Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Is there anything wrong with not wanting your culture to die out?

Asked by Demosthenes (7470points) June 25th, 2018

There’s a fine line between cultural preservation and cultural superiority (read: “racism”), but what is the line?

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32 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

How do YOU define culture?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

No. As long as your not running a country like a RISK game (trying to wipe out your competitors ).

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, as long as surviving means coexisting with other cultures.

America for the most part has been great at maintaining one’s culture and assimilating all at once.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^GA! Couldn’t have said it better.

zenvelo's avatar

The line you speak of is the difference between oppressing cultures and oppressed cultures.

An indigenous people that have been conquered in the past may work to preserve as much of their old culture, customs, and language as they can, before it dies out.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Preservation is different, from some of the thinking from nationalists. It’s also kind of unrealistic, to hope one’s specific culture will somehow go on forever. Change is inevitable.

Respecting , and coexisting, with other cultures, is (to me) more valuable than trying to hold on to some things. Plus, the world is more interesting, and better when the cultures mix. Most ethnic restaurants, are a mix of many different region’s culture.

MrGrimm888's avatar

This is also a motivating factor, in Trump, and his supporters’ thinking.
As time goes on, white people will no longer be a majority of the population. That scares a lot of them. But. Caucasians, are a minority in the world. So. It is inevitable that eventually they will be in the minority in a country that takes in any immigrants.
This fear, sometimes mixed with racism, is why they make the travel bans, and immigrants from majority brown nations such a priority.

They’re terrified, that one day the country won’t be the same as they prefer it. Nothing can really stop that though.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I don’t know anybody who feels like that. I am including my friends who support President Trump.
You are speaking on behalf of a great many people who have not indicated to you any such thinking.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Absolutely agree with you @Patty_Melt

flutherother's avatar

The reason you don’t want your culture to die out is because you have formed an emotional attachment to it often going right back to childhood. It isn’t superiority, just familiarity.

Demosthenes's avatar

@johnpowell Language, religion, traditions, laws, etc. I’m using the broadest possible definition here.

@MrGrimm888 I agree that it’s unrealistic to expect certain aspects of culture to persist forever. I think much of the issue surrounding cultural preservation and fears of culture dying out stems from people struggling to keep up with the pace of cultural change. (This does not just apply to areas where immigrants are bringing their own culture and altering the “native” culture in the process, as we know that a place’s culture can change internally). I also think some of it has to do the modern globalized internet-connected world where cultures mix and seem to “dilute” (such as the Japanese and French resistance to the English language intruding into their own languages).

With the “culture wars” being touted in the United States, I think we’re realizing that we’ve never been one monolithic culture, but two very different sides are desiring dominance rather than coexistence.

zenvelo's avatar

With the “culture wars” being touted in the United States, I think we’re realizing that we’ve never been one monolithic culture, but two very different sides are desiring dominance rather than coexistence.

The “culture war” was started by Patrick Buchanan as a call for white/evangelical dominance over the political system. And it went directly opposed to a century of US “melting pot” assimilation teachings, belief, and policy.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Patty_Melt lol, same. The reason they believe that, imo, is that it’s okay for everyone to have pride in their race and culture except plain old white folks. By golly then it’s wrong and racist and all bad…crazy times.

Demosthenes's avatar

@KNOWITALL That’s also part of what I’m getting at. Of course that probably stems from the concept of “white guilt”, with Europeans as colonizers and vanquishers of other cultures, they (some) now overcompensate by propping up non-white cultures and insisting that they have pride and maintain their cultural identity while viewing any such effort on the part of Europeans (or any “white people”) as dangerously racist or nationalist. The issue then would be determining whether efforts to preserve the culture are simply born out of love for the culture and its traditions or a xenophobic fear that it’s being “taken over” by people of different cultural backgrounds.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Again. Pride, and preservation, are vastly different than what Trump is doing.

It’s rampant, and shows a clear pattern. Combine the actions of the administration, with the repetitive racist and bigoted rhetoric from Trump and many of his administration and it’s foolish to deny. MAGA = Make America White Again.

Darth_Algar's avatar


You can have plenty of pride in your culture. There’s shortage of events, establishments, entertainments, etc celebrating Irish culture, Italian culture, German culture, etc etc etc. White pride is something else entirely.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I agree. There’s a difference in specific cultural support, and simply supporting a certain race.

For those who would counter that by bringing up say the NAACP, that’s not the same. That organization supports equality of the races, not dominance of one race over all others.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m curious. What exactly is white American culture?

MrGrimm888's avatar

^A mix of northern European, Eastern Asian, with some American Indian, and maybe bits of African DNA.

Americans are far more mixed than people in some countries.

Culture, in the case of Trumpers? Is a white utopia, circa 1950. Something that older Trumpers barely remember, and falsely romanticize as “the good ol’ days.” Something that they preach to other white people can be enjoyed again.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Wow, again with speaking out of turn on behalf of people you hate about believes and convictions you have completely misrepresented.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Patty_Melt He’s a good guy (I think), he just generalizes a lot based on his own beliefs about our beliefs.
Kinda like his comment on the NAACP, not sure many people believe his definition, since we’ve seen how works over the years.
A white utopia sounds utterly boring to me, I love cultural diversity, but it’s interesting that white people aren’t ‘allowed’ to have a culture, only a racial identity, like your heritage. Everythings about race, what happened to us just being people? I mean we have a lot of people here, at some point there had to be a limit of some kind.

