ETHNOCENTRISM AND TRIBALISM
Psychologists have a term for having a strong ethnic identity, which is “Ethnocentrism”, meaning people are centered on their ethnicity, which is an important part of who they are. Every individual is ethnocentric to some extent, identifying with his or her ethnic group. There is probably a genetic basis for this, because for all of human history until about 10,000 years ago, humans lived in small, scattered tribal bands of a few dozens of people. These were male-dominated groups with close kinship ties that acted in many ways as military units, protecting their members and guarding their territory. Conflict between these groups was continual and could be quite bloody. Those groups that did not rally together and support their members would have been wiped out by those that did over the thousands of years of tribal warfare.
The peoples with the highest levels of ethnocentrism are in the Middle East, where societies are based on kinship. The Middle East is still very much a tribal society, and the tribe is the basic building block of nations. In this region of the world, between-group conflict often lurks just beneath the surface, and even in the past when similar groups inhabit the same areas, “the slightest spark sufficed to ignite the fuse.” We see the same ethnic conflict from the past in the Middle East today, where the populations of every nation are divided into tribal groups whose members are extremely loyal.
While not all ethnic groups have this extreme level of ethnocentricity, we all have this to some degree. Humans haven’t changed much since our tribal days, and we still have our tribal instincts. We like to belong to particular groups such as sports teams or political parties, and separate ourselves from other groups or tribes, so that it is “us” against “them”. For example, millions of people feel an affinity for a particular football team, and enjoy rooting for their team and booing the opponents. Our tribal instincts are closely linked with our sense of ethnic identity. For humans, it is completely normal and healthy to believe their group is as good as or better than another group, whether it is your sports team, political party or ethnic group. This is nothing to be ashamed of, its built into our nature and makes us who we are.
Professor Michael Levin writes, “Each group therefore finds its own standards best, and judges the rest of the world by them. How could it be otherwise? A group of people that disapproved of its own nature would suffer a spiritual dissonance not conducive to survival, and psychologists tell us that pride in one’s ethnic group is a sign of mental health”.
Jared Taylor writes, “No healthy people ever doubts its own legitimacy — or even its superiority. According to the French proverb, every nation thinks itself better than its neighbors, and every nation is right. Not even the most primitive tribe of New Guinea is likely ever to take an inventory of its characteristics to determine whether or not it should step aside so other people can take its place. No matter how squalid or degenerate they may appear to others they are, in their own minds, the finest people on earth”.
This is supported by studies that show it takes remarkably little for children to develop in-group preferences. Researcher Rebecca Bigler of the University of Texas ran an experiment in three preschool classrooms, where 4- and 5-year-olds were lined up and given T shirts. Half the kids were randomly given blue T shirts, half red. The children wore the shirts for three weeks. During that time, the teachers never mentioned their colors and never grouped the kids by shirt color.
The kids didn’t segregate in their behavior. They played with each other freely at recess. But when asked which color team was better to belong to, or which team might win a race, they chose their own color. They believed they were smarter than the other color. “The Reds never showed hatred for Blues,” Bigler observed. “It was more like, ‘Blues are fine, but not as good as us.’ ” When Reds were asked how many Reds were nice, they’d answer, “All of us.” Asked how many Blues were nice, they’d answer, “Some.” Some of the Blues were mean, and some were dumb—but not the Reds.
This natural tribalism was explored by the pioneering anthropologist William Graham Sumner, who wrote, “Loyalty to the group, sacrifice for it, hatred and contempt for outsiders, brotherhood within, warlikeness without—all grow together, common products of the same situation…Each group nourishes its own pride and vanity, boasts itself superior, exalts its own divinities, and looks with contempt on outsiders. Each group thinks its own folkways the only right ones, and if it observes that other groups have other folkways, these excite its scorn”.
Psychological research shows that people are highly prone to identifying themselves with ingroups. And once in a group, people tend to exaggerate the positive traits of ingroup members, and they exaggerate the sameness of their ingroup on these positive traits (such as “we’re smart and we have high moral standards”). On the other hand, people tend to have negative stereotypes of outgroups and are even more likely to exaggerate the extent to which outgroup members share these negative traits (such as “they’re stupid and dishonest”). Of course, in some cases, these stereotypes may have a lot of truth to them.
There is quite a bit of evidence that shows these tendencies are the same throughout cultures around the world. Studies have shown this tribalism to be present in different age groups, nationalities and social classes, even in very young children. As anthropologist Horowitz notes, “in one country after another, other ethnic groups are described in unfl attering or disparaging terms.”
We can see this in feuds between sports teams, companies and high school cliques. We can also see this in the WW2 era rivalries between the services, which often resulted in barroom brawls between soldiers and sailors. There may be no significant genetic differences involved, but just the fact that we are divided into different teams makes us think highly of our team and not so highly of the opposition. This is simply the way that humans are wired.
