David Lee Beowülf
I believe that every true American should cringe when hearing application of hyphenated-Americanism. With the exception of “African-Americans,” (more about that later), I think it’s genuinely un-American to apply some false, racist prefix to oneself. In 1998, who can tell the difference between an Irish-American and a German American? (OK, their last names… ) Or perhaps the difference between a French-American and a Swiss-American? How about the difference between a Korean-American and a Northern Chinese-American? Here’s a hard one: Can you tell the difference between a Malaysian-Filipino-American and a Chinese-Filipino-American? And even tougher: how about an Armenian-American and a Turkish-American? (That’s without knowing their last names, mind you.) What about a Lebanese-American and a Cypriot-American? For the real challenge: what about a Hutu-American and a Tutsi-American? (The last one is easy: they’re the ones trying to kill each other with more zeal than all the others). What about a Serbian-American and a Croatian-American (they both speak Serbo-Croatian… )? And here’s a bonus: pick out the difference between the 150 different Ethnic Indian-Americans (that is, from India). And let’s not even start with trying to tell the difference between a Mexican-American and a Peruvian-American.
While I love learning about different cultures, in my opinion, once you become an American citizen, it all becomes irrelevant. American citizens swear allegiance to America, not to Norway or Finland, nor to Sicily or Tripoli, not to Kenya or Tanzania, not to Mongolia or Manchuria, but to the United States of America. And that means surrendering any and all allegiance to whatever your cultural ethnicity “is.” My own ethnicity runs along these lines: one-quarter each Swedish and Italian, one eighth Russian Jew, one eighth Lithuanian Jew, one eighth Irish, and one-sixteenth each of German and French. And all of it working-class or peasant mud-workers, thank you very much. The only “historical identity” I might have is being a descendent of some Swede called “John On-the-Hill;” whose claim to fame was that he lived on some hill. The Russian side of the family got here first in the 1830’s, with the Italians bringing up the rear circa 1903 (it’s funny that the Italian side owns about half of Rhode Island, while the rest of the family has either disappeared or rents… ). Some “viking” I make, no? Yeah, me and Isabella Rosselini… Besides the fact that the last true “vikings” either died out or completely gave up being vikings around 1200 A.D., what right have I to claim a European heritage? And why would I want one, anyway? Screw Europe and its lousy experiments in “government,” hell, most of the “Euros” still don’t know what soap is.
Like most everyone else living in the United States of America, the greatest in the history of civilization, my ancestors fled their homelands, usually fleeing some unbearably oppressive government. Our ancestors weren’t the warrior-kings or knights or great European statesmen, no, those folk’s descendants still own their lands. Our ancestors worked for the knights and landlords. And if they didn’t work hard enough, they were tortured and/or killed. Perhaps they were soldiers and were sent away because they were too dangerous to have around! Or maybe they were debtors, who were clogging-up the debtor’s prisons and needed to be put to good use. And let us not forget those people who were brought here in chains by the shipload and sold in markets.
Sorry, but America has its roots in being the “surplus” population of Europe. All of use were kicked out of, dragged out of, or escaped from the cesspool of our ancestral homelands. And for that we may thank our Creator, because, from what I’ve read about peasant conditions in medieval Europe, life was short and rotten. And to give another high-five to the good Old U S of A, let’s remember that America, despite us causing all the world’s problems since the dawn of history (if you listen to those damn Liberal pukes), is largely responsible for the epidemic of freedom that’s taken the planet by storm since 1776. In Pakistan it is legal to throw sulfuric acid on a women’s face if she’s out in public without a veil. In India a wife without a good enough dowry might expect to be burned alive by her in-laws. All over Africa female circumcision is expected of all women. In central Europe, they’re still playing the same to-the-death game of king of the hill they’ve been playing for centuries. In England you still can’t own land unless you’re at least a Duke. In China the government will hold you down and administer an abortion if you’re pregnant and already have one child. In a wonderful and civilized country like Saudi Arabia a woman will be put to death for driving a car. In Russia you need a passport to travel in your own country! And in happy-go-lucky Singapore you get publicly beaten if you’re caught spraying graffiti on parked cars (hmmm, that’s probably a good idea… ). Hey, the US has had its share of the horrible, but compared to everywhere else, in 1998, it can’t be beat. No wonder people want to come here and live. There’s still plenty of places to escape from on this wonderful planet.
