The White Protestant Roots of American Racism

Alana Massey, New Republic, May 26, 2015

“The Apotheosis of Washington,” painted in 1865 by Constantino Brumidi, is a fresco of the first president of the United States ascending to the heavens. The goddesses of Victory and Liberty, along with 13 maidens who represent America’s original colonies, flank George Washington; here, he’s elevated to the status of a god (and it’s worth noting that “apotheosis” actually means “deification”). In the 150 years since Brumidi’s last brushstroke, the painting’s characters have borne silent witness to the machinations of the U.S. Congress from the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building. When the fresco was completed, four million black people called the United States home but were only that year able to enjoy even the most limited experience of citizenship when the Civil War ended and the Emancipation Proclamation began the process of ending slavery. Of course, Brumidi’s fresco only features white faces.

His painting illustrates the complexities of a nation inextricably informed by the religious ethics of its founders and those who continue to wield power today: Religious white men, ascending to fame on the strength of their ideals. Even those founding fathers–who identified primarily as deists–shared views that aligned with Christian theologies. American society is heavily informed by this religious foundation, specifically in terms of racial injustice, even as religious identification declines.

A recent poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute on police brutality showed that between December 2014 and April 2015 the percentage of white Americans who believed that police killings of black Americans were part of a broader pattern jumped from 35 percent to 43 percent. White evangelical Protestants, on the other hand, see the recent homicides as isolated incidents–62 percent of them said that police treat blacks and whites equally. This isn’t an accident of demographics; it springs from the religious framework that undergirds American societal values. To deny the ongoing influence of Protestant ethics is to be willfully ignorant.

The “Protestant work ethic” is a term coined by sociologist Max Weber, whose seminal work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, delineated how links made by theologians between religion, work, and capital laid the groundwork for capitalism. Calvinist theology holds that only an elect few are predestined for salvation from birth, while the rest are damned. The anxiety this produced compelled people to look for hints or signs that they were members of the elect; they believed that material success was among the most notable indicators of God’s favor. Doing the hard work of creating God’s kingdom on Earth through a secular vocation was considered a pathway to God’s grace. The opposite also held true: Just as material success indicated God’s grace, poverty was a sign that you’d been denied God’s grace. In this context, slaves could be both blamed for their own plight and have the legitimacy of their labor erased.


Dr. Ray Winbush is the director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, and he said that his work in Baltimore has recently increased his exposure to racial conceptions of work and goodness. “White people will say, ‘Why don’t you black people pull yourselves up by your bootstraps. This is America, everyone is free to do what they want,’” Winbush told me. “But what was the civil rights struggle of the 1960s if not the greatest self-help movement in American history?” Through the old lens of work as an act that contributes to building God’s kingdom on Earth in a very physical way, the work of political organizing can’t be recognized as a legitimate form of labor. Denying the labor of black Americans reinforces white supremacy.


As we abandon our explicit ties to religion, religious ethics still inform our views of race, prosperity, and even personhood. It’s easy to blame older white Protestant evangelicals for the country’s residual racial strife, even as it represents white America’s refusal to interrogate the source of our worldviews and our tremendous social and political capital.


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  • Robert Binion

    Actually, Christianity interests me less than esoteric occultism but I don’t much care for blacks either. It is hard to raise consciousness in a good way when you are being mugged.

    • Xanthippe2

      Certainly the evils White esoteric occultists, White Catholics, White agnostics, White atheists, White heathens, and White New Agers should all be dwelt on.

      • Alden

        Those will be discussed in coming issues

  • D.B. Cooper

    This is your man hating feminist right here. I propose Alana spend a few months in either Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Sudan, Haiti, or Zimbabwe.

    • Deacon Blue

      And people criticize me for having a “thing” for Ann Coulter…

      This one needs to be banished to Haiti. I remember reading a narrative by a White woman “doo gooder” in Haiti after God decided to smite the heathens…err…”the earthquake” and said White woman was trapped on top of a building and violently raped and sodomized by an HIV positive Black native.

      In her narrative, rather than feel any anger or hate, she described how she felt badly that this Black had so much rage and violence inside. And she actually apologized to her assailant as he tore her anus to shreds. If I can find the linkI will post it here. The woman was/is a feminist. But like all good feminists its only the WHITE MALES that she hates. Black men…eh…not so much.

      • Publius Pompilius Quietus

        You are, I believe, referring to Amanda Kijera. Amanda Kijera is a typical white feminist who traveled to Haiti, where she was raped by a black man. According to Kijera, while she was being raped, she “pleaded with him [the rapist] to honor my commitment to Haiti, to him as a brother in the mutual struggle.”

