Vanishing Appalachia
0 comment Thursday, June 19, 2014 |
From the Houston Chronicle, that sorry newspaper which shills for the open borders lobby shamelessly, here is a depressing and distressing headline
The new face of Appalachia
As Latino immigration, legal and illegal, reaches the rural Southeast, passions, jobs, politics and pulpits are changing in towns such as Morristown, Tenn.''
[...]Even in thoroughly modern Morristown, tied to the rest of the world through manufacturing, the arrival of "these people" is quickly changing a region that has clung to a shared cultural and ethnic identity since the 1700s.
This kind of change can feel threatening, all mixed up in knotty questions about legal and illegal, assimilation, job loss and fear. At the very least, people are conflicted.
The article rambles on, in typical PC polemical fashion, with references to 'potential for violence' and mentions the 'Klan', and alludes to 'extremism.'
The main point of the piece is that Morristown, Tennessee now has a 'Little Mexico', which if the influx continues, will likely result in a Mexican majority.
Rightly, some of the townspeople quoted resent the implication that any resistance to the illegal influx and the Hispanicization of their home is 'racist'. Apparently city leaders themselves have smeared their townspeople as 'racists'. It seems the business people are all too often ready to welcome the illegals in; it's good for their bottom line, or it's new customers for their business, and cheap help. Any sense of loyalty is lacking in many of the business 'leaders'. So on it goes, as elsewhere: the government and business interests working hand in hand to dispossess and deracinate America.
It's a shame when this enforced transformation happens anywhere in America, in my opinion . But somehow, it's doubly tragic when this is being forced on the Southeast, and most especially in the Appalachian region, because this region is in a way, the last holdout of a distinctive culture. Appalachia and all of the Southeast are special.
Writer Rebecca Caudill (1899-1985) wrote mostly for young people but her works were generally about the Appalachia of her youth. She also wrote a memoir, called My Appalachia. She said
Most important were the people, unhurried, kind, independent, determined, with big families and close and loyal family ties. Money was of no importance in the life of anyone I knew. If a man was sick, womenfolks helped nurse him to health, while the menfolks tended to his planting, his plowing, his harvesting. A man was judged by what he was, never by what he had. Doors in the houses of my Appalachia were never locked against friend or stranger. The people found their pleasures in the simple things of life. They possessed a kind of profound wisdom, characteristic of those who live close to Nature, who walk in step with Nature's rhythm, and who depend on Nature for life itself.
( - from 'My Appalachia)''
Here is an article, written by Dave Peyton, dating from 1975, more than 3 decades ago. It's called 'Preface for a Dying Culture,' the culture being the Appalachian Culture.
Two hundred years have passed since the first white settlers made their early arduous steps into the Appalachian wilderness, but those two centuries have brought America no closer to understanding the people of the Appalachian culture than when the culture was born.
The old ways of the mountains are disappearing. In their place are festivals dedicated to the memories, slick commercial extrapolations of the mountain cultures and small, and seemingly ineffectual, groups of "new Appalachians" who desire to see a new culture built on the best of the old values.
The future of the culture is clouded. There are those who say the culture is dying, if it is not dead already.''
The author quotes a professor named Dr. Norman Simpkins who asserted at that time that the Appalachian culture was dying.
If Dr. Simpkins is correct and if the Appalachian culture is beyond saving, it might be said that the folk culture was the only one of its kind to have survived two centuries without ever being studied systematically or dealt with successfully.
History proves that the culture flourished in relative isolation for a century and one-half before mainstream American culture began making inroads.''
Some of the causes for the weakening of the culture were better and more extensive transportation and communication: telephones, radio, TV, and the movies.
But in the earlier eras, the Appalachian Mountain region was remote and isolated from what was called 'civilization.' The settlers of the region were a homogeneous people, mostly of English descent, although there are scholars who aver, with little proof to back it up, that most settlers were of Scots-Irish ancestry, or at least that the Scots-Irish culture was the dominant one there. The fact is many of the settlers there were descendants of Jamestown colonists, most of whom were of English ancestry, with some Scots and Welsh. In any case they shared a common culture and language, as well as a common religious heritage: Protestant.
There were also Eastern band Cherokee in this region of the country, and despite early clashes they seem to have intermarried considerably with the white settlers. Many people who descend from the early settlers claim some Cherokee blood, however remote.
