Is White Pride Racist

Proud to be White©

Proud to be White©

Mark Monroe

February 2, 2010

Is it possible to be White[1], to be proud of being White and not be a racist? The reason this article is raising this particular question stems from the number of emails and internet sites that claim that it is impossible to be the first two without the third being a reality. The irony of these sites is that “Whites” were the ones who created them. Here is one version of the argument that was presented in an email. The writer’s complaint is that everyone is able to state that they are proud of their particular race, except for Whites. “You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.” Then the email ends with this question, “Why is it that only whites can be racists??[2]” Is the author of these statements right; that it is impossible to be proud to be White and not be a racist?[3] The short answer is, no. This article is claiming that there is a difference between being proud of who you are and of your heritage, and being prejudice and racist.

So there is no confusion about the intent of this article, it is not going to delve into the history that manifested the need for “Black History Month”, “Hispanic Heritage Month”, or “Irish American Heritage Month[4]”. The purpose behind the creation of these observances was to help educate the public about the contributions each of the identified groups have made to this country. Whites, as a group, have contributed to the many successes and failures of this country, which has been and continues to be recognized. Nor is it going to take the time to review the sequence of events that were the foundation for equal rights legislation. Just be assured that we will save those discussions for another time and a different article.

Getting back to the sole point of this article, can a White person be proud to be White and not be a racist? The cornerstone of this conversation is a misunderstanding between the definitions of pride, racism, discrimination, and prejudice. Having pride in oneself is having a knowledge and appreciation of personal identity, whereas racism and prejudice represents a lack of knowledge of self, and therefore no pride in oneself. What was just said may seem to be a little counter intuitive at first. This perceived disconnect is caused by the common misunderstanding of the motivation behind racism. Some assume the reason a person is placing their race above all others and actively takes steps against people of another race, is due to uncontrolled and misplaced pride. The rest of this article is going to explain why the assumption being presented is false.

The first step in this journey to an understanding is stating what this article means by the word “pride.” According to the American Heritage dictionary, one definition of pride is, “A sense of one's own proper dignity or value; self-respect.[5]” Pride is a matter of believing in yourself and by extension of the group that you self identify with; for example, being White, or Black, or Hispanic, or etc. This by itself is not a problem. In this definition of pride there are three key words to focus on dignity , value and self-respect . These three words have nothing to do with putting down another race or group, in an attempt to elevate your own status. They have everything to do with how a person views them self. By saying that, “I am proud to be a White male,” means that my actions are such that represents my race well. It also means that I have knowledge of the accomplishments of my race and gender, but at the same time I also recognize the issues that members of my race and gender have had on society throughout history. As for Black pride, describes a point being made about White pride, “Black pride is a slogan used in the US to convey feelings of self respect and pride among the African American community.[6]” Again the focus is on self respect and knowledge of self. However, having pride in your own heritage does not equate to blind devotion to that history. It has everything to do with understanding history.

But, pride can be taken to an excess, which leads to the dictionary’s second meaning to the word, which is, “An excessively high opinion of oneself; conceit.[7]” Therefore, a person can take the concept of self-identity to an extreme, to where they are seen as arrogant. Yet, one can still be arrogant and still not be a racist, because they can think they are better than anyone else on the planet regardless of their race or gender. However, treatment of others based solely on arrogance is different[8] than treatment based on racism or prejudice. A person who is arrogant, without a racial prejudice is someone who is going to look at everyone with contempt.

In comparison, a racist is compelled to find a group to be against to complete their own identity. A dictionary definition of a racist is, “The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.[9]” To the racist, the claim that, “all men are created equal,” is a false statement because to them there is a perceived fundamental difference between the races. The first part of the dictionary definition deals strictly with a belief system. Many people who have racist views are unaware of how their belief system interacts with the world and do not actively take action to support that belief. It is not until the second definition that a transition is being made to introduce an action into the discussion, “Discrimination or prejudice based on race.[10]”

This article will next focus on the word prejudice, which is another way to describe the belief system. The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy defines prejudice as, “A hostile opinion about some person or class of persons. Prejudice is socially learned and is usually grounded in misconception, misunderstanding, and inflexible generalizations. In particular, African-Americans have been victims of prejudice on a variety of social, economic, and political levels.[11]” Even though prejudice is being described as a belief system, the words being used are stronger; there is a sense of a strong distain between groups. In this definition there is a beginning of a movement out of a belief towards an action.

