Auntie Marie is a kind, gentle woman without an ounce of hate for anybody in her heart. That’s why it surprised me to hear her, of all people, praising the Black Panthers – the infamous, and occasionally violent, black nationalist movement that flourished on the streets of Oakland during the Civil Rights era. Marie grew up on the border between Oakland and Berkeley, and is of just the right age to remember them as a part of her childhood. It was not, however, their political activism – and certainly not the violence! – that won them an eternal place in her heart, but something far more personal.
Marie doesn’t like to say that she grew up poor, but her parents divorced when she was five years old and her father, a longshoreman who had migrated up from Louisiana near the end of World War II, was never quite able to provide as much as his nine children by Marie’s mother and his stepchildren with his new wife all might have wanted. They weren’t exactly starving, but money was tight and any little bit of help they could get, especially in those days before LBJ’s Great Society efforts had expanded the welfare state to its modern gargantuan proportions, went a long way. One such bit of help was found when Marie was attending what is now Rosa Parks Elementary School, when the Black Panthers established their own school breakfast program in the neighborhood.
Her memories of it are a bit faded with age, but still clear enough to bring a warm smile to her lips. It was located in a two-story house – was it on Allston, or Addison? – well anyhow, not too far from the old Jack in the Box on San Pablo Avenue. She never asked who the house belonged to; whether one of the Panthers owned it or if they had rented it. It hardly mattered to her back then and it’s too late to ask now. What she does remember is that the furniture had been cleared out of the living room and a large round table that nearly filled the room set up there instead. Normally she would arrive sometime between 7:30 and 8AM, which was just about prime time for the operation. There would usually be about twenty kids there, mostly her age, and universally black. Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, white toast, and oatmeal – always plenty to go around, and served piping hot. Occasionally an adult would spend a couple of minutes telling them about the Black Panther Party, but mostly they just sat and ate. Nobody from the Black Panthers ever asked for a dime from them, or from their parents.
The program lasted for three or four crucial years of Marie’s childhood before the Panthers closed it down, mostly because the then-new Food Stamp program had spooled up enough that many in the community no longer saw it as necessary and, with their refrigerators stocked with taxpayer-provided free food of their own, had stopped sending their children to eat with the Panthers. But that doesn’t mean that the Black Panther school breakfast program was without its lasting effects. Half a century later, a little girl who ate at their table every day before school still will not tolerate a bad word to be said about them in her presence.
* * *
I have frequently seen the complaint made among those in the community of white people who would rather not be genocided that, while online activism has done wonders for us, more must be done to bring the movement offline and into the real world. So far, the results of that have been roundly terrible, with the disastrous Charlottesville rally in the summer of 2017 being the most drastic example. This has made many back away from the idea of real-world activism completely, sending them retreating into anonymous meme-making. There is to this some measure of good sense – Charlottesville emphasized the point that the right can’t simply hope to replicate the left’s successes by doing the same things that the left has traditionally done. We are not them. Our strengths (and weaknesses) are not the same as theirs. Beyond this, the Establishment, including the press and the media, will not treat our efforts the same as they treat those of the left. For all these reasons, we should not make a cargo cult of leftist tactics no matter how impressed we are by their victories.
Instead, inspired by Auntie Marie’s story, let me suggest this: Let’s start by making our move into “meat space” a literal one. Let us direct our impulse for real-world action not into duking it out with Antifa goons in the streets of deep-blue cities, but into helping our own people in our own communities, as the Black Panthers did for their people in Oakland so many years ago.
It may here be argued that such efforts are useless, as government welfare programs already exist to do this. But by now only a fool could fail to see that, no matter what the promises with which they were founded may have been, these programs do not exist to benefit our people. They have torn our families to pieces as women have abandoned traditional families and effectively married the state. They have subsidized blight, criminality, and addiction, as the idle hands (both of our own people and of others around whom we must try to live) that it turns out really are the devil’s workshop have turned to acts destructive of the self, of others, and of society as a whole. They have attracted swarms of parasites both from within the ranks of the work-shy inside our borders and, even more disastrously, from every poverty-stricken Third World shithole (as our President so aptly termed them) from Machu Picchu to Phnom Penh. Half a century after these programs were instituted under the promise of helping our people, they have succeeded only in enabling calamities like the divorce epidemic, the opioid crisis, and the rising suicide rate among the men of our working class.
The bottom line is that the government welfare state hasn’t really helped us and isn’t going to start doing so. Among the consequences of this is that there is what one may call an opening in the market; a need for real help that is not being met by a government that doesn’t care about us (or about anything other than its own power), which neatly coincides with our desire to build something in the real world; something that increases the sense of mutual obligation and loyalty among our people.
