What's the difference between National pride and Racial pride?

Apart from the technical obvious difference(s) i.e. they are pride in different ‘things’, what is the moral difference between the two? To me they seem the same. Pride in a group of people you share something in common with through no fault of your own.

P.S. I am not posting this from a high-horse. I do admit to some national pride. I like to seen England win the Cricket, win football games, get a few golds at the olympics.

You can choose to live in another nation, while you can’t choose to change your race.

And your race is a biological pre-condition that’s neither good or bad. More often than not, your nationality is an ideal, a concept or a set of values you like and identify with. For example, I don’t think there’s anything cool or noble about being white. But I do think that there’s plenty to be happy about for being an American, and a responsibility to live up to the ideals on which the country was founded. I used to think of being American as an accident of my birth, but now I recognize it as a privilege and a responsibility.

One difference is that national identity is more of a real thing than racial identity. Anthropologists today question whether “race” is a concept with any scientific relevance at all. National identity is psychologically important – what country you were born and raised in, what language you speak, your social environment, the national stories and family stories you’re raised on, all go into forming your personality. In most countries, it is very easy for natives to spot foreigners – by their speech and behavior, not their appearance.

I’d say national pride can be merited, while racial pride cannot. I don’t think there’s anyone who acheived something specifically because they’re white/black/other, although there are certainly people who achieved things because of the social ramifications of their race. But there are reasonable grounds to be proud/ashamed of a particular national history and framework.

Of course, they both share the common fallacy of extending the general to the specific, because an individual who expresses his pride in his nationality is by no means exemplary of the grounds for his pride.


But in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations
He remains an EnglishMAAAAAN!


Not that simple – you can become a naturalized citizen of another country, but you will always be part of the ethnocultural nation of your homeland – unless you left at very, very early age.

We’ve been discussing questions of national identity (among many other things) in this thread – http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=269293 – and on that question I offered the following quotation from The Next American Nation: The New Nationalism and the Fourth American Revolution by Michael Lind (The Free Press, 1995), Chapter 7, “Liberal Nationalism: The Trans-American Melting Pot”:

Those are all good answers. But what about the very basic national pride that makes you root for your country for no other reason than it’s your country? Isn’t that the same as ‘rooting’ for your race?
You don’t root for America in the olympics because it’s the world power/ land of the free/ successful. You root for it because it’s America and you are American, just as I root for England or Britain, and an Irishman roots for Ireland.
And yes you can choose to live in another nation, but your identity is based largely on where you were born. You can’t choose where you were born. This is what I mean by “no fault of your own”. P.s. it’s easy to say you can choose to live in another country, but it’s not really practical. And national pride, which you are likely to posess due to your birth there, is also likely to hinder your moving elsewhere. I hope I am making a point of some kind.

To a degreee. But there’s no need to limit that to these two, you can pile it all under self interest.

Certainly, good old fashioned totemism. I am American. Thus if America wins the decathalon, I have to some degree won the decatholon. My country produced the winner, that means that we (but most especially I) am stronger and faster than the other countries.

False, stupid, but a part of human psychology since the caveman days when there weren’t idle competitions, just the kind that governed mating and survival. If you rcave kills the mammoth before the cave over the hill, you get to eat, and eventually their women will come wandering over.

OK, here’s an important difference: Racial pride is even more dangerous than national pride.

Nations might go to war over national pride, like France and Germany in WWI, and cause enormous destruction – but that kind of thinking does not require the complete extermination of the enemy population. Achieving a result you can call “victory” is usually enough to satisfy the national pride.

But when one group of people decides to hate another based on a perceived difference in what they identify as their racial identity – that leads to genocide. Like the Holocaust, when the Nazis decided the Jews were an alien and fundamentally evil race and had to be eliminated. Or Rwanda, when the Huttus and Tutsis, who look very much alike to outsiders, decided they couldn’t share the same country any more. Or Bosnia or Kosovo or . . . you get the idea. What would have happened in South Africa if a civil war had broken out while apartheid was still in place? A multi-sided genocidal war, most likely – Afrikaners vs. Bantus vs. Coloreds, Zulus vs. everybody, no quarter for enemies and no mercy for captives. The racist Lothrop Stoddard, in his 1920 book The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy, did make one valid point: “Genuine race-war is war to the knife.”

Not necessarily. I mean, look at what happened to black Americans in the US. There was no mass extermination or genocide. I’m sure quite a few whites wouldn’t have minded genocide, but there’s no reason to think this would have happened in the absence of the civil rights movement.

For many racists, the “victory” doesn’t have to be complete extermination of the “inferior” race. They will be satisfied with exploitation and humiliation, or simply segregation. I’m sure there were many Germans who felt the Nazis had gone way overboard, while still holding much hatred for Jews. The Holocaust was not inevitable.