Discrimination is placing the belief systems of racism and prejudice in motion against another person or group of people. In the context in which this article is using to discriminate means, “treat differently on the basis of sex or race.[12]” With discrimination there is a conscious act to treat someone differently, usually poorly, because of their racial makeup. The foundation of that action is racism and prejudice with the intent of making the target less than human. After World War II, the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre wrote about the phenomenon of anti-Semitic behavior toward the Jew. “To this end he finds the existence of the Jew absolutely necessary. Otherwise, to whom would he be superior? Indeed, it is vis-à-vis the Jew and the Jew alone that the anti-Semitic realizes that he has rights.[13]” If Sartre is correct and his theory is applied to race relations then the racist, no matter what their race is, needs the anti to feel complete. The racist needs a target of their belief, to qualify themselves as real. Note that the racist needs the other to put down to feel complete and not that Whites need someone to put down to feel complete.

The way that “White Pride” is often presented is problematic and supports Sartre’s theory. Going back to the email originally quoted, the way the argument uses faulty logic as its foundation can be seen in the following quote. “You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me 'White boy,' 'Cracker,' 'Honkey,' 'Whitey,' 'Caveman'... And that's OK.. But when I call you, Nigger, Kike, Towel head, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink .. You call me a racist.[14]” Here the author is making an interesting claim that racism from one group towards Whites justifies racism from Whites to another group. Logicians would call this type of argument was missing the point. It is making the assumption that either behavior is acceptable and is using racist behavior by one group to justify their own racist behavior.

Many backers of “White Pride” claim that they just trying to protect their rights. Going back to the original email it states, “Let's see which of you are proud enough to send it on. I sadly don't think many will. That's why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country. We won't stand up for ourselves! BE PROUD TO BE WHITE! It's not a crime YET... But getting very close![15]” It is interesting that this author does not identify which rights are being taken away from White Americans. The only right that has been identified is the right to call someone a racial slur. According to Joseph T. Roy of the Southern Poverty Law Center, white supremacists often circulate material on the Internet that, "that portrays the groups not as haters, but as simple white pride civic groups concerned with social ills.[16]" The concern that is being presented is not a differential in treatment, but rather the claim that one race is inferior to another, which is racist.

This article is going to make a claim that many other writers will disagree with. Whites, in particular White Males, do not have a corner market on prejudice and racism. Given the definition of racism that this article has developed the racial make up of the perpetrator or target is not relevant to the discussion. Racial slurs, whether it is a White to a Black, or a Black to White, or Asian to Hispanic is not acceptable. Racial bigotry tears at the social fabric of the nation. Let me make one more statement that many will disagree with, there is no such thing as “Reverse Discrimination”. That is not to say that a White person cannot be discriminated against. It means that the premise of the action is the same regardless of the race or color of the target, the discriminator is using the target to make them feel whole. Also, people that claim to have Black pride, Asian pride, Hispanic pride, etc, run the same risks as a person supporting White pride, that is if they have taken their pride to the extreme and without any balance it will become racism.

