I have called Poland my home for almost two decades. In that time, I have come to learn what it’s like to live among people who enjoy the bonds of a common culture and a shared ethnic heritage. Poles have a distinct collective identity and it is expressed in every aspect of what is effectively an ethno-state. In percentage terms, Poland is as Polish as Japan is Japanese.
Being Polish isn’t an abstraction the way being American or Canadian or Australian has become. It means something.
Poland is a monoracial, monocultural society, without a single statistically significant ethnic or religious minority. If there was a silver lining to the awful cloud of Communism, it was that the Iron Curtain shielded this part of Europe from the waves of immigration that hit Western Europe. The lag in general economic prosperity that resulted from nearly 50 years of central planning means that Poland is still not a prime immigrant destination even 30 years after Soviet troops pulled out. Migrants and “refugees,” whether legitimately looking for jobs or shopping for generous welfare policies, go to Germany, Britain, or Scandinavia. It literally doesn’t pay to stop in Poland after coming all the way from North Africa, the Middle East or elsewhere.
The biggest non-white ethnic group in Poland are the Vietnamese—mostly a legacy of past ties and student exchanges during the Communist era—who number around 40,000. In a country of 40 million, that makes Poland’s biggest non-European minority one tenth of one percent of the population. Ukrainians are the biggest foreign ethnic group in Poland and they are as culturally and linguistically close to Poles as anyone can be. This “minority,” such as it is, blends in perfectly, with only their accents giving them away, like Austrians in Germany or Irish in England. Every non-white face in all of Poland combined might add up to one-half of one percent of the population. This is a white country.
As believers in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Ukrainians also constitute the largest religious minority in Poland. Even combined with their co-religionists from Belarus living here, they are still around only one percent of the population. Krakow, where I live, has almost a million people, and it’s the Baptists who have the “exotic” church in town. There isn’t a single mosque here. This is a Catholic country.
You get the idea. Poland is not a “melting pot,” and even in Krakow, with its many large foreign companies and international students, the only “multi-” anything is the multicinema.
What life looks like when everyone looks like you
When I go back to America from time to time, I have to go through the surreal experience of having some Indian or Filipino direct me through a maze of roped lines so Officer Gonzalez or Officer Chung can check my right to enter the country where I was born. When I come back to Poland, I often catch incoming tourists staring in disbelief at the attractive white women who stamp passports and lead drug-sniffing dogs through the baggage pick-up area.
Speaking of attractive white women, when was the last time you saw one working behind the counter at McDonald’s or as a hotel maid? How about an all-white crew riding a garbage truck or working on road construction? Or an all-white staff at the local government department of whatever? I see these things all the time because—somehow, and in defiance of accepted wisdom among Western elites—a white country can function perfectly well without importing people from every corner of the planet.
How Poland manages to keep the lights on and prevent the economy from collapsing without immigrants is a mystery that few Western liberals are interested in investigating. Their lack of curiosity also applies to unlocking Poland’s secret to cultural and educational achievement without significant black and brown contributions.
My aim in this series is to share what it’s like to live without diversity. The point is not to paper over Poland’s problems but to focus on what is unquestionably its huge advantage going forward—complete white racial and ethnic homogeneity.