”Too bad for all the WASPs.”
A recent AP article, with a ‘fait accompli’ attitude toward multiracialism in America, drew a lot of responses at Yahoo.
This one, for example, illustrates an unfortunately popular attitude:
Future shock! Here you have the future USA — brown skin, brown eyes, brown hair, and speaking Spanish. Too bad for all the WASPs.”
And this one:
I’m my great grandfather was native American. My mother in law is half native American. The pot has melted a long, long time ago. It’s time we stop grouping everyone by the color of their skin.”
It sure looks as though the media and the school system are propagating their message successfully: ‘
… that’s a good thing with respects to there being a better understanding that classifying a “race” has nothing to do with genetics. Genetically, humans are humans. Genetic differences is reflected in our physical appearence but not psychological demeanor. A human is a human. We are different in physical appearence and “cultural” heritage, but even that is determined by a person’s belief system and not genetics. So, if humans are humans and we’re learning to understand we’re only different culturally, not racially or genetically, that’s a good thing. It’s bad news however for those who continue to propogate [sic] the untruth that one so-called “race” is somehow inferior or superior to another because of their genes.”
Wait, there’s more where that came from:
First of all, there are no pure racists [sic]. Scientists came out years ago and stated that there is truly no such thing as race as we think of it. Secondly, there have been multi-racial people in the US since slavery. It is only recently that multi-racial Blacks began to feel comfortable with embracing heritages from all sides of their families. The one drop rule prevented this and then, as a matter of pride, only the Black side was recognized as this was how they were identified in society. Next, there are issues which face those of mixed heritage, where it is apparent from their appearence, that do not face members that do not have an obvious mixed heritage. Folks need to get over the whole race thing. It is backwards and holds the US as a country back.”
So, I guess the fact that a racially conscious America, as traditional America was, was a much better-educated, better-functioning, safer country is just a coincidence. And the fact that our present aracial, PC America, where ignorant people say ‘there is no such thing as race‘, is dysfunctional, divided, and dangerous is mere coincidence.
I’ll give credit where due; there are some good responses which sound like they could be written by one of the regular commenters on this blog, and that’s cause for hope. There is a sane and honest remnant out there, but we mustn’t get complacent and think things are going our way. We still have a tough row to hoe.
The first comment I quoted, with the statement ”too bad for all the WASPs” is the kind of thing that led to my starting this blog. If you go back to my archives, back to April 2006, you will see that I started, rather tentatively, by asking who we are, as a nation. Back then I was just starting to think many of these things through, as I could see the demographic and cultural trends, and I was troubled by them. My journey over the last few years has taken me, obviously, further to the right, but really it has all been a rediscovering of what my parents and grandparents believed and taught me.
They were not ”bigots” or ”haters” and they were not aberrations in their time. Racially conscious beliefs were the norm back then, yes, even in much of the North. Society moved to the left since I was a child, and many of those who were born after the reign of political correctness are not aware of how the changes took place. They have been sold a bill of goods, that the older generations were racist and malicious, hating people for absolutely no reason except ‘skin color’ or religion or ethnicity. This is a slander on our ancestors.
In part, I wanted to unravel all the lies and misrepresentations of political correctness, and to do justice to our unfairly maligned forefathers. I wanted to undo the lie that our history is shameful and a reason for guilt, and a justification for things like affirmative action, coerced ”diversity”, quotas, and all the rest of these Marxist policies.
When you blog about such highly-charged matters, criticism and outright attacks are par for the course, but nonetheless, they are no easier to bear on a regular basis for that reason. I am not so thick-skinned that I am impervious to the negative stuff. However, I haven’t so far let it change my course.
Every now and then someone tells me I am hateful, or divisive, or ‘too exclusivist’ or too narrow or that I will drive potential friends away by being exclusivist. I’ve been told in a friendly way that I must stop being pro-Southron or pro-Confederacy because it alienates and it’s too controversial. Again, I should not have to say this, but I don’t look to exclude or ”attack” anyone, merely to express my honest thoughts and opinions. If I have to self-censor so as not to offend anyone or exclude anyone, I would rather not blog. The best thing about blogging, at this point, is that it offers a rare chance to speak freely and candidly. That opportunity may not always exist, if things continue as they are.
