by Alex Witoslawski
Ben Shapiro, who has previously stated that he doesn’t care about “the browning of America,” is shilling for open borders once again. This time, a brave student at the University of Minnesota asked him why he thinks Israel should be “culturally and demographically homogenous” but not America.
Here is Shapiro’s response posted on his website the Daily Wire:
“So, one, I want to correct a mischaracterization; you said I take a lot of pride in my ethnic and religious identity? I take no pride in my ethnic identity; I take a lot of pride in my religious identity. There are a lot of people who have been born Jews who I just don’t care about. Noam Chomsky was born Jewish; he’s a schmuck. (laughter) I don’t care at all. Bernie Sanders, born Jewish: shmuck. (laughter)
The point that I’m making is that religious identity is a different thing because that’s a set of ideas and values. Religion is creedal in the same way the Declaration of Independence is creedal. So when it comes to the definition of a nation, I would say that it is very important that a nation have a creed in common. I’m not particularly interested in having an ethnicity in common. When they say that Israel, for example, is ethnically homogenous, that’s just not true. Israel is filled with Russian Jews and Ethiopian Jews and Yemeni Jews; my wife is a Moroccan Jew. So just because they all have a religion in common doesn’t make them ethnically identical by any stretch of the imagination. Again, it’s pretty hard to find somebody who’s more ethnically non-identical than a Russian Jew and an Ethiopian Jew. So the reason that I believe in Israel as a nation-state is not for ethnic reasons, it’s because of religious observance reasons, that Israel is a place where the religion of Judaism can thrive and be safe, which I think is an important thing.
I think the same thing is true in the United States when it comes to the creed of the United States. I think America is a creedal country; I think it’s what has made America great.”
Shapiro’s arguments here are: (1) Jewish ethnicity is not the same as being religiously Jewish, (2) Israel is a state for religious Jews, (3) a state centered around a religion is creedal, and (4) the United States is creedal in the same way that Israel is creedal.
The first point, that Jewish ethnicity and Judaism as a religion are two completely separate things is pure nonsense. There is, after all, no concept of “Christian ethnicity” or “the Christian people” in the way there is for the Jews. The reason for this is simple: Christianity isn’t based on ethnicity the way that Judaism is.
The entire concept of “the Jewish people” is based on the idea that someone is descended from one of the tribes of Israel or the Kingdom of Judah. According to Halakha (Jewish religious law), in order to become a religious Jew one has to be matrilineally descended from someone who was a Jew. This in and of itself gives Judaism a unique built-in ethnic component that is lacking in other religions like Christianity and Islam.
So while it is true that over time the Jews have spread throughout the world and mixed with local populations, Jews everywhere still share this unique ethnoreligious identity with one another.
Regarding Shapiro’s second point, that Israel is a state for religious Jews, well that’s just plain false. The Law of Return in Israel applies to people who are ethnically and/or religiously Jewish, meaning that atheist Jews, Christian Jews, etc. are given preference to immigrate into Israel over non-Jews. This shows that Israel views itself as an ethnostate, and not entirely a religious one.
Meanwhile, Shapiro’s third point makes a false equivalence. A religious identity is a much stronger bonding material than a creedal one. Just look at how Muslims everywhere have a sense of brotherhood with one another, regardless of creed. This is quite different than identifying yourself with a particular creed: we’ve seen, after all, that ‘creed’ isn’t a particularly strong unifying material when different races, cultures, religions, and ethnicities live side-by-side in the United States. This has only caused conflict and the rise of identity politics.
Lastly, Shapiro’s fourth point is just blatantly false. The United States was founded as both an ethnic and a creedal country. All of the Founding Fathers of the United States were of either British or Dutch ancestry. Soon after creating this great country, they passed a law commonly referred to as the Nationality Act or the Naturalization Act of 1790, which limited citizenship solely to Whites—people of European descent.
It is, after all, mostly Whites from what Samuel P. Huntington would describe as “the West” who colonized, settled, and built America. Over time, these different European peoples mixed and created a new ethnicity, which can be accurately described as “White American.”
It wasn’t until long after the deaths of the Founding Fathers that the idea of citizenship began to creep—most notably with African Americans who were granted citizenship after the Civil War. But even as late as the 1920s, citizenship was mostly limited to descendants of Europeans and African slaves with few exceptions. Until the Hart-Celler Act in 1965, the United States had an immigration system based on national quotas which severely restricted immigration from non-Western countries.
America was an ethnostate in every meaningful sense of the term from its founding up until 1965. And it is precisely this post-1965 liberalism that Ben Shapiro has dishonestly repackaged as “conservatism” in 2018. His intentions here are clear: he supports mostly open borders for the United States, but wants Israel to remain a Jewish ethnoreligious state—and he will lie in order to further his ends.
Shapiro continued with his answer:
”Now that’s not to say that everybody who comes into the country has an equal capacity to assimilate to that creed; the assimilation capacity of people I don’t think has to do much with ethnic identity; I think it does have to do with cultural identity. I think there are cultures that come into the country, people who come from various cultures, who may not be as easily able to assimilate because obviously, that’s just the case. There are people who come in and they already know English; there are people who come in and they’ve already had a history with Western democracy; there are people who come in and they’ve never seen a gay person before and in their old country gay people were caned and killed.
So it’s important to recognize that cultures are not the same thing as ethnicities, and I think it’s a dangerous game to play when we say that ethnicity means culture when they clearly do not mean anything of the sort.”
This assertion is, on the face of it, ridiculous. Cultures aren’t merely abstract values or ideas detached from the people who created them. Moreover, cultures don’t exist separately from the people who created them. For example, you don’t see Chinese people in China practicing Ethiopian culture or Cameroonian people in Cameroon practicing Russian culture. There is a reason for this: these peoples, and their cultures, evolved separately for thousands of years. They are inseparable from one another.
Even in the United States, where Whites and Blacks have lived side-by-side for centuries, these two groups of people developed different cultures despite informing one another and being in the same petri dish, so to speak. I see this difference every day where I live, in Metro Detroit, where Whites and Blacks live side-by-side but practice wildly different cultures.
Why is this? To use Occam’s Razor, the simplest and most obvious answer is that culture, ideology, and all of this “creedal” nonsense that Ben Shapiro likes to yap about are intrinsically linked to the biology and genetics of a people.
And while much more scientific research needs to be done in this area, we already know of several ways that biology impacts behavior, cognitive abilities, and ideology. For example, we do know that certain genes make people more violent. We also know that intelligence is largely heritable. Interestingly, other research shows that genetics have an impact on religious inclination. But most shockingly, scientific research has shown that political ideologies are largely heritable.
In light of these scientific discoveries, as well as our own lived experience in the multiethnic and multicultural country that America has become, it is more reasonable to believe that culture is intrinsically linked with ethnicity, and for that reason alone, if we really are interested in conserving America’s traditions and heritage, we must preserve our country’s White heritage.