Regardless of the well-documented fact that a) America is, quite literally, a nation of immigrants, b) that the majority of important medical, scientific and engineering breakthroughs since 1776 can directly be traced to American immigrants resulting from the steady influx of people replenishing and refreshing our unique “melting pot” demographic, there’s no shortage of “Americans” who want to shut our borders. And shut that door fast!
In order to balance myself politically I read both the very well-written National Review and that lousy, liberal, commie, pinko fish wrapper, The New Republic. Both publications, though, are good indicators of the conservative and liberal attitudes towards immigration to the United States. Depending on what week it is, either magazine could publish pro or con-immigration articles. There are noticeable differences, however. The conservatives seem to be either all for it, provided you’re not an illegal alien and provided you’re going to be of use to the common good -and provided taxes won’t be raised because of it. That is, you either already have a career or you’re hard-working and ready to join the work force, or maybe you’re a student. On the other hand, sometimes the conservatives bitch that immigration is taking away jobs from Americans who are already here. Somehow I doubt that the Mexican dishwasher is a threat to the economic security of the sixth-generation Dutch-German-Irish-Scottish-Rumanian-French-American physics student, but, sometimes even the conservatives are a bit off. My general impression is that the conservatives favor immigration as long as it doesn’t cost them any money and/or threaten the lives of their children.
The liberals, too, seem to favor immigration as long as it doesn’t cost them any money and/or threaten the lives of their children. Any sensible person would favor anything as long as it doesn’t cost them any money and/or threaten the lives of their children. Some liberals, especially those with big mouths and lots of money, would prefer that drug-dealing, murderous brigands, especially with funny accents and dark skin be let in by the boatload. And make sure you let them live in those nice, suburban Republican middle class neighborhoods! (And that’s for two reasons: 1) the rich liberals have enough money to keep their own kids out of inner city schools and can live far away from this foreign rubbish, and 2) it really upsets hard-working conservative, Christian Republicans when they have to live with “foreigners.”) However, it seems that prominent liberals out there like the Negative Population Growth folks and the Sierra Club see immigration as a looming monster, something that could destroy the United States, if not the entire world! After all, what better way to solve the overpopulation “problem” (which I do not believe exists) than closing the borders to our country? That way, since, apparently, those of us already here aren’t reproducing at the replacement rate (according to studies by various think-tanks, both liberal and conservative, I don’t have the exact paper here right now, though -look it up on the Web!), the numbers will dwindle even more, since there’s no influx of replacement people. Never mind, Ted “I wish I could kill my children for the betterment of the Earth” Turner seems to have his mind set on paying people to stay in their old countries, and what Ted wants…
The only reason the immigration “problem” is unique to America is because this is where it’s at, man. If this wasn’t where it’s at, then the “huddled masses” would set their sights on, on… on where? When was the last mass exodus to Mexico? (OK, there were at least two mass exoduses to Mexico, Central and South America this century – both related to escaping Europe under Hitler and Eastern Europe under communism – in fact, I personally know one Hungarian engineer and brutal, yet concerned, taskmaster, who fled Hungary without his wife -the communists killed her- in the late 1950’s, spent thirteen years in Mexico and finally made it to his heavenly destination – Brevard County, Florida… ) No, no, the United States of America really is the land of unlimited opportunity. Otherwise, we’d have a real problem; which is what John F. Kennedy said (and it’s such a common catchphrase, I’m sure someone else said it, too) in his posthumously-published book A Nation of Immigrants: “when people stop wanting to move here, that’s when we have a problem.”
