Jump to content

Race traitor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Race traitor is a phrase that describes someone who is perceived to have betrayed their own race, primarily by other members of their race or ethnic group. People can be accused of betraying their race for many socio-political reasons, including miscegenation, cultural assimilation, internalized racism, supporting the interests of other racial groups, and neglecting the interests and welfare of their own racial group. Among racial minorities, the term "race traitor" is sometimes used to describe someone in a position of power that abandons or minimizes their racial identity in order to escape racial discrimination. Although derogatory, the phrase has been reclaimed by some left-wing activists seeking to abolish the concept of whiteness, notably including the political journal of the same name.

African Americans[edit]

Perceptions and accusations of racial betrayal among African Americans largely operate within the bounds of the hierarchical identities constructed during the period of American chattel slavery. Those perceived to be race traitors are dubbed house negros, mammies, Uncle Toms, and Aunt Jemimas. Black conservatives are the main targets of these assertions, with politicians such as Clarence Thomas and Tim Scott accused of being race traitors working for anti-black causes against their own interests.[1][2] Additionally, African Americans perceived to "act white" are subject to criticism and accusations of betraying their race.

Conservative black nationalist movements such as Hoteps and the Nation of Islam often emphasize strict adherence to traditional religious and cultural aspects of black identity, including strong family structures and patriarchal gender roles.[3][4] Any perceived deviance from these norms can be seen as a betrayal. When asked about the assassination of Malcolm X after his departure from the Nation of Islam, minister Louis Farrakhan stated:[5]

Was Malcolm your traitor or ours? And if we dealt with him like a nation deals with a traitor, what the hell business is it of yours? A nation has to be able to deal with traitors and cutthroats and turncoats.


Though each distinct and with cultural nuance, Jewish culture has several religious and cultural terms to describe someone seen as a race traitor. The broadest term is self hating Jew, used to describe a Jew who holds antisemitic or anti-Zionist sentiments. The Yiddish term a shande far de goyim ("a shame in front of the goyim") and the more serious[6][7] Hebrew term chillul Hashem ("a desecration of the name [of God]") are both sayings used to indicate that a Jew has behaved shamefully in front of non-Jews, and possibly fuelled antisemitic stereotypes doing so.[6] Kapo, a slang term for a Jewish prisoner of Nazi concentration camps who was allowed certain privileges in exchange for supervising slave labor, has been described as "the worst insult a Jew can give another Jew",[8] and "accuses Jews today of actively betraying their fellow Jews by working for their oppressors."[8]

In addition to bolstering antisemitism, Jews have been accused as betraying their community by propagating right-wing politics,[9][10] desecrating religious law,[7] and assimilating into non-Jewish culture. A Jew who marries a non-Jew or converts out of Judaism is sometimes mourned as dead,[11] and intermarriage has been described by an Israeli minister as a "second Holocaust".[12] Because of the history of Christian antisemitism, there is often a greater stigma surrounding Jews who choose to convert to Christianity,[13][14] while other conversions or a lack of religious affiliation are not considered taboo. Professor Stuart Charmé wrote that "[T]o embrace the radioactive core of goyishness—Jesus—violates the final taboo of Jewishness.[...] Belief in Jesus as messiah is not simply a heretical Jewish belief, as it may have been in the first century, it has become the equivalent to an act of ethno-cultural suicide."[15]: 28 


Historically, people have been dubbed white traitors for opposing slavery,[16] supporting civil rights movements,[17] or having any association with blackness.[16] Some white people in interracial relationships have been accused of being race traitors, prominently including Prince Harry for his marriage to Meghan of Sussex.[18]

The term has been used by the Ku Klux Klan to describe political opponents.[19][20] It has also been reclaimed by activists, including Noel Ignatiev, John Garvey, and Mab Segrest.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Goff, Keli. "Clarence Thomas: Race Traitor?".
  2. ^ Harper, Tyler Austin. "Progressive paternalism".
  3. ^ "Brief history on origin of the Nation of Islam". We are taught cleanliness inwardly and outwardly with the practice of good manners and respect to one and all. We are taught that the family is the back bone of society and that our children must be reared to reflect the highest morals and training to perfect our society. We are trained to eat and to prepare the best of foods for the longevity of life, without the use of alcohol, smoking and substance abuse which endangers the ethics of healthy living. We are taught to respect and protect our women who are the mothers of civilization. Our women are taught a dress code of modesty that will lead to the practice of high morality. We are trained to be an exemplary community expressing the highest spiritual goals for the reform of ourselves and others based on wisdom, knowledge and beauty.
  4. ^ Young, Damon. "Hotep, Explained". an arrogant adherence to respectability politics [...] sexism and homophobia that vacillate from "thinly veiled" to "If being gay is natural, how come there ain't any gay elephants?" [...] unbowed and uncompromising support for any black man accused of any wrongdoing, even if said man's guilt is clear
  5. ^ Wartofsky, Alona. "'Brother Minister: The Martyrdom of Malcolm X'".
  6. ^ a b "Before Madoff, or the Goyim, a Shande".
  7. ^ a b Walk, David. "That's a Chillul Hashem!!".
  8. ^ a b "What is a 'Kapo'? - The worst insult a Jew can give another Jew".
  9. ^ "Classically Abby is a Shande Far Di Goyim".
  10. ^ Liebman, Lisa. "How Bad Was The Trial of the Chicago 7's Judge Julius Hoffman, Really?". "You are a shande far die goyim" — an embarrassment to the Jews — said political activist Abbie Hoffman in Yiddish to Judge Julius Hoffman, the man presiding over his infamous trial.
  11. ^ "Sitting Shiva for intermarriage".
  12. ^ "Israeli minister says US Jews marrying non-Jews is "like a second Holocaust"".
  13. ^ "Beyneynu addresses serious spike in Jewish conversions to Christianity". For 72 years Israeli society – religious and secular, right wing and left, have argued about the meaning of Jewish identity, but we always drew the line when it came to accepting Christianity.
  14. ^ "Jews assail 'Christian rabbi' who appeared with Pence, and so does his own movement". the group[...] believes that Jesus is the son of God — a belief that is anathema to the vast majority of the world's Jews.[...] in their eyes he's not even a real Jew, let alone a rabbi.
  15. ^ Charmé, Stuart L. (1987). "Heretics, infidels and apostates: Menace, problem or symptom?". Judaism. 36: 17–33.
  16. ^ a b "White Southern Responses to Black Emancipation".
  17. ^ "Hume's 1964 'Irish Times' articles helped redefine nationalist attitudes to North".
  18. ^ "Far-right student locked up for 'abhorrent' post branding Harry a 'race traitor'".
  19. ^ "White Southern Responses to Black Emancipation". The Klan is also directed against whites, in some ways. White Southern Republicans are also victims of the Klan. Northerner carpetbaggers -- as they call them -- who come down, become victims of the Klan... Part of the appeal is: Okay, if there is going to be a race war, so to speak, or race violence, then all whites must unite. Those whites who have been with the Republicans are traitors. They're traitors to the race. They're traitors to the region.
  20. ^ "Tennessee Arrests Klan Leader on Same Day It Honors 1st Grand Wizard". "You have been paid another social visit by the Old Glory Knights of the Ku Klux Klan," the photos show that the flyers read "We have a dark history here and because of you a bright future. BE WARNED race traitors, mixed breeds, communist homosexuals and other walks of Godless degeneracy. The Klan is back and here to stay, so you'd better make amends or stay away."