White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) is an informal term, often derogatory or disparaging, for a closed group of high-status Americans mostly of English Protestant ancestry. The term implies the group controls disproportionate social and financial power. The term WASP does not describe every Protestant of English background, but rather a small restricted group whose family wealth and elite connections allow them a degree of privilege held by few others. When the term appears in writing, it usually indicates the author's disapproval of the group's perceived excessive power in society. The hostile tone can be seen in an alternative dictionary: "The WASP culture has been the most aggressive, powerful, and arrogant society in the world for the last thousand years, so it is natural that it should receive a certain amount of warranted criticism." People seldom call themselves WASPs, except humorously; the acronym is typically used by non-WASPs.
Scholars agree that the group's influence has waned since the end of World War II, with the growing importance of Jews, Catholics, and other former outsiders. The term is also used in Australia and Canada for similar elites.
Other articles related to "white":
... Roosevelt insisted he was Dutch and invited Dunne to the White House for conversation ... meant to cock a snoot at WASP or 'lace-curtain Irish' ideas of respectability." "Anglo-Saxons" before 1900 was often used as a synonym for all people of English descent and sometimes more ... it has Anglo-Saxonized mankind." In Australia, "Anglo", "Anglo-Saxon" or "Anglo-Celtic" remains in popular use to refer to Australia's majority English-speaking white population with no ...
Famous quotes containing the words protestant, white, anglo-saxon:
“So the old flute was doomed and its fate was pathetic,
Twas fastened and burned at the stake as heretic,
While the flames roared around it they heard a strange
Twas the old flute still whistling The Protestant Boys.”
—Unknown. The Old Orange Flute (l. 3740)
“During my administration the most unpleasant and perhaps most dramatic negotiations in which we participated were with the various leaders of Iran after the seizure of American hostages in November 1979. The Algerians were finally chosen as the only intermediaries who were considered trustworthy both by me and the Ayatollah Khomeini. After many aborted efforts, final success was achieved during my last few hours in the White House.”
—Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.)
“The Anglo-Saxon hive have extirpated Paganism from the greater part of the North American continent; but with it they have likewise extirpated the greater portion of the Red race. Civilization is gradually sweeping from the earth the lingering vestiges of Paganism, and at the same time the shrinking forms of its unhappy worshippers.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)