The white club is the white race seen as a club. Like a club it has members, it has rules about who can join and who cannot, it has duties and privileges. Those who fail to carry out their duties can be kicked out.
- Be born white or look enough like a white person to pass as one: light skin with a pink undertone, nose, lips and eyes of a European shape and hair with a European degree of straightness and smoothness.
- Honorary membership is sometimes extended to those who do not look white if they are rich or willing to carry out all of the duties (see below). However not all privileges will necessarily be granted. Honorary membership is more likely to be extended to Asians than to blacks.
- Accept White American culture as your guide to life. Practise it and do not question it. Your aim is to speak, dress and act like a middle-class White American with a good education. If you do not look white, this is a must. If you look white then a certain degree of freedom is allowed (hippies, goths and hillbillies but not, say, Muslims).
- Speak English and speak it with one of the accepted club accents.
- Do not seriously question or challenge white racism.
- Do not make common cause with blacks or other people of colour.
- Have mostly white friends.
- Marry a white person. Back in the 1940s breaking this rule would get you kicked out, no questions asked. Even now it is still a strike against you. Not so for white men who marry Asian women.
- Living in better neighbourhoods with better schools and safer streets.
- Lower unemployment.
- Higher pay.
- Longer life.
- Not being seen as a threat by the police or security guards.
- Being seen as more fully human.
- Having whites take your ideas and experiences seriously (at least for males).
- Listening to racist jokes (does not seem like a privilege, but it functions as one).
Michelle Malkin, who runs a well-known right-wing blog, is an excellent example of an honorary white: both her parents came from the Philippines so she looks unmistakably Asian – but by culture she is White American, she married a white person and, best of all, she defended the American government’s right to send Japanese Americans to prison camps during the Second World War, proving her loyalty to the white club.
When the Irish, Italians and Jews came to America they were not seen as white at first even though they pretty much looked it. Only when they showed themselves willing to carry out club duties were they admitted and were able to enjoy its privileges. Had they kept their culture, married blacks or made common cause with them, they would have stayed at the bottom and would be regarded much as Latinos are now.
It is the threat of losing club privileges or even membership that keeps those in the club from rocking the boat, from standing up to its racism.