        • duneswalker

          That liberals are illogical, is logical just as it is logical to expect the sun to rise tomorrow at 6:01AM

        • Alexandra1973

          I think that’s the one who was like “You can’t rape me, I’m a Malcolm X scholar.”

          • Paleoconn

            Like that SPLC guy who was beaten up and possibly killed in Oakland. ‘Please don’t kill me, I hate Whites, too.’ Their answer might have been ‘we hate them more, and you’re the only White we see here.’

          • AmericanCitizen

            I can imagine his shock as he tried to explain “but, I’m on YOUR side” as the black men beat him to death.

          • Rob

            Too late for that.

          • Paleoconn

            Whatever he was saying, we can be sure he was thinking ‘f**** n*****!’

          • DonReynolds

            Yes, they actually think they can pick which side they are going to be on…..or that the other side will welcome race traitors with open arms. After all, they need white Liberals to lead them to the promised land…..since they are not capable of doing it themselves.

          • Light from the East

            The tendency of self-destruction attracts them together. In the long run, white people with “racism” are better survivors than those with “self hate”. That’s why racism is a human expression of nature’s survival rule. There is no need to hide it, no need to feel ashamed of it, no need to apologize for it because it is natural.

          • Alden

            He was killed Oh happy days

          • carriewhite64

            Oh, yes, I remember this story. You really cannot make this stuff up.

          • Alden

            He was killed “Oh Happy Days “

        • JohnEngelman

          Blacks are not responsible for all the crimes they commit. Whites, with our low crime rates are responsible.

        • Sick of it

          Feminists should be invited to move to places like Haiti and not be allowed to return.

          • LHathaway

            An important symposium.

          • Alden

            I prefer remote rural areas of Afghanistan

        • This the fate awaiting the majority of folks who believe they can reconcile with anyone using a compassionate dialogue. They live lives so insulated from reality and augmented with poppycock illiterated by nincompoops (love those words) they actually believe reason and a rational “give & take” will solve all the world’s problems. They are not as generous with their own property as one might surmise. As they typically want to use your money to appease demands, and are quick to offer your rights and property to allocate a Fair-Share or address the ubiquitous “Justice”; RE: grievance, du jour. I’ll give this woman credit for living up to her assertions. AT least she sacrificed for the cause and placed her safety at risk – albeit a misplaced assessment, and/or evidence of a generic stupidity so common in their ranks it may be termed a stereotype – or a truth learned from experience in my vernacular.

        • TrueNorthFree

          I just googled “Amanda Kijera”. Astounding stuff. The more I learn about race realism the more I tend to think that brainwashed cultural marxists are very mentally ill people.

        • Dr. Rieux

          Like Michael Savage always says: Liberalism is a mental disorder.

      • Rob

        Wonder if she would be so forgiving if a Aids infected white guy pared her.

      • DonReynolds

        I remember it well, but I am not convinced it was a crime.

      • Alden

        I’m a woman an extreme White Nationalist or proud racist
        I love quietly reciting black rape statistics to liberal White women’

    • Petronius

      Thanks for posting that photo. It explains a lot.

      • Zimriel

        The Chinese term I read recently was “yellowed pearl”.

    • Chip Carver

      I don’t think she needs to go any farther than Baltimore right now in order to feel the warmth. Hoepfuly she’ll break down in an area like that while on her way to some “hate Whitey” soiree.

    • George Moriarty

      She should also be given my favourite nominal job, that is, 3rd wife in the household, responsible for looking after 7 children with no running water and a mud/dung floor.

      • Alden

        And smacked around by hubby and senior wives
        Then birthing her babies all by herself not even a senior wife helping. Then a good beating if the baby is a girl

    • JohnEngelman

      I doubt she ever attended a school with a black majority in the student body. I doubt her children do if she has any. White liberals are never so hypocritical as on the subject of race.

    • phillyguy

      Ahhh,,, I’ll give her a play, that’s about it.

    • John Smith

      She has an ugly, “foreign” look to her. Perhaps had ancestors from the Levant?

      • DonReynolds

        She does look a bit like somewhere around the Black Sea……Romania, Bulgaria, Turkish, Crimean. I could tell more if I could see her teeth, but her name seems to match up too……Kijera. No amount of peroxide is going to change her nose or her eyes.

