When minorities show their patriotism to others, the reactions are positive and others encourage them. On the other hand, when Whites show their patriotism, they are blamed to being racists. Nowadays whites are reversely discriminated by their race. They were regarded as having all the privilege which seemed to be unfair. In that, laws that support to prevent race discrimination were made throughout American history such as an affirmative action which is controversy. However, even though it was made for the purpose of leveling the play field for minorities, it unfairly punished whites and caused whites to sue for race discrimination. For example, in 2008, a white student named Abigail Fisher was denied admission to UT. She sued saying she was a victim of reverse discrimination. She claimed that “There were people in my class with lower grades who were not in all the activities I was in, who were being accepted into UT, and the only other difference between us was the color of our skin.”
I brought this issue because one of my friends who is white complained that she cannot say that she likes her race or proud of being part of it. Even though the race itself has to be taken as a crucial part of forming one’s identity, Whites seem easy to be misunderstood as committing to American Exceptionalism when they appreciate who they are.
What is the boundary between patriotism and American Exceptionalism?



  1. I believe you are believing a notion called reverse racism which, I argue, does not exist. Racism is a social construct upheld by discrimination and dominance. For a global society in which notions of race and power are played in favor of the white-euro people, racism against whites cannot exist, because the social construct currently in place has been created and maintained by white people. In the example you provided, the alleged student sued because she felt she was being “discriminated” against because a few other students with lower grades were accepted. However, college institutions do not accept merely on the basis of grades; there’s the written portion of the application, recommendations, and other factors involved. Furthermore, we read in “Racism without Racists” that racism is based on institutional levels of discrimination. While the mentioned student may have thought it “unfair,” she clearly did not consider factors that come with being the minority group in a white-dominant society (to name a few: money to pay for tutoring, textbooks, extracurricular activities, supplemental classes, etc.). Understanding the concept of racism and its influence on the institutional level, one cannot simply call affirmative action as “racism” against whites. Rather, it is a piece of legislation that calls into consideration the social construct of racism that influences education in our country.

    To answer your question, I’d provide a much better example of patriotism/American Exceptionalism. In the 2014 Pokemon World Championship, an American contestant faced off with a Korean competitor and ultimately lost. He had worn an American flag as a cape to show his pride for his country. In the Youtube video of the competition, there were many people who criticized him, saying that the flag/cape was a gesture of American arrogance. However, many other players from other countries have worn their country’s flag to the competition before. I believe that this is an example in which patriotism is mistaken as American Exceptionalism. Interestingly, the U.S. player was not white. I’d like to note that patriotism should not be directly correlated to white people, because our country has many different minority groups that feel the same pride for their country.


  2. In response to your question on where the line is drawn between patriotism and American Exceptionalism, I believe that line is crossed when an American uses their “patriotism” as a way to think themselves better than someone else. There is a difference between having a love for your country, and being proud to be in that country, and thinking that your country is better than any other country. To relate this to another example in today’s society, think about body shaming. Many people look down on skinny or fat people and shame their body type because they think theirs is superior. Rather than loving your own body and loving everyone else’s body too, many tend to say they love theirs and others like theirs but that other bodies are undesirable. This is much like what is seen in patriotism vs. American Exceptionalism. One person is better than another because of their country or because of their body.


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