It’s important to understand who the real Americans are, or at least, were. The term “Native Americans” was first applied to white people who where here first. That is, they were the first to get off the boat, take and hold the land. Which included clearing it of the “savages,” and, in some cases, making sure there was a foothold for the slave trade. The “Nativist” movement got it’s start in the 1830’s and possessed genuine influence in the 1850’s with the rise of the “Know-Nothings,” who received a good portion of the presidential vote in 1856. The bottom line of their platform was to preserve the “pure” Americans, those whose families could be traced back to the pre-revolutionary landholders (which made them “better” than “mixed-race” people like me). Which, of course, meant that they were white, English and members of the Church of England (in America they’re called “Episcopalians”). And if you’re curious about any existing offshoots of this movement, look no further than the Daughters of the American Revolution. Requirements for membership? Easy: if your grandparent to the nth power got off a few shots at a Redcoat and you are a woman, you’re in. I wonder if Crispus Attucks’ descendants are members? (Who? Look him up… )
These organizations (including the KKK) established themselves during the first real waves of “modern” immigration to the United States, circa 1850. The people who came here really were the poor, tired wretched refuse -from Europe and Ireland. The biggest problem, though, was that most of them were Catholics and thus a threat to the good old C of E. And an awful lot were Jews, and naturally they were made to feel “at home” by the “Natives” as well. About thirty years later, in the 1880’s, laws were passed placing quotas on the number of Chinese immigrants allowed into the United States (protecting against the “Yellow Peril”). While I couldn’t really find any paramilitary anti-Buddhist organizations, the fact that there were so many of these “yellow” folks around led many “pure” Americans to have a few drinks and raze the Chinese parts of town to the ground, killing men, women and children with extreme prejudice. The immigration quota laws restricting Chinese access to the USA were put to rest in 1965, nearly 100 years later.
The “Native American” resistance to immigration is some of the United States’ ugliest history. But, since I’m David Lee Beowulf, I can make the bombastic statement that “what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger,” so those who survived the ignorant American thugs prospered like never before, right?
Who Are These People?
In the huge scheme of things, I believe America had to go through this period of brazen ignorance. Otherwise, well, lets consider what makes up the true-blooded American:
a) Every school kid knows (or should know) that the Pilgrims, establishing the Plymouth Colony through the Mayflower Compact in 1620, laid the foundation for what would become the United States. These folks were English Christian Fundamentalists. They wore funny hats, burned witches, ate turkey with the indigenous peoples, banned Christmas, made adulterers wear a big, red “A” on their clothes, and went to church on Saturdays. And you’d best be in church or you’d spend time in the stocks – or worse. Why’d they leave England? Well, every school kid knows that, too: to escape religious persecution at home…
b) Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement, which was established in 1607, included such neat people as John Smith who dated Pocohantas and John Rolfe, who married her and started the tobacco industry. Jamestown was really a commercial venture, rather than a desire for religious freedom. However, as I mentioned, these folks took a good look at the squaws and grabbed a piece of that action, oh, yeah. Nat Bacon’s rebellion, however, put Jamestown to an end.
c) Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, another religious whacko whom we may thank for Quaker Oats. He was English, but had plenty of Dutch friends.
d) New York was founded by some bright Dutch and English men who bought Manhattan Island for the princely sum of twenty-four dollars.
e) The south, comprising Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia had economies largely based on plantation corps. And you know what that meant: right, slaves. The deep south had more slaves than “citizens,” too. Isn’t that interesting?
f) and so on. Lots of history books are available concerning every possible detail of the history of the American people, read a few, read a hundred!
I do have a point: the first “Americans” were predominantly English. Some were literally forced out of England by blazing pitchfork for their insane religious views and some left for commercial gain. There were plenty of French, Dutch and possibly some Spanish “Americans,” but a couple of wars here and there cleaned ‘em out and made room for more English types. Either that, or we’d outright buy their colonies from them. The south, from the very beginnings of America, was heavily populated with those ubiquitous dark-skinned people who did all the work. Japeth vs. Ham, interesting…
The first Americans all had one thing in common, and that was that they expected nothing but hard work and lots of killing. They’d work to produce a crop and kill the “natives” who didn’t particularly like having their hunting grounds plowed up. Life was hard, and pretty short, if you weren’t quick with the musket. But eventually “civilization” caught on, and less than a hundred years later, there were big cities cropping up all over the place. These sported banking and other financial institutions, colleges and universities, restaurants, pubs, construction yards, harbors, etc. What it also included was a good mix of peoples. You could find lots of Germans, Dutch, French, a few Poles, some Spaniards, and the occasional Italian, Greek, and even some Irish. That is, “white” Europeans. And there were plenty of “Africans,” both freedmen and slaves from coast to frontier.