Because we cannot change our ethnicity, and it is something so obvious and so important, it is a natural dividing line, separating us into different tribes. It colors our attitudes, affects our behavior and greatly impacts society for all ethnic groups.
For most African Americans, race is a central part of their identity. Their view of politics, history, government, or culture is intimately bound up in a racial consciousness that sets them apart from other groups. For example, Black politicians often have a racial appeal to voters. After Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans explained: “It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans — the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans … This city will be a majority African American city. It’s the way God wants it to be. You can’t have New Orleans no other way.” Later, when he ran for reelection against a largely-white field, he warned a black audience that his opponents “don’t look like us.” Even Kenyans in Africa have a strong sense of being a great people. Barrack Obama’s Kenyan grandfather was very concerned about his African bloodline being sullied by a White woman.
This sense of racial consciousness is common throughout Asia, who are rightly proud of their traditions and ancestors. Koreans have a strong sense of “oneness” based on their shared blood and ancestry. There is a sense of racial pride for the Chinese too, who are not shy about speaking of themselves as a race.
Another example is the Japanese, who have a traditional superiority complex regarding other races. Japanese culture has an ancient mythological theme, where Japan was created by divine beings and the Japanese are the descendants of these superior creatures. When the first Westerners began arriving in Japan in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Japanese became even more convinced of their superiority in all important social and cultural pursuits. To them, the Westerners looked and often behaved like half-wild savages. They were large, hairy, often dirty, and in contrast to the exquisitely well-behaved Japanese, had the manners of uncivilized barbarians. In modern Japan, foreigners generally say they are treated well but many complain about people staring at them when they walk by. One Japanese-speaking American writer told the New York Times, “Giggly school girls on the subway will and talk about me, thinking I don’t speak Japanese, about how pink I am, how hairy.”
Part of our natural ethnocentricity means that we feel our culture has great meaning, and the culture of other ethnic groups is less important. For example, Chinese culture and important Chinese figures in history are important to those of Chinese descent, but mean very little to American Blacks. Likewise, the culture and heroes of Guatemalans means very little to Koreans, who feel their own history is of the utmost importance. It is therefore no surprise that Blacks and Mexicans tend to have little regard for European American figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Daniel Boone, who for minorities are simply “dead White males”. Blacks see much greater significance in their Civil Rights leaders, and Mexicans pride themselves in the triumphs of Mexico.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER
It is obvious from the behavior of all ethnic groups that people prefer to live amongst those that are like themselves. Across the nation, four out of five whites live outside of the cities and 86 percent of whites live in neighborhoods where minorities make up less than 1 percent of the population. In contrast, 70 percent of Blacks and Latinos live in the cities or inner-ring suburbs. Whites are still the most segregated of all racial groups, have the largest suburban presence and are most likely to own their homes. African Americans continue to be highly segregated and as Latinos and Asians gain a larger share of the population, they are becoming increasingly segregated from whites as well.
This self-imposed segregation is mirrored in numerous polls. In a 1992 study, 72% of Whites report they would be feel uncomfortable if there were blacks in their neighborhood. The same study reported that all ethnic groups prefer to live in neighborhoods with a majority of their own race.
According to the Census Bureau, the vast majority of marriages are between partners of the same race. Only 3% of whites are involved in interracial marriages. In addition, only 6% of U.S. churches are racially integrated, meaning no one group makes up more than 80 percent of the congregation.
WHY WE SEPARATE
The facts demonstrate that Whites are retreating to white enclaves where they can find a measure of psychological ease and comfort among their own kind. Part of the reason that people choose to be among those like themselves is their natural ethnocentrism. By keeping separate, parents are ensuring that their genes are passed to the next generation, which is an important survival tactic, and humans probably wish to do this at least subconsciously.
Another reason why people separate is that we have a natural fear and distrust of those unlike ourselves. There is good evidence that people have a natural fear of snakes and spiders because of our evolutionary past (those who had such fears survived, while those that did not tended to perish). Similarly, in the past, strangers entering your tribal territory might very well have hostile intentions. Those who were not distrustful and wary of different groups would soon be weeded out of the gene pool.
A quick look at the historical record shows that conflict between tribal groups has been common throughout human history. Throughout all cultures and through the ages, tribal peoples have cooperated for their defense against other groups that were competing for the same necessities such as food and shelter. This is a survival instinct, as those that worked together to do whatever was necessary to repel outsiders would have been more successful. Over countless generations, this resulted in molding the human mind to be more ethnocentric, and to develop an inborn distrust of those who are different, especially those of a different ethnic group.
