Ethnic America

January 20, 1971

Report Outline
New Consciousness of Ethnic Groups
The Immigrant Heritage of America
Future of Ethnic Political Power
Special Focus

New Consciousness of Ethnic Groups

Another voice is being added to the swelling chorus of American protesters. It is that of ethnic Americans, those who have never entirely lost their foreign identity or consciousness in the American melting pot. They may number well over 50 million, concentrated in urban centers of the Northeast and Midwest. They are predominantly Catholic, largely of eastern and southern European extraction, and mainly blue-collar in occupation. They are angry because they believe they are getting a bad deal from society and government.

Ethnic Americans see themselves as forgotten people, “the most ignored group in America.” Not quite poor, and by no means rich—their incomes tend to range between $7,000 and $10,000 a year—they are not eligible for the kind of aid received by the true poor: public housing, medical benefits, job training, food stamps. Nor do they qualify for the tax breaks that wealthier citizens enjoy.

Much criticized as bigots and racists, ethnics think they are the real victims of racism, trapped in a cross-fire. On the one side are blacks and Spanish-Americans demanding political and economic power, and on the other side are White Anglo-Saxon Protestants—the Wasps—in control of the power structure and reluctant to abandon their prerogatives.

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Jan. 20, 1971  Ethnic America
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