The Color Line

By John Tanton
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 8, Number 4 (Summer 1998)
Issue theme: "Europhobia: the hostility toward Europian-descended Americans"

At the opening of this century W.E.B. DuBois said that "the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line."1 At the close of the century President William Jefferson Clinton welcomed the projection that early in the next century U.S. immigration policy, coupled with high immigrant fertility, will reduce the historic white, European-descended majority in the country to minority status. Whether the current majority group will acquiesce in its disenfranchisement, and how any such transition will be managed, will be one of the chief problems of the twenty-first century.

President Clinton's speech clearly brings up the subject of hostility toward and denigration of things European in America. The timing of his speech was fortuitous as we had been at work on this topic for some months with the help of guest editor John Vinson. John is president of the American Immigration Control Foundation.

Many questions about this trend come to mind. Who made the decision to transform the composition of the population of the United States? Where and why was it made? Given the myriad conflicts around the globe where different groups are caged up in the same political boundary, will the projected future of the U.S. be a reasonably peaceful one, or will perpetual conflict be our lot as it is for so many others? How might affirmative action work when there is no majority against whom claims can be made? What in fact has been the origin of the attractive features of our society, to which so many wish to move? And if problems arise, how can they be fixed?

As we have seen in previous issues of The Social Contract, powerful forces in our society today discourage cultural adaptation. From South Florida to Southern California, from Northern New Jersey to Northwest Arkansas, it is clear that when mass immigration dramatically changes the racial composition of a community, it dramatically changes the culture as well.

The effect on the majority of Americans is even more pronounced because of the emergence in recent years of an intense movement that is hostile to the European descendants of those who settled and founded this country and to their culture. Thus, the European-derived people of the U.S. would have something very real to fear if they were to become a minority in a country of people who have been taught to hate and fear them. Is there reason to believe that such hostility is immanent? The articles we have included in this issue do not quantify an answer, but they do raise warning signs.

An unwarranted hatred and fear is commonly referred to as a "phobia." For example, unwarranted fear and hatred of immigrants is called "xeno-phobia." It would follow then that unwarranted hatred and fear of European-descended Americans and their culture could be called "Europhobia."

Europhobia has been little examined in the popular press although the news media often report incidents that might suggest Europhobia. To further this discussion of this phenomenon, guest editor John Vinson has assembled articles and essays that leave little doubt that some Europhobia does exist in the United States. Is that phobia of significant magnitude to warrant concern and action?

Following our feature section, Washington editor, Roy Beck, comments on the Clinton speech. George Wilcox of ZPG/Boston and Jack Martin of the Federation for American Immigration Reform take opposite tacks on Clinton's link-up of race and immigration. Harold Gilliam speaks up for the environment.

The Spring issue of The Social Contract was an extended revisiting of Thomas Robert Malthus' 1798 "Essay on the Principle of Population." We are pleased to reprint articles by Charlie Reese and Georgie Ann Geyer as further discussion of the topic.

I close on a personal note. I have been both editor and publisher of this journal for eight years - this is the thirty-second issue we have brought out. I have also just retired from the practice of ophthalmology after thirty-three years with the same clinic. I'm in the throes of reorganizing my life so I can concentrate on some different aspects of the immigration question, chiefly fund-raising and - outside of the tax-deductible structure of The Social Contract and its parent foundation (which is called simply U.S.) - trying to touch off the political phase of the immigration reform movement.

To free up my time for these changes I have appointed Wayne Lutton to the position of editor. Wayne has a Ph.D. in modern history, has followed and participated in the immigration debate for decades, and has been our associate editor for six years. He is well equipped to handle the job.

I have enjoyed the challenge of editing The Social Contract and we all look forward to extending its outreach. Wayne Lutton, Roy Beck, Bob Kyser and I are pledged to work with you in the effort to reform America's immigration policy, helping to ensure a brighter future for the coming generations.

John H. Tanton, M.D.


1 Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 15th Edition, p.724, no.15.

About the author

John Tanton is Editor and Publisher of The Social Contract and founder of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His personal website is

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