Monday, July 20, 2009

Racialism in the US by group

In a couple of previous posts, the propensity to self-identify by race or ethnicity was examined by, well, race and ethnicity. In addition to the groups already discussed, results for Jews, Native Americans, those McCain-belt Scotch-Irish types who tell census takers they are simply "American" by ancestry, white Republicans (the question was not cross-referenced with data on political outlook, so partisan labels are the best proxy available), white Democrats, men (all), and women (all) are included here. The following table shows the percentage of respondents who included race or ethnicity as one of the three most important methods of self-identification from a list of ten possible descriptors:

Group*Race importantN
Hispanic43.2%37
Black38.8%150
Asian36.7%43
Native American23.5%48
"American"19.8%25
Men (all races)18.0%526
Women (all races)14.8%658
Italian14.3%56
White Democrat13.3%348
Jewish12.1%30
French11.2%18
White (all ethnicities)10.4%939
Eastern European10.2%49
German9.4%148
Irish8.6%127
White Republican6.3%446
Scandanavian3.0%32
British2.8%138

An apparent relationship between racial or ethnic self-identification and putative social oppression is evident, reinforcing a chip-on-the-shoulder mentality and desire for group solidarity among those who tend to be the least individually successful. This correlation is important to keep in mind when grasping the psychological aversion SWPLs have to ethnic and especially racial self-identification--it's the primitive, trashy rabble that prides itself on race. As non-whites are mostly invisible in the moral posturing competition, their high levels of racial self-identification are not lamentable (if anything, they are actually laudable). White trash proles are the troglodytes SWPLs separate themselves from by shedding racial consciousness. Parenthetically, as noted below, white Democrats are more likely to identify by race or ethnicity than white Republicans are, but I suspect this is driven by working-class white unionist types, not hipsters from Manhattan.

Jews, despite their social and cultural successes, are a little more cognizant of race and ethnicity than white Gentiles are.

Scotch-Irish Americans are concentrated in poorer Southern states, and their relatively high level of racial consciousness among whites meshes with the SWPL conception of these people as shameful, backwards European cousins.

Though the GOP is portrayed as the party of white racists, white Democrats are considerably more racially conscious than white Republicans are. The gap is not marginal and the sample sizes are large.

The tendency of those with the fewest objective reasons to celebrate their biological and cultural associations with their racial or ethnic group to do so extends to gender. As Charles Murray demonstrates in Human Accomplishment, virtually all significant accomplishments in the arts and sciences are the work of men. Yet the percentage of men who include gender among the three most important methods of self-identification from a list of ten possible descriptors is 23.9%, to 32.1% among women.

* Hispanics include those who chose "some other race" as a racial category, as 97% of those who self-identify as such in the US Census are Hispanic. Those who are Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, or "other Asian" constitute the Asian category. Those who simply identify their ancestry as "American" make up the category of the same name. Those who are of Czechoslavkian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, or Russian descent comprise the Eastern European category. Scandanavians are made up of those who trace their ancestry to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, or Finland. British includes those of English, Scottish, or Welsh descent.

19 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

I'm surprised that Asian are so high. They're higher even than American Indians, who have a special legal status based on race (reservations, gambling, etc.)

Peter

The Undiscovered Jew said...

From what I understand, Protestant European countries are more plagued by white guilt than Catholic and Eastern Orthodox nations in Europe (Though whether a country is Protestant or Catholic does not appear to affect immigration levels much).

Like their European brethren, Scandinavian, German, and British Americans are mostly Protestant.

Perhaps there is some connection between Protestantism and low levels of ethnic pride and greater individualism?

Anonymous said...

Thak God for the Guineas...

Jokah Macpherson said...

It is weird that political influences keep popping up everywhere. Even if you hadn't included the white republicans and white democrats categories, it's pretty clear from scanning the chart that the more Democratic ethnic groups (white and nonwhite) tend to be more racialist as well. (I think of flyover Republican populations as being German/Scandanavian and the South as being Irish and the wrong kind of British people.) The one surprise is that men score higher than women but it may be because women are more likely to self-identify as, well, women.

UJ, you may be on to something, at least if you limit the theory to whites (since blacks would be considered mostly Protestant). I don't know if Protestantism played a direct role or if it's just random chance that the dominant ethnic groups in America happened to be from Northern Europe.

ironrailsironweights said...

Thank God for the Guineas

People of Italian descent may have relatively high race consciousness because they are concentrated in racially diverse Northeastern cities. Contrast them with the low-racial-consciousness Scandinavians, who are concentrated in the mostly white upper Midwest.

Peter

The Undiscovered Jew said...

