White Americans (1676- ) are those people in the US who seem to be pure European by blood. Whether Jews, Muslims or Whites from Latin America (White Hispanics) count as White is a matter of debate. This blog counts Jews but not the others, roughly what the US Census Bureau calls non-Hispanic Whites.
Enlargements: Who counts as a Regular White Person has changed over time:
- First Enlargement (late 1600s): Wasps. The English people in North America begin to see themselves as “Whites”, as a race, and not just, say, as English or Christian. This becomes clear-cut in the wake of Bacon’s Rebellion (1676). Laws are passed that favour pure-blooded Europeans, regardless of wealth, over everyone else.
- Second Enlargement (late 1800s): Nordics. After the Civil War (1861-1865) German and Irish Catholics become unquestionably White. In fact anyone who was Nordic, who was northern European by race, counts.
- Third Enlargement (late 1900s): Europeans. After the Second World War (1939-1945), Whiteness is extended to Jews, Italians and anyone from eastern or southern Europe. They go from being “alien races” (1910s) to “ethnics” (1920s) to just White (1980s). This was helped along by the GI Bill and cheap FHA loans. Now being from anywhere in Europe is good enough.
Each wave of immigrants threatened to Destroy America As We Know It. In the 1850s, it was the Irish. In the 1920s it was Jews and Italians. Now in the 2010s it is Mexicans. But the children of each wave grow up speaking Perfect English and seem less “alien” and threatening, while politicians need their vote to put together a democratic majority.
Likely there will be a Fourth Enlargement that will bring in White Hispanics. Some, though, argue that they are not being assimilated like older waves, that they and Asians will become at best “honorary Whites”. Time will tell.
The White Club: To become a White in good standing (or an honorary White if you do not look European enough):
- Assimilate – take on Anglo American ways.
- Do not rock the boat. In particular, do not make common cause with Blacks or, since 2001, Muslims. They are the Despised Other against which Whites see themselves.
Remember: “White is right!”
If you do #1 well enough, #2 will come automatically: Islamophobia and anti-Black racism are built in to Anglo American culture (see below).
Cultural tip: Be careful: some parts of Black culture are “cool”, having the White Club Seal of Approval, while other parts are “ghetto”. Know the difference!
The three pillars: White wealth and identity are built on three pillars:
- genocide, which led to free land and anti-Native racism.
- slavery, which led to free labour and anti-Black racism.
- imperialism, which led to world power and anti-Brown racism.
Moral blindness: Their wealth and power does not prove to them that they are well-armed robbers. Instead it shows them that they are a better race of people, indeed the moral centre of history, that others stand in need of their White paternalism. Those who do not share their moral blindness are seen as hateful or ungrateful.
– Abagond, 2017.
- also in this series
- Anglo American – the English-speaking White people of North America, both US and Canadian.
- Bacon’s Rebellion
- The White Club
- The Third Enlargement
- The three pillars
- White paternalism
- White Hispanics