Interesting read on immigration from the world.

tinyfaery's avatar

So, what is white American culture? I’m half white and the only culture I ever knew of is mayo on everything, cheese sauce on everything, jello (gag), and racism.

Now, white American culture is not Irish American, or Italian American, or German American, etc.

So, again, what is white American culture?

notnotnotnot's avatar

@tinyfaery: “So, again, what is white American culture?”


Demosthenes's avatar

There’s no such thing as “white culture”. There are cultures that are white but there’s no one “white culture” in the same way there’s no one “black culture”. There’s not a one to one ratio of culture to race.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Demosthenes Straw man argument…. I completely agree with you btw. There is no one culture for an entire race of people.

JLeslie's avatar

“White” culture is a very odd term to me. I would never use it for myself, and I guess I am white, but maybe white culture is actually WASP culture? If we are going to throw group names around. But, to be honest, I think of WASP as not being the gun carrying Republican group we see today at the base of the party. For me WASP I always thought of a more New England set that owned boats and had some money. Maybe that was an incorrect stereotype in my young mind. The term stopped being used when I was still very young.

I do think there is an American culture, and as Americans we expect some level of assimilation, which I think benefits immigrants, but we also traditionally like to celebrate and add to our country the different traditions, food, and even fashion from other parts of the world.

I tell people you have to confirm somewhat to be successful usually. A lot of people see that train of thought as xenophobic.

Eventually, if we get away from all those terms it will probably be better.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Unfortunately a lot of the sentiment you are seeing from some of the white population is a decrease in manufacturing jobs, more stay at home dad’s, etc…it’s the loss of one way of living and adapting to new ways. It’s not easy for them, they have traditionally been able to work until retirement (health allowing) being the support aka rock of the family and sole supporters.

Now with BLM, #metoo, etc…all that is changing. Now while I don’t believe in male superiority by any means, I can see it really is hurting some of them to not be the bread winners, to not be the only paycheck in the home, to not be wanted as an employee because you’ve aged out in today’s world where tech is changing so quickly.

When I think of white culture, I think of the Bobby Vinton bobby socks era myself, the American Dream generation. A case could be made for other white cultures like southern culture, which is completely different than say hip hop culture (which includes all races, as should be.)

I just don’t think there’s anything wrong with being proud of all of the accomplishments from the Constitution to the pilgrims to the great war heroes, but yet statues are removed so no one is offended, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name is taken off an award because she dared use the wrong words (in modern times) for American indians and blacks. It’s a revisionist history being crammed down people’s throats, and it’s hurtful. Yes some of it was horrible, mistakes were made, atrocities committed, but we LEARNED from it supposedly….we shouldn’t have to tear people down to build ourselves up, and that goes for all cultures and races, human beings in general.

I’m proud of who I am and my heritage, some of which probably isn’t pristine as I believe my bio father’s family owned a plantation back in the day, but I don’t, I never did and I never would. That has nothing to do with me and I’m allowed to be proud of who and what I am, just like everyone else. And I truly don’t think anyone here who is mocking and rude about it, will ever understand or get it, which is part of all the ignorant negativity here and in the world. All of life can’t be a race war people, we are one people and when we start reversing the teachings that we are one, and instead preach that everyone is great except the crappy white folks, we have problems.

MrGrimm888's avatar

As I’ve said. I’m just going by the word of the hundreds of conservatives I have been forced to converse with, in multiple professional settings. Bars, and gun counters were where they really let out their true feelings.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL When I hear white culture, I mostly think “not” black culture and in fact not “other” cultures.

Funny enough, I think a lot of black people possibly do perceive a white culture, even if they wouldn’t call it that.

After saying all of that, I don’t understand what that has to do with manufacturing jobs. How will white culture help get jobs back?

I too have some trouble with some of the revisions, but some of the things I agree with others, should be taken down, or put in museums and history text books.

Being proud of your people is fine, but focusing on that they were white is odd to me. I find much of the Midwest and South is not very attached to their country of origin, and maybe that is part of the problem. Other groups talk about their people in terms of ethnicity or national origin, which I think is more palatable. Many Southerners identify with being Southern, to the point that some if you ask where their family is from they get defensive insisting they are American. That’s rare, but I have witnessed it myself. They further distinguish by being white I guess.

I have to say, if you ask me to name what identifiers would I use to describe myself, it would not occur to me to say white. Female, Jewish, married, those pop in my head.

I think using “white culture” is like putting up the confederate flag. The people who do it may like to think there is no malice in those things, but it is received with malice. Choosing to use those terms and symbols is an affront to those who it hurts.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I’m a white male. I identify as Southern, American. I’m not very proud of my state, but I’m very proud to be a Charlestonian.

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