At least one online commenter asserts this is true. Below is the comment from a blog, (with the commenter’s name blocked out):
This kind of thing turns up on blogs here and there; it must be a somewhat widespread idea. Another allegation is that (Anglo or WASP) Americans “have no culture’.
I don’t know who this commenter has spoken to, or if he has even been to our country; I also wonder what kind of sample of ‘Old Stock’ English-Americans he’s met or talked to.
We’ve been sort of written out of the script in our own country, as it were. Many people whose families were here before the American Revolution identify as just ‘American.’ Many English-Americans from the South identify with their state; Texas used to be like that. Texas, after all, was an independent country in its early history, and it did seem as though it were a world of its own. The South in general is, or used to be, distinctive. That part of the country, especially the Southeastern states, was settled by English Cavaliers, as contrasted to the very middle class colonists of New England. So not all English- or British-Americans have the same origins, which in part explains their varying cultures.
The Ulster folk who settled parts of the Southeast, the Appalachian mountains, are also a culture to themselves.
Do English-Americans have no culture then, or are their original culture and folkways gone and forgotten? My answer would be ‘no’, because I don’t believe that the old ways are dead, but they may be on life support in some places.
Another issue is that America is a country that emphasizes individuality at the expense of group identity, and this may be a natural tendency of Anglo-Saxons. Scots-Americans, including the Ulster folk who settled here, have their cultural events and I think they are more likely to express their identity than Anglos.
But for WASPs or English-Americans, the fact that we’ve been declared people without a culture or identity is not conducive to maintaining our identity. Speaking for myself, though, I have no problem telling people about my ancestry. I certainly would not consider it an “insult”as the comment writer I quoted at the beginning. I don’t know anyone who would.
It’s true that some Americans have an obvious hostility towards the people of Britain — let me correct that: I should have said ‘the people of England; that’s more specific and accurate. Online commenters, bolstered by anonymity, feel free to spill their feelings, sometimes in very unpleasant ways. The English royals are especially targeted for harsh criticism, but then there are many American women who dote on royalty and all the glamorous trappings.
Some Americans of English descent, because of all the negativity towards the English, may downplay their ancestry. And many Americans don’t really know their ancestry except in the vaguest terms. Because of propaganda many White Americans, including some Anglo-Americans, would rather be something more exotic than “boring” “whitebread” WASPs, as the stereotypes portray them.
Many people seem surprised to be told that so much of American culture, things we take for granted, are English (or British) in origin. Maybe people think that these aspects of our culture original to America, and were ‘invented’ out of whole cloth right here in America. It’s as if people think that when we separated from England, we had to invent a new culture from scratch, just to distinguish ourselves as a nation, to be different from our Mother Country. (Actually, there was a touch of this attitude in Noah Webster’s changing the spelling of many English words; Noah Webster thought Americans