To many Americans, being patriotic means being white

… Within the social science literature on intergroup relations, Jim Sidanius and Felicia Pratto’s influential theory of social dominance argues that politically dominant groups — like whites in the United States — effectively claim “ownership of the nation.” According to this theory, “nationality and ethnicity are complementary because their power has enabled whites to successfully define the prototypical American in their own image.”

Consistent with that contention, social psychology research finds that for many “to be American is implicitly synonymous with being white.” Moreover, whites who feel a sense of solidarity with other whites have historically felt more strongly attached to such symbols of patriotism as the national anthem and the American flag. CONT.

Michael Tesler (UC Irvine), Monkey Cage