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Rush Defines ‘White’

Erik Rush, the right wing nutjob who thinks all Muslims should be killed and that America suffers from an excess of “negrophilia,” says that the Tsarnaev brothers, who are literally caucasian (that is, from the Caucasus), aren’t really white.

When the suspects were finally identified as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the press immediately pronounced them “white.” A collective “A-HA!” of vindication rose on the airwaves and in cyberspace, as though all of America had somehow been certain that “brown people did it.”

Although the brothers Tsarnaev are technically “Caucasian” in the sense that their home country, Chechnya, lies in the North Caucasus mountains of Russia, they aren’t what has been considered “white” in the Western world for centuries. Generally speaking, people who fall into that category are those descended from forebears in Northern and Western Europe, Scandinavia and the British Isles, inasmuch as Southern Europeans, some Eastern Europeans, Eurasians and even the Irish have historically suffered discrimination under the former in the West.

Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are Eurasian.

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” — Humpty Dumpty

Comments

  1. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Worst definition of “white” ever.

    The colour of sunshine, cream and Test cricket clothes shits allover Erik Rush’s definition

  2. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    America suffers from an excess of “negrophilia,”

    You are kidding there,surely ..right? Right?

  3. Brain Hertz says

    …as though all of America had somehow been certain that “brown people did it.”

    I think we can identify somebody who was certain of that, and was determined to remain so no matter what the evidence…

  4. mudpuddles says

    …people who fall into that category are those descended from forebears in Northern and Western Europe, Scandinavia and the British Isles, inasmuch as Southern Europeans, some Eastern Europeans, Eurasians and even the Irish have historically suffered discrimination under the former in the West

    Does anyone know what he’s on about here? And is Ireland suddenly not part of the British Isles? People really shouldn’t make sweeping statements on human history and geography without a basic understanding of, well, relevant human history and geography.

  5. DaveL says

    inasmuch as Southern Europeans, some Eastern Europeans, Eurasians and even the Irish have historically suffered discrimination under the former in the West.

    Did Rush just tell Bill O’Reilly he isn’t white?

  6. matty1 says

    I hate to say anything in support of this guy but he is kind of right that ‘white’ used as a synonym for ‘people like us’ is a concept that has expanded and didn’t always include southern Europe or even Ireland. Of course he ignores the fact that as now used it is almost always defined by skin colour and the Tsarnaev’s are definitely white in modern terms.

    Regarding their ‘race’, I can understand why people worried that the attacks would lead to a backlash against those who ‘look Muslim’ and why those who were worried might breathe a small sigh of relief that the guy arrested didn’t match the stereotype. That said I still dislike categorising people by race and wish it happened less often.

  7. dingojack says

    Surely this would be a better definition for you Erik:
    Male, pasty, out-of-shape and overweight, lives in his mommy’s basement and votes for Republicans (if, that is, he can be bothered to get off his ring, dust off the Cheeto crumbs and haul himself upstairs, once every four years).
    @@
    Dingo
    ——–
    PS: Guess where those Scandinavians, Northern & Western Europeans lived 40,000 years ago, Erik?
    (Is is just me or can you too almost here Erik whining ‘Respect mah authorataay!!’?)

  8. anteprepro says

    Okay, this part baffles me.

    Rush sneers:

    When the suspects were finally identified as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the press immediately pronounced them “white.” A collective “A-HA!” of vindication rose on the airwaves and in cyberspace, as though all of America had somehow been certain that “brown people did it.”

    He mocks the very idea that us filthy libruls would believe that the average Amurkkan would expect that the terrorists weren’t white. He tut-tuts us for being so prejudicial in assuming others to be prejudiced. And then…he spends the next paragraph talking about how these people aren’t really, technically white? Because, apparently, their lack of proper whiteness is a big issue to someone who also claims that white terrorists were totally expected by everyone. Fucking right-wingers.

  9. says

    I’m trying to remember an old racist troll’s point of view on this issue. I think he defined Russians as non-white but included Egyptians as white. Apparently he did it because the Egyptians actually did some clever stuff, while Russia “stole” technology to catch up with western Europe.

    Yes, he actually talked about “stealing” technology as if real life was a giant game of Civilization that noted which arbitrarily defined ethnic group was the first to develop a technology and gave them a copyright on it.