        • Alden

          Massey is an old English Norman name Ey endings are often French

          But I bet the name was anglized from Masovitch

          With those black eyes she isn’t Polish or Russian
          None of the ethnic names sites have Kijera listed

    • DonReynolds

      She looks like too much peach brandy, buzz toys, and lesbian literature at summer camp without (responsible) adult supervision.

    • TrueNorthFree

      I just spent some time perusing her Twitter. She’s actually pretty funny.

  • His painting illustrates the complexities of a nation inextricably informed by the religious ethics of its founders and those who continue to wield power today: Religious white men, ascending to fame on the strength of their ideals.

    Which country is she referring to? She can’t mean this one.

    • Sick of it

      The one that used to exist before people like her, and those who train them, destroyed it.

  • MekongDelta69

    Q: How many moronic feminazis are there in the U.S. today?

    A: Read this:

    [“Ballmer” is the 2nd of two articles about ‘Baltimore,’ but he really talks about how the feminazis have taken over.]

  • connorhus

    I have read this thing twice now and other than making some accusations about attempting to make Washington into a deity the entire thing seems to make zero sense.

    • It’s not supposed to make sense, it’s supposed to attract hits for the new clickbait friendly iteration of TNR.

    • Yancy Derringer

      She’s an idiot — the poll she uses to attack Protestants hardly supports what she says it does. Its results reveal virtually no difference of opinion between the two groups: 43% vs 38%. Further, the poll demonstrates how gullible even whites are to the MSM’s turning a few isolated incidents into some major trend, some national emergency. Proportion Matters.

    • DonReynolds

      You are correct. It is terribly confused. The sort of thing a sophomore throws together the night before a paper is due…..with more time spent typing the damned thing, than any reading or research.

  • HJ11

    White racism is a good thing. I’m glad I was born with the White racist gene. If I’m the last White to not miscegenate, well, so be it. Maybe all future pure Whites will look at me as their new Adam.

    • TrueNorthFree

      God bless you, dear.

    • Dr. Rieux

      Once upon a time I barely gave my handsome white skin a second thought. But now I am consciously proud to be from among the people who, more than any other group, created the modern world.

  • Bossman

    This article is just stating the obvious. No new information is delivered.

  • Tarczan

    That’s good, they hate us for working hard and being conscientious. It’s their evil religion.

    • HJ11

      Be glad they hate us. That will help with our survival. Look at the J’s, they are worried about dying out because they are being loved to death by non J’s. Hate helps keep a people whole and within the circle of wagons. Love leads to miscegenation.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    Another “Whites enslaved blacks 150 years ago. All current black problems are due to white “racism.” Whites dare to prefer the company of each other to those of other races. Behaviors that are perfectly acceptable when engaged in by other races are not acceptable when engaged in by whites. Other races good, whites evil. ”

    There. You have a perfect summary of this article. I could rubber stamp this on all articles of this type. Easy peasy.

  • Zimriel

    Allow me to introduce the author, and – assuming she doesn’t read AmRen – the commentariat here to “The Curse of Ham” by David Goldenberg. This delved into primary source materials on the Western (and Sephardic) justification for what the author is calling “racism”.

    Spoiler alert; it derives from the Near Eastern slave-trade, partially pre-Muslim Yemeni (the Mizrahis had a hand in it too), but it *really* kicked in when the Arabs went Muslim and conquered the sea-routes.

    The author is simply lying about this.

    • Alden

      The reason Queen Isabela kicked out the Jews is because they were the traders who shipped Spanish slaves mostly 8 to 14 year old girls off to the Arab harems and brothels

  • WR_the_realist

    Well, I just Googled her name and Alana Massey seems to be posting and blogging and writing up articles everywhere. Just another generic lefty who’s very full of herself.

    On her blog she writes about how horribly racist skin lightening creams are. Yet nobody has ever said that those instant fake suntan products are racist.

    • George Moriarty

      People like her should be taught the basic facts of history, one of these being that your nation, once the greatest on Earth, just did not happen and was actually founded by her dreaded White Protestant Christians.

    • She very obviously bleaches her hair to appear blonde, so does that make her a racist? Leftist logic, not even once.

    • DonReynolds

      So if skin lightener is absolutely racist…..then all the little white girls who get skin darkening treatments in the spring in tanning booths are not racist in the least?

  • listenupbub

    The founding fathers definitely did not identify primarily as deists. Get your facts straight.

