This mental trap— the “to hell with them” anti-imaginative, anti-popular-education stance of would-be anti-racist white people— is much bigger than Wise. It is the activist water in which I’ve been swimming my entire adult life: a zeitgeisty obsession with winning rather than building that has been the enduring, albeit unintentional, legacy of the New Left. In fact, it’s these very mindsets that have killed a half-century of potentially promising white anti-racist organizing efforts before they could truly build momentum.
I think I mostly agree with Bucks’ argument here. I am currently reading Eitan Hersh’s book Politics Is For Power, which makes the same point, albeit more generally.
To be clear, I think there are plenty of folks in our society who are perfectly justified in saying “To hell with them,” but straight white guys—who, in my experience, tend to be the quickest to take this pose are not among them.