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November 20, 2017

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Debunking the myth of a ‘country for white people’

RECENTLY there was an interview with one of the “white nationalist” spokespersons in the United States. That person emphasized that “most of us are not racist, but we just want our own country, a place for white people.”

Hmm. “Not racist” but wanting a “country for white people.” A bit of a conundrum here.

But there is another problem: just exactly what does a “white” country or culture mean? What would it look like?

OK, I understand that apparently no person of color would be allowed to live there, which excludes the majority of the world’s people (everyone south of the equator and east of, say, Russia, forget about it). But could they visit? Perhaps tour the place? This is unclear.

But there is an even more basic question: which “white culture” do these people want?

Would this be all white people, or, say, just those from northern and Western Europe, those whose skins have not acquired the, uh, hue that many near the Mediterranean have. Of course, the Irish might not qualify even then, as my people have a history of being trouble-makers and, besides, our faith tradition is Catholic, not the favored Protestantism of most white nationalists in the US.

Would there be a religious test or hierarchy involved in selecting the “best” of the “whites”? A language test or ranking?

Who decides who is white?

Does “whitehood” include Poles, Slavs, Turks? Who would decide? And just how would a white nationalist country react to a US that excluded them because they were not the “right kind” of white?

But let us drill down even a little deeper into the myth of “pure” cultures. Do such even exist anymore? Perhaps in the deepest, darkest reaches of the Amazon where isolated, yet to be discovered tribes have not yet run into (what we so humorously like to call) “civilization.”

But in this fantastically interconnected world, in which the variously colored people of this planet have mingled for millennia, how can anyone insist there is a pure anything any more?

Now take my ancestors, the Irish, for example.

This small island has been overrun by stronger peoples since time immemorial; conquered, despoiled, and compelled to serve all sorts of “white” people, and their women raped and impregnated by all of these other folk. So what in the world does “pure Irish” mean?

There have also been more peaceable unions between different peoples forever, too. Why — hold onto your hats, white nationalists — even those of us today who are descended from the ancient, noble whites of Europe have perceptible traces of — gasp — Neanderthal in our DNA. Sadly for those who search for “purity,” it seems clear that even farther back than the late Neanderthals all of today’s humans are descended from people who originated in deepest, darkest Africa.

Does not all of this suggest that it is more than a tad idiotic to focus on the color of our epidermis, rather than the largeness of our hearts and the beauty of our spirits? I am one old white dude who would definitely not want to live in anybody’s idea of a “white country!”


The author was a member of the Iowa State House of Representatives and also served in the Iowa executive branch. He retired in 2004. Shanghai Daily condensed the article.


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