Americans Rediscovering Their Ethnic Identity

Growing up white in America, I saw that white people felt little automatic bond to their fellow whites. Instead, they connected over shared ideology. If your neighbor shared your religious or political views, he was your brother, but if he differed with you, he was a stranger.

Growing up white in Australia, however, I saw that white people naturally felt a bond with each other. Political and religious differences didn’t matter so much. There was no controversy in Australia over abortion, for instance. Instead, there was a countrywide tradition of mateship. But in America, if a fellow white disagreed with you on abortion, then that person was dead to you.

I converted to Judaism in 1993 and I quickly noticed that Jews who held differing views on abortion, homosexuality, sex education in public schools, etc, had no problem working together on matters of common interest. Liberal and conservative Jews would eat together, pray together and work together. They felt a bond to their fellow Jew and they were glad that Jews were influential on both sides of the political spectrum. That way Jewish interests would be protected.

With the goyim, however, I noticed they often felt no loyalty to one another if there were differences in beliefs. The goyim divided up on political and religious orientation and their shared European heritage counted for little.

Everybody else, however, has a tribal mentality where they look out for each other.

With blacks, for instance, it does not matter much if a fellow black holds different views on abortion or same-sex marriage than you, he’s your brother. He’s a member of your tribe. Many blacks disagree with Obama about abortion and same-sex marriage, but they still vote for Obama because he’s black. It would never occur to most of the goyim I know to simply vote for somebody because he’s white. (Blacks won’t vote for a black conservative, however, because blacks are located primarily at the bottom of the socio-economic spectrum and depend on welfare and affirmative action.)

Chinese-Americans and Japanese-Americans have no problem organizing in their group interest. They have no compunction about moving to certain neighborhoods so that they can dominate the local school boards and give their kids the education they want. Whites, however, always have to frame what they do in terms of universal values rather than in terms of what is good for their group.

I know this makes me sound like a hater to some, but to me, goyim are people too and I wish that they would enjoy the same ethnic solidarity that Jews, blacks, and every other ethnic group enjoys. What does it matter if your fellow has different beliefs from you? Don’t you see what you have in common with him and the areas where you can work together? If your ancestors evolved in Europe or Africa or the Orient, you share a common bond that should transcend ideology. That a guy has different views on politics and religion says nothing about what kind of neighbor and employer he might be.

A friend says: “The secular Jews will do whatever they can to fight you on this. You must use Torah as a wedge to separate them (which they are in most respects already) from Torah Jews. Use Torah as a shield, as HaShem may have intended!”


Your article entitled “The Ethnic Identity of White People” did not present any hypotheses about how ethnic identity is developed. I maintain that it is primarily developed through persecution, conflict, and warfare.

Consider that the groups with the strongest ethnic identities have all suffered long histories of persecution, The persecution of the Jews goes back to antiquity, and is current today in modern France (according to a New York Times article this week),

The dark-skinned peoples of Africa were persecuted by being enslaved, Homosexuals were subject to years of “gay bashing” that resulted in an identity so strong that they have banded together to promote political changes in the institution of marriage, a bedrock practice of Western civilization.

Whites, as you noted, are from Europe. Border disputes, pillaging, and struggles to conquer and assume positions of royalty (and exact tribute on the conquered) caused individual Whites to identify with their protector nation-state. Those boundary disputes did not end in a meaningful way until the end of WWII. Even that is arguable, as shown by the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Although European states seem to have settled their boundaries, the existence of soccer hooligans shows that there are still hard feelings and rivalries.

The U.S., a country in which Jews have been offered higher levels of acceptance and assimilation (particularly in the post-WWII era) is an area of the world where they seem to have the weakest identity, as shown by the number of secular Jews and the number of Jews who intermarry,

The Irish, a white ethnic group, tend to have a strong identity due to their history of persecution by the English and religious zealots.

Persecution is the driving force for the formation and preservation of ethnic identity,

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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