For me to deny that I am a White male would be a ridiculous act on my part, because that is what I am. To say that I am proud to be a White male is to say that I know who I am and my heritage. My self-awareness is not dependent upon placing blame or putting down people who are different from me. That is the point of White pride, Black pride, Asian pride, Hispanic pride, etc.; its message to rest of their race, which is to live their lives in a manner of respect for themselves and not at the determent of others. A rap song from 1994 describes the challenge a person goes through having pride in his race and still recognizes the issues. “I try to keep faith in my people, but sometimes my people be acting like they evil.[17]”

APPENDIX

COMMENTARY ABOUT THE EMAIL: The following is the text of the email that I referred to in the opening paragraph of this article. I have deleted the addresses of who sent it because it is not relevant to the current discussion. What is important is how the article sets up by making a false claim about Michael Richard. It is claiming that Mr. Richard made these comments during his court defense of his comedy act. However, Mr. Richard was never charged or appeared in a courtroom to speak on his comedy act. In fact, the information presented in this email is inconsistent with the apology that he issued. After the introduction then it moves into a racial rant, finally stating. “I am proud..... But you call me a racist.” My observation is that the reason the author is being called a racist is not because of the proclamation of pride; it is because the actions presented are racist.

HERE IS A COPY OF THE EMAIL THAT STARTED THIS ARTICLE

Dear XXXXX

This is great.. I have been wondering about why Whites are racists, and no other race is......

Proud to be White

Michael Richards makes his point.................

Michael Richards better known as Kramer from TVs Seinfeld does make a good point.

This was his defense speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act. He makes some very interesting points...

Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this? There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc.

And then there are just Americans. You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me 'White boy,' 'Cracker,' 'Honkey,' 'Whitey,' 'Caveman'... And that's OK..

But when I call you, Nigger, Kike, Towel head, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink .. You call me a racist.

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you... So why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?

You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day.

You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day. You have Yom Hashoah. You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi.

You have the NAACP. You have BET..... If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we'd be racists. If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists.

If we had White History Month, we'd be racists.

If we had any organization for only whites to 'advance' OUR lives, we'd be racists.

We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that??

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships... You know we'd be racists.

There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US .. Yet if there were 'White colleges', that would be a racist college.

In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.

I am proud..... But you call me a racist.

Why is it that only whites can be racists??

There is nothing improper about this e-mail.. Let's see which of you are proud enough to send it on. I sadly don't think many will. That's why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country. We won't stand up for ourselves!

BE PROUD TO BE WHITE!

It's not a crime YET... But getting very close!

It is estimated that ONLY 5%of those reaching this point in this e-mail, will pass it on.



Jim

Footnotes

[1] Race and ethnic designations as used by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. Definitions of the race and ethnicity categories are as follows:

Hispanic or Latino - A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

White (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other PacificIslands.

Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

American Indian or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino) - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment.

Source: http://eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/2007instructions.cfm

2 These comments were a part of an email that claimed that Michael Richard made them in his court defense for making racial comments during his comedy act, too bad he never made them. See the appendix for a complete copy of the email.

3 Which is very different quest then asking, “not being called a racist”, because a person can only influence what they are called by others, they cannot control it.

4 For information about Irish Heritage Month see

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/006328.html

5 The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Access January 18, 2010

6 http://blackpride.com/

7 Ibid

8 I did not say it was better

9 The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Access January 18, 2010

10 Ibid.

11 prejudice. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition . Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/prejudice (accessed: January 16, 2010).

12 WordNet Search - 3.0. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=discriminate accessed January 18, 2010

13 Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew . (New York: Schocken Books, 1976). 28

14 Another version of this can be found at http://mysorebutt.com/white-pride.php

15 This is from the same internet message that claims to quote Michael Richard that was used at the start of this article.

16 Hate Crime On The Internet. Roy, Joseph T. (September 14, 1999), "Statement of Joseph T. Roy, Sr. before the Senate Judiciary Committee", U.S. Senate Committee on The Judiciary, http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=106_senate_hearings&docid=f:67653.pdf, retrieved 2010-01-04

17 Coolio. Fantastic Voyage . Album It takes a Thief . Wea International 1994

© February 2010 All Rights Reserved


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Comments 12 comments

SheriSapp profile image

SheriSapp 6 years ago from West Virginia

You are very brave to publish this hub. Hubworld is overrun with leftie loons, and they will pile on you soon enough. However, you made some very good points here, and I have had some similar thoughts myself. I also agree that folks are ignorant about discrimination and racism and misuse and confuse these terms frequently. Like it or not, blacks can be just as racist as whites!!