UJ, you may be on to something, at least if you limit the theory to whites (since blacks would be considered mostly Protestant). I don't know if Protestantism played a direct role or if it's just random chance that the dominant ethnic groups in America happened to be from Northern Europe.

I don't think it's a coincidence Northern Europe and the Anglospheric nations favor individualism more than Catholic European states.

You can see similarities between American and European Protestants by observing their preferred economic policies.

Both American and European Protestant political parties strongly favor free trade, and relatively unconstrained labor markets.

By contrast, Catholic and Orthodox European nations such as France, Italy, and Greece prefer economic protectionism/statism along with heavily regulated, and unionized labor markets.

Pat Buchanan would have had more success as a politician in France or Italy because his blood and soil economic nationalism is a better fit over there than in America where economic nationalism turns off the Yankee elites.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

Let me clarify one thing: In Catholic European countries, trade protectionism is supported not simply by fringe parties but also by the elites populating the mainstream left and mainstream right.

For example, in France, center right politicians such as Sarkozy and Chirac are protectionist, as was the leftist Mitterand.

Anonymous said...

White male is the universal standard that alll other groups must measure themselves against. So it is hardly surpising that white males don't think of themselves in those terms. Plop those same people in Japan, or Nigeria, and they will certainly start thinking of themselves as white males, and no longer "standard".

Anonymous said...

White christian male here. Who thinks of themselves based on something like their profession before things so existential as race or gender?

Stopped Clock said...

I would be curious to see if 100 years ago, before Hitler, the same sort of pattern would have emerged. It seems to me that Southern Europeans dont really buy into the whole white guilt thing as much as Northerns because they were never part of Hitler's favored groups and thus didnt become "the enemy".

Billare said...

Racialism is politically mediated. It is a product of coalitional jockeying -- which is ingrained in the neurocomputational machinery of the brain -- I imagine there should be significant variation amongst countries with their differing demes.

Billare said...

"White christian male here. Who thinks of themselves based on something like their profession before things so existential as race or gender?"

Exactly. This is precisely how I find most whites think of themselves, which makes for a much better civic culture, since such framing is more malleable and less existential.

The Undsicovered Jew said...

Stopped Clock,

I doubt a specific guilt over Hitler's Nordicism (as distinct from white guilt in general) is the problem.

What seems to distinguish Northern Europe from the Catholic South is the more libertarian/individualistic/Laissez-faire temperment that is historically more prevalent (and which preceded Hitlerism by centuries) in white Protestant nations.

Audacious Epigone said...

Peter,

In my experience Asians--and of course I'm really generalizing here--tend to be refreshingly clinical about race, so, relatively, they are not reluctant to acknowledge their own levels of racial/ethnic consciousness.

TUJ,

The same idea was floating around in my head. Thanks for articulating it.

Anon,

I wonder if, in a country like South Africa, whites are more racially-conscious than blacks are. I wouldn't be terribly surprised one way or the other, but it seems almost certain that the consciousness gap will narrow as whites are pushed out of majority status. This is already observable among younger whites, who are more racialist than older whites.

Anonymous WCM & Billare,

Current occupation is one of the ten possible descriptors. 50.6% of white men included it among their top three, compared to 36.2% among non-white men. As the West becomes increasingly multicultural, identifiers will become less and less malleable. The uniform you wear will be subjugated in importance to the skin you wear.

Anonymous said...

"White male is the universal standard that alll other groups must measure themselves against."

That's kind of a bizarre thing to say. Until recently, this country was 90% white. Race doesn't seem like a defining trait when nearly everyone is the same as you.

I don't see what having to measure oneself against some "standard" would have to do with it. That just sounds like the same old dogmatic "white male privilege" rhetoric that cultural Marxist idiots have been parroting since the Communist fad went out of style.

You could have at least left the "male" part off, since the table so clearly discredits your contention that males are less racialist.

quimbus said...

A disdain for Racial/ethnic identification seems to me less a pervasive trait among SWPLs than one contingent on circumstances of clearcut in/outgroup marking. They may roll their eyes at the scotch-irish guy that fits their stereotype of a hillybilly speaking at length about his ethnic heritage, but if it's in the context of a the-Brits-oppressing-the-Irish conversation, it's totally legitimate to blather on about your Irish roots (recall the St. Patty's Day entry on SWPL).

Anonymous said...

"White christian male here. Who thinks of themselves based on something like their profession before things so existential as race or gender?"

I suspect a lot of mathematicians and computer scientists consider themselves to be techno-geeks first and everything else second.

Audacious Epigone said...

Quimbus,

Good point beyond the obvious 'double standard' regarding white ethnic celebrations/nationalism and non-white ethnic celebrations/nationalism.

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