That some out there will not agree with me is a given. That some reading my blog may be offended or angered by what I write, that, too, is to be expected. I get angered sometimes by other blogs, and usually just click away from that blog and stop visiting, if their views and mine cannot meet. I often express disapproval of ‘Ellis Islanders’, the descendants of the EI-era immigrants — not because I “hate” those ethnicities, like the Irish or Italians. If I hated the Irish, I would not at one time have planned to live in Ireland. Beyond that statement, I feel no need to go into pander mode to show my lack of prejudice; I know it’s PC to say ”some of my best friends are [fill in the blank with ethnicity].”
And it should not be necessary to say this, but I welcome all who consider themselves ‘old Americans.’ You need not be of colonial stock if you consider yourself a citizen of traditional America, and if you have no problem with WASP Americans, who after all, did found this country.
It is a sad commentary that I have to make any kind of disclaimer about simply stating the fact that English colonists founded America as we know it. That simple statement was just fact to most pre-PC Americans; no one thought to take offense or exception to it, even if they themselves were not WASPs or ‘Mayflower descendants.’
Nobody has reason to be offended if I hark back to old Anglo-Saxon America, as I’m fond of doing. Up until the late 1960s, that was the default culture for all White Americans, at least those who did not have recent immigrant origins. Even an Eastern European immigrant like Balint Vazsonyi, who came here in the late 1950s, enthusiastically embraced Anglo-America, and defended it beautifully. But those days seem to be gone.
Anglo-America is disparaged and derided from all sides, and those few of us who defend it and our ancestors are accused of divisiveness and ‘exclusivist’ attitudes, if not outright bigotry. And if I accept the current PC opinion that there is no White American culture or people, if WASPs are just nobodies, without race, nation, ethnicity, or culture, what do we have, then, to unify us here in America? Whiteness?
Many people think this, too, is tenuous and lacking in substance. What does ‘Whiteness’ entail? I think there is a recognizably White culture, and there are commonalities between us and our European cousins, but the fact is, many of them don’t see it that way. Their ethnic/regional identities trump Whiteness, which is just implicit to them.
So on what basis can White Americans form any sense of community and commonality, if the old default Anglo-America is considered ”exclusivist” and narrow? I think we are in a quandary if we take that attitude. What then? Are we reduced to trying to eliminate ethnocentrism, as I blogged about the other day? I don’t think that will work, as I said.
So for now I will do what I do, even though it will not be to the liking of everybody. I don’t write in hopes of attracting a mass audience. I don’t even really enjoy the blogs which draw hundreds of commenters; such discussions too often end up being trivial, or rancorous, or just plain incoherent and confused, with too many voices clamoring against each other. I don’t covet a huge readership. I don’t want to go mainstream. If a few of my ideas (which somehow manage not to offend) somehow disseminate outward, that is all I would hope for.
I want to speak on behalf of the people, the ‘old Americans’, especially (but not only) the Anglo-Americans, who are never mentioned except when a villain or scapegoat is needed, or a caricature along the lines of the bland, blond, vacuous WASPs of the stereotype. When Anglo-Americans are remembered at all, it is as either upper-class New Englanders or lower-class, rural rednecks. And maybe there are some people like that, but nonetheless they are my kin and my people, and I will not be found among those who slander or slur my kin. I will defend them when they are in need of defending, and I will honor my forefathers and remember their accomplishments. There are only a few of us who do this and I think our side deserves its defenders and keepers of the national memory.
Some time back, fellow blogger Mark who used to blog at Western Survival, said in a comment here that he thought this blog and his blog needed more positive names. ‘Vanishing American’ and ‘Western Survival’, he thought, sounded rather doom-and-gloomy. I agreed with that idea, though I had no ideas about a better and more positive name for this blog.
Should this blog be called something else? In line with what I have been talking about in this post, maybe this blog should be called ‘The Forgotten American’ since most people have forgotten Anglo-Americans, but oh well, they were only the founders of this country. However the term ”Forgotten Americans” has been used for political groups with a conservative/populist agenda. The ‘forgotten Americans’ are supposedly the conservative working class, Nixon’s Silent Majority, more or less. Maybe the ‘Silent Majority’ should have been this blog’s name, but to me it has Nixonian associations.
Or maybe this blog should have been dubbed ‘The Invisible American’ because, as I said, most old-stock Americans are not even visible or counted as worth notice by many other Americans. Again, though, it has that forlorn sound, and again, it’s been used to describe every downtrodden group from American Indians, blacks, gays, surrogate mothers, Asian-Americans, and the ‘working poor.’
Maybe the term ‘Displaced American’ or ‘Dispossessed American’? Or maybe ‘Amnesic American’ should have been my choice, since so many of us have forgotten who we are and who our ancestors were. I think we all need a refresher course in who we are, and where we have been, in hopes of regaining our lost memories and the confidence that we lost with them. We need to have a living past in order to look to a future.
