Self-forgetting Americans
0 comment Monday, June 16, 2014 |
There's a discussion at Audacious Epigone about racial self-identification, by ethnic group, including a table showing the percentage of people from each group who consider race or ethnicity as one of the most important means of self-identification.
The results for minorities (including Asians, that ever-popular model minority) show that they have higher levels of racial self-identification, with Hispanics having the highest, and blacks next. Anyone surprised?
Guess which group is last?
British-descended Americans, with Scandinavian in the next-lowest category.
The people who identify strictly as 'Americans' are just a little lower in the rankings than the minorities, and this is not surprising, since many of those who call themselves simply 'American' are often Southron people and even when not from the South, tend to be the proud patriot types.
Others say that many of these who say they are 'just Americans' are in fact those stereotyped Scots-Irish or those of Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Norman descent. The latter groups are usually of colonial stock, and their ties to the ''old country'' are so remote that they tend to think of themselves as Americans, with no hyphen.
My problem with studies like this (and I am no scientist, nor do I claim to be) is that I think most people's self-identification is hazy or inaccurate, with the exception of the later immigrant stock, those who have held to their European identity from, say, Ireland or Italy or Eastern Europe.
Many people who are mixed colonial stock/ethnic immigrant stock don't count their old-stock (usually English) ancestry because it's too remote, whereas they have heard stories of an immigrant great-grandfather -- hence they identify with that ethnicity, because it's the only one they know with certainty,
There are any number of charts and maps and census records which show America as being populated mostly by German-stock people, and that never seems credible to me. The dominance of English surnames or British Isles surnames seems, according to common sense, to indicate that there is quite a bit more British ancestry here than German.
Absent any real documentation of one's ancestry, many people are just guessing, or mentioning the only ethnicity in their background that they are aware of.
I've found in doing genealogy and communicating with many people about family history that many Americans seem to have ancestral equivalents of 'urban legends' or myths which they believe, but which are proven false when the research is done, and records examined. What I am saying is that relying on self-reporting is not a good way to determine who is who, or how many people of a given ethnicity there are in America.
Genealogy is becoming more popular, but many people still don't know their family history or lineage, except in the vaguest sense. I think this is a sad situation that contributes to White Americans' relatively low levels of racial/ethnic consciousness. If you don't know very much about who your forebears were, or how they came to this country, there's little basis for pride or racial consciousness. Neither is there a strong attachment to this country or your neighbor if you think of yourself as just a generic 'American' whose allegiance is to vague things like 'freedom' and 'democracy' rather than to a kin group or ancestral soil.
One thing that becomes very clear when you research your colonial-stock ancestry is that you find that you have many collateral relatives who are of Jamestown founding stock, or Massachusetts colonial descent. You learn just how many living Americans you are cousins to. We are not a nation of random, unconnected , rootless, individuals, but those of us who have been here for a few generations have unimagined connections to many Americans.
Of course, with the mass immigration now being engineered by our rulers, the connections will be broken down and we will truly become deracinated and isolated. That's the intention. The lack of cohesion is becoming painfully evident.
Until Americans either make an effort to learn their own family histories, and until the ''proposition nation'' and ''nation of immigrants'' propaganda weakens its hold, White Americans will be this deracinated and put-upon people who let others walk all over us, while we play genial nice guys with low self-respect.
The comments on the AE article bring up a number of popular notions, such as the idea that Protestantism contributes to a low racial consciousness while Catholicism does the opposite. Someone mentions that the northern European countries which were historically Protestant have the worst immigration problems. But it seems that historically Catholic countries (Spain, Ireland, Italy, and France) have their share of problems with immigration and multiculturalism, although the problem in Ireland is more recent.
One thing that seems always to be ignored in these attempts to link religion to low racial awareness is the fact that few people in Europe, relatively speaking, have a real Christian faith. Though these countries may still be called 'Protestant' or Catholic, they are in fact post-Christian. That fact has already been publicly acknowledged in the UK.