As to the culture of the people of the Appalachians, when English ballad collector Cecil Sharp visited Appalachia in 1916, he said
My experiences have been very wonderful so far as the people and their music is concerned. The people are just English of the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. They speak English, look English, and their manners are old-fashioned English. Heaps of words and expressions they use habitually in ordinary conversation are obsolete, and have been in England a long time.
[...]Although the people are so English, they have their American quality that they are freer than the English peasant. They own their own land, and have done so for three or four generations, so that there is none of the servility which, unhappily, is one of the characteristics of the English peasant. With that praise, I should say that they are just exactly what the English peasant was one hundred or more years ago. They have been so isolated and protected from outside influence that their own music and song have not only been uncorrupted, but also uninfluenced by art music in any way.'
[...]They are happy, contented, and live simply and healthily, and I am not at all sure that any of us can introduce them to anything better than this. Something might be done in teaching them better methods of farming, so as to lighten the burden of earning a living from their holdings; and they should certainly be taught to read and write - at any rate, those who want to, ought to be able to.''
Sharp has been accused of over-romanticizing the people he met, and of exaggerating the English influence in their ballad traditions. It may be that he was guilty of that, but there is no doubt that there was a very distinctive Anglo-derived culture there, or an Anglo-Celtic one, if you must. There was an obvious English core to the culture, but there was a distinctly American flavor to it, born of the experiences of the settlers in their new environment.
I didn't grow up in that region of the South, but my own childhood in Texas gives me a feeling of recognition of much of the Appalachian culture; after all, my own Texas ancestors were from various other Southern states before they came to Texas as colonists. Many of the Appalachian people descended from early Jamestown colonists, as my kin did. So that culture, including the music, the food, the dialect of English, the folk ways, faith, and values all resonate with me; they are much the same as what I knew from my Texas roots. As much of the South began to change (for the worse, in my opinion) after the 1960s, with an influx of northerners who had no regard for Southern culture, it seemed that the only place which retained a relatively unchanged Southern Anglo culture was the Southeast, especially the Appalachian region. So it is both saddening and infuriating to me that this region is under assault by the Mexican invasion, as well as by the multicultural meddlers: those governmental and 'charitable' groups who have been sending thousands of stone-age refugees into various places. It is true that change is inevitable everywhere, but it is not always for the better, and some change is purposely engineered, as this demographic change is, without the will of the people being respected. It's profoundly undemocratic and authoritarian to force such a cultural change on an established people, without consent or input from them.
In our topsy-turvy world, the emphasis is always on 'respecting' diverse cultures, and being forcibly taught all about some exotic way of life, mostly Islam and Mexican culture, since they are the primary colonizers of our country now, with the official blessing of our disloyal government. Our children are taught more in school about some make-believe kingdoms of ancient Africa than they are taught about their own heritage and history. In other words, why is every culture and heritage valued and promoted except our own? Why is our culture alone marked for extinction, judged unfit to survive?
Why is the Southeast, and the precious Appalachian people and culture seemingly targeted for destruction by our meddling social engineers? It's a crime not only against the people who live there, but also against the rest of America.
I know from first-hand experience that a lot of northerners, and sadly some Southerners, are indifferent to Southern culture; they have bought the propaganda that it's all backward, ignorant, and 'racist', and that it is not worth preserving. Obviously I disagree strongly. If the culture of the South goes, then we may as well pronounce real American culture dead, too, because to me, the South embodies all that is best about America, all that is truly worth preserving. The South embodies love of country and kin, a warrior spirit, a zest for life, a pride in heritage, and the fierce love of independence that made America what it is -- or should I say what it once was?
Obviously, again, I may be biased. No doubt I am, because this is my heritage and culture under attack. But all Americans should care about the fate of our country; all of us should be zealous for preserving what is distinctively American.
I have no hatred of the Mexicans who are colonizing America but they have a country (of which they claim to be very proud) and a culture of their own, yet they covet ours, and if they get their way, our country will be a Spanish-speaking province and their way of life will eclipse ours; there will be no more Appalachia as we have known it for centuries.
There is one Mexico; why does the world need another? And there is only one Appalachian culture, which is endangered. Once that way of life goes, something irreplaceable will be forever lost, or at best, it will only be a museum piece, or a footnote in a history book like the Etruscans or the Lost Colony of Virginia.
And maybe the Appalachians, in this sense, are a microcosm of America. As they go, so does the rest of America.
I am counting on the independent spirit of my kin in the Southeast to preserve their home.

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