This is shown by studies where White people, looking at photos of blacks triggers a fear response in the same way that pictures of snakes and spiders do. The basic procedure is to show, say, a white subject various photos (flowers, black people, white people, snakes, automobiles), some of which are followed by a mild shock. After learning what will happen when the photos are presented, subjects anticipate the shock by showing a fear response as soon as the photo is presented. Then the shock is discontinued. The results are that even after the shock is discontinued white subjects show a fear reaction to photos of blacks and snakes, but not to whites or photos of harmless things like flowers that had been paired with shocks. This is consistent with the theory that whites have a natural fear of blacks (and snakes). The fact that they quickly stop fearing the picture of a flower when it is no longer paired with a shock means that we don’t have a natural fear of flowers.
In another study, photos of people belonging to different ethnic groups were assessed by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging recordings. The results showed that the photos triggered responses in the amygdala, which is the “fear” part of the brain. For example, white subjects had a stronger amygdala response to photos of blacks than to whites when the photos were presented too fast to be noticed consciously. Under these circumstances, the photos are processed unconsciously by triggering the amygdala. These studies are evidence that there is a natural fear of different ethnic groups, and every ethnic group naturally fears those that are different.
Although we have a natural fear of those not like ourselves, we can suppress this with the frontal part of our brain known as the “pre-frontal cortex”. Two studies show that people can use their pre-frontal cortex to inhibit their naturally negative attitudes toward others. In one study, subjects were shown photos of blacks and whites while hooked up to an fMRI brain scanning machine that takes pictures of the brain in action. When the photos were shown for very brief periods—too short to be consciously processed, the fMRI showed that whites had a negative response to the photos of blacks. However, when the photos of blacks were presented for a much longer period, so that they were consciously experienced, then the difference in reaction to black and white faces decreased. This happened because the prefrontal region was activated. In other words, people who are consciously aware that they are seeing photos of blacks are able to inhibit their natural negative brain responses.
Another study had black and white subjects looking at photos of blacks and whites. fMRI scans showed that Whites activated their pre-frontal region when looking at photos of blacks, but not when looking at photos of whites. The explanation for this is that whites had a fear response toward blacks that they were attempting to prevent. If photos were labelled with “African American”, it was easier for subjects to suppress their fear response.
These studies show that Whites do have a natural fear response toward blacks, but are able to suppress this with their pre-frontal cortex. So, White ethnocentrism exists, but in an underground world of subconscious thought that we dont express openly.
This is nicely illustrated in a study that explains what happens when people confront controversial issues related to race and ethnicity. White subjects were shown pictures of a smiling interracial couple and then told that their response to the photo indicated that they were prejudiced. After being told this, subjects took much longer to respond to later photos. This is interpreted as being due to subjects trying to consciously control their responses to the photos. In other words, subjects were making a serious attempt to use their prefrontal cortex to put the brakes on their normal fear response, because it was socially unacceptable.
Young children tend to have unabashedly open bias in favor of their own race. This open race bias emerges early, as young as age three or four, peaks in middle childhood, and then undergoes a gradual decline through adolescence, and disappears in adulthood. However, there is no such decline in unspoken racial preferences, which remain strong into adulthood. There is also a decline in friendships with those of different races as children get older. White schoolchildren are much more likely to have white friends than chance expectation would account for, and this trend increases as they get older. This means that at the same time that open racial preference in white children is declining, children are becoming less and less likely to actually interact with and form friendships with children from other races. In effect, schools undergo a process of self-segregation.
And among adults, whites are significantly less likely than other racial groups to report interracial friendships and contacts. The bottom line, then, is that as children get older they become increasingly aware of the official racial ideology, and they conform to it. Their abilities to inhibit their brain using the prefrontal cortex are becoming stronger, so that they are better able to inhibit their relatively positive attitudes about their own group. They dont openly state any negative attitudes toward nonwhite groups and may even be politically liberal. But, at the same time, they are “voting with their feet” by choosing friends and companions of the same race.
And their parents are doing the same thing. While highly educated white parents tend to have liberal explicit attitudes on racial issues, including the desirability of school integration, a recent study shows that these same highly educated whites seek out schools that are racially segregated and are more likely to live in racially segregated neighborhoods. There is a positive correlation between the average education of white parents and the likelihood that parents will remove their children from public schools as the percentage of black students increases. Michael Emerson, an author of the study, is quite aware of the gap between explicit attitudes and behavior: “I do believe that white people are being sincere when they claim that racial inequality is not a good thing and that they’d like to see it eliminated. However, … their liberal attitudes about race aren’t refl ected in their behavior.”
Children’s choice of friends and parents’ choice of schools and neighborhoods reflect the raw reality of racial hypocrisy in the United States. These children and their parents are acting on their own personal desires, which is completely different than the opinions they express publicly. In effect, Whites are creating White communities, but they do not openly state that they are doing this because of their own racial preferences. Of course, to do so would result in punishment by society, which might include cries of racism and so forth.
