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When ultra-conservative Jesse Helms ran against Congressman Nick Galifianakis in 1972, he is considered to have gained ground with the slogan, "Jesse Helms: He's One of Us," presumably referring to his opponent's Greek background. If his opponent were black, the slogan would be considered racist. What's the corresponding word for this situation? Ethnicist seems too mild but may be best.

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"Ethnicist" is a neologism itself, coined in the context of minority ethnic groups either attempting to raise their status within a "host" nation, or to acquire/retain territory where they can autonomously manage their own affairs. Your Jesse Helms has nothing in common with those people. The "Us" he aligns himself with is the Goood Ole US of A. In the UK we might say he aspires to appeal to Middle England – FumbleFingers Aug 12 '11 at 0:32
up vote 11 down vote accepted

The correct term is still racist. The definition of race includes ethnicity:

  • each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics
  • a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group
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