Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Honkies

White people beware, that “they” are coming to America. They’re coming in record numbers, and we know just who they are. They are not like us. They will trample our pristine Western Civilization with their dirty unwashed feet, and they’re coming to a suburb near you. They come from all over. They come from all the scary places on the map. They come from Mexico. They come from Honduras. They come from Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela, Nicaragua… You know, all the shithole countries that America has been so goddamn nice to over the decades. They’re coming and they’re coming for us. They’re coming for our jobs, they’re coming for our entitlements, and White Jesus knows they’re coming for our women, and that liberal communist Joe Biden is just letting them in with borders wide open so he can steal another fucking election from the Great Orange Hope.

If I have to listen to this Fox-and-Friends-approved campfire story one more goddamn time, I swear to Brown Jesus that I’m going to put that fire out with my own vomit. Oh, there is a problem at the border. It’s a goddamn mess down there and there are more desperate migrants crossing that invisible line in the desert than ever before. But it’s not for a lack of trying on Biden’s side of the border. For all the hysterical hoopla coming from the right about Biden’s dangerous new border policy, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between him and Trump on paper.

Comrade Joe’s budget for 2023 includes $97.3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security. $17.5 billion of which is slotted for Customs and Border Protection. Both are all-time records and while Biden has only suggested a marginal increase of $8.5 billion to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, that still puts him at $26 billion being shoveled into America’s colossal border police state, burying Trump’s budget in razor wire and cement. The border wall is still being built. The concentration camps are still full of brown children, and the Rio Grande is now being surveilled by a growing phalanx of Israeli-built surveillance towers that can see for seven miles in all directions in the dark of night.

Biden’s border policy is Trump’s border policy and Trump’s border policy was Obama’s. If anything, Trump is the most liberal of the three. After all, Obama built the camps and still holds the world record in mass deportations. If this policy is failing, and it sure as shit looks like it is, then it’s a bipartisan failure. A failure to prohibit the basic right of human movement across the commons just like the failure to prohibit plants and chemicals from doing the same. Just don’t tell this to my fellow honkies in MAGA country. They are still very much invested in the lie that wicked Democrats have opened the borders against them. If they learned that the very concept of closed borders has simply flunked, it would probably break their bitter little hearts. But hey, buck up sunshine, “they” are still coming, and you still have the Great Replacement to invest your resentment into.

This notion that the white man is going to be replaced by an unstoppable horde of culturally alien outsiders isn’t exactly new, but it is more popular now than it’s been in generations with 60% of Trump voters and one in three Americans buying into the Great Replacement. For their part, these excitable boys aren’t completely wrong this time. There is a major demographic change going on. One that even borders can’t contain. But it’s also nothing new and the glorious white race isn’t at risk of shrinking an inch so long as history repeats itself the way it all too often does.

White nationalists like Tucker Carlson have a very short memory and a severely shallow understanding of how race works in this country. It isn’t white people who are at risk of losing their identity, it’s the scary brown migrants that they fear, because by the rules of whiteness, today’s dangerous aliens will become tomorrow’s howling white lunatics. I know because it happened before, and it happened to my ancestors and probably yours too. What America faces at the border is not a great replacement, it’s another great assimilation.

America’s original great replacement came in the mid-nineteenth century when my people came to its shores from Ireland to escape the Crown’s genocide by starvation known as the Potatoe Famines. When Irish Catholics first came to this country, we suffered many of the same humiliations suffered by our darker Catholic cousins at the border today. We were harassed, jailed, beaten black and blue, hoarded into cramped slums, overworked for scraps, and just straight-up fucking murdered, all because a few powerful people managed to manipulate middle-class white Protestants into believing that we had come to replace them.

You see, the Irish weren’t even considered white when we first showed up. That was still a privilege reserved exclusively for the Anglo-Saxon Protestants who took to calling us “negroes turned inside out” and using mobs like the proto-MAGA Know Nothings to keep us in line, most notably during the Louisville Race Riots of 1855 also known as Bloody Monday, when working class Irish Catholics were violently attacked by Protestant thugs for attempting to steal an election by voting in it. Houses were set on fire and the men, women, and children who attempted to escape them were shot on site. At least 50 were killed, most of them burned alive. But we learned our lesson. We learned that if we wanted to survive the flames of America’s scolding melting pot, we would have to shed our Celtic ways and become white. We would have to assimilate.

