The politics of 'race' in this country is fired by conceptions of national belonging and homogeneity which not only blur the distinction between 'race' and nation, but rely on that very ambiguity for their effect. Phrases like 'the Island Race' and 'the Bulldog Breed' vividly convey the manner in which this nation is represented in terms which are simultaneously biological and cultural. Williams combines a discussion of 'race' with comments on patriotism and nationalism. However, his understanding of 'race' is restricted to the social and cultural tensions surrounding the arrival of 'new peoples'. For him, as with right, 'race' problems begin with immigration. The conception of nationness which emerges from writings and speeches cited involves a distinct theory of culture and identity which can be described as ethnic absolutism. The variety of ethnic absolutism which is produced, banishes, or at least salves, the pain which grows in the tension of trying to be black and professional at same time.