“American” Is an Ethnicity!
Counter-Currents is pleased to premiere a new video presenting Greg Johnson’s classic essay “American Ethnic Identity,” which argues that the American melting pot has in fact created a unique new white ethnicity rather than a generic, nondescript white man, as some critics assert.
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Beautifully done! Kudos to everyone involved in this polished production.
This is a honey, to judge from the opening minutes. It conceptualizes things I/we have long thought about. It provides a refutation to cheap, snarky, fedora-hat, defeatist snipes.
This video is as precious as it is prescient. I look forward to future productions.
Thank you for this. I am tired of people saying there is no real “American” ethnicity.
There is an essay posted on TOO today by Tobias Langdon in which he adopts the “trans” concept for what I refer to as ethnic interlopers. Instead of “trans” women, we have “trans” British, etc. I like the formula. I think it neatly captures the artificiality in assuming one can adopt an ethnicity simply by changing zip codes–or continents.
However, regardless of how much American whites are distinct from whites elsewhere and can lay claim to a unique culture of their own (albeit borrowing heavily from the other side of the pond), this country has been so saturated with African people and culture over the last few centuries that to remove them from the concept of what constitutes an American would be an incision the size of a canyon. Exactly how do you imagine accomplishing that?
Thomas Hart Benton in the original posting is a smoking underrated painter. If you’re at the chain restaurant BJ’s they totally ganked his style for their murals.
Hmmm. I’m not so sure. I’d say it takes 500 years to form an ethnicity, at the very least. Let’s say that Americans are “on the way” to forming an ethnicity, and they will only make it to that destination if a critical mass refrains from mixing with non-Europeans. Americans may share a common culture and language, but they will not form a distinct ethnicity until a thorough-going mixing of all European strands has occurred. That requires many generations to achieve.
Perhaps there are a few old-stock Americans with 100% ancestry back to colonial times, but most Americans have some combination of colonial ancestry mixed with more recent & disparate European ancestry. Usually the more recent ancestry outweighs the true pedigree.
You have to remember that everything happened “recently” in America compared to Europe, for obvious reasons. We all know who we think of when we say “Americans”. It (ethnicity) doesn’t have to be ancient, it just exists.
It’s a strange echo of civic nationalism to say that a distinctive culture and language are all that’s required to demonstrate the existence of an American ethnicity. No, it also requires many generations of criss-crossing genes to create a genetically homogeneous American race. Again, we are “on the way” to that goal, if we persevere across hundreds of years.
Much more time than that is necessary in order to create an ethnicity. If 500 years of living together were enough to form an ethnic group, then in Spain there would be only one ethnic group. The same can be said of the United Kingdom, France, etc. Even after millennia of interbreeding, Iranians, Hindus, etc., don’t look the same in all parts of their countries.
“Our European cousins are free, of course, to disdain us as deracinated, homogenized, and cultureless….” (3:19 timestamp)
As Americans are free to think of Europeans as pretentious, conceited, and unbearably smug.
A person’s ethnicity is not related to the knowledge or lack of knowledge that the person may have about it. The fact that there are people in the United States who are confused about their real ethnicity (such as in the example of those focusing on a single surname) is obviously not an argument in favor of there being only one “American” ethnicity. Quite the contrary, it’s an argument in favor of the opposite, since it only highlights the fact that White Americans can belong to very different European ethnic backgrounds or even be composed of very different mixtures of backgrounds and, therefore, they are NOT an ethnicity. If “American” was an ethnicity, then “European” would be too. The entire White race would be an “ethnicity.”
Besides, claiming that the United States is an ethnicity is a highly imperialistic and pro-homogenization position.
Well, maybe European is an ethnic group in a sense. Maybe most, if not all, races also form pan-ethnicities or super-ethnicities. Ethnicity seems to be a loosely defined term. Is it possible to belong to multiple ethnic groups at once? Are there different levels of ethnicity? Some that are “weaker” or “stronger”? For example, an American Southerner might also think of themselves as an Alabaman. Does that mean American Southerner is not an ethnicity? Is German not an ethnicity because Bavarians exist? Is Spanish not an ethnicity because Basques and Catalonians exist? Is Chinese an ethnicity since the CCP recognizes 56 different Chinese ethnic groups? Is someone’s true ethnicity only that which is stripped down to the very core or fundamental? Does an ethnicity only exist if it cannot be divided into any further subgroups?
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