  10. David C Brayton says

    I never knew what the word Caucasian meant until I was in my twenties. I always thought it meant what he wrote. A quick look on Wikipedia and the Urban Dictionary show that there are a variety of usages/definitions. Of all the things to criticize Mr. Rush for, his understanding of the word Caucasian doesn’t warrant much attention.

  11. jasonfailes says

    Ah, the classic argument from people being even more racist (and dividing into even smaller random groups) in the past.

    Also, I just learned I’m not white. Guess I’d better be on my best behavior.

  12. cheesynougats says

    Okay, so is Rush using patterns of discrimination to determine who is white?
    what is this i dont even

    Update: Decided to look at the source to be sure Ed wasn’t taking anything out of context. The whole thing is nothing more than… well, here’s a quote:
    “The fact is that we have far more human garbage in this country than we ever ought to have tolerated, and this has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion; it has to do with what is in people’s hearts and minds.”
    I can’t even twist that into something not bigoted.

  13. Drew says

    AH HA! Mr. Rush just transformed our movement from mostly old white guys to mostly a combination of old white and “non-white”™ guys.

    We’ve just racially integrated our movement without doing anything! Apparently these things do work themselves out.

  14. matty1 says

    “The fact is that we have far more human garbage in this country than we ever ought to have tolerated, and this has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion; it has to do with what is in people’s hearts and minds.”

    Don’t be so hard on yourself Erik, you can change what is your heart and mind if you really want to.

  15. Chiroptera says

    …inasmuch as Southern Europeans, some Eastern Europeans, Eurasians and even the Irish have historically suffered discrimination under the former in the West.

    All of whom were at one time actually labelled “not white.” Seriously, Chechens are as not white as the Irish!

  16. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @10. Bronze Dog :

    ..Russia “stole” technology to catch up with western Europe.

    So that explains how the USSR got the first man into space (Yuri Gagarin) plus the first two women (Valentina Tereshkova & Svetlana Savitskaya), made the, first spacewalk (Alexei Leonov who could have been first person on the Moon),first living creature (poor Laika) etc .. eh? /sarcasm.

    Also, hello, Sputnik?

  17. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @18. glenmorangie10 :

    What the .. FUCK!?!

    Ye-non-existent gods that is fucked up. As a book title as well? I don’t even .. fucking hell.

  18. dingojack says

    Stevo – ‘Our Germans are better than their Germans’. Grand Designer on Sputnik. .’
    - The Right Stuff (1983).
    :) Dingo

  19. Robert Harvey says

    Plus, for decades Finns (who are pale to the point of transparency) were only arguably caucasians under American law. Many efforts were made to deport them on the theory that they were decendants of Mongolians.

  20. says

    So that explains how the USSR got the first man into space (Yuri Gagarin) plus the first two women (Valentina Tereshkova & Svetlana Savitskaya), made the, first spacewalk (Alexei Leonov who could have been first person on the Moon),first living creature (poor Laika) etc .. eh? /sarcasm.

    Also, hello, Sputnik?

    I’m trying to remember how he responded to that when my readers and I brought up the space race. I think part of it involved railing against the idea that science education (or lack thereof) was a necessary part of civilization’s technological advancement, almost like he thought it was all encoded in the white genome and that schools were “cheating.” He rejected the idea that America could slide back from poor education, which occasionally made me wonder if he had ever set foot in the country, because that’s what I see going on right now. I joked that he was a foreigner trying to sabotage America by encouraging us to rest on our aging laurels instead of going back to doing great things.

    I suspect he was a high school dropout using the whole white supremacy thing to inflate his ego in the absence of meaningful accomplishments. Didn’t quite fit with the whole Dunning-Kruger effect splattered all over his comments, though.

  21. laurentweppe says

    Rush adheres to the Country-Club definition of Whiteness: as soon as enough members of a given ethnicity living on american soil reach the upper-class, the whole ethnicity “earns” its Lily-White Country-Club card, that way, when one member of said ethnicity does a hateful deed, ethnic determinism can’t be used to tare the good name of respectable members of the ploutocracy.
    Too few Chechens are multi-millionaires living on US soil, ergo the Tsarnaev brothers are not white, regardles of what their skin looks like.

  22. baal says

    An Indian (citizen of, grad student) of fairly dark skin once remarked to me that he was glad he wasn’t black given the racism in the U.S. I suggested to him that the racists wouldn’t care since he would (to them) count as ‘not-white’. I didn’t address the other problem in his remark until another occasion.