Why were people coming to America? Not counting the lunatic religious fanatics, who preferred to be left alone, people were coming here because America offered something “home” didn’t, mostly land, but also the chance to breathe fresh air, to be free – unless you happened to be owned by someone.
Now, I’ll agree that I’m painting a seriously over-rosy picture about the founding of the United States, but you’ll find the same thing in millions of words from history books: English people thought America offered a chance to be their own persons, to get away from the feudal system (which, in one form or another, was still going strong). Of course, they were somewhat miffed when they found out their good, old feudal Lords back home owned the colonies, too; same shit, different country.
Sort of. What the English landowners didn’t count on and probably didn’t care about either, was that giving more and more peasants a chance to work their way out of peasantry would give rise to a powerful middle class that would destroy the way of the manor-born. In addition to that, a lot of these restless colonists were freemasons. (Shudder!)
A New World Order
Any number of American history books will tell you about the men who founded the United States, people like Thomas Jefferson (Scottish-English), Benjamin Franklin (English), and George Washington (English). And they’ll mention the Marquis de Lafayette (French), Casimir Pulaski (Polish), and Alexander Hamilton (Jamaican, mon). Let’s just put a huge “et al.” at the end of this paragraph, shall we?
What the history books won’t necessarily mention is that most of the founders of the United States were practicing freemasons. And while they weren’t meeting in secret, working on their diabolical plans for world domination, they were coming up with crazy ideas that eventually made their way into the documents establishing the government of this country. Nutjob ideas like “all men are created equal” and “freedom of speech,” that would never have come from the minds of a cruel landlord or King, flowed freely from the minds of these men because the lodge members genuinely subscribed to the idea that all men were, in fact, created equal. A whack idea like “freedom of religion” and “separation of church and state” wasn’t the product of men “hell”-bent on establishing a Christian theocracy, it was the result of visionaries who wanted to live in a free country were people could meet and speak their minds reasonably, without fear of the king’s henchmen running you off the highway and then raping your wife and children as a warning that you’d better watch your mouth.
For example, the Declaration of Independence cites that King George “… has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that reason obstructing the Laws for the Naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.” That is, for some reason, King George (the “mad” one) didn’t want any damn foreigners to come into his colonies.
That they’d want to establish a country where it wasn’t a capital crime to speak your mind is central to the issue of immigration: an awful lot of those “damn foreigners” were freemasons (don’t believe me? read Robert Anton Wilson’s works… ), and people like Thomas Jefferson knew that there were decent, freedom-loving men in all countries (including Africa, believe it or not, where there were and still are a few freemasons, I’m sure, where do you think they got the idea for the Fez, anyway?), and they were more than welcome to these here United States. Jefferson even wrote passionately about his desire that the indigenous peoples (i.e., “Indians”) would join the American civilization, if only to increase their numbers by not having to endure the cruelties inherent in outdoor living and fighting for your food every day. And did you know there were not too few American Indians who were freemasons back then? (There’s a very interesting “Who Will Save the Widow’s Son” woodcut in a hoary tome in the Florida Tech library… )
The Morning After
But what happened? To read the history of the early United States, up through Andrew Jackson’s time is to read an exciting adventure. During this time what we consider today as almost “God” given rights were literally invented out of thin air. Right from the start, though, the “problem” of immigration (and other things, too) became an issue. John Adams’ Alien and Sedition Acts, signed into law in 1798, made it a criminal act to speak against the United States! This was America?! But these were some of the first laws to be declared unconstitutional, too (and don’t worry, John Adams only served one term). The first thirty or so years since 1789 saw the United States grow enormously. We bought Louisiana from Napoleon, Florida from Spain, and saw Maryland get into a war with Virginia. There were wars over whiskey, over the rights of citizens who didn’t own land and we even had another war with England. With all that going on, you’d think nobody’d want to come here, it must have been a mess!