Radical America, conservative Russia?
Over at An Irish Tory, there’s an interesting piece on Russia and America, contrasting the two countries, with America coming out much the worse in comparison.
I have noticed on some of the nationalist blogs I browse that many disillusioned American and other Western right-wingers tend to admire Russia, particularly in the person of Vladimir Putin, as being the potential savior of ”The West”. I can honestly say that I don’t know enough of Putin or of Russia to be willing to exalt him or see him as the Great White Hope, literally. And I am not even sure whether Russia is truly of ”the West”, to be technical. I don’t think the level of animosity and bitterness that developed during the Communist era between the Eastern bloc countries and the capitalist West can simply evaporate overnight, as some people believed it could and did after the Berlin Wall came down.
American conservatives have taken to proclaiming that Ronald Reagan ”won the cold war” and that once Mr. Gorbachev tore down that wall, we and the people of the Communist countries would be the best of friends. I don’t believe that; I believe the wall may still exist, culturally and philosophically, although paradoxically our country, especially under the current regime, is moving closer to the old Soviet model.
I don’t think, from my admittedly sparse knowledge of current events in Russia, that they are in fact our allies or potential allies, and it’s my impression that they still regard us with suspicion at best. I think prudence would warrant some wariness on our part.
But has our country, as An Irish Tory implies, switched places with Russia, becoming the ‘evil empire’ as Reagan termed the Soviet Union, while Russia is now a beacon of conservatism?
I don’t think America was ever the ‘conservative’ power we were told it was, America has always been a radical power, whether it is the free-masonic ideals of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’, or the appeal to equality apparent in the Declaration of Independence right up to the modern feminist movement and anti-racism, America has always been a hothouse for radical ideas, and intellectual ferment, meaning left wing intellectual ferment.”
Has our country always been ‘radical’ and egalitarian? Was Thomas Jefferson proposing today’s radical egalitarianism when he wrote his infamous phrase (recite it with me, please) ”all men are created equal”?
Was our ‘separation of Church and State’ policy proof of our radicalism? I trust most of us here know that there is no such policy enjoined by our Constitution; that phrase is not in any of our founding documents, appearing in a letter which Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists in 1802:
Believing… that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”
It is only in recent decades that this statement has been used and abused to remove religion — no, more precisely the Christian religion — from the public square. It was not intended to do so, nor did it do so for the first 200 years approximately of this Republic.
Over the years of trying to discuss politics and current affairs with many people of different European countries, I have become increasingly convinced that perhaps one has to be an American to truly understand our peculiar ideals and ways as laid out by our Founding Fathers. And it’s sadly true that many American-born people have begun to view our traditional America as being unenlightened and parochial, by contrast to Europe. The latter group is now in charge of our country.
As to whether America from its inception has been a hotbed of radicalism, I think that our Revolution was positively staid as contrasted to the French Revolution, with its massive bloodshed and its overturning of tradition in virtually all areas of life. In the newly-established United States, there were no large social upheavals, and daily life for most people went on much as always, under new governance, with more freedom, but still in most respects unchanged.
There was no native-born titled aristocracy to remove or purge in this country, and I can’t imagine even the most zealous of our Founding Fathers taking part in the Jacobin-style excesses in any case.
Abraham Kuyper said, in On Calvinism and Politics:
And if any one should still doubt whether or not the American revolution was homogeneous with that of Paris, this doubt is fully set at rest by the bitter fight in 1793 between Jefferson and Hamilton. Therefore it remains as the German historian Von Holtz stated it: “Es ware Thorheit zu sagen dass die Rousseauschen Schriften einen Einfluss auf die Entwicklung in America ausgeubt haben.” (“Mere madness would it be to say that the American revolution borrowed its impelling energy from Rousseau and his writings.”) Or as Hamilton himself expressed it, that he considered “the French Revolution to be no more akin to the American Revolution than the faithless wife in a French novel is like the Puritan matron in New England.”
I think the radical egalitarianism that has so marred today’s America is an echo of the Jacobins’ beliefs, not of our own more moderate traditions. The left of 2009 are simply today’s Jacobins, motivated by the same beliefs.
