Myths and misnomers

Max Fisher wrote a piece in 2012 titled ‘Sorry, Romney, Neither America Nor the U.K are ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Countries.‘ The sub-headline of the article quotes Fisher’s claim that:

“The term is a long-abused misnomer for England, and fewer than 9 percent of Americans identify English ancestry anyway.”

Max Fisher, Atlantic Magazine, July 2012

Where does one begin with trying to de-construct this stupid piece of fiction?
I’ve written many pieces attempting to refute such deliberate obfuscations and lies, but obviously I have little influence and I cannot command an audience like that which Max Fisher can reach. So for now, his uninformed and/or disingenuous opinions win the day.

Fisher wrote this ill-conceived article in July of 2012, during the election in which Mitt Romney was running against Mr. Obama for the presidency. Because Mitt Romney, or more correctly, his staff member, alluded to a ‘shared relationship’ between Britain and the U.S., the dishonest media pounced on this faux pas, trying to make it into a bigoted statement, and moreover, a lie. No such relationship, so the ‘journalistas’ said, ever existed. Any relationship between the Anglo-Saxons in Britain and those in this country was a fabrication, as there was never an Anglo majority here, and in fact, there is no Anglo-Saxon majority in the UK. And maybe there were never even any Anglo-Saxons to constitute a kindred relationship. After all, “fewer than 9 per cent” of Americans identify as English-descended. So there.

When a Mitt Romney foreign policy adviser reportedly told London’s Daily Telegraph, in advance of the candidate’s trip to England, “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special … The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have,” the comment sparked exactly the sort of campaign mini-controversy you might expect. Dogwhistles about Barack Obama’s race and partial African heritage brought some of the 2008 campaign’s ugliest moments, and “Anglo-Saxon heritage” could be interpreted as code for “white.” The entirely foreseeable firestorm was followed by a similarly foreseeable Romney spokesperson’s insistence that “If anyone said that, they weren’t reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign.”

If Romney responded that way, shame on him; why deny his ancestry? I suppose, given Mr. Romney’s fondness for political correctness (which, to be fair, is shared by most politicians everywhere) it’s not surprising that he would not stick to principles. But Mormons generally do know their own personal genealogy, so maybe Romney was not willing to claim majority-English descent, because he is apparently less than half English by ancestry according to research done by a fellow blogger, whose nom-de-blog is “Hail.” His research shows:

“Mitt Romney: Ethnic Ancestry Summary
40.6% England — Mostly Northwest England, partly W.Midlands.
18.8% Scotland
26.6% Colonial-Yankee
12.5% North-German
1.5-3% French, Acadian and possible Huguenot…”

However, would not ‘Colonial Yankee’ imply English ancestry? Very few non-English were among the colonists in the early days of the New England colony.
Later on, others did arrive, like Ulster folk and Huguenots (among notable Huguenot arrivals were the Rivoire family, the parents of Paul Revere).

But in any case Romney was not all English. Even he had some German ancestry.
And it seems that now, German-Americans have claimed persistently that they are the real majority in the U.S. — based on questionable self-reporting.

Self-reporting of ancestry is often notoriously inaccurate. Some people are die-hards in denying their actual ancestry in favor of a mythical, more ‘colorful’ story. There was a syndicated news article some years ago about Americans whose own ideas about their ancestry and ethnicity were proven incorrect by DNA testing; some people were heartbroken to be told that they weren’t descended from Cherokee princesses, or whatever their preferred story was. The article reported on how some people denied that the DNA was correct, so attached to their fictional family history were they.

One of those celebrity genealogy TV shows found that a certain young lady performer was mostly European-descended, and in the YouTube clip I saw, she was visibly disappointed at being told the bad news. Such is the state of ethnic hierarchies now. It’s not ”in” to be of plain old European stock. Boring. Not diverse. Not cool.

German-Americans have long been one of the more ethnocentric groups, and I don’t disparage this at all; it’s normal to be curious about, and to identify with one’s forebears and living kin. That’s a healthy, natural preference, given that it’s been the way of things for most of human history. The left even validates it — if it is non-European, non-White ethnocentrism. All other kinds are taboo; thought-crimes, hate-crimes, even.

So when most Americans have been DNA-tested, or at least had their family trees mapped out thoroughly, I will believe that Germans have the longest claim to being the most numerous. But that’s all being rendered moot by the fact of the ‘Great Replacement’, (which is now being admitted and not called conspiracy theory anymore), and the fact that soon all European-descended peoples will be outnumbered by the new arrivals, among whom both Anglo-Saxons and Germans are few and far between. Both rival ethnic groups will soon be relics from the past unless things reverse themselves.

But to return to the confused (or purposely confusing) Mr. Fisher, now a writer for the most exalted media organ of the Luegenpresse, the New York Times — he’s living up to his employers’ publicity.

Do I dare to say that Mr. Fisher seems to be writing from some invidious attitude towards Anglo-Saxons, whether born on this side the Atlantic or on t’other side? Why is it that Mr. Fisher’s ethnic group seems to feel affronted at the very existence of an ethnicity called Anglo-Saxon? Inter-ethnic rivalry and envy?

Fisher refers to the Anglo-Saxon designation as a ‘misnomer.’ Again, from the article:

‘We don’t really know what the Romney adviser meant when he referenced the “shared … Anglo-Saxon heritage,” if he even said it, but he wouldn’t be the first person to overstate the influence of these long-gone Germanic tribes. On the off chance that anything productive comes out of this micro-scandal, maybe a slight corrective to the 1,200-year-old Anglo-Saxon misnomer will be one of them.”

Max Fisher, from Atlantic Magazine, July 2012

Meanwhile, DNA tests are able to identify American of English descent as being part of a coherent ethnicity, descended from the people Fisher says don’t exist. DNA tests can’t detect ‘misnomers.’

One thought on “Myths and misnomers

  1. I find it stupid to refer to these anti Anglo-Saxon groups as American at all. The Irish and German Catholics were politically subversive not constructive. America was poisoned.

    “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”

    “no punishment, in my opinion, is to great, for the man who can build his greatness upon his country’s ruin”
    ― George Washington

    Anglo America is in for a bumpy road

    Like

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