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the American ethnicity during these formative years in our country’s history was predominantly English. Both landowners and laborers, both educated and illiterate. The ethnic landscape also comprised a good deal of “Africans,” that is, as well as a hell of a lot of Germans, a noticeable Dutch contingent in New York, and a smattering of others, mostly from continental Europe. But the overwhelming ethnic landscape was Anglo (i.e., “white”) through and through.
All of a sudden, for it must have been strongly noticeable to have elicited such a response – enough to get the Know-Nothings started, all these “foreigners” started popping up. The nice, pure “American” blood was in danger of being dirtied by the hordes of Swedes and Finns, more and more Germans, Italians, Poles, Slavs, Italians, most of whom were (gasp!) Roman Catholics. Not to mention all these damn Russian Jews who decided to set up shop. And let’s not forget the Chinese – they’re after our women, boys! But wait, Ireland decided to open its bowels on us, too! Let’s get ‘em! First thing you know, the Pope will declare ownership of the country! And don’t tell me the slaves are now freed? And they’re going to be allowed to vote?! Will the last “American” to leave please bring the flag with him?!
Somehow it didn’t happen. Strange. Maybe it hasn’t happened “yet.” I mean, I sure haven’t noticed anything bad about working with and living around all these different people; except the English, I really don’t care for them at all (they smell funny).
Seriously, the wars, either governmentally-sanctioned or “private,” waged by ignorant “Americans” against their fellow “Americans” did devastating damage to the country, but it also made it great, mainly because ignorance didn’t and will not prevail. But these wars are still being fought. Consider this: “we” survived having Scandinavia taking a dump on Minnesota, we survived Germany going major league poo-poo on Wisconsin. “We” did all right even though Ireland and Italy ganged up on Massachusetts and New York. And “we’ve” managed even though all of continental Europe emptied its garbage scow on “our” shores. “We” even muddled through China relieving itself on California. Even the “native” people have finally done all right, especially since they’ve been put in charge of all the best gambling houses (fitting, isn’t it?).I mean, putting aside the few flashes of ignorant “Americans” bashing a particular group here and there, the country gained in everything based on the contributions of these “mud people” to “our” society.
But how would you like it if you saw all these “mud people,” after only a hundred years or so, assimilate and become “normal” while you and your people (get it? “you people”?) had beat them here by about three hundred years and you still haven’t been given your slice of the pie?
The Dark Ages
As I mentioned before, and as is well-documented, even in the letters of Thomas Jefferson, in the southern states, the black population was sometimes triple that of the “native” English-Americans. While I said that cringing at hyphenated Americanism was patriotic, I accept and understand the ethnic identity of “African-Americans.” Most, if not all, black Americans with anglo surnames, should be able to trace their roots to Western Africa. That is, countries like Nigeria and Mali, rather than Kenya or Ethiopia. But to call oneself “Western-African-American” would confuse everyone and might, in some instances, be incorrect. Considering that African-Americans have been here just as long, if not longer than the original “native” English stock, who are actually pretty hard to find these days; you mixed white Europeans, fresh off the boat, have some nerve denying anything to those whose ancestor’s blood, sweat, and tears built this country. Michael Jordan, Chuck Berry, and your elementary school janitor have more claim to being “Native Americans” than nearly all white folks “running things” in the USA of 1998. Let me say this if it wasn’t for African “Americans” like Dr. Charles Richard Drew, Dr. George Washington Carver, or Benjamin Banneker we wouldn’t have blood transfusions, peanut butter, or Washington, D.C.
So the next time some second-generation Harp says something about sending “them” back to Africa, just remind him that they’re insulting someone whose family’s been in America since before the revolution. Whitey would be smart to remember that his genes couldn’t hack it in Europe. ◼