Just what does it mean...
0 comment Monday, October 13, 2014 |
Leo McKinstry, writing for the Express, asks 'Just what does it mean to be called British these days?' It's a pertinent question these days, what with mass immigration threatening to overwhelm much of the West, or former Christendom.
We could just as appropriately ask 'just what does it mean to be called American these days?' The difference between our country and the UK is that Britain, unlike this country of ours, was not a nation of immigrants, or 'multicultural from the beginning', as leftwing propagandists shamelessly assert.
Our country, though I reject the ''nation of immigrants'' label, did, gradually, admit many immigrants from very disparate places and cultures, and we did so at considerable cost to our sense of commonality and our very identity. Nowadays almost anyone who has set foot on this soil with an intention to stay here is deemed an 'American', even if they speak no English, and even if they are openly hostile to the people of this country and our traditions. Sadly, this seems to be the case in Britain, too, though their subjection to 'diversity' is of a much more recent origin.
One element of the British identity crisis is that ironically, it is the English who seem to be marginalized and at a disadvantage, in the country which is at its core, their country. Many Americans seem not to be aware that 'British' is a kind of civic identity, whereas 'English' is an ethnic designation. Aliens and foreigners can become 'British' by obtaining a British passport and obtaining all the rights of British nationality -- but they can never be 'English', because English is an exclusive identity, based on lineage, not documents. Many Americans seem unable to grasp that the Scots are British in a civic sense, as are the Welsh, but both groups would likely object to being termed 'English', as they have their own, separate, ethnic identity. They can fly their national flags, but the English are not given the same leeway to express their ethnicity.
I would liken this to the position of White, old-stock Americans, who are oftentimes of English descent, lacking an ethnic identity. The descendants of the Irish and Scots, including Ulster Scots, have their identity and their symbols and their pride, but the Anglo-American is the invisible and silent ethnicity. In a sense I suppose this could in part be attributed to having been dominant for a long time, and taking such dominance for granted, until one day we wake up dispossessed and pushed to the margins of the society our ancestors created here.
But perhaps the English, in a similar situation in their land, will become more conscious of their own identity as they face dispossession and domination by outsiders. In a world in which everyone around you is very assertive about their own race and ethnicity and religion, it's hard to remain unaware of one's own roots and origins.
One point with which I will disagree with McKinstry in this article is his statement about the European immigrants of older times. He says that
''...the small numbers that arrived here, such as Irish labourers, or Jewish or French refugees fleeing religious persecution, were steeped in the Judeo-Christian culture that built our civilisation.''
I disagree that there is a 'Judeo-Christian culture.' There is a Jewish culture and a Christian one. Their commonalities are few; they share very different outlooks on God, life, and human nature. They live by rather different moral codes.
It might have been a turning point for our country, when, as the proposition nation idea grew, we began to think that there is a common Judeo-Christian culture that binds us together. Lately, building on that idea, we have the talk about the 'three Abrahamic faiths', Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This is a false notion, that we share some kind of common ground. The religious ''right'' in this country is thoroughly persuaded that there is such a bond, though it does not really exist.
It's with such small steps that Western countries gradually found ourselves in the multicultural soup. There needs to be a re-thinking of some of the deceptive notions that put us here.

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