KFlippin profile image

KFlippin 6 years ago from Amazon

I've only scanned this hub, and will bookmark as one to read more closely, but will say now that it is perhaps time to fearlessly show pride for our own kind, our own people, to channel Shirley Sherrod just days ago. Surely, it is not found racist anymore to stand with pride of your mixed heritage of strong, and native as well in my case, pioneers that overcame hardship in this great country, that spent years working off their dun for passage here, spent years shaking off the shame of being a native American even. It is sad, and shameful to our country, that the hard-working heritage of the majority of Americans, is squelched because of the quite grievous errors of the rich few, which is not so very different in today's world.


Mark Monroe profile image

Mark Monroe 6 years ago from Dover De Author

Thank you for your comments. Just for the record I am a Democrat and by most standards a Liberal. I welcome any comments or challenges with this work, all I asked is that you read the article carefully


Mark Monroe profile image

Mark Monroe 6 years ago from Dover De Author

American Romance: Racism by Whites is alive in America today. Just because the nation elected a black president does not mean that racism has gone away. The facts do not support your claim.


KwameG profile image

KwameG 6 years ago from MS

Mark, really informative Hub. thanks. i tend to agreed with

SherriSapp, terms and ideas have been misconstrued and abused to benefit those who profit from fear and confusion.

By most definitions we are all Racists or at least have some Racist tendencies; so I am not overly concerned when I am accused of being Racist or when someone else is, my concerns are raised when people allow themselves to whipped into misguided emotional frenzies that never produce any good for anyone. Thanks again for the Hub.


Mark Monroe profile image

Mark Monroe 6 years ago from Dover De Author

Thank you for taking the time to read my hub


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I guess I'm a "leftie loon" and quite happy to be so! I really enjoyed this Hub. I think we get very confused about the meaning of words sometimes, because words with heavy emotional baggage get thrown around very easily without much thought being given to the consequences of so doing. Calling me a "leftie loon" (not that anyone has done so yet on HubPages, though I have been called a "wolf in sheep's clothing"!) would be an indication of prejudice. Refusing someone a job because of their colour, sex or creed, would also count as prejudice.

We all have prejudices, some of them very deep-seated. And some of these prejudices are with regard to certain ethnic groups. I like the definition used by pastor Joseph Barndt who writes that "Racial prejudice is transformed into racism when one racial group is able to control another group and to enforce the controlling group's biases."

In other words racism is prejudice plus power. And that is why whites are historically more liable to racism than other ethnic groups - they simply had the power to enforce their prejudices, and that power still exists today in so many places and situations.

When people use economic or political power to exclude or otherwise disadvantage others of a different race, class, colour, creed or sex, just because of those differences, then that is racism, it is enforcing the bias of the powerful on the relatively less powerful.

Apartheid in South Africa was clearly a racist ideology, as was Nazism. Those who implemented apartheid and the "final solution" in Germany clearly had the power to enforce their prejudices.

Thanks again for an interesting Hub.

Love and peace

Tony


Mark Monroe profile image

Mark Monroe 6 years ago from Dover De Author

Tony

Thank you for your comments


Joe Jackson 6 years ago

Then why should you have the right to vote


Mark Monroe profile image

Mark Monroe 5 years ago from Dover De Author

Pierre

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. However I am not sure of the point you were trying to make with your comment.


evermind 3 years ago

I am a so called black or nigger or African american or whatever Americans refer to me as. There are no bigger racist than black people I grew up here in the south and just because I am dark skinned my fellow bllacks have always given me hell!! I can not even find a proper mate because I am seen as too black.I have always had white friends who have witness this fact.


Mark Monroe profile image

Mark Monroe 3 years ago from Dover De Author

evermind

Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub. I have meet many people of all races and nationalities and what I have learn is no one group has the corner market on racism.

Mark

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