When the subject of “black pride” comes up in conservative circles, it’s often met with criticism. The common response goes something like this: “if black or any racial pride is okay, why isn’t white pride?”

The simplest answer? White pride is rooted in racial prejudices and hatred, and black pride is not.

Heritage Versus Hate

First, it must be said that there is nothing wrong with having pride in your heritage. From unique cultural foods to dances and song, culture is a beautiful thing. However, “white pride” is not merely a heritage movement: it is accompanied by the issue of superiority.

The white pride movement wasn’t founded to celebrate culture. Far from it: the basis of white pride is separatism, nationalism, and superiority. Stormfront, a white nationalist website, showcases this in a post titled “White Nationalism FAQ” authored by Jack Boot. (I have not linked to this article in order to keep extra traffic from flowing to their site.) Boot claims that “nothing other than mass white suicide would appease the demands of non-whites.” In addition to this ludicrous statement, Boot claims that minorities are inherently violent due to their skin color, as well.

White nationalism is a movement led by racists like Richard Spencer. It influences men like the South Carolina church shooter, Dylan Roof. Mr. Spencer said we should “take [Roof] seriously and try to understand, if not approve of him” in this blog post.

Where Black Pride Differs

By contrast, movements like black pride encourage people to defy stereotypes and embrace who they are when racism has been rather prevalent throughout history in America. Where America celebrates traditional Eurocentric ideas of beauty, for example, black pride celebrates young black women, helping them feel beautiful even if society doesn’t. Black pride encourages young black people to work hard in school and achieve degrees, even if they’re the first in their family to go to college.

Black pride is about being the best you can be in a society that has been oppressive, from segregation ending in 1964 to racial profiling becoming illegal in New York in 2015. It fights back against being a victim and falling into negative stereotypes.

Frankly, it’s not reasonable to compare a movement that supports defying stereotypes, promoting hard work, and taking pride in one’s culture to one that advocates for the superiority of their race and denies history.

Celebrate your heritage, white or not, but leave the iron crosses at home. It’s 2017.