National pride and racial pride aren’t always clear-cut. Many Americans hold negative feelings towards Mexican immigrants, for instance. Are these feelings the result of racism or nationalism? What about the feelings many have towards Middle Easterners and Muslims?

In modern times, it would be unacceptable for a nation to conquer another one through anihilation, but that doesn’t mean that nationalism cannot or has not led to this. Look at Israel. If it weren’t for the myriad of outside spectators constantly glued to the situation, do you think Israel would have the restraint that it has displayed? Or, to go back to the US, look at what happened to the Native Americans. They were wiped out because of nationalism at its worse.

I’d rather meet a nationalist than a racist, though. With true nationalism, one can become a part of “us” simply by adopting our culture, speaking the language, and being outwardly patriotic. If a foreigner can’t enjoy inclusion after immigration, at least his/her children can. But a hardened racist will never permit an escape clause for inferior races.

Tell that to Michael Jackson.

National Pride is inclusive of all people of all races.

Racial Pride is devisive amongst people.

Our family members are black, white, and biracial. All members are proud to be part of the AdoptaMom family (National Pride) and should be proud of their race too as long as that pride doesn’t divide our family or interfere with the global family pride.

I’m not wording this as smoothly as it is in my head, but I’m going to leave it and hope that y’all get the gist of my meaning anyway.

Now, playing Devil’s Advocate here… isn’t the opposite just as true?

National Pride is inclusive of all people [in the same country] of all races.
Racial Pride is inclusive of all people [of the same race] in all countries.

National Pride is divisive amongst people.
Racial Pride is divisive amongst people.

Hmmm … I interpretted the OP to be referring to one country/nation.

Still, even examining it from a global perspective, I believe national pride must stand on higher ground than racial pride because most all nations are represented by many races, but no singular races live in one nation.

One of my hot buttons…how can you be ‘african’ american if you and the preceeding 3 or 4 generations were born in the US? As far as I am concerned, the only ‘african’ americans are those who by circumstance of birth have dual citizenship, or are recent immigrants currently running through the hoops to become citizens.

If you can not be proud of living in one of the largest and most advanced democratic melting pots in the world, with some of the best chances to advance educationally and professionally despite your skin color or theological beliefs, then why not find someplace else to inflict yourself upon? You obviously don’t seem to want to be a part of this commonality.

And do please notice that the first unwilling colonists were sent here from the british isles as indentured servants or outright slaves, and they certainly were white…Europe has just as long a history of enslaving people of their own color, and frequently all our merchants dod was buy slaves in already long established slavery markets. You folks were buying and selling each other before we ever came on the scene. Pot, Kettle, Black.

Right and of course that applies to Italian Americans, Irish Americans, Polish Americans etc, ALL of who have parades, flags, decals, scholarships, days, weeks and months of “ethic” pride…funny that you didn’t mention THEM or consider THEM unwillingly to be part of the “commonality”.

I’m sure that was just an oversight, you really mean ANYONE who refers to the selves as “other” and American second. Right? Perhaps you should clarify.

You can be proud of being an African-American for the same reason I can be proud to be a Swedish-American, even though my ancestors moved here 4-5 generations ago (depending on which branch of the tfamily tree you trace back).

I am as fiercely patriotic an American as you’ll find, but I embrace and celebrate my Swedish ethnicity. This is not a matter of divided loyalties - I have nothing but an attenuated sentimental attachment to the current Swedish nation. Instead it is a matter of carrying on certain traditions (like lutefisk at Christmas) that commemorate my family’s ancestry and celebrate our origins.

Why would you call someone who is a recent immigrant from Africa an “African American”? Wouldn’t it make more sense to call them a “Kenyan American” or “Nigerian American”? Do you call European nationals, “European American”?

The reason the descendents of African slaves are called “African American” is because most cannot trace their ancestry to a specific country or region, like most Americans can. That history is forever lost to them. If a black person* prefers to be labeled with a geographical descriptor (as German, Irish, and Italian Americans enjoy) over one based on skin color, “African American” is their only choice.
[sub]*speaking, of course, of only the descendents of African slaves.[/sub]

<b>Monstro</b> Stop making sense…you KNOW the rules are different for black folk.

I have no idea what the white race stands for. Why should I be proud of it? I know what America stands for, and that’s the reason I’m proud of my country.

And I really wish people would stop disecting the phrase, “African-American.” If you want to be so damned literal as to insist on an 100% accurate reading of the word “African” in that phrase, I put it to you that you should also be 100% accurate in your reading of the term “American.” After all, are not Canadians, Cubans, Mexicans, Brazilians, and Peruvians also from “America?” In order to be completely linguistically correct, we must insist that the residents of the 50 states be called what they really are: United Statesians! :rolleyes: