With the mass movement of people between countries some people in NZ will benefit from immigration and some will suffer. Here in NZ we have no data on the benefits/costs of immigration. We just do it and hope. We have anecdotal observations that it has an effect on housing and infrastructure but we are now paralysed to discuss the issue and research it. We need to plan for immigration and only bring in the number our health and housing can cope with. We have an obligation to each immigrant and our own citizens.

  2. ”A cruise liner carrying wealthy Europeans runs into a Venice wharf, injuring half-a-dozen, and it’s headline news around the planet. An overcrowded ferry-boat collides with another vessel and sinks, drowning 200 Indians, and all it rates is a one-line mention three-quarters of the way down the news bulletin. What other message can we draw from that, other than – whites are more important?”

    Well Chris it is possible to say the wealthy people in a city that is a tourist mecca are more important than poor people in an obscure river. I would not agree with either white people or rich people being more important but it could be a class bias rather than a skin colour bias

    • I’m not sure if its even a class bias. I suspect that its more mundane than that.

      The Venice incident is more newsworthy and of interest to us than a ferry sinking in India because the Venice incident involves people like us (be they rich or otherwise); whereas the India incident does not to any where near the same extent. We can imagine ourselves being caught up in the Venice incident: less so the India incident.

      Its a matter of psychology – we’re most interested in situations that involve our families; our extended families; our communities our country; countries like ours and so on.

      Being interested in, and caring about an incident that involves a ferry sinking in a river in India is just too remote, generally speaking. Such an event would capture our attention if, for example, a Nzder was missing as a result. But even then our interest would be in the missing Nzder, and not the local Indian victims.

      It is what is – human behaviour.

  3. Every ‘strategy of tension operation in the western world has to custom build its ‘divide and rule’ around the local needs and indoctrinations. This hackneyed expression will look the dead fish it is when cross-examination of the ‘G0-Pro’ finally lands in the ICC.

  4. Any Pakeha who laughed while watching Blazing Saddles (1974) can now be included as a white supremacist. Alongside those who can not use chopsticks.

  5. It certainly is fashionable to use the term. I was reading an article elsewhere today by an alleged NZ historian that blamed the start of the First World War and anti-German feeling here on white supremacy.

  6. Yes, agreed on the language front. It was right wing, then alt right, it became racist along with the other isms. Followed by nazis and white supremacists. To the left it’s all the same thing. The meaning of the words become meaningless. Disagree with a lefty and you’re literally Hitler.

  7. In my opinion; an eurodite and insightful Post @ Chris Trotter.

    I was born in a small, rural Southland town to a farming family. Once I escaped the hideous little primary school there with it’s sadistic and violent teachers and began my brief tenure at wonderful St Peters College and as I look back fondly on that, I ponder that two of my best mates were Maori brothers who had whanau we all hung out together with and my other friends were ‘female humans’ ( Is it ok to use the term ‘girls’? One can never be too sure.) There were a couple of kids I knew of at St Peters who were camp as a row of tents and no one gave one small fuck. Metaphorically speaking anyway… And that was Gore! Good ol’ Gay ol’ Gore thanks News Boy and Havoc. I’m a proud Goron if the truth be said.
    So what’s happening? We should, by now, be more enlightened than less so one would think?
    The common, global affliction that bedevils people when it comes to people seeing other people as fellow people types is ignorance. Ignorance is it.
    How does one endure a blind hatred for another if ignorance is dispelled? It would be difficult and that’s why I believe the media encourages ignorance within AO/NZ.
    The collective ‘we’ don’t own our country. The government we vote in, then pay to act for us doesn’t act for us. That, should be clear to most of us by now.
    Those few who do own AO/NZ and politely enslave us by using debt use racism, the spectre of white supremacy, sexism, homophobia and other phobias and -isms to keep it that way by dividing us into groupings of grumbling malcontents. The Mighty Pigster muldoon was a master at divisive tactics and our modern hatching of political minions have become Masters of the Dark Arts of Division in Order to Rule for those whom they serve.
    Do we have a vibrant and free to air TV station delivering enlightenment to those old buggers you mention above who do, indeed, think they’re superior to them Maaaries and ‘The Wife’ is never at the pub with them and their mates and socialising as equals? Nope, is the answer. There’s only one thing more grim than a pub with no beer and that’s a pub with no women.
    Carefully cultivated ignorance is the weapon of choice for our Masters.
    Look what’s happened now that, that monster has killed all those people in Ch Ch? That he was so able to blithely slither past all our best Special Ops types? And especially alarming is that those types, including the police were warned about a nutter shooting a variety of people-shooting type guns by those who don’t alarm easily like hunters, an ex soldier and sports shooters etc.
    And now! Suddenly! We’re all unarmed! But for the police and the military! And who the fuck’s in control of them? Because it sure ain’t us.
    Call me Charlton Heston is you must but what, about that, in these heady times, is very , very unsettling?
    Have you been reading the news! The Guardian has recently done a feature on the melting ice fields in the Himalayas. A billion people will soon run out of water!
    In parallel, there are many, many people being forced out of Auckland into the regions because of the house-price wars. And now! ? Houses are selling for $350K plus in Invercargill! In Invercargill!
    What happens when one billion people run out of water? They go looking for more water. And when they find that water what happens to those whom they will certainly displace! ? That’s right. They too will go to Invercargill.
    The real question should be; who’s moving into Auckland??? And why??????????????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • A curious thing about the Himalaya glaciers. Needs a bit of explaining.
      The ice doesn’t occur spontaneously from the mountains presumably. It must get there from the sky. So what’s going on to cause them to run out of water?
      The ice must in the past have accumulated in the winter as snow, and melted in the spring and summer. So water must have been stored in dams in the melt to make up for it all being frozen in the winter.So there must be storage facilities already. If the glaciers are shrinking there must be more of the precipitin falling as rain and less as snow, but the reservoirs wold still be replenished, more evenly actually , as there can’t be so much hold up in the winter. Unless what is happening is that there is just less snow or rain falling. And if there is less falling it may have nothing to do with being warmer, it might just as well be because it’s cooler.
      White supremacy , any racial supremacy is a political minefield and I am amassed at myself for making comment. But if you look at the last couple of centuries the European Whities do seem to have had a lot of influence. But if you look deeper for a religious / ethnic grouping that has from a very small population scattered throughout European populations for scientific , musical , literal, artistic, commercial ,financial and organisational overpowering contribution to the world, you are going to all end up with the same answer.
      D J S

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