Trevor Brookins

*Amazingly 2010 has found another backward thinking politician in the mold of David Duke with a chance to hold high office.

Jim Russell is a conservative candidate for United States Congress in New York which by itself isn’t terribly remarkable. What is noteworthy though is that Russell’s brand of social and cultural conservatism goes beyond the standard right wing denouncement of equality for homosexuals. Russell would also like to turn back the clock on racial equality.

Russell is the author of an article, published in a journal recognized as a platform for white supremacy, that expounds on the great contributions of Europeans to Western civilization.

But toward the end of his article Russell uses the contributions of Europeans to assert their superiority over people of color worldwide. He also concludes that because those of European descent are better than others and that they should not mix with others.

Race is an invented concept. Distinctions between racial groups do not stand up to biological or cultural scrutiny. But insofar as racial identifications lead to group pride, it can be a useful construct. Nevertheless Russell falls into the trap of equating pride with superiority.

This is the thin line between pride and prejudice. It is a line that has been crossed repeatedly over human history but also a line easily navigated by mature and secure people.

Russell’s antiquated views on racial segregation are a problem. But even more so is how and why he came to those views.  For him pride in the accomplishments of white people automatically implies a conclusion of their position above all other groups.

Russell is still mentally an eight-year-old needing to have the biggest toy on the playground instead of simply one nice toy among many.  And therefore not someone who should be in charge of allocating tax funds or deciding whether to go to war. American policy and international relations should not be a pissing contest, but unfortunately this is how Russell sees the world.

Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. You can reach him at [email protected]