RACIAL PREFERENCES ARISE EARLY
In September of 2005, Newsweek Magazine published an article, “See Baby Discriminate”, which discussed various studies that show that children are naturally ethnocentric. One study involved showing babies photographs of faces. Researchers found that babies will stare significantly longer at photographs of faces that are a different race from their parents, indicating they find the face out of the ordinary. This shows that children’s brains are noticing skin-color differences and trying to understand their meaning.
When the kids turned 3, researchers showed them photographs of other children and asked them to choose whom they’d like to have as friends. Of the white children, 86 percent picked children of their own race. When the kids were 5 and 6, researchers gave these children a small deck of cards, with drawings of people on them. The children were told to sort the cards into two piles any way they wanted. Only 16 percent of the kids used gender to split the piles. But 68 percent of the kids used race to split the cards, without any prompting. In reporting their findings, researchers concluded that there was certainly no sight of the “color-blindness that many adults expect.” In other words, children have an inborn recognition that race is very important.
The author of the article discussed how shocked she was that her son walked out of preschool one day and started pointing at everyone, proudly announcing, “That guy comes from Africa. And she comes from Africa, too!” It was embarrassing how loudly he did this. “People with brown skin are from Africa,” he’d repeat. He had not been taught the names for races—he had not heard the term “black” and he called us “people with pinkish-whitish skin.” He named every kid in his schoolroom with brown skin, which was about half his class. Her son’s eagerness was revealing. It was obvious this was something he’d been wondering about for a while. He was relieved to have been finally given the key. Skin color was a sign of ancestral roots.
The article also discussed a study where children of different ethnic groups were placed together in a two-week history class which centered on the racial injustices suffered by various African Americans in the past. After the 2-week class, the children were surveyed on their racial attitudes. Researchers were pleased that White children “had significantly better attitudes” that students who did not attend the class. One researcher noted that “It also made them feel some guilt. It knocked down their glorified view of white people.”
The author then discussed the question that everyone wonders but rarely dares to ask. If “black pride” is good for African-American children, where does that leave white children? According to the author, “It’s horrifying to imagine kids being ‘proud to be white.’” The author concluded that unlike minority children, there was no need for White children to be taught ethnic pride because they would “naturally decipher that they belong to the race that has more power, wealth, and control in society”.
The article also revealed that the more diverse the school, the more the kids self-segregate by race and ethnicity within the school, and thus the likelihood that any two kids of different races have a friendship goes down.
THE NATURAL TENDENCY TO SEPARATE
By Jared Taylor (2005)
It is natural for all races to wish to live separately. We see this in practically every grade school in the country. In fact, one…there are some grade schools in fact where they get seating assignments by race in the lunchroom, precisely to overcome this natural tendency to separate. I think if it’s something you find everywhere, in all ages, in all societies…And you find this say in Singapore for example, where the Chinese and the Malays, they separate from a very early age. This can only be something that is part of our nature. How could this be something taught by every society? Why is it that in practically every school in the United States, when people are left to their own devices, when it’s playing together at recess or eating together in the lunchroom, the blacks, the whites, the Hispanics, the Asians, they all separate themselves out? : The lines tend to draw themselves more or less naturally.
In Iceland for example, Iceland wants Iceland to be Icelandic, and they don’t really encourage immigration from anywhere. And if that’s their choice, I say God bless them. For the Japanese, it’s the same. You could argue that Japanese could let in a certain number of Chinese, and there are a certain number of Koreans who live there already, and that they would all assimilate just fine. The Japanese don’t see it that way. The Japanese prefer that Japan remain exclusively homogenously Japanese. That is entirely their right. If there is a group of whites that really does want to live with Haitians and Guatemalans and Mexicans all mixed up in equal number, that’s fine for them too. Different people will have different choices, and my view is that when you have sufficiently large numbers of people who make similar choices, they should have the opportunity to establish a society that is convenient to their own tastes, not to be forced into the company of people in whose company they don’t wish to be.
Well, in fact, there is very clear evidence that as soon as a white neighborhood gets a certain number of Mexicans or Hispanics and in some cases blacks or even Asians, whites move out. That is excellent demonstration of they very process I am describing. We even have a phrase to describe it. It’s called “White Flight.” It’s such a dependable phenomenon that we know it by that term. You find this in places like the United Kingdom, which have had large numbers of blacks only since about the late 1940s. You find this in Canada, which has had large numbers of blacks only since about the 1950s and 60s. You find this wherever you have mixtures of ethnicity, of race. You find it in the Balkans. You find it in the Middle East. Why are the Kurds so determined to separate from the Sunnis and the Shi’ites in Iraq? Why is the Tamils and the Sinhalese don’t get along in Ceylon? Why is it that people separate, on religion, tribe, why is it the Hutu and the Tutsi want to slaughter each other? This is something that is absolutely universal. We find this everywhere, in every period in history, in every society in the world.
In most of human history, the races have not attempted to share the same territory. For that reason, racial conflict has not been something that is millennial the way tribal, religious or other kinds of conflicts are. In any society, when you try to mix races, those are the kind of cleavages that become the most pronounced. As I said before, even in a place like Canada, which only recently has become multiracial, you find neighborhoods, schools and institutions that separate on a basis of race. It’s because it is biological, it’s because it can be seen instantly, and our tribal nature immediately grasps these differences and wishes to make something of them.
Let me put it this way. Is it natural for parents to be more concerned about and love their own children more than they love the children of strangers? I think it is obvious that they do. You could try to build a society on the assumption that human beings could be trained to care for the children of strangers as much as they cared about their own children. Such a society would fail because it runs in the face of instinct. I’m saying that we have to build a society on the basis of things that are real, things that are factual. One of the things that is factual is that people care more about their own children than they care about the children of strangers. We accommodate that fact, we adjust to that fact. We build our society in accordance with that fact. We would have a much more successful society if we also recognize that people have a tribal sense that makes them more attracted to people who are like themselves, not just linguistically, not just religiously but also racially.
I think that it is folly to try to build a society that flies in the face of everything we know about history and everything we know about human nature. People have been conscious of race ever since classical times. The Arab traders in Africa and the Romans were conscious of them, as were the ancient Egyptians, who depicted races quite differently in their tomb paintings. And in fact the pharaoh Seth-Trosis III, nineteenth-century B.C., he even set up a stone marker, a stone marker at one of the headwaters of the Nile, saying no blacks were to come past that point because he was conscious of racial differences and he wanted blacks out of Egypt. Race is a biological fact that people would be fools not to notice.
Even if the anti-racists are correct, and American society is just seething with anti-black or anti-Hispanic racism, and even if there are barriers set up everywhere blacks or Hispanics turn. This suggests that despite decades and decades of every institution in America preaching against this, militating against this, advocating against it, it’s something that persists. Why don’t we then recognize that if it is something that is so durable, so deeply engrained in the wicked white man’s mind or brain, why don’t we just let him go away?
As late as 1921, Vice-President-elect Calvin Coolidge wrote an article on immigration called “Whose Country Is This?” in the popular women’s magazine Good Housekeeping. He argued that “There are racial considerations too grave to be brushed aside for any sentimental reasons. Biological laws tell us that certain divergent people will not mix or blend. The Nordics propagate themselves successfully. With other races, the outcome shows deterioration on both sides. Quality of mind and body suggests that observance of ethnic law is as great a necessity to a nation as immigration law.” Not only the white but the Northern European racial identity of the nation could thus be publicly affirmed by a leading national political figure in a widely read magazine as late as the 1920s.
If the United States is going to rid itself of all racism, people like Calvin Coolidge will have to be taken down and branded as bigots. But Abraham Lincoln has to go as well, and so must Theodore Roosevelt and the leaders of the American Colonization Society and the framers of the 14th Amendment and so must virtually every other president and public leader in American history.
The American nation as the product of its past. Race is something very real, and we must understand that people are tribal, and prefer to be around those of their own kind. When people such as President Clinton tell us that “we literally can live without in effect having a dominant European culture.
We want to become a multiracial, multiethnic society,” they are living in a fantasy world. I believe in complete freedom of association and I think that given freedom of association, people will make good, normal, natural, healthy choices, by and large, to be with people who are like themselves.
White Flight is the predictable trend wherein whites flee urban communities as the minority population increases, and move to other places such as suburbs. White Flight is a common phenomenon non only in the United States, but throughout the European world. In America, Hispanics and African Americans bring crime, drugs and host of other problems into neighborhoods. Whites react by fleeing those areas, in the attempt to find decent and healthy places to raise their families. Whites also prefer living among their own ethnic group, and show this by voting with their feet. It is very costly to move to a segregated neighborhood with high property values, but there is no real alternative for people seeking a secure and livable environment.
Untold millions of White families have been forced to flee increasingly non-White cities in the past decades. One example is the city of Pennsauken, Pennsylvania. Angela Freeman moved there to teach in the 1980s. She noticed that White parents and administrators always talked about the school changing. Freeman said. “One day I said, ‘What do you mean?’ and there was silence. But I knew what they meant.” In 1980, white residents accounted for 91 percent of Pennsauken’s population. By 2000, 60 percent of the town’s 36,000 residents were white. In those 20 years, there had been a doubling of minority residents, drawn by the same relatively low property taxes and proximity to Philadelphia that had attracted families for decades. According to a 2008 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, the township’s white population has declined by 22 percent since 2000. “When you see the low property values, you can figure people of color are living there,” a planning consultant said. “It’s troubling when you have an overwhelming number of one particular race buying in a place. That’s the sign of moving toward segregation.”
