We are 100% user-supported!
Without you, there is no RationalWiki!
|Goal: $5000||Donations so far: $2890|
Help and donate today!
|The colorful pseudoscience|
|Hating thy neighbour|
|Divide and conquer|
“”If you are busy drinking and fighting all the time, you accomplish nothing, so then need to attach yourself vicariously to the success of other white people as a source of your 'pride.' But it is utter hypocrisy.
|—Singer (and former white supremacist) George Burdi.|
 White pride = racism?
Some people claim that "If you are proud to be white, you are attacked with vitriol and labeled as a 'racist', 'Nazi' etc.," and there is a concept of "white guilt," in which people feel guilty for being white due to past racial injustices.
However, the labels of "racist" or "Nazi" are not usually applied to those who are merely "proud" of their ethnic heritage — as seen in, for instance, St. Patrick's Day parades (these aren't tied with a specific race anymore)—but to those who take their so-called "pride" to the extremes of hatred, denigration and violence towards other races, such as Neo-Nazis and New Black Panther groups (not to be confused with the Black Panther Party from the 60's and 70's). Also, most "white" people in the US more closely affiliate with some subsection thereof, since the majority of Americans are "white" (or more correctly pink, or even slightly greenish-blue).
 Reality of race
According to the biologists of the present day, our concept of "race" is an awful biological designator, and it is better understood as a purely social designator. Real definitions of race overlap considerably with nationality, ethnicity and culture, but a hypothetical definition of race could, for example, deem people living on different streets as being of different races.
In such a situation, people taking pride in living on Elm Street, if only because they were born on Elm Street and have not (yet) left Elm Street, have much the same reasons for "pride" as white people proclaiming white pride.
The only time when it is possible to analyze "race" as a concept is when a society actually uses it — and the more emphasis that the society places on race, the more the concept can be explored. This was the case in racially-segregated societies such as apartheid-era South Africa and the pre-civil rights era United States. In these cases, race was important only because "the people in those societies made it so." From an objective standpoint, the only quantifiable differences between individuals of various "races" were skin color, eye color, language, etc.
 Oppressed groups
However, in those cases where a group has been oppressed due to their "race," there is often a sense of deep shame in being a member of that group, as these members often allow themselves to be characterized in the terms invented by their oppressors. In this sense, "racial pride" can act much like nationalism to bring a group together to create, or revive, an independent identity that does not require self-hatred. Moreover, it can help to instil people who have had all pride beaten out of them with something to be proud of, as a first step toward a more rational self-esteem. This can be seen in the "Black is Beautiful" movement of Marcus Garvey and others.
If this sort of "racial pride" is confused with and/or replaces more rational self-esteem, however, it can turn right back into racism, as seen with the Nation of Islam. This is the difference between the St. Patrick's Day marchers and neo-Nazis mentioned above — the former viewing racial/ethnic pride as a positive unifying force (e.g., to drink copiously), the latter using it as a tool for division and hatred (sometimes also occurring over drinks, as in 1923.[wp])