  23. scienceavenger says

    “[The brothers Tsarnaev] aren’t what has been considered “white” in the Western world for centuries.

    Bull. Shit. At least as regards the USA. I’ve lived all over it, and in every state they would be considered white without objection. Hell, I’m darker than both of them, and I’ve been Whitey from the beginning.

  24. slavdude says

    The true “whites” in the old days (oh, say, until about 100 years ago or so) were those of “Anglo-Saxon” (which would be English and perhaps Scots and Scots-Irish) and Germanic descent, with preference given to Protestants. Thus, people from Scandinavia, including Finns, would be grouped with “whites”, as were Germans (though I’m not sure about those from Bavaria or Austria). Everyone else was not “white” according to the whims of the moment.

  25. aluchko says

    My first thought was they reminded me slightly of some Kazakh friends, though with a lot less Asiatic/Middle Eastern features. I don’t think Caucasian really maps to what we consider ‘white’ since Iranians are Caucasian and they’re not particularly white. In the west we basically think of white, black, aboriginal, Asian, Arab, and Hispanic, and a lot of people fit fairly neatly into those categories, but a bunch others don’t. I think most people would definitely consider these buys white but notice there’s a bit of influence from somewhere else.

    Funny, fact, last years 1st overall pick in the NHL, Nail Yakupov is not only from the same region (and has the same slight racial ambiguity) but also Muslim. I have heard very little discussion of his religion and none of his race. I wonder if Rush would consider Yakupov white or not?

  26. Erp says

    I think all the groups would have been considered ‘white’ (legally in the US) but the old racists subdivided white into several subgroups some of which were considered better than others (and some of the subgroups had themselves subgroups). In other words the ‘best people’ weren’t just white but the right sort of white (which oddly enough tended to be the same as most of the people coming up with these ideas). In other words favor ‘Nordics’ for immigration to the US over ‘Mediterraneans’.

  27. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    In the west we basically think of white, black, aboriginal, Asian, Arab, and Hispanic – aluchko

    No, “we” don’t. Those are specifically American (i.e. USAnian) categories. The nearest equivalent in the UK, for example, would probably be black, white, Asian (which means South Asian: Indian, Pakistani etc.), middle Eastern (Arab, Iranian, Turkish etc.), far Eastern (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai etc.), Malay. In all west European countries, the major divisions are white and whatever relatively distinct and easily identifiable ethnic group(s) have arrived in significant numbers over the last few decades. This is an excellent illustration of the fact that “races” are social rather than biological categories.

  28. thumper1990 says

    Irish people aren’t White? News to me. And I’ve met quite a few of them.

    I’ve also met quite a few Polish people, some Ukrainians, and at least one person from Hungary… pretty sure they were all White. And when I went to Spain, and Italy, they all looked pretty White too. In fact the only country in Europe where the locals are not ethnically White is Turkey, and that’s because it got conquered by the Ottomans.

    This guy is a moron.

    @Aluchko

    In the west we idiots basically think of simplify ethnicity to the concept of “race”, i.e. white, black, aboriginal, Asian, Arab, and Hispanic, and a lot of people actual ethnic groups fit fairly neatly into those much broader categories, but a bunch others don’t.

    FTFY.

    Take into account that the concept of ethnicity, while much closer to reality, is simply an attempt to take into account the massive variance not even remotely covered by racial theory and it still doesn’t come close to accurately categorising everyone on the planet and it soon becomes apparent that the whole fucking thin is complete bullshit that should only ever be tolerated for the purposes of giving visual descriptions of a person.

  29. dingojack says

    Dear Nick, thanks for informing me as a non-USian I don’t really mentally use ‘aboriginal’ as a category. I don’t know what I’d do if you weren’t around to tell me what I am really thinking*. [/sarcasm]
    Dingo
    ——–
    * Differing people have differing experiences, one size doesn’t fit all (which is what you were trying to say, except while using a one-size-fits-all mentality, ironically)

  30. kermit. says

    Great-uncle Kissing Cavebear passed on the secret handshake that has been in my family for… well, a long time. All you tall, skinny Africans aren’t real Neanderthal and it doesn’t matter how pale some of you have gotten over the last 40,000 years. You can try to pass, but we can tell the difference!
    .
    “Maintaining species purity for 500 centuries.”

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