‘America Has Always Been a Tribal Society’


Human beings are tribal. We’re hardwired that way. We need to belong to groups. The problem is when tribalism takes over a political system. What’s happening now is something unprecedented. A fascinating study shows that 67 percent of working class whites feel that they are subject to more discrimination and persecution and prejudice than minorities. The idea that whites in the United States should be persecuted compared to all these other minorities is, at a certain level, absurd. We’ve had slavery, we’ve had the extinction of Native Americans, Asian Exclusion Act, but that’s the whole point of the tribal mentality – that we can’t talk to each other. Demagoguery, scapegoating, all kinds of us versus them mentality where groups feel pitted against one another for spoils. America has always been a tribal society. It’s just that for most of our 200-year history, one very, very dominant tribe, you know, whites, dominated the country economically, politically and culturally. So it didn’t feel like a lot of tribalism. At our best America is a country where someone can be Italian American, Japanese American, Libyan American, Mexican American, and intensely patriotic at the same time. It’s really impossible to wipe out tribalism. We can work on overcoming the negative forms of tribalism that is the sort of us versus them version, but imagine trying to tell somebody, “Stop liking your sports team.” Good luck with that. It’s just not going to happen.

31 thoughts on “‘America Has Always Been a Tribal Society’

  1. This video would have been so much better, if she provided more evidence or explained it any deeper. This topic is so important in modern-day politics, and deserves much deeper explanation.

    P.S. Love your vids from Moscow, Russia

  2. I think Amy Chua fails to answer the issue at hand here. In the beginning of this video, she states that the idea that whites are persecuted today in America more than other minority groups is absurd, and offers as an explanation the historical experiences of blacks, native Americans and Asians in the United States. While all horrifying tales, they are historical issues. The fear that whites are persecuted in America is a current fear, not a historical fear. It would create a stronger argument if Amy showed how minority groups are still more discriminated against than whites, rather than pointing to the past, where it is difficult if not impossible to argue that whites 'had it worse' than other minority groups. That said, I outright reject the classification of people into groups based on race, as people tend not to fit those groups as neatly as some would like. If I am a quarter black, but have very light skin, am I still black? If the police treat me the same as a white person, are my experiences as a "black" man or as a mixed race person any less valid than those of the same ethnicity as me who have experienced police violence? The issue at hand today is far more complicated than the current terminology allows, and the current terminology excludes those from the conversation who might otherwise feel strongly about an issue, as many people feel that they are not worthy of participation, or feel confused and are not aware of the 'right' words to participate.

  3. You only have to look at Candace Owens on Twitter. Say anything at all about whites? No problem. Say the exact same thing about Jews or blacks. Instant ban. There's an objective, completely undeniable bias. Absurd or not, it's an undeniable fact. Media, education, Hollywood, tech giants. Anti white. Pro immigrant. Anti borders. Anti Trump. Some people oppose that kind of cultural Marxism, and they are not all white.

  4. Humans in general have evolved intellectually and spiritually for 4 million years, the earlier ones were more tribalist, the most evolved ones today the least. Today we have all kinds in existence, even the primitive tribal ones who think the author's way.

  5. No, the issue is not that whites are being "persecuted more", it's the blatant double standards of racism and public hatred allowed towards them that are clearly not at the same level. That very statement reeks of passing judgement and assumptive prejudice.

    The left is more tribal in the late political landscape, which is causing this phenomenon. Either you're a leftist, or you're a racist nazi. Asian student associations? Empowerment! Black students association? Empowerment. White student association? Nazis! Wtf?

  6. They were never the "majority".
    They just happen to be good creating false categories to divide groups into socially stratified classes created to support their narrative of manifest destiny.
    Both nationally & globally we, the people of "color", united are in the majority.
    Acknowledging this fact threatens the current order.
    Ignoring this fact sets up society for a future where conflict is inevitable.
    Which benefits the old guard.
    We can have better & will.

  7. Whites deserve to be treated with respect, we have given everyone else extras while we are barely getting by. We have given minorities billions of our hard earned money. We want it back. The 1% have made all the money while leaving the White working class out to dry. The 1% is full of Jews & foreigners not Whites or Christian.

  8. There's no such thing as white persecution or discrimination it's not mainstream, instead it's the opposite since the old times whites are discriminating and persecuting the minorities. Stop dreaming with alternate realities. Whites enslaved the blacks just because they think they're superior because of their light skin.
    We can see this evidence the Arabians brown skinned enslaved the blacks just because they have a lighter tone they think they are superior and thus able to kidnap and enslave the blacks. In no history that we have seen white people became mainstream as slaves to black people
    *You can't turn this fact around whites are never a persecuted and never will be an enslaved minority we have modern humans rights nowadays so all the butthurted whites can stop exaggerating *

  9. Victim mentality kicks in for the whites because they know their dirty past and don't want to see karma even though when the modern world has such high quality levels of human rights that protects them and avoid such things from happening.

  10. We're not tribal, Ms. Law Professor. We're very flexible and are switching tribes a gazillion times a day…at least that's what my Psychology Professor says. And probably hundreds of scientific studies. Not sure you're qualified for every other field, just because you have a law degree. Hybris, much? ö_Ö

  11. "the extinction of Native Americans"

    Native Americans are not extinct! Despite the fact that the US government typically treats them as if they don't exist, they are still living, breathing people! There are currently 573 federally recognized tribes in the United States, who are just as Native American as their ancestors were hundreds of years ago. In 2010 there were 2.9 Million people who identified as American Indian/Alaska Native alone, and 5.2 million who Identified as either full, or a combination of Native American/Alaska Native and other races. Statements like "the extinction of Native Americans" piss me off. Native Americans are not "extinct" and they are not going "extinct". They are millions of people who *deserve so much more recognition and respect than they receive*.

  12. Labels that limit and libel others fosters stereotypes. This helps a divide and conquer mentality online.. Instead of promoting common ground, the net furthers the lack of empathy in our society.

  13. One group is focused on pitting tribes against each other as they profit. That is why they always say 'diversity is our strength'.. but I believe it will end badly for everyone in the end especially that evil group.

  14. Doesn't this video just perpetuate the us versus them narrative? If this video is trying to say tribalism is bad, why are they preaching tribalism?

  15. We are not yet at the cusp of losing s white majority in the U.S. Democraphic data has suggested this will happen in the next 30 years based on trends but that is not the reality today. I don't understand why it's such a scary thing some; its purely kinda crazy and very telling of how the plight of minority groups have been disregarded because it was out of context or unrelateable for some.

  16. I don't get it for better yet I get it but don't agree. This is a generalization & I find I don't fit in this category. It's very interesting but I'd also like to see a video on the opposite: people who aren't tribal. While there may be a number of people who are tribal, I think there are a significant amount of people who are not ( even if it's at a 70:30 ratio)

  17. America was set up by Whites Europeans and West African. 1965 was a mistake. Diversity is a weakness!!! Immigration is not a right. Nothing wrong with Anglo-Saxon Western culture

  18. This lady embodies the reason America is being tribalized: We view each other as racial groups instead of members of a common nation with a common lineage and history. We need to live up to our highest values of justice, freedom, and equality.

  19. Who's gonna persecute whites? White people still control everything, including the police which attack POC communities. Your fears are irrational and not grounded in objective reality. Stop watching Fox News.

  20. Your journalism is a lot harder to take seriously when you laugh off the POV of a particular group of people.

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