In the 1950s and 1960s, the real estate business practice of “blockbusting” was a very important means of controlling non-white migration and aiding white flight for profit. By subterfuge, real estate agents would facilitate black people buying a house in a white neighborhood; either buying the house themselves, or via a white proxy buyer, and then re-selling it over-priced to the black family. The consequent panic among the remaining white inhabitants (aggravated by real estate agents and the local newsmedia), would psychologically coerce the remaining white inhabitants, fearing devalued residential property, to quickly sell, usually at a loss — realized when they began selling en masse — thus generating great sales commissions for the agents. In turn, the real estate agents would then sell at higher-than-market prices to the incoming black families, profiting from price arbitrage and the sales commissions from both the black and white victims of such schemes. Thereby, the racial composition of a neighborhood populace often changed completely in a few years.
Another important impetus for White Flight was the de-segregation of the school systems, which the Supreme Court dictated in 1954, against the wishes of most Whites. Following this decision, white flight rapidly altered the racial composition of public school systems. For example, upon desegregation, in Baltimore, Maryland, the Clifton Park Junior High School had 2,023 white students and 34 black students; 10 years later, it had 12 white students and 2,037 black students. In northwest Baltimore, Garrison Junior High School’s student body declined from 2,504 whites and 12 blacks to 297 whites and 1,263 blacks in that period.
Riots were also an important factor driving out Whites. In 1967, the 12th Street Riot of Detroit, Michigan, contributed to white flight, leaving contemporary Detroit more than 80 percent black, and most of its suburbs, including Livonia, Dearborn, and Warren, overwhelmingly white.
In Southern California, white flight from Los Angeles began before the racial Watts Riots in 1965, but the riots appear to have increased the pace of flight. Likewise, the 1992 riots spurred both black flight and white flight from the city. In California and in the rest of the western U.S., Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority; as their communities increased in size, Whites left for the suburbs in droves.
As sociologist Kevin Kruse notes in his book White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism, race is never referred to in the discussion for the underlying reasons for White Flight. Instead, white flight tends to be expressed as opposition to the federal government, the welfare state, taxation, and perceived moral dangers like abortion and homosexuality. But at least subconsciously, the desire to live in an ethnic community is rooted in our natural ethnocentrism, our aversion for different ethnic groups and our desire to live among our own kind.
This desire is shared by all ethnic groups. For example, Rosalyn Bates is an African American, living in Bronzeville, a black neighborhood. A clinical therapist, she and her attorney sister canvassed much of the city before selecting a neighborhood. “There is a comfort level being among people of your own race,” she said. “I don’t think that there was any intention of segregation behind that.”
CAN AMERICANS REALLY BE BRAINWASHED?
By Kevin MacDonald (2008)
One of the great intellectual divides is the venerable nature/nurture dichotomy. There is a great debate on how much of our human behavior is based on nature, and how much on nurture. Some believe that race is a biological reality, that people’s brains are wired to prefer people like themselves. Others believe that race does not exit, and any differences in IQ and so forth are the result of discrimination. If it weren’t for white people behaving badly, we could easily build a strong, racially diverse multicultural society where all people can live happily ever after.
Psychologists have shown that our minds process information in 2 ways. The first is “implicit processing”, which means we process information automatically and unconsciously. Say you are talking to a salesman about a used car. Without any conscious effort on your part, your brain is processing an enormous amount of information. Some parts of your brain are processing the colors and shapes of the furniture, while others are responsible for recognizing the face of the salesman and picking up on his emotional expressions. Your brain is also assessing how similar this salesman is to yourself, and, without any conscious awareness on your part, it is making you trust him more if he is more like yourself. Furthermore, if he is from a different race or ethnic group, it is flagging that fact and it is coloring your interactions with stereotypes—whether negative or positive—that your unconscious mind associates with that race or ethnic group.
These implicit programs, called “modules” are like zombies or robots. They go about their business without any conscious effort, and quite a few of them are beyond our control. A good example is the face recognition module. If I am looking at someone I know, I can’t help but recognize him. I can’t simply turn off the module. The module takes in the information from the environment and simply does its thing in a preprogrammed way.
It is important to realize that the human brain has modules related to preferring our own kind, which is known as “ethocentrism”, being centered on our ethnicity. There are several different modules that humans have that make us prefer people like ourselves and be wary of people in outgroups. It is well established that birds of a feather do indeed flock together. People tend to make friends and marry people who are like themselves on a wide range of traits, from IQ and personality, to ethnic group and even wrist size. Research has found that this flocking tendency is based on biology. Each living being wants to reproduce itself, and has the best chance of doing so if it chooses to mate with another being which is similar.
