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Is White Nationalism Un-American?


John Singleton Copley, Portrait of Paul Revere, 1768

1,500 words / 10:54

French version here [2]

Audio Version: To listen in a player, click here [3]. To download the mp3, right-click here [3] and choose “save link as” or “save target as.”

Many patriotic Americans object to White Nationalism because they are told it is “un-American.” America, they say, was always a multiracial society, dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.” Therefore, the White Nationalist idea of a society that bases citizenship on race is alien to the American tradition. 

This viewpoint is false, based on a systematic misrepresentation of American history.

First of all, the claim that the United States is dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal” is simply untrue. The phrase “all men are created equal” comes from the Declaration of Independence of 1776. Whatever the intended meaning of this rhetorical flourish, its author, Thomas Jefferson, and many of the signatories, evidently did not think it was inconsistent with owning Negro slaves. In fact, “all men are created equal” was simply the republican denial of the principle of hereditary monarchy and aristocracy. The intended meaning, however, is moot because the Declaration may well be an important historical document, but it is not a legal document of the United States.

The Constitution of the United States was written in 1787, ratified in 1788, and went into effect in 1789. It contains not a word about universal human equality, but it does prohibit a hereditary aristocracy. The Preamble makes it clear that the Constitution was created and ratified by white men to provide good government for themselves and their posterity, not all of mankind. The Constitution treats Indians as foreign nations, allows Negro slavery, and defines free and enslaved blacks as non-citizens, each one counting as only three-fifths of a person for the purposes of Congressional representation.

The claim that America is “dedicated to the proposition” of human equality comes from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which, like the Declaration, is a fine piece of rhetoric, but it is not a legal document of the United States either. Lincoln’s claim that America is dedicated to the “proposition” of equality is the epitome of the Left-wing revisionist tradition in America, which has taken a line from the Declaration, inflated it with a great deal of rhetorical hot air, and set it up as the first and final commandment of an egalitarian civil religion. This civil religion has no constitutional basis. But that has proved to be no impediment. A piece of paper still remains enshrined in Washington, D.C. But the Constitution’s inegalitarian, particularist, and libertarian order has simply been replaced with a Jacobin-style state committed to realizing the idea of universal human equality.

Second, the claim that America was always a multiracial society — with whites, American Indians, and blacks present from the start of English colonization — is fundamentally false. From the beginning of the colonial period well into the history of the United States, there was a consensus that blacks and American Indians — and later mestizos and Orientals — might be “in” white society, but they were not “of” it. They were foreigners, not fellow citizens. They had no say about the character and destiny of white society.

The colonial consensus that blacks and Indians were not part of white society was reflected in the Constitution. It was further elaborated in the Naturalization Act of 1790 [4], which defined who could become a citizen of the United States. Naturalization was limited to free white persons of good character. This excluded American Indians, indentured servants, free and enslaved blacks, Muslims, and later, Orientals.

From the start, American Indians were considered distinct, sovereign nations. American Indians who did not live on reservations could become citizens only with the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. Citizenship was granted to all American Indians only by the Indian Citizenship Act [5] of 1924. To this day, however, most Indians in effect enjoy dual citizenship, since they belong to tribes which still have special rights granted to them by treaties with the US government.


John Singleton Copley, Head of a Negro Slave

Blacks, whether slaves or free, were not considered to be part of white society in the colonial period or under the constitution until the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1868. The Naturalization Act of 1870 [7] allowed foreign-born blacks, primarily from other parts of the Americas, to become US citizens.

Chinese immigrants began arriving in the 1840s, and their presence almost immediately created a backlash. White Americans objected to Chinese economic competition, drug use, criminality, and all-round alienness.

Soon an Asian exclusion movement arose to cut off Chinese immigration and freeze the Chinese out of American society. The vanguard of Chinese exclusion came from the labor movement, which saw that big business interests were importing coolies to depress white wages and living standards. California was the front line of the Chinese invasion and the white reaction, which was often violent. The Chinese exclusion movement was led by the California Workingmen’s Party, founded by Irish immigrant Denis Kearney, who obviously didn’t fall for the idea that all immigrants are equal. (See Theodore J. O’Keefe’s “Denis Kearney and Struggle for a White America [8]” and Raymond T. Wolters, “Race War on the Pacific Coast [9].”)

[10]Because of exclusionist agitation, Chinese immigration was reduced, then completely barred for ten years by the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which was renewed in 1892 and again in 1902 and extended to people from Hawaii and the Philippines. Chinese exclusion was again reaffirmed by the Immigration Act of 1924. Chinese born in America were not considered citizens until 1898 [11], and it was only in 1940 that naturalization was opened to people of Chinese, Philippine, and East Indian descent, as well as descendants of the aboriginal peoples from other parts of the Western Hemisphere, meaning Indians and Mestizos from outside the United States. Chinese exclusion was only overturned by Congress in 1943, as a wartime gesture toward China.

But even with all of these concessions to non-whites, US immigration and naturalization law was explicitly committed to maintaining an overwhelming white majority until the 1965 immigration act threw open America’s borders to race-replacement immigration from the Third World.

[12]The 1965 Immigration Act, like the long history of extending citizenship to non-whites that came before it, was imposed by political elites against the will of the white majority. Such measures would never have been approved if the public had been allowed to vote on them in referendums.

Furthermore, extending legal citizenship to non-whites did not in any way alter the deep conviction that real Americans are white, and the naturalization of non-whites came with the expectation that they would live according to white norms. Non-white citizens faced numerous forms of legal and social discrimination, subordination, and segregation well into the twentieth century.

Thus, although it is true to say that non-whites have always existed within the borders of what we now call America, throughout most of American history, they have been excluded from citizenship or consigned to second-class citizenship and forced to conform to white cultural norms.

[13]The American tradition of excluding and subordinating non-whites is, of course, portrayed as violent, evil, irrational, petty, and mean-spirited by our education system and culture industry, which are firmly in the hands of the Left. But Americans had their reasons. They recognized that race is real, that the races are different, and that different races are more comfortable in different forms of society. They recognized that any attempt to incorporate non-whites into American society will result in conflict as non-whites demand that white society accommodate them, and whites push back to protect their own way of life. In short, they knew all along precisely what White Nationalists — and white Americans in general — are now learning from bitter experience from the failure of egalitarianism, racial integration, and non-white immigration.

If, dear reader, you truly are an American patriot, if you take your bearings from the American Founding (the real Founding — the Constitution — not the egalitarian afflatus that has replaced it), then it behooves you to learn something about what the founders and subsequent generations of statesmen and sages actually thought about race. I suggest you begin with Jared Taylor’s classic article, “What the Founders Really Thought About Race [14].” I also suggest that you pick up S. T. Joshi’s Documents of American Prejudice: An Anthology of Writings on Race from Thomas Jefferson to David Duke (New York: Basic Books, 1999), which documents a long and illustrious tradition of American race realism, as well as its editor’s Left-wing prejudices.

Even many White Nationalists are surprised to learn how sensible earlier generations of Americans were. This makes America’s reversal and decline all the more shocking, but ultimately it is cause for hope, for it reveals deep foundations upon which we can build. Far from being “un-American,” White Nationalism is actually the legitimate heir of the healthiest strands of the American tradition.

But unlike previous generations of race realists, who were confused by commitments to classical liberalism, corrupted by the allure of the cheap-labor plantation economy, and too easily contented with half-measures that ultimately failed to preserve America for their posterity, White Nationalists aim at a permanent solution: the repatriation of post-1965 immigrant populations and the partition of the United States into racially homogeneous homelands.