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The Illusive “WASP Establishment”—Again


Jamie Johnson: Desperately Seeking Status

508 words

That unusual periodical, Vanity Fair, sports a new social chronicler of our illusive “WASP Establishment.” He is young (born 1979) Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson health care fortune and producer and director of two documentaries, Born Rich (HBO, 2003) and The One Percent (2006), both touted by Oprah Winfrey on her TV show.

Though the WASP establishment—assuming, arguendo, that it ever existed—has been dead for a long time, it nevertheless retains a strange and fantastic vitality in the minds of Jews and, through them, everyone else. (Even alive, it was less than impressive. Never mind the Jews—the Irish, too, walked right over it.) In that sense, the idea of the WASP establishment bears a close resemblance to goose-stepping Nazis, Adolf Hitler, and white Christian America.

Nevertheless, it was certainly dead and buried by the time Jewish psychology professor Richard Zweigenhaft and white Marxist professor of psychology and sociology G. William Domhoff teamed up to write the comically-titled Jews in the Protestant Establishment in 1982.[1]

(Domhoff had gotten himself into hot, or at least lukewarm, water in 1967, when his first book, Who Rules America?, labeled any wealthy, powerful Jew who made his list . . . well, “Jewish.” His early books from the 1960s and 1970s, including one on the Bohemian Grove, are still worth reading.)

Anyway, Johnson’s archived Vanity Fair series can be read here: http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/bios/jamie_johnson_/search?contributorName=Jamie%20Johnson [2]

It launched with “The Decline of the Wasp Establishment,” April 30, 2008 http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2008/04/the-decline-of.html [3] and “The Rising Cachet of Declining Wasps,” May 7, 2008 http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2008/05/jamie-johnson-t.html [4] The latest installment is “Why Are Rich People So Bad at Sports?” May 19, 2009 http://www.vanityfair.com/online/style/2009/05/why-are-rich-people-so-bad-at-sports.html [5]

The series includes such titles as:

“Wasps Stung Over Renaming of the N.Y.P.L,” May 19, 2008 http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2008/05/it-is-an-act-of.html [6] (The New York Public Library was named The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building after a Jewish billionaire tycoon of finance.)

“Stoned, Stupid and Rich, Caddyshack’s Spaulding Lives on in Wasp Enclaves,” December 30, 2008 http://www.vanityfair.com/online/style/2008/12/stoned-stupid-and-rich-caddyshacks-spaulding-lives-on-in-wasp-enclaves.html [7]

Myths aren’t facts, which may be why Johnson’s articles are studded with oddities like “Nearly every member of the old Protestant establishment I have spoken with on the subject of the disintegration of their culture has brought up Ralph Lauren. To them, the success of his brand best illustrates the growing popularity of the blue-blood Americana image. The fact that Lauren is Jewish and grew up in the Bronx only reinforces the point.”

At the dawn of the grim twenty-first century, the so-called WASP elite that so fascinates obsessive Jews and others calls to mind nothing so much as James Thurber’s “The Unicorn in the Garden”:

“Did you tell your wife you saw a unicorn?” asked the police. “Of course not,” said the husband, “The unicorn is a mythical beast.” “That’s all I wanted to know,” said the psychiatrist. “Take her away. I’m sorry, sir, but your wife is as crazy as a jay bird.”

She isn’t the only one.


1. The duo later penned Blacks in the White Establishment? (1993), Blacks in the White Elite? (2003) (an extensively revised edition of the former book) and Diversity in the Power Elite (2006).

TOQ Online, May 20, 2009