But some aspects of ethnocentrism may be learned as well. The human mind is prone to rapidly learning negative stereotypes about other ethnic groups. When these stereotypes are learned, they become triggered automatically by our brain’s implicit processing. This means that people tend to have negative stereotypes of other races and they prefer people from their own race.
The other way that the brain processes information is “explicit processing”, which involves conscious thought and language. This is the opposite of the zombie-like “implicit processing” modules our brain uses, because explicit processing is effortful and controlled. It’s the kind of processing that we use when we are solving a problem in math class, where we have to make a plan to solve the problem.
And it’s the part of the brain that takes in cultural information. When a person reads the New York Times, there a lot of explicit messages—immigration is good; people who oppose immigration are uneducated racist Neanderthals; there are no genetic differences between the races, yada, yada.
It’s easy to see that there can be conflicts between implicit processing of our ancient brain and the explicit messages one gets from the New York Times. The implicit part of the brain makes you more comfortable socializing with people like yourself. In fact, the implicit part of the brain leads white people to seek out implicit white communities — communities like NASCAR, country music, and certain kinds of rock music (like AC/DC) where the faces are pretty much all white.
White flight is one of the most significant phenomena of the late 20th century. And where are these white people fleeing to? To the suburbs where there are lots of other white people and where their children go to schools with other white children.
When asked why they are leaving, Whites usually give reasons such as increased taxes. But at the implicit level, the desire for white communities and the aversion to providing social programs for nonwhites are the overriding motivations. Each of these identities allows white people to associate with other whites without any explicit acknowledgement that race plays a role.
Indeed, the granddaddy of implicit white communities is the Republican Party. In the recent election, the Republicans received at least 90% of their votes from white people. The delegates to the Republican convention in August 2008 were 93% white, 5% Latino, and 2% black. If these were all rich white oligarchs at the Republican convention, as Jon Stewart’s Daily Show would have it, that would be one thing.
But most Republicans are not rich white oligarchs. The fact is that the Republican base is really about the Sarah Palin phenomenon—white Christians—many with small town roots in the South and West—who yearn for the America they are rapidly losing: a white America. But all of that is down deep in their brains, at the implicit level. In the upper reaches of their prefrontal cortex, they would never dream of saying explicitly that they are a party of white Americans. That would be “racist.”
The same goes for their spokesmen—although calling these people spokesmen for the Republican base is being a bit generous. “Conservative” commentators like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly studiously avoid saying anything that could be construed as “racist”. Nor do they dare to oppose the massive legal immigration that will make the Republican base a permanent electoral minority even if we stopped illegal immigration immediately. That’s because the explicit processing system is in charge, at least at the conscious level.
Here’s how it works. Implicit attitudes on race are assessed by tests like the Implicit Association Test. (You can take the test here.) Subjects are presented with photos of blacks and whites in succession and asked to pair positive or negative words (e.g., “intelligent,” “law-abiding,” “poor,” “success”) with the photos. Eighty percent of whites take longer to associate positive words with blacks than with whites. This is interpreted as indicating that whites have implicit negative stereotypes of blacks.
The interesting thing is that there is a gap between whites’ explicitly positive attitudes about blacks and their implicitly negative attitudes. Even white liberals show implicit negative attitudes toward blacks, although their implicit attitudes are less negative than those of conservatives. In fact, white liberals are more hypocritical about race than conservatives: There is a larger gap between implicit attitudes and explicit attitudes toward blacks among white liberals than among white conservatives.
What’s happening is that the conscious, explicit brain is thinking positive thoughts about blacks because it reads the New York Times. And it is suppressing the negative thoughts that are deep below the surface in the implicit part of the brain.
In one study, subjects were shown photos of blacks and whites while hooked up to an MRI machine that takes pictures of the brain in action. When the photos were shown for very brief periods—too short to be explicitly processed, the MRI showed that whites had a negative response to the photos of blacks. This procedure therefore measures implicit negative attitudes toward blacks.
However, the photos of blacks were presented for a much longer period, so that they were processed by the explicit part of the brain. The difference in negative reaction to black and white faces decreased. This happened because the prefrontal cortex and explicit processing were activated. In other words, people who are consciously aware that they are seeing photos of blacks are able to suppress the negative automatic responses produced by their ancient brain. The explicit part of the brain suppresses the implicit part.
So implicitly processed feelings and perceptions are suppressed out of conscious awareness. But that doesn’t mean they have no influence. Besides affecting responses on the Implicit Association Test, the implicit brain is seeking out white communities like the Republican Party, and it has negative gut feelings about massive non-white immigration.