    • JohnEngelman

      By the late eighteenth century the religious passions generated by the Protestant Reformation had largely subsided. Nevertheless, the great majority of those who signed the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were conventionally religious. They had definite Christian affiliations and attended church with a fair degree of regularity.

    • Alden

      Everyone of them were Baptized married and buried in the predominant Protestant church of their colony Their children were baptized They all went to church regularly especially at election time
      She got one thing wrong they were not all Protestants John Carroll was Catholic

      There is nothing about that
      painting that Is religious or refers to religion
      TNR made more sense 80 years ago when it was communist Now it is just a joke
      Vince Vaughn Luke Wilson and
      Jack Black should make a movie about it Title of the magazine
      could be the New Retard or
      Newly Repulsive

  • IstvanIN

    It was the Protestant Work Ethic that turned a wild and untamed continent into the world’s preeminent world power. Now, what has “black” capital brought us?

    • Katherine McChesney

      It was also the Protestants who established Universities and Hospitals.

  • Paleoconn

    These articles make me laugh. This is classic Antiquarianism as per Steve Sailer.

  • libertarian1234

    Anybody who is so ignorant he/she doesn’t know that white racism has nothing to do with the failure of integration and everything to do with people not wanting to bring aboard another group into their society that is on a primitive, animalistic level and represent throwbacks to the hunter/gatherer stage of evolution, is someone who isn’t playing with a full deck.

    I’ll tell you what, Alana, old girl. You can live among the restless natives all you want. Just don’t expect us to and STOP looking for egg head reasons why we should.

    Next to you a fool looks wiser and less gullible.

    • John Smith

      The negroes don’t even want to integrate, they just want it all handed to them while they live in their own world.

  • ncpride

    At least the commenters are having none of this millionth White guilt load of nonsense. It’s encouraging to see Whites pretty much tell these loony liberals to shut up and shove off.

  • Fr. John+

    Sorry. Not interested in your re-write of White, European History. You and yours always will REMAIN 3/5ths of a White Man. Not guilty, not buying the shame/blame/name/game.

    When your race, your Afreakin’ culture can come up with even ONE righteous deed, person, or invention, then we’ll talk. Racism, schmacism. It’s a White Man’s county, and always was a White Man’s country. now, go back home to wherever it is you come from, because it certainly ain’t here!

    • Rob

      The black race did come up with pulling the race card. So that is one invention, but they did have help from the white libs like Eleanor Roosevelt and the people we saved from the holocaust.

      • Fr. John+

        What ‘holocaust’? The fallacy of an amoral race being somehow ‘chosen’ – when their prevaricating morals, war-mongering, deicide and duplicitousness got them ejected from Judea in AD 70, in a final, irrevocable act of divine judgment? Sorry, that too is a pile of lies, that no pope, premier, president, or nation can ever erase.

  • LHathaway

    “White evangelical Protestants, on the other hand, see the recent homicides as isolated incidents–62 percent of them said that police treat blacks and whites equally”.

    This is a completely neutral statement, yet there is no room to ponder if police may actually treat Whites worse than Blacks. Do Whites even count at all? Does anyone care about them or ponder about their status in any way, no matter what? In an Amazon review of the book ‘Race and Education’ a reviewer suggests Americans have been subjected to a kind of self-inflicted lobotomy.

  • John Smith

    The “Civil Rights” movement wasn’t a self-help movement; it was a help-yourself movement.

    • Rob

      More like destroy whitey and take what the white man has.

      • John Smith

        I think I said that.

        • Rob

          I know, just agreeing and ptting it in another way.

  • robinbishop34

    The occidentalobserver has dozens of articles under the category ‘white pathology/guilt’ that addresses the mental illness of people like Ms. Massey.

    • Rob

      I love occidental observer and national vanguard.

  • Final Boss

    Liberia: NOW MORE THAN EVER.

  • Rob


  • carriewhite64

    The “greatest self-help movement in American history.” First, the movement didn’t seem to “help,” according to black people. Second, the movement could not have existed without the help of white people, including legislators, judges, law enforcement, and well-intentioned citizens, so it was not strictly self help. Third, I really hope the “greatest self-help movement in American history” is in the future.

