Deep In The Heart of Whiteness With Ilana Mercer
The WorldNetDaily columnist pines for the days of apartheid and advocates racist immigration policies -- and she even defended Michael Vick's dogfighting.
By Terry Krepel
Back in 2005, ConWebWatch detailed how WorldNetDaily writer Anthony LoBaido -- who such has a penchant for unhinged commentary that ConWebWatch named one of its annual Slantie awards for him -- had such an affection for the days of apartheid in South Africa that he actually trained with a racist paramilitary group there, the Afrikaner Resistance Movement, or AWB.
What are the odds that WND would attract another writer pining for apartheid and lionizing violent racists? Yet it has done just that with columnist Ilana Mercer.
Mercer's April 9, 2010, column was dedicated to lionizing AWB leader Eugene Terreblanche, who was killed by two black farmhands. Mercer describes Terreblache's death as part of "the black onslaught against white South African farmers," lamenting "The dehumanization of the victim" and complaining that "Based on hearsay and their abiding sympathy for savages news media across the West are insisting that the motive for the murder was a 'labor dispute.'"
Mercer, meanwhile, is utterly silent on who Terreblanche was, describing him only as a "farmer" and "leader of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) that seeks the establishment of a homeland for the Afrikaners of South Africa." The AWB is a militant, right-wing, white supremacist group perhaps most notorious for invading the South African black homeland of Bophuthatswana, reportedly killing at least 37 people. The AWB logo resembles the Nazi swastika. Mercer made no mention of the white supremacism of Terreblanche and the AWB. Terreblanche once served short prison sentence for attempted murder for beating a black security guard into a coma, leaving him with permanent brain damage.
Historical racial tensions in South Africa aside, Terreblanche reaped what he sowed; he led a violent life destined to end in a violent death. But Mercer doesn't want you to know anything about that.
There's plenty more where that came from. Mercer used her June 10 WND column to tout her new book, "Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa" (a book that WND has seen fit not to sell in its own store as of this writing). She complains:
Washington and Westminster bear considerable responsibility for the "swelling social disorder" in South Africa, having insisted that South Africa pass into the hands of a voracious majority. Unwise South African leaders acquiesced. Federalism was discounted. Minority rights for the Afrikaner, Anglo and Zulu were dismissed.
While Mercer does concede that apartheid was "racist," she presents it as infinitely preferable to the country's current rule and apparently unable to comprehend the fundamental unfairness of a tiny minority ruling over others. Instead, she insists that South Africa is a "cautionary tale" and that, apparently, people who don't think like her shouldn't be allowed to vote:
In their unqualified paeans to the will of the majority everywhere, Americans must understand that universal suffrage is not to be conflated with freedom. As the democratic South Africa (and Iraq) amply demonstrates, political rights don't secure the natural rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness; ink-stained fingers don't inoculate against blood stains. Extant societal structures that safeguard life and property can always be improved upon. But once these bulwarks against mob rule and mayhem disintegrate, they are seldom restored.
Lest anyone doubt Mercer's racial ambitions, the preface of her new book was published at VDare, a website whose own editor describes as "white nationalist." In it, Mercer mostly whines that no mainstream publisher would touch her book. That editor, Peter Brimelow, penned an introduction to Mercer's preface.
Pining for racist immigration policies in the U.S.
South Africa is not the only country where Mercer would like to see whites in control and non-whites to be neither seen nor heard. In her Oct. 1, 2010, column, Mercer waxed nostalgic for the days when only white Europeans were allowed to immigrate to the United States:
What Americans ought to be discussing, and are not, is mass immigration (which subsumes illegal immigration) and, in particular, the radical transforming of America through state-engineered immigration policies.
Mercer doesn't acknowledge that the immigration policy before 1965 was largely driven by racism and eugenics.
In fact, as ConWebWatch detailed when WND first promoted it, Cosman's "study" is little more than an anti-immigrant screed in which she rants about "Illegal aliens' stealthy assaults on medicine" and demands that America's borders be sealed with "fences, high-tech security devices and troops." More importantly, Cosman got her facts wrong. She wrote that "Suddenly, in the past three years America has more than 7,000 cases of leprosy"; in fact, that was the cumulative number of leprosy cases over the past 30 years.
Mercer surely knows Cosman got that figure wrong because she cited a New York Times article detailing just how wrong the figure is. But Mercer tried to write around Cosman's falsehood:
Seven thousand cases of leprosy over the last 30 years may seem negligible, but "leprosy, a scourge in biblical days and in medieval Europe," had been eradicated in the U.S. Now it's back. By the reluctant admission of the New York Times, it was brought over from Asia and Latin America.
But Mercer overplayed it: As the Times article details, the number of cases rose from 76 in 2000 to 137 in 2006, a statistically insignificant change. From the Times article, in which James L. Krahenbuhl, the director of the National Hansen’s Disease Program, was asked about the claim that leprosy (aka Hansen's disease) was on the rise:
What about the increase over the last six years, to 137 cases from 76? Is that significant?
That's hardly solid evidence of leprosy being "back." But Mercer wants you to think it is, since it serves her anti-immigrant agenda and has the cover of a discredited "Renaissance woman" and "dazzling Randian."
Defending Michael Vick
As one might expect with such retrograde views on race, Mercer holds some out-of-the-mainstream views on other things as well. In an Aug. 17, 2007, column, Mercer bizarrely took the side of pro football player Michael Vick over dogfighting charges, painting Vick as a misunderstood manly-man and even quasi-defended dogfighting as part of a noble tradition of "blood sport":
Dog fighting, which has been outlawed in all 50 states, is certainly uncivilized and cruel (although not everything that is immoral ought to be illegal). But even more uncivilized than Vick's alleged dog fighting violations has been the zeal among media pack animals to convict him. Vick is not a thief, a murderer or a rapist. Neither has he defrauded anyone. He is a gifted athlete and an obviously aggressive young man, who may have channeled his abundant aggression into a blood sport, as men have done throughout time.
Mercer goes on to claim that "Animal-rights activists share a humanity-hating agenda with environmentalists," concluding: "Human beings ought to care for and be kind to animals, but a civilized society is one that never threatens a man's liberty because of the callousness with which he has treated the livestock he owns."
Mercer continued her defense of Vick the following week, further implying that mistreatment of animals shouldn't be a crime because, well, they're animals. Mercer attacked animal-rights activists for anthropomorphizing animals: "The love and loyalty dog lovers see in their mutt's eyes is a projection of the owner's large, cerebral cortex." She continued:
Like PETA, I don't distinguish between the pig farmer and the dogfighter. Unlike PETA, I believe all animals are property. Man is the only top dog. Although people will go to great lengths to distinguish their preferred form of animal use from Vick's, the distinction is nebulous. One either owns a resource or one doesn't. Whether one kills animals for food or for fun, the naturally licit basis for large-scale pig farming or game hunting is the same: ownership of the resource.
Mercer concluded: "So far, public pressure, not the law, has brought about the termination of Vick's lucrative, promising career. Civil society is clearly quite capable of censuring Vick. The law should leave him be."
No shaming the Palins
In a June 27, 2008, column, Mercer declared that unwed teen mothers needed to be shamed for their behavior and that their children must be denigrated as "bastards":
Resurrect shame deep, abiding disgrace. While you're at it, whatever became of the shotgun wedding? Bring back the pejorative "bastard." I don't like it; it's hurtful, but it had its uses. So does hurt. With hurt come hard-won insights. The prospect of bearing a bastard once forced a parent to think: Do I want my child to bear this burden? Do I want for myself the status of an unwed, untaught mother? Expel pregnant girls; don't cater to them and kit them out.
Given the opportunity to put her words into action a few months later, however, Mercer punted. In her Sept. 5, 2008, column, Mercer failed to use the word "bastard" to describe the child Bristol Palin was carrying -- instead referring only to Bristol's "out-of-wedlock pregnancy" -- and failed to shame her laissez-faire mother. Mercer complained mildly that Sarah Palin issued an "excessively exuberant press release" about Bristol's pregnancy, then adding, " Last night, Sarah Palin made no unnecessary allusions to her daughter's condition. No unappetizing details were disclosed."
Indeed, Mercer slavered all over Sarah Palin: "She's a pit-bull with lipstick, all right lipstick, and sharp stilettos. A potent mix of style and substance." She even approved of Palin's attacks on Obama: "Neither has Sarah any qualms about savaging 'Our Opponent' first she depersonalized her rival, rendering him nameless, and then moved in for the kill." Not exactly the shaming she advocated a few months earlier for a woman in Sarah Palin's situation.
Mercer hates your kids
Lastly, Mercer doesn't like your kids, and particularly despises Meghan McCain. From a Feb. 19, 2010, column:
Millennials are a generation of youngsters that reveres only itself for no good reason. They have been unleashed on America by progressive families and educators (Democrat and Republican alike) who've deified their off-putting offspring and charges, and instilled in them a sense of self-worth disproportionate to their actual worth.