Groen van Prinsterer writes about their motivations here, and they sound very much like those of today’s left:
They had dedicated their lives to a worldview which they believed to be not only true, good, useful, and salutary, but also the sole and sure means of effecting a speedy and universal end of calamity and misfortune and the beginning of undisturbed happiness. We know their views. That the earth throughout all ages had been a theater of misery as a result of violence and hypocrisy; that princes and priests had made a pact to enslave the wretched nations body and soul in the double chain of compulsion and superstition; that the narrow and degrading dogmas of Christianity respecting man’s depravity and powerlessness had been utilized to press humanity, under the banner of justice and morality, into an artificial mold restricting all freedom of movement and development. Hence there came about so much and so many kinds of unhappiness and suffering; hence domination and slavery; wealth and poverty; unrest, strife, war; sorrows and crimes without number, the succession of which constitutes the history of the world. A philosophical rebirth from this piteous degeneration would, by its warm glow, put an end to this condition. Even now a light had been kindled in the darkness; even now rights were being brought to light which had fallen into oblivion. To observe the precepts of philosophy would mean to destroy prejudice and tyranny, to establish liberty, to guarantee prosperity, abundance, true culture and refinement, yea step by step to re?create and perfect the human race. Envy and strife would be quelled; the happiness of all would harmonize with the utility of all; there would be peace on earth, truth, justice, mutual love, obedience to the precepts of nature—not by curbing but by gratifying one’s desires and passions—, mutual assistance, brotherhood; in a word, instead of misery there would be bliss. Now might come to pass what had been impossible in the times of this ignorance. The opportunity was there. In France the grandiose task of educating humanity could be undertaken and completed. What a prospect! ”
Prinsterer wrote of the fanaticism of these men and women, and of their belief that their goals justified any means, no matter how horrible.
None of those who founded this country shared this attitude, and the Revolution they effected was not so much a revolution in the sense of overturning an existing order, but mostly a secession, as I said here recently.
However, what has happened during the last five decades does constitute a second, true revolution which is an overturning of the existing order.
Coincidentally, some of the same themes come up in this piece at The New Criterion, where Mark Steyn writes about ‘The State Despotic.’
The French revolution abolished everything and subordinated all institutions to the rule of central authority. The New World was more fortunate: “The principle and lifeblood of American liberty” was, according to Tocqueville, municipal independence. “With the state government, they had limited contact; with the national government, they had almost none,” writes Professor Rahe:
In New England, their world was the township; in the South, it was the county; and elsewhere it was one or the other or both… . Self-government was the liberty that they had fought the War of Independence to retain, and this was a liberty that in considerable measure Americans in the age of Andrew Jackson still enjoyed.
For Tocqueville, this is a critical distinction between America and the faux republics of his own continent. “It is in the township that the strengths of free peoples resides,” he wrote. “Municipal institutions are for liberty what primary schools are for science; they place it within reach of the people.”
When something goes wrong, a European demands to know what the government’s going to do about it. An American does it himself. Or he used to—in the Jacksonian America a farsighted Frenchman understood so well. “Human dignity,” writes Professor Rahe, “is bound up with taking responsibility for conducting one’s own affairs.” When the state annexes that responsibility, the citizenry are indeed mere sheep to the government shepherd. Paul Rahe concludes his brisk and trenchant examination of republican “staying power” with specific proposals to reclaim state and local power from Washington, and with a choice: “We can be what once we were, or we can settle for a gradual, gentle descent into servitude.”
Steyn is not sanguine about our future; read the rest at the link.
I do think the description of our slide into despotism is accurate.
America of 2009, I am grieved to say, bears little resemblance to the America of 1776 or even 1976. Change has taken place at a dizzying speed in the last decade or two, and even more so since January of this year. I am one who agrees that we are becoming a socialist country and a multiracial empire, but this is not our original nature; it is not who we are, and it does not reflect the nature or the character of old-stock Americans. You can’t remake a country demographically and expect it to retain its character and way of life. There is a whole new population being installed here to replace old Americans, and the America that much of the world loves to hate these days is this new changeling America, morphing from what it was into something unknown. And this is not by the choice of the citizenry of this country.
A dozen years ago, British journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, who knows America very well, said the following:
The American elite is almost beyond redemption… Moral relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush — sophistry washed down with Chardonnay. The ordinary citizens, thank goodness, still adhere to absolutes… It is they who have saved the republic from creeping degradation while their ‘betters’ were derelict.”
Whether the elite is beyond redemption — and I’m inclined to agree they are — I hope the ‘ordinary citizens’ are not, although in the dozen years since Evans-Pritchard wrote that paragraph, we have veered away from our previous certainties and absolutes somewhat. Is there hope for us?
Or was our Republic flawed from the beginning, and is it ‘inevitable’ that we would end up where we are today?
I’d like to hear your thoughts.