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‘Rating’ ethnic groups

About a hundred years ago, a sociologist did a study of ten ethnic groups in America and rated their ‘relative social worth.’ This was during one of the peak periods of immigration, and nativist tendencies were very much alive then, despite the already-ongoing efforts to promote the ‘melting pot’ and the ‘all one happy family’ sentiment.

Today such a study would be unlikely to be done, unless it was commissioned specifically to paint immigrants in the most favorable light and to convince any skeptics out there to get with the program and celebrate diversity. After all, Latinos are hard workers with good family values, just doing the jobs that you lazy White folks won’t do.

As to the study, done by H. B. Woolston, the ratings of ten ethnic groups went as follows:

  1. Native-born White Americans
  2. Germans
  3. English
  4. “Polish and Russian Hebrews”
  5. Scandinavians
  6. Irish
  7. French-Canadians
  8. Austrian Slavs
  9. South Italians
  10. Negroes

The term “Polish and Russian Hebrews” is the language used in the study.

The sociologist who did this study notes the results with some dismay, remarking that there was, to use today’s lingo not enough ‘diversity’, a “lack of Negroes, Slavs, or Latins” among the study’s observers, so there may have been some ‘Anglo-Saxon prejudice’ at work there, according to the author.  Obviously Woolston was a relativist who thought that applying our standards measured only conformity to our standards of excellence. But wouldn’t the ‘Hebrews’ who rated #4 also have suffered from being judged by alien ‘Anglo-Saxon’ or Teutonic standards?

Obviously those who succeeded in our society were likely to be those from cultures closest to us, and their cultures would be similar because we are genetically similar. The top three ethnicities are more closely related, after all.

Can a study like this be truly objective? Everybody brings some degree of bias to making assessments like this; I’ve noted with some impatience that most White Americans have ‘favorite minorities’ for whom they plead, arguing that this or that group ‘make good Americans’, or ‘they are hard workers’, or in the case of East Asians, the argument is always that ‘they have high IQs and are not crime-prone’.

And then of course there is the more natural bias towards believing our own ethnicity to be preferable to all others, or to have accomplished more, or whatever. Some peoples have pride, apparently,  in claiming victimhood, recognizing the value and the power of victimhood in our ‘oppressor-vs.-victim’ hierarchy.

A study like this one, judging “relative social worth” of various immigrant groups is just too politically incorrect, and even apart from the open-borders, ‘we’re all one race, the human race’ crowd, many people on the right would be irate if their particular ethnic group (or groups) were not at the top of the list.

On a side note, I was reading a thread at Steve Sailer’s blog about ethnic cleansing or ‘White flight’, and someone mentioned the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Whites from Vancouver, B.C., while someone countered that Whites weren’t fleeing their Chinese replacements in Vancouver; after all nobody fears the Chinese because they are not a danger. I would disagree with that. Regardless of whether a group of people is a direct physical threat, the fact that they have a drastically different way of life, and that they change your familiar hometown surroundings beyond recognition, is significant. Nobody, at least nobody with normal feelings, wants to live in a neighborhood where an utterly foreign language is spoken, and people have different customs, habits, and etiquette. I don’t think the most ardent xenophiliac would want to be the ‘only White’ left in his former neighborhood.

As to the Chinese and other Asians having low-crime culture, well, there is crime, and there is crime. They may not be prone to violence (however,  see the story of the Wah Mee Social Club), and then there are Asians, and Asians. East Asians, or Northeast Asians, are not the same as South Asians or Southeast Asians, or West Asians. We too often think of the model minority in connection with all Asians, though the stereotype was based on the behavior of Japanese-Americans specifically.

Returning to the list of ethnic rankings, we might think that the America of 100 years ago was lucky in that most of the immigrants of that day were European at least, but the increasingly diverse European immigrants were getting us accustomed to more exotic cultures and peoples. I am convinced that it was always the plan to open the country to people from every continent and people; they just ‘warmed up’ with European groups, and actually by the turn of the 20th century there were waves of Asian immigration, especially to the West Coast. I think the idea was to do all this by degrees, gradually conditioning us to the idea that America was a place where anybody and everybody seeking ‘Freedom’ or a ‘better life’ could rightfully come.

Now, ‘relative social worth’ seems to have been thrown out the window, and the more dysfunctional and divergent from our culture a group is, the more they seem to be sought out by those who make policy for our country.

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