While I, of course, know that my readership is composed of only the highest class of individuals, I also understand that you, dear reader, are almost certainly not fabulously wealthy and do not have vast resources at your disposal with which to found some grand philanthropic enterprise. If you are of average means and can speak only for yourself, your immediate family, and perhaps a few close friends, then it is easy to believe that taking action in this space is beyond your capacity. But the entire reason I brought up the example of the Black Panther school breakfast program is to show that the best template is decentralized, local, personal, flexible, and small-scale. How much, in terms of resources, did the Black Panthers’ efforts really take? They needed a kitchen and a dining space that was available for three or four hours, five days a week – they used someone’s living room, though a garage equipped with some space heaters would do just as well. They needed a big table, though a few small folding card tables would also work. They needed perhaps 20 hours a week in efforts from a handful of volunteers. And they needed what would now amount to a few hundred dollars a month in groceries if bought in bulk from someplace like Costco or Sam’s Club. None of this would be particularly hard for a small group of people in a local community to put together.
In short: You don’t have to help the whole world. You just have to help a few of our people in your community. And you don’t have to found a huge organization. Start small. Is there a need in your town or neighborhood? Then get a few like-minded people together and fill it. Be sure to know what those needs are and what kind of problems you are in the best position to solve. The Black Panthers’ school breakfast program filled a need found in an urban black community in the mid-1960s, but those may or may not reflect the needs of your community, and thus it may or may not be worthwhile to replicate there. There are, however, many other needs that may be present there.
For example: My father lived for a few years in a small town in which there were many retirees too old to safely drive. This didn’t present much of a problem, as everything in town was within reasonable walking distance, until one day the only grocery store in town closed under competitive pressure from a big box store located a few miles away. This wasn’t much of a problem for the younger people, or the elderly whose families still lived nearby, but was a calamity for those who had to get by on their own. They were left with only the option of choosing from the limited, expensive selection at the local convenience store, or eating at the town’s one fast food outlet. This is a perfect situation of a community need presenting an opportunity for community action. What if a volunteer effort could be organized to connect with elders in need of a ride and, once a week (perhaps on Sunday afternoon), put together a car caravan to drive them out to that big box store to buy groceries? The investment here would be minimal – perhaps four or five hours a week put in by a few volunteers, each of whom would expend a trivial amount on gas in order to do it. But the effects in terms of community-building – in terms of letting fellow whites know that their people were there for them in times of trouble – would be tremendous.
Here I must emphasize: you should assiduously avoid haranguing those you aid with political messages. Never require them to sign on to your pet ideology in order to get help. But always, there should be a knowledge sitting in the background that their fellow white man was there for them when nobody else gave a damn. Don’t require any promises of allegiance from them; as with auntie Marie and the Black Panthers, over time most will come to offer it on their own.
In addition, remember never to overtly turn away minorities (giving the media the chance to put a pitiable crying child who got no breakfast from you on television, and perhaps giving a group like the SPLC grounds to sue you), but target poor or working class white places for help and let geography do the work for you. And above all, DO NOT seek press attention, and do not apply for any official government status (such as a 503c). Just start doing it. If they should somehow find out about you and try to shut you down for operating a charity without government permission, let them – and let the anger of those who benefited from your efforts be directed at them. Let them be the bad guys. And yes, if those who hate us find out what you’re up to, of course they will still call you Nazis for giving food to elderly shut-ins and winter coats to needy children. Don’t expect otherwise and don’t do this for the approval of your enemies.
Never forget that in charitable work (as in all things), you must be smart. No, you can’t save everybody, and it’s useless to pour resources down black holes, which some people are. Some people are bound and determined to self-destruct, and will not abide you standing in their way. Others are selfish and greedy; they cynically use those who extend help and then discard them without a second thought when they think they have extracted all the value from them that they can. Do not be naive and assume that everyone you encounter is worth your efforts; or that they are worthy of saving just because they’re white. Save the good people who got lost and just need somebody to extend a hand to them. Perhaps you can’t save the hardcore junkie, but you can save the man who lost his job, whose wife left him, whose neighborhood went to shambles around him, and who started taking oxycontin just to make the depression and boredom go away. The establishment celebrates their pain and cheers on their extinction. Let them know that somebody values them. And to the degree that they are able, require something from them, (which welfare never does, other than the implied requirement of a vote for the right party to help perpetuate the system). Apply conditions, like staying away from drugs (even – perhaps especially – prescription painkillers), keeping families together instead of resorting to divorce, and helping others once they’re back on their feet. Don’t just give them money, food, or material items; as much as you can, find ways to give them purpose.
This is the way to begin to build networks and communities in the real world, both between ourselves and those we help, and between each other as we work to help them. Far more can be accomplished this way than by showy rallies or shadowy secret conferences. There is no glamor to it, but there is great reward – for our people, for our movement, and for our souls.
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