This disconnect between the implicit and the explicit brain produces some interesting phenomena. Young children tend to have unabashedly explicit bias in favor of their own race. Explicit race bias emerges early, as young as age three or four, peaks in middle childhood, and then undergoes a gradual decline through adolescence, and disappears in adulthood. Quite a bit of this decline is doubtless due to active campaigns to instill the official racial ideology of the Left in schools. Multicultural propaganda permeates education, from kindergarten through college, pushed by groups of cultural Marxists such as the National Association for Multicultural Education: “NAME celebrates cultural and ethnic diversity as a national strength that enriches a society and rejects the view that diversity threatens the fabric of a society.”
However, there is no such decline in implicit racial preferences, which remain strong into adulthood. Indeed, there is also a decline in cross-racial friends and companions as children get older. White schoolchildren are much more likely to have white friends than chance expectation would account for, and this trend increases as they get older.
This means that at the same time that explicit racial preference in white children is declining, children are becoming less and less likely to actually interact with and form friendships with children from other races. In effect, schools undergo a process of self-segregation. And among adults, whites are significantly less likely than other racial groups to report interracial friendships and contacts.
The bottom line, then, is that as children get older they become increasingly aware of the official explicit racial ideology, and they conform to it. The explicit processing centers are becoming stronger, so that they are better able to suppress positive attitudes about their own race in order to conform to the demands of their teachers. At the explicit level, they are free from any negative attitudes toward nonwhite groups and may even be politically liberal or radical.
At the same time, however, they are “voting with their feet” by choosing friends and companions of the same race. And their parents are doing the same thing. I have noted that liberals show a greater gap between explicit attitudes and implicit attitudes and behavior than do conservatives. Indeed, while highly educated white parents tend to have liberal explicit attitudes on racial issues, a recent study shows that these same highly educated whites seek out schools that are racially segregated and are more likely to live in racially segregated neighborhoods. In other words, there is a positive correlation between the average education of white parents and the likelihood that parents will remove their children from public schools as the percentage of black students increases. Michael Emerson, an author of the study, is quite aware of the gap between explicit attitudes and behavior. He writes:
“I do believe that white people are being sincere when they claim that racial inequality is not a good thing and that they’d like to see it eliminated. However…their liberal attitudes about race aren’t reflected in their behavior.”
The explicit parts of their brains have been programmed to say and believe the right things. But the implicit parts of their brain are controlling their behavior. This might be cause for hope for those of us whose explicit brain is more in tune with their implicit brain. But the fact is that if explicit messages on race are repeated often enough, they start to become automatic and implicit. People can be brainwashed. This is the great hope of the cultural Marxists—that constant repetition and propaganda actually could produce what the Frankfurt School — the fons et origo of cultural Marxism in the West — called a “genuine liberal”: someone who in his heart of hearts really has the gut instincts of a cultural Marxist; a white person who prefers non-whites on an Implicit Association Test.
They have a ways to go on that. But the election of Barack Obama will probably aid the cultural Marxist onslaught on the educational system. I can’t see any principles of human psychology that would prevent them from getting there eventually. (Of course the collapse of the Soviet Union indicates that religion and national identity are harder to eradicate than Stalin thought they were, and he tried very hard.) It would probably take a 1984-like police state to do it. But quite obviously that is not seen as a drawback by its proponents.
My conclusion: The New York Times is important because it and media like it control the explicit messages on vital issues like race and immigration. The culture of critique has become the explicit culture of the West, endlessly repeated in media messages but packaged differently for people of different levels of intelligence and education. The message here is that by programming the higher areas of the brain, this explicit culture is able to control the implicit ethnocentric tendencies of white people.
The explicit culture may not be able to prevent white people from moving to white neighborhoods, and it may not prevent them from going to a NASCAR race. But it does make them supine in the face of a massive invasion of other peoples and cultures. It prevents the Republican Party from saying explicitly that they are a party of European-Americans intent on ending immigration and retaining their political majority and their cultural dominance. And it makes them cringe in horror when someone calls them a “racist”.
In attempting to find a way out of this morass, therefore, changing the explicit culture is critical. That’s why media like VDARE.COM and are so important. To paraphrase Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign slogan, it’s the explicit culture, stupid. Changing the explicit culture won’t be easy. I suggest that the first step is a psychological one: Proud and confident explicit assertions of ethnic identity and interests among white people, and the creation of communities where such explicit assertions are considered normal and natural rather than a reason for ostracism.
The fact that such assertions appeal to our implicit psychology is certainly an asset. It’s always easier to go with a natural tendency than to oppose it. And in this case, our natural preference for people like ourselves is intellectually defensible: That is, it can withstand the probing rationality of the explicit processing system. It’s the ideology of New York Times and the cultural Marxists that can’t withstand intellectual scrutiny.