The Goldberg Variations

In “Who Believes in Free Association Anymore?” Jonah Goldberg writes:

Yesterday I was on Neil Cavuto’s show talking about Memories Pizza and RFRA. I pointed out that when I got married, I couldn’t find a rabbi to officiate because my wife isn’t Jewish and didn’t convert. Everything worked out. But at no point did I complain about “bigoted rabbis” refusing to do what I wanted.

The response from people to this comparison has been interesting. One lady on Twitter would hear none of it, saying it was a terrible comparison because rabbis aren’t for profit businesses, which makes me wonder how she thinks rabbis make a living. Others simply get hung up on the word “discrimination.” “Do you want to live in a society that tolerates discrimination?” “Are you in favor of discrimination?”

The answer for any morally or intellectually serious person has to be yes. But we can discriminate between different kinds of discrimination…

Discrimination as a legitimate form of making distinctions, and choices of whom to associate with based on those distinctions? From Goldberg?

Leftist reaction against the Indiana measure is proof of just how total and complete the telos of the 1964 Civil Right Act has been, it having led, quite naturally, to its current incarnation as a comprehensive and now systematic violation of the right to freedom of association… for whites, that is, given that it’s perfectly kosher for non-whites to exclude whites from their associations.

So, it’s rather odd for Goldberg to say what he says above, given his rather mainstream Tribal views on the race realist movement as it exists in the U.S. This is the same Jonah Goldberg, it should be noted, who in 2002 wrote the following in his review of Pat Buchanan’s The Death of the West:

Instead, we get Buchanan and his new book “The Death of the West,” which warns hysterically that the white race is becoming an “endangered species,” about to be swallowed up by the duskier Third World (defined as all nonwhites no matter how rich, educated or democratic). We get Peter Brimelow, a once-respected conservative voice who now runs the shrill anti-immigration website, named for Virginia Dare, the first British child born in North America. We get syndicated columnist Samuel Francis (widely considered Buchanan’s personal ideologist of choice) who has argued earnestly for “imposing adequate fertility controls on nonwhites.” These are not stupid men–indeed, they are extremely talented individuals–but they have become dismayingly obsessed in recent years with creating, to borrow a phrase from my colleague at the National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru, an “identity politics for white people.”…

Hiding out in their bunkers on the web and in the pages of a few obscure publications, these unhappy paleoconservatives and neo-nativists have rallied the troops under a single flag: white supremacy. No, they aren’t Klansmen or skinheads, and, no, they won’t like that label. But they are very serious about keeping America a white country because, in their view, white people, on the whole, make better Americans.

Strange bedfellows, and all that.

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