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Moral and Aesthetic Idealism among Whites: The Constant Gardener


From Occidental Quarterly (written by Kevin MacDonald) …

There seems to be a certain moral fervor in many of us Whites. It’s apparent among the Puritans and some of their noisier descendants, the abolitionists of the 19th century. They waged Holy War on behalf of righteousness (see also here), often on against their own people on behalf of people quite a bit unlike themselves.

I was reminded of that while watching The Constant Gardener, a film starring Ralph Fiennes as Justin Quayle, a minor British diplomat posted to Kenya who is married to crusading humanitarian activist Tessa, played by Rachel Weisz. We see her originally holding forth in a room crowded with journalists blaming the British government for what’s going on in Africa, her rhetoric so extreme that the room quickly empties. Although Tessa gets married to the White diplomat, her heart is in all things African. We see her flirting with an African doctor, openly consorting with him at a high-level cocktail party, then opting to have his baby in a hospital swarming with poor Africans, except for the White nurses and doctors. The birth of the baby happens as though it is part of the natural order of things—the husband is just fine with it, acting as if there’s nothing to notice, while the father of the baby looks on proudly. Tessa’s only thought is to help the poor African girl in the next room.

Oddly, we are given only brief glimpses of the baby—as if the director didn’t think the audience would be quite ready to relate to the child of a married White woman and her very African lover—although, it must be said, we now have a president who was conceived under broadly similar conditions.

But the real story here is the psychological— the emascululation of the husband and the wife’s attraction to all things African, including her lover. Evolutionary psychologists have made a good case that humans have brain modules designed to safeguard our interests in the mating game. Men are designed to attempt to punish cheating wives and to make sure that the children they raise are biologically theirs. One can’t help feeling the tension in the scene with the miscegenated baby. We expect at least that Justin would feel anger and betrayal, perhaps get a divorce and somehow find a way to get this experience behind him.