  • capers2

    Never mind the 1 to 1.25 million Northern Europeans who were enslaved by Northern Africans over a period of 800 plus years. Or the millions more who were raped, robbed, tortured and murdered; They don’t count. Remember, it’s only “politically correct” for whitey to be branded “massa” when in fact, Africans to this day are still doing the same things their ancestors did centuries ago (eg. Boko Haram)…

  • Frank Jamger

    She represents appreciation of productive work as but a peculiarity of Protestant culture, when it is obvious common sense. Nevertheless, in the full article she is careful enough to adduce the usual nonsense excuses for blacks: they forcibly built America (and with no compensation, to boot), they aren’t allowed opportunities to contribute their valuable work now that we must pay them for it, and Whites have violently crushed every effort they’ve made to become prosperous. This – the usual denial of black ineptitude and laziness – is the real point of the article, garbed in historical pedantry.

    • Dr. Rieux

      Do lefties ever really listen to the crap they spew?

  • Speedy Steve

    Alana Massey — privileged white liberal, Episcopalian, cat lady. She seems to be very confused.

  • jane johnson

    Had he been black, it would’ve been called a lynching.

  • DonReynolds

    Clearly a confused article.
    There are only two Calvinist churches in the US….Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed…..which by no means would define Protestantism.
    The Protestant Work Ethic simply means that every occupation is a calling, not only the clergy. That means that Protestants should do their work to the utmost of their ability, no matter what they are called by God to do in society. (The Protestant Work Ethic is not limited to Calvinists or to whites.)
    It is confused beyond belief that this article would claim that racism is rooted in Protestantism, since the vast majority of blacks in America are Protestants themselves. Historically, the roots of abolitionism (and practically everything radical in this country) has the very deepest roots (and they are proud of it) in the Congregationalist churches of New England. Yes, the Puritans that landed at Plymouth Rock….and they were most certainly Protestant.

  • DonReynolds

    My best guess is……her significant other is from the same part of the world…..and with those guys it is all about blondes, blondes, blondes.

  • Alden

    New Republic was founded by a White Protestant of Britsh descent American aristocrat communist convert named Straight. He lucked out in his marriage to another Protestant aristocrat a multi millionaire heiress to the Whitney fortune

    He spent his life using his wife’s fortune to spread communism
    Free Republic was taken over by neo cons and AIPAC long ago What is so horrible about this article is that the sincere and religious Christians Jews and liberals call fundamentalists are also Christian Zionists who totally support whatever Israel and its American supporters do
    It’s the evangelical Protestants who emphasize the Jewish Old Testament not the Catholics Orthodox and liberal Protestants yet this Israel commie anti White propaganda rag publishes this vicious diatribe against the only Christians who support them

    It is also an attack on all White European people Our heritage is not totally Christian but much if it is Christian

    This article just about made my head explode I hope the Christian Zionists read it carefully Maybe you will realize what Jews and the Israel lobby thinks if you

    • Marty Peretz is dead.

      If he was still living and still editing TNR, then your frustration about the dialectic of TNR dumping all over the group of Americans that love Peretz’s favorite country the most would be valid.

      But TNR is just another clickbait factory. It didn’t run an article entitled “The White Protestant Roots of American Racism” with Israel in mind, it did it for the provocative headline to generate traffic to TNR.

  • Alden

    Ms Alana looks part black check out the eye color nose lips and fat cheeks

    Another New Republic writer is Hanna Rosen All she does is blather away about her personal life
    Her big cause and advice is don’t have your first baby until you are 58 years old so you can concentrate on your wonderful career sitting in front of a computer watching black Asian and Hispanic incompetents get the promotions
    I submitted a little article claiming that Hanna works for a chain of fertility clinics for old ladies

    It didn’t get published

  • Alden

    Actually the first peanut butter patent was taken out in Montreal in the 1880s

  • Alden

    He got what he deserved. I am proud to say that one if my a
    ancestors ride with Quantrills Raiders belonged to the Golden Circle and his children ran hideouts for the James brothers

  • Alden

    Today about 40 percent of
    American hospitals are
    catholic even the ones not named St what’s is In the 19th century the percentage of catholic hospitals was even higher
    Masons were big hospital builders Most of those Women’s and children’s hospitals were built by non sectarian women’s groups
    City hospitals were built by city officials

    Other than the St Luke’s Prybterian ones very few hospitals were built by Protestants as part of their faith


  • Fr. John+

    Guest, dear. I know the historical background of the clause. That’s why I used it. But the PHILOSOPHY behind it applies now, more than ever. The Negro or the non-White will NEVER be the ontological equal of the White man. We have amassed too much cultural, scientific, forensic, and genetic data to deny this any longer- our ancestors were right. Jeremiah 13:23 is more than just about moral complicity- it is a racial insight into the mind of God. And any cleric that denies it, better admit that Marx and/or MLK is his new ‘god’ and step aside.