Who is white?

White nationalists believe ‘whites’ are non-Jewish people of wholly European descent – no exceptions.

Determining who is ‘white’ is a pointless exercise, as ‘whiteness’ has different meanings around the world. In countries like Australia where white Europeans colonised Indigenous lands, ‘white identity’ describes people with a white European lineage.

For many people of white European decent in Australia, being white means not having to think about what it means to be white, because they automatically belong to a majority, higher status group. In contrast, most people who do not have white European decent are very aware of what it means not to be white because it affects how they are treated every day.

White European heritage dates back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when people still believed in the biological concept of race and divided human populations into ‘sub-species’. Back then, researchers used science to prove that whites were biologically, physically and intellectually superior to non-whites, thus validating the division of society into whiteness as the dominant social norm and ‘non-whiteness’ as inferior.

Scientists do not agree on the biological basis of race. There are social differences based on race rather than biological differences.

How white nationalists use the fictional concept of the ‘white race’ to manipulate people:

  • They tell people of white European decent they are under threat
  • They tell people of white European decent that whites are the chosen elite group
  • They claim that whites have more to lose and are being discriminated against, and therefore need to protect what is rightfully theirs
  • They ‘demonise’ the non-whites by describing them as dangerous and sly, as being in conflict with people of white European decent

Why they do this:

  • They want to be more powerful by convincing more people of white European decent to join them so the groups they lead are larger and therefore more likely to get noticed
  • They want to maintain the privileges that they perceive as a natural part of the ‘white racial heritage’
  • They do not want to be confronted with what it really means to be a white person in a multicultural society. They are scared that immigration and mixed heritage will threaten their position in society (by whites not being a dominant majority anymore)
  • They hate change, difference and progress