Seventy-five percent of whites feel close to their ethnic group or race: GSS respondents were asked: "How close do you feel to your ethnic or racial group?" The answer choices were "very close," "close," "not very close," and "not close at all." I calculated the percent who said "very close" or "close."
Percent who are close or very close to own ethnic/racial group (N = 1,893)
Puerto Rican 87.5
All Americans 78.5
All whites 75.5
I'm not the least bit surprised that non-whites and Jewish Americans overwhelmingly feel close to their ethnicity, but look at everyone else. Would you have expected over three-quarters of whites to say they feel close to their ethnic group or race? You might not be stunned to see Irish Americans feeling that way about the Irish, but Americans of English, Scottish or German descent feeling close to their race?
I say race because I've shown in a previous analysis that fewer than 5 percent in these groups consider their ethnicity important. As much as I admire England, I would answer the question for myself thinking about the white race. I completely agree with the pretty black girl in my class who said, in response to our discussion of ethnicity among whites, "I don't know anything about English or German or Italian--you're all just white to me."
Evidently, the wording of this question was just right in order to pull out a race-conscious response from whites. "Not very close" or "not close at all" sound like what you would say about an estranged relative. While whites are not race-loyal like blacks, most are not prepared to say they are estranged from their race.
I take this as evidence of the implicit whiteness that Kevin MacDonald talks about. The proper question can tease out an unconscious affection whites feel for their group. Affection by some whites might be ethnic, as in the case of many Jews, but for many it's racial. Only a small percentage think actively and deliberately in terms of race, but if asked to think about it, only SWPL-types feel they must reject their own group.
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