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« The Rawness | Main | Andrew Bacevich, Reluctant Obamacon »

September 08, 2008

What's Your 'White People' Score?

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Take Razib's Stuff White People Like test. I managed a mere 27 out of 107. I was expecting far whiter things of myself.



posted by Michael at September 8, 2008


as half sigma would say: prole :-)

Posted by: razib on September 8, 2008 4:37 PM

36 ... and I checked a few that I'm ambivalent about.

Posted by: Chris White on September 8, 2008 4:54 PM

Hah! I got 17. And my wife calls me "the whitest man in America" - that'll show her.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher on September 8, 2008 5:28 PM

Oddly, I got 27 too. Does that make me less white, or just a self-hating white person (which automatically triples my score)?

Posted by: Steve on September 8, 2008 5:30 PM

I scored a 47. Seems about right. Although some of them are kind of rigged, like "Having black/gay friends." I mean, I do have those, but I didn't check them because it's not like I set out to have them just because I "like" the idea of that.

Anyway, it took my almost to the end to realize it's based on the website of a few months back. I guess I'm slow.

Posted by: JV on September 8, 2008 5:45 PM

41. I outscored Chris White!

Wow. Just when you think you know people.

Posted by: PatrickH on September 8, 2008 6:33 PM

hey, remember that White People are just a subset of white people.

Posted by: razib on September 8, 2008 6:45 PM

I scored only 7!

Chris, now that you've admitted that you still consider yourself a hippie, you must admit that you are the whitest person in America.

Hippie, for your information, was a teenage music fashion that lasted for about 5 years. The fact that you can still list that as facet of your identity disqualifies you from any further serious consideration as an adult.

Are there any plans in your future, Chris, for developing an adult identity?

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on September 8, 2008 6:54 PM

30, and I'm pretty much the target demographic

Posted by: Devin Finbarr on September 8, 2008 8:14 PM

Also, it's generational -- like 24 to 39 year-olds or something.

Posted by: agnostic on September 8, 2008 8:30 PM

ST - Since both JV and Patrick (even PATRICK!) outscored me, I am definitely not the whitest person in America. Your score of 7 doesn't surprise me much, however. It kind of goes along with your seeming total lack of a sense of humor (at least online, perhaps you're a funny guy when having a beer with the band after a gig). My use of the "hippie" label is mostly adopting the Daughter Unit's view of her parental units' tribe. If someone made up a Things Hippies Like list I suspect I'd score pretty high. (Oh, wow man. Did I just, like, say "I'd score" and "pretty high" in the same sentence, like, that is so groovy!)

Posted by: Chris White on September 8, 2008 9:28 PM


"I scored a 47. Seems about right. Although some of them are kind of rigged, like "Having black/gay friends." I mean, I do have those, but I didn't check them because it's not like I set out to have them just because I "like" the idea of that."

Says you. You have them. And you DO like the idea of it. Proud in fact, if you want to be honest, and have let it slip with due subtlety on appropriate occassions.

Quite simply sir, you cheated. Ad back in a point to you score. Now review your answers for all similar fudgings, and make the indicated adjustments. Then report back.

Not add but a point. And in all other

Posted by: dougjnn on September 8, 2008 9:32 PM

Nah, those were the two that I thought of as kind of rigged. I do like the idea that the guy who satisfies my "black friend" quota (and I do only have the one) has been my friend since 7th grade. I don't really care one way or another about "having a black friend." Same goes with the gay thing. If you can't see the difference, oh well. Go ahead and score me a 49 if it makes you happy.

Posted by: JV on September 8, 2008 10:11 PM


Anyone notice how the Europeans scored higher than the American white people he's making fun of, largely because those American white people are trying to imitate Europeans?

Posted by: SFG on September 8, 2008 10:31 PM

Even stretching things, I got a 17. Strange. I would have expected myself to score higher.

Posted by: alias clio on September 8, 2008 11:12 PM

Shit, I scored 5. I'm so confused :(

Posted by: slumlord on September 8, 2008 11:30 PM

I'd be interested to see what people chose and didn't choose, but that would be kind of a pain in the ass to do. Oh well.

Posted by: JV on September 8, 2008 11:54 PM

9 - and I'm a white bread protestant from the midwest. I still listen to Kansas and Styx on the rare occasion. I think it's flawed.

Then again, it might be like the SAT's - an upper east coast view of things. Out here, our SAT is the ACT. So maybe we need our own TWPL.