Whiteness isn’t an ethnicity. It has no language or culture. Whiteness is a race. A carefully constructed social class defined by an embrace of Anglo colonialist values like the observance of a rigid capitalist hierarchy, the rejection of cultural diversity, and the exclusion of all those outside of these norms that formed the foundation for the cult of whiteness that thrives in the state today. My people like many others had to earn our privilege by proving ourselves to be just as capable of imperial savagery as any self-respecting WASP. We achieved this by lashing out at our earliest allies in this country, our fellow former slaves in the Black community who we shared our slums with, and by proving ourselves to be proficient in killing our fellow Catholics down south during the Mexican American War. Basically, we had to fuck over other people like us.

We also had to forfeit our identity, to lose everything we were, our culture, our language, our traditions, and for what? So we could be one of them, the people who put us in chains and starved us off our own fucking island? So we could wear chinos and a Hawaiin shirt on casual Fridays and wait in line to sing Journey songs with all the other yuppie schnooks on karaoke night at Ruby Tuesday’s? For this we gave up our jigs and our chanties and our folklore and our beautiful Black brides (the Census actually had to add the word “mulatto” to their records because we couldn’t keep our peasant hands off each other). Was it really worth it? Well it was if you wanted to stop being whooped like an outsider and if you think it can’t happen again, think again. That’s how white supremacy really works. It spreads like a virus to any ethnicity that challenges its hegemony. You can resist us or join us and disturbingly plenty of Hispanics have already made the latter Faustian bargain.

If you still don’t believe me, just ask Alex Michael Ramos, the Puerto Rican resident of Georgia doing six years for beating an unarmed Black man at the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville. Just ask Enrique Tarrio, the Cuban American former leader of the self-proclaimed Western chauvinists known as the Proud Boys. Or just ask the 46% of Hispanic Protestants surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute who agreed with 52% of white Evangelicals that God intended for America to be a nation of European Christians or the 35% of Hispanic Catholics for that matter.

This is how whiteness works. Those lucky enough not to get thrown away into the bottomless pit of the Prison Industrial Complex or slaughtered by some skinhead at your local grocery store commit ethnic suicide and become douchebags like the rest of us. It could happen to you! Mark my words, if Latinos let their babies grow up to be Irish then our next generation’s Tucker Carlson will be some smug asshole named Juan warning terrified mamacitas about the existential threat of being replaced by those sneaky Malaysians crossing President Hunter Biden’s heavily guarded open borders. The whiteness will get you too if you don’t watch out!

The good news is that a growing tide of Latino youths are rejecting this bullshit and actively resisting assimilation. The number of Latinos who identify as white had been on the rise for decades but over the last ten years the Census has seen this shift abruptly in the opposite direction, with self-identified white Latinos dropping from 53% to a measly 20% from 2010 to 2020. The reasons why can only be speculated but I believe that a new generation of Latinx individuals has borne witness to the horrors at the border and in places like Ferguson and has consciously chosen to reject the poison gift of whiteness and embraced their place among the oppressed resisting the gruesome empire for which it stands. I understand that they have a word for this south of the border. It’s called cojones, and it should be an example to all of us.

Our ancestors may have chosen to be white but that doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to take that mask of assimilation off and break it to fucking bits on our knee. As both an Irish Catholic and a Queer gender outlaw who is thoroughly invested in both the heritage of my overlapping tribes and my resistance against America’s despicable police-warfare state, I openly reject my whiteness, the same puritanical culture that turned my childhood into a trauma ward because I was born into the wrong gender, a gender I similarly rejected in favor of an androgynous identity my pagan Celtic ancestors revered and celebrated, but that isn’t the only history lesson that inspires this radical position.

The Irish fought on both sides of the Mexican American War. While most chose to earn their whiteness through the theft of one third of Mexico’s territory, a small band of wily immigrant deserters joined the Mexican resistance under the banner of San Patricios or St. Patrick’s Battalion and literally took up arms against their own assimilation. Most were hanged after the bloody Battle of Churubusco, but they all died free, and they all died Irish. Cojones my people call this south of the border. That is my heritage and it doesn’t have a goddamn thing to do with Journey songs or Ruby fucking Tuesdays. It’s about solidarity through radical diversity and rejecting America’s fascist melting pot in favor of a nation of a thousand minorities too rare to be supreme, tearing down every border they try to build like nooses around our necks. Now that is a great replacement we can all get behind.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.