This essay examines working-class white ethnics' rejection of middle-class suburbanite notions of racial innocence, meritocratic individualism, and idealized equality in post-Civil Rights America. Most scholarly attention on white ethnics has tended to dwell on well-documented racism or on their crass embrace of programs earned by others' hard-fought activism (a kind of “me-tooism”). I argue that these interpretations do not adequately capture the complex and often contradictory expressions of “ethniclass” identity in a decade characterized by working-class revolt, backlash, and retreat. I focus on white ethnic leaders allied with the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs (headed by civil rights veteran Msgr. Geno Baroni); seizing on the capacious definition of “disadvantage” common in the early 1960s, they worked with African Americans and others for increased job training, formed coalitions with organized labor, and lobbied for expanded affirmative action. As they stumbled to construct an economic vision beyond the fading deindustrializing cities from which mainstream liberals seemed disconnected with their version of “rights consciousness,” ethnic leaders articulated positions based on an unwieldy mix of principle and parochialism that defies easy generalization. Given the waning of the white ethnic movement by the late 1970s, their significance lies less in legislative or policy gains and more in their imprint on civic and popular discourse in a period where, despite its powerful effects in the corridors of power, color-blind conservatism fails to capture the views of a majority of white Americans today.