Posted by: yahmdallah on September 9, 2008 12:52 AM

16. There were quite a few that I have no opinion about one way or the other.

Posted by: Lynn on September 9, 2008 10:21 AM

Looking at what would appear to be a preposterously low score for yamdallah, I can't help echoing the commenter above who said much of the quiz focus was generational...if your interests don't happen to coincide with that generation's, your whiteness index will be low. Y and some of the others with really low scores have a whole range of interests outside those of that narrow age band.

Which does raise the question: why the hell am I so relatively high? Whom do I blame for being so anachronistic?

Posted by: PatrickH on September 9, 2008 11:42 AM

Some of the questions were rather odd. Who doesn't like girls who bang?

Posted by: dearieme on September 9, 2008 1:15 PM


Which does raise the question: why the hell am I so relatively high?

Denial. It's not just a river in Egypt.

Posted by: Tupac Chopra on September 9, 2008 6:41 PM

14! Yay for me! I'd like ST to list the boxes he checked. Not that I don't trust him!

Posted by: Sister Wolf on September 9, 2008 9:41 PM

They're all in denial. That's it!

Glad to hear you're feeling better, Tupe. Not like you to roll over, not even because of our magnificent Clio. Who has, you have no doubt noticed, maintained a Muse-like obscurity re: our rivalry.

She's playing us. Women! Muses! Women!

But...the SWPL stuff really needs work. It just leaves out so many white people. It would be interesting to see a serious attempt to determine what, if any, are the cultural universals of American whites. That would be very difficult work, I should think, but also valuable. What do, for example, white folk think of themselves as being? I mean, what would they say is their identity? Even denying they have one would be a very white thing to say, and it would be interesting to see how widespread this Chris White-ish outlook is.

Posted by: PatrickH on September 9, 2008 9:58 PM

SWPL is about White people. not white people.

Posted by: razib on September 10, 2008 12:44 AM

Is it too obvious to complain that all that White People crap is stuff associated with yuppies? I know the term is outdated, but the fact remains that if you said yes to everything on that list, you would be the quintessential yuppie.

I hate the whole SWPL phenomenon. Now there's a bood deal. Martin Mull did the White People thing a million years ago. It strikes me as very stale.

Am I alone in this?

Posted by: Sister Wolf on September 10, 2008 1:07 AM

SWPL is about White people. not white people

Well, yes. And what a narrow group they are. As I said, it would be more difficult, more interesting and more valuable to try to really see what's going on with white people. The real ones.

SWPL has gotten the attention it has because it's not dangerous at all. As Sister said, it's operating at the level of Martin Mull, and not as funny. It's safe satire, worth a chuckle or two, and that's it. Now, a serious attempt to examine the cultural underpinnings of white America...that would really scare people. That would be interesting for more than 15 minutes.

Oh, and Chris White would have a damn higher score. All that guilt! Not the fake kind. Real! The kind that wants the US to atone for past historical misdeeds by sacrificing its ill-gotten wealth to the poor of the world. That kind of guilt.

Eh Chris? Drawing out--really drawing out, not just poking fun at--your assumptions, presumptions and dogmas, your deepest moral and political convictions...that would produce a pretty different outcome than a scale that's influenced by how many Apple products you own. Right?

Posted by: PatrickH on September 10, 2008 10:18 AM


Gee, I'm pure Irish, English, and Scottish in every ancestral line at least back to 1650. It doesn't get much whiter than that.

Posted by: thaprof on September 10, 2008 2:35 PM

My score was only 10 out of 107. I wonder if this is a record of some sort. And what do I win if it is?

Posted by: Lester Hunt on September 10, 2008 4:52 PM

I got a 23 out of 107.

Now, I'm Chinese American... should I put down that I like Asian girls? Seems kind of weird. So if I should have checked it, then it's 24 out of 107.

Posted by: Hope on September 11, 2008 10:57 AM

My husband scored a 16 out of 107, who is white. I asked him, "Are you sure you didn't want to check more?" He says, positive, and proceeded to bash on Grammar, The Ivy League, and Barack Obama.

He's a self-described liberal, too.

Posted by: Hope on September 11, 2008 11:07 AM

9. My skin may be white, but my neck is pretty red. :)

Posted by: Eric on September 12, 2008 1:44 AM

You're all pretenders to the White People throne. I found true White People royalty a couple months back when I read what might be the Whitest Book ever written, i.e. The Time Traveler's Wife. It's not my usual reading fare, but the potential scifi twist suckered me in. Anyway, this book's main characters are without doubt reached a level of Sublime Whiteness that that no real human could ever aspire to. You can read my full review of the book here. You will behold Whiteness in all the fullness of its glory!

Posted by: Mr Tall on September 15, 2008 3:27 AM

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