“I’m proud to be white.”
In polite company, this phrase sets off alarms; even its milder relative, “I’m not ashamed to be white,” has the same effect. But it’s perfectly acceptable to say, “I’m proud to be black/Asian/Hispanic.” In the right context, these words might get a standing ovation.
Why is this?
Like it or not, our political and media cultures have put phrases like “I’m proud to be white” and “I’m not ashamed to be white” into a context that evokes inbred KKK cross-burners and Nazi skinheads. The trouble is, these stereotypes have a certain reality. These types of white people are the only ones most of us have ever heard saying they’re proud to be white, and most of us want to distance ourselves from such people.
Never underestimate the power of snobbery. The type of person who says “I’m proud to be white” is—stereotypically—low-class and uneducated, and no one except for a handful of proud-to-be-a-redneck types want to join them down there.
For the average white middle-American, class consciousness largely consists of where they stand in relation to “white trash.” Even those who are more prosperous live with some the fear that they could be only a few bad decisions away from the trailer park. Meanwhile, the average coastal elite is intensely conscious of where he stands in terms of education and refinement. To him, the racist is the bottom of the barrel. Often, this seems to have less to do with moral questions than with status: A racist is a moron, a provincial rube, and everyone knows it. In elite circles, a murderer or a rapist—especially if he is non-white—can have his image rehabilitated more easily than a white racist.
The specters of the slavery, colonialism, and the Holocaust likewise damage the perception of the phrase, “I’m proud to be white.” Whites police their thoughts for any suggestion that they are ranking peoples or cultures in any way.
Whites now take any statement of white self-interest to mean “white self-interest at the expense of other races.” However, white advocacy is not about seeing whites as “better.” It’s about acknowledging racial differences—recognizing what can be reconciled and what can’t—and asking nothing for whites that we would not gladly grant to every other racial group.
What can we do so that the statement, “I’m proud to be white” appears in a positive light? We must change the culture so that it becomes safe to say we are unashamed to be white. Normal, educated, upwardly mobile whites must openly stand up for their race. Enough of them will have to do this to counter the stereotype. This is difficult, because they are precisely the people who have the most to lose if they step out of line.
For now, only a few people can maintain their social position if they take a dissenting position on race, and it is vital that these people be as attractive and accomplished as possible. We are far from reaching critical mass, but we are moving in the right direction. As more and more open advocates for our people defy the “KKK” stereotype, it will break down the prejudices against racial consciousness and encourage others to speak openly in their own interests.
If whites do not overcome their shame and guilt, they will squander a precious inheritance, and a squandered inheritance is a ticket to the trailer park and to that status that whites fear most: that of “white trash.”