How should we talk about white majorities?

Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Politics, argues that we need to talk about white majorities and do so with understanding in his new book, Whiteshift.

Across the West, anti-immigration populists are tearing a path through the usual politics of left and right. Immigration is remaking Europe and North America; over half of American babies are non-white, and by the end of the century, minorities and those of mixed race are projected to form the majority in most Western European countries. The left-right distinction is being overshadowed by a culture war pitting whites who dislike diversity against those who embrace it. Ethnic transformation will continue, but conservative whites are unlikely to exit quietly; their feelings of alienation are already redrawing political lines and convulsing societies across the West.

Drawing on detailed and extraordinary survey, demographic and electoral data and enriched with illustrative stories, Whiteshift explores the majority response to ethnic change in North America and Western Europe. Eric Kaufmann, a leading expert on national identity and ethnic change, calls for us to move beyond empty and partisan talk about national identity and open up debate about the future of white majorities. He argues that we must move past the dominant storyline of ever-increasing diversity to enable conservative whites and liberals alike to see a positive future in “whiteshift” – a new story of majority transformation through intermarriage that can help lift anxieties and heal today’s widening political divisions.

Professor Kaufmann has been researching immigration, religion, and national identity for over twenty years. A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, he was born in Hong Kong and spent eight years in Tokyo, and is now Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London. His previous books include Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? and The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America.


One thought on “How should we talk about white majorities?

  1. Kevin Coyle

    This email is for Eric Kaufmann

    Greetings! Today I read a piece you wrote for Newsweek magazine in which you argued that the US media is driving false impressions that racism is rising in the US. I congratulate you on your ability to make white liberals seem like fools, but I still think you missed some important points.

    Don’t you think people tend to believe either what they want to believe or what they think they should believe. Could it be that the liberals want to believe that they are “woke,” and that this is what persuaded so many to believe that police officers kill more people in this country than auto accidents do, despite the improbable math of such a belief?

    Many (but not all) Trump supporters may want to publicly play down or mask the issue of racism, and so would select autos, not cops, as the most comfortable answer for them to choose.

    Also, I’m not so sure the autos vs. guns question really probes whether racism is rising in the US. The numbers of people affiliated with rightist militias is staggering. What is that about if not about rising racism?

    Maybe you could poll Trump supporters, ask them how many guns they have in their homes, and if they have more than three, ask them of whom they are so afraid. Perhaps that would be revealing.

    Or ask people from both left and right the following: do you think we have too much racism in the US, too little or just the right amount? That would give us all a wealth of new information to ponder.

    Let me say that in talking to hundreds of people involved in organizing various protests over the last 50 years, I find that a very large percentage are strongly motivated to use protest to influence the mass media. In the case of Black Lives Matter and their allies, they have been astoundingly successful. So even though liberals react to the news media without getting the details straight, the cause has been advanced, while the media pursues its usual goals of pleasing its readers, listeners and viewers.

    One way for a relatively objective check up on the degree of racism in the US is to look up statistics by race on longevity, education levels, income levels, child mortality, etc. to see if those signs of systemic racism are getting better of worse. I did that about 25 years ago and was surprised that American Indians and Native Hawaiians were statistically worse off than Black people, though Black people were clearly much worse off than white Americans


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