On ‘who we are’

There’s an important piece at VDare by James Kirkpatrick on the issue of who ‘we’ Americans are, particularly as our country (like Canada and other Anglosphere countries) becomes unrecognizable due to mass immigration.

This question has been dealt with more than once on this blog; it’s at the center of the story of Anglo-Americans, especially as we have been effectively displaced from our position as the founders of the ‘First Effective Settlement‘ on the North American continent. The idea of the ‘First Effective Settlement’ comes from Wilbur Zelinsky. I’ve argued that consistently, with little success because everyone wants to champion their own ethnicity, or at least to denigrate Anglo-Americans, by reciting a list of every nationality who had a colony, however short-lived or unsuccessful, here in North America.

‘Critically, Huntington argued that the core American identity is not “white” or even Northern European. “America is a founded society created by seventeenth-and-eighteenth-century settlers almost all of whom came from the British Isles,” he wrote. Though he did not use the term, one could say that Huntington argues that America was shaped by “Anglo privilege.” Drawing on Wilbur Zelinsky’s “Doctrine of First Effective Settlement,” Huntington argued that the relatively small groups of British settlers who settled the future United States had a larger impact “than the contributions of tens of thousands of new immigrants a few generations later.”

I’ve cited the ‘First Effective Settlement’ point here and elsewhere, but people like the old melting pot idea, ”We’re all Americans and we’re all equal” as Americans; we all built America. And in the 20th century we have the counter-narrative that ”immigrants (Ellis Island varieties) built America” and now ”slaves built America.” Obviously history is not changed by rhetoric like this. The facts are still the facts despite the wish to celebrate multiculturalism.

But is multiculturalism obliterating the original Anglo-Protestant American culture — or the people themselves? Many Americans insist that ‘nobody is a ‘pure’ example of any ethnicity because we are all mixed; so then our English ancestors’ genes were submerged in the mixture. Wrong; though there is a lot of mixture of European genetics in this country, some places — like the South — had very low rates of immigration, and people did not stray far from home, tending to intermarry with those of the same background, genetically, socially, culturally, religiously. Now of course that the South is undergoing change thanks to mass immigration (look at Virginia, or the Carolinas, parts of Texas) but until recent generations the people have preserved their family lines — for now.

Whether the original character and culture of the Anglo-Protestant core is preserved is of importance, if Huntington were correct that the culture could be revitalized and maybe it might even mean a revitalized America.

Huntington’s book ‘Who Are We‘, was published in 2004, and is revisited in this VDare piece, the consensus today being that Huntington was mistaken in his belief that the Anglo-Protestant core of America would persist. Despite mass immigration and the (imposed and mandatory) multiculturalism Huntington appeared to believe that enough of the old Anglo-Protestant order still persisted, making it possible that the old order could be revived. It does seem, unfortunately, as if Huntington overestimated the ability of the original, old stock Anglos to re-assert any dominance. This situation is due in large part to a hostile media, which is generally anti-White, and especially so when the people in question are Anglo-Saxon. And of course the academic establishment teaches that Whites in general are guilty of many ‘crimes’ against the peoples seen as ‘victim groups’, or as they are officially called in some places, ‘protected groups.’ But somehow Anglo-Americans are singled out as blameworthy to a greater degree.

Kirkpatrick’s piece