Blogger Brooke has organized a carnival…
Brooke, who I gather from her use of the royal “we” in her blog post is white gets it started though with some specious in-group generalizations:
Many white people are not trustworthy.
Many white people are arrogant.
White people are flakey (in comments).
Elsewhere, Bin Gregory weighs in with some further thoughts on an exchange he had a few years ago with Umar Lee, who said that one cannot be Muslim and be white. To convert is to lose your ‘white privilege’ pass. Alienation is widespread in the US, BG says, and Muslim conversion confers no special status.
American culture is fundamentally alienating: there is a huge number of white men who are totally alienated from any sense of community or culture or belonging, without becoming muslim, without having done anything to consciously remove themselves before feeling that way. In other words, the feeling of loss, disconnection and emptiness at the heart of so many young white people isn’t a disconnection from any mythical white brotherhood but a disconnection from the awful shallowness and emptiness that is modern American life.
Not only is alienation widespread, but it is celebrated. From youth culture to Hollywood heroes, the cool kids are always the ‘outsiders.’ Alienation confers status. The insight I would bring to this is that adopting an ‘alienated’ identity – converting to Islam, for example – is a quintessentially Western, American thing to do. It may not be the primary or most important reason, but it is coded into our culture. I’m applying this observation to whites such as Umar, Brooke and myself, but reveling in alienation is a shared culture now to greater and lesser degrees among Americans of many (I’m not prepared to say all) racial and ethnic backgrounds.