In all European countries (except perhaps for Eastern Europe) the Christian faith is more or less vestigial, with no widespread belief among the populations. Secularism and liberal/Marxist/leftist beliefs have displaced Christianity, or corrupted what is left of it into a parody of itself.
Does the individualism which is popularly said to characterize the northern Europeans, especially Anglo-Saxons, predispose them to be deracinated and hyperindividualistic? I would say these traits were much less common in the days when the Christian faith was still a living faith in Europe. Despite the popular idea that communism or leftism are communally oriented and anti-individualistic, I think there is a paradox there. While many leftists emphasize the ''community'' and 'the people'' at least nominally, the mindset is at least as much influenced by philosophical ideas gleaned from people like Nietzsche and Sartre, which focus on the individual. The average liberal or leftist believes he is a blank slate on which he creates himself. Having an ethnic or racial identity is too constricting, too limiting. The liberal likes to believe he is his own creation, and that any ascribed identity is false or imprisoning. And besides, race is a social construct, and we all bleed red, and there's only one race, etc. etc.
If you ask me, much of what is wrong with the West comes from those toxic ideas, rather than from a feeble and hollowed-out Christianity.
I will never understand why so many keep looking to a long-abandoned religion to explain the attitudes of today's muddled and addled White liberals. Christianity is anathema to them; they probably grew up in secular, or even anti-Christian homes, and today's Western liberals have certainly been indoctrinated with secular dogmas and media propaganda. America still has some faithful Christians, but we can see the rot setting in even in some traditionally conservative churches.
Why then are northern European-descended people so lacking in racial consciousness? The subject has been discussed many times, and the answer is not clear-cut. There's no single answer.
Perhaps one seldom-mentioned possibility is that for a long while in the early days of this republic, the Anglo-Saxons who formed the core of the population, and the majority, were unselfconscious because there was little ''diversity''; the groups who were here at the beginning, such as English, Scots, Dutch, and some Germans, were all close kin, and all assimilated to Anglo-Saxon ways. There was no need for forming a strong identity in competition with others who opposed the majority.
In fact, up until the mass immigration of the Ellis Island era, Americans of Anglo descent were the dominant group with no one to seriously challenge their power. Of course that all changed in the last 60 years or so, and I think many old-stock Americans have only now begun to notice, so secure did they feel in control of this country.
We can argue about whether there is some genetic tendency (or flaw, really) among Anglo-Saxons that makes them more individualist and less racially conscious, However I would say there isn't much evidence of that. Anglo-Saxons, wherever they've lived, used to have a very strong and assertive identity which enabled them to conquer and dominate just about wherever they went. They also had good group cohesion in an ethnic and racial sense when they settled this country, else there would have been widespread mixing with other races, as in Latin America. It looks as though that stereotype is turned on its head, as the conquistadores left mixed offspring everywhere they went, and not just here and there, while the English preserved their own people and customs and faith when they came here.
It's also noteworthy that the English colonists brought families with them when they crossed the Atlantic; they intended to found communities here, and not just to explore or plunder. Jamestown at first had no women, but earlier efforts at settling Virginia did include women. But Jamestown eventually included women who came over from England to marry the colonists.
So the English and the Dutch and the Huguenots tended to bring women and children with them to America, and to found families and communities, while the supposedly more family-oriented Southern Europeans did not do so when they came here, for the most part.
My point is, the idea of English 'Protestant' hyper-individualism is exaggerated. So much of what is said in these discussions is based on cliche and stereotype. Sure, stereotypes have a basis in fact, but in this case, so much of what is said about the founding stock of this country is based on an oversimplified image of Englishmen or Anglo-Saxons.
In fact, I'd say many Americans know too little about the country and people which in essence created America. And this won't change as long as so many of the real-life ''Albion's seed'' don't even know who they are, and are content not to know.
Part of the mission of this blog, since the beginning, has been to awaken some of the dormant racial memory of who we are, where we came from, and then to decide where we are going.
So I will keep returning to this subject of the ''vanishing American', especially the neglected and overlooked and stereotyped Anglo-American.

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