White Anxiety and Fearing Immigration     

My prior post about the U.S. need for immigrants also mentioned the fear many Americans have of immigration. Although I favor immigration, I did not make explicit one of the reasons why many white Americans fear immigration.

Now Pat Buchanan has made it explicit. Last week on the Laura Ingraham show when he said that the demographic danger facing whiteness “is the great issue of our time. And, the real question is whether Europe has the will and the capacity, and America has the capacity to halt the invasion of the countries until they change the character — political, social, racial, ethnic — character of the country entirely.” He added, “You cannot stop these sentiments of people who want to live together with their own and they want their borders protected.”[1]

Buchanan expanded on this point on his blog, “The existential question, however, thus remains: How does the West, America included, stop the flood tide of migrants before it alters forever the political and demographic character of our nations and our civilization?”[2]

This prompted the New York Times columnist Charles Blow, an African-American man, to observe: “Make no mistake here, Buchanan is talking about protecting white dominance, white culture, white majorities and white power.”

According to Blow, we are seeing “white extinction anxiety, white displacement anxiety, white minority anxiety.” Some white Americans have “conflated America with whiteness, and therefore a loss of white primacy becomes a loss of American identity.”

This fear, says Blow, underlies many aspects of the Trump Administration: “immigration policy, voter suppression, Trump economic isolationist impulses, his contempt for people from Haiti and Africa, the Muslim ban, his rage over Black Lives Matter and social justice protests. Everything.”


[1] Blow, White Extinction Anxiety, N.Y. Times  (June 24, 2018).

[2] Buchanan, Trump and the Invasion of the West (June 19, 2018)

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

5 thoughts on “White Anxiety and Fearing Immigration     ”

  1. It is, of course, true that most people prefer to be among others who are like themselves. (This is less true of the well-educated.) You can see this by going to the cafeteria at any college campus, and noting whether students sit together based on, say, their major, or their race.

    This preference may seem irrational, but a look at the world today will reveal that in many countries — particularly in Third World countries — what tribe you are member of can be a life or death distinction, if you find yourself among Others.

    A related consideration is this: if the United States were to slowly become majority Japanese, whites (and other non-Japanese) might not feel entirely comfortable about it, but there wouldn’t be any reason to think conditions of daily life would deteriorate, in terms of crime, social disorder, or state corruption.

    But looking at the Third World, I think that many Americans fear that massive immigration of people from the Third World would bring the conditions of the Third World.

    Of course, America itself is not free of areas where there is a high level of violent crime and social dysfunction — just see the South Side of Chicago. But that just reinforces the case.

    If this reality cannot be faced and addressed, we must expect many Americans to agree with Pat Buchanan.

  2. This post nails the issue, as do Buchanan’s comments. This is a very dangerous phenomenon, particularly with a president who identifies and knows no moral boundaries.

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