Hillbilly Plight Only Noticed When a Hillbilly from Yale Law Points it Out
January 04, 2017, 03:58 PM
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J.D.By now we're 11 or so minutes into the 15 minutes of fame for J.D. Vance (right) who launched himself from a poor, dysfunctional white upbringing in Kentucky and Ohio to the Marine Corps, Yale Law, and a Peter Thiel investment enterprise.

A Christmas present this year was Vance's Hillbilly Elegy, which details his absent father, drug-addicted mother, and the gun-toting, chain-smoking "Mamaw" who actually raised him.

The book is a memoir, with a trace amount of politics thrown in. Reviewers have called it an explanation for the Trump phenomenon, particularly the inconsistent politics of poor whites. They rail against welfare, but use it. And so on.

Vance is now making the rounds, talking on NPR and writing for the New York Times and the National Review. From the little I've read, it's tough to peg his politics, but he appears to reject race realism (i.e., genetic differences foreclose the egalitarian ideal) in favor of the system's favorite standby, colorblind conservatism.

He's at least willing to point out that for the ranks of Appalachian whites, talk of "white privilege" is laughable. But who cares? Another hillbilly from Yale Law School would make the same point.

I trust Vance is a fine fellow with some good points to make, but his white advocacy is perfectly palatable to the system, which is to say that it doesn't pack much punch.

I suspect affirmative action played some part in his admission to Yale Law School, just as much as the admission of anyone else to the impossibly small, selective institution. How to choose among several hundred super-smart children of Indian immigrants? (One, it turns out, became Vance's wife).

As I survey it, Yale Law School may well be the single most powerful institution in America. Must we wait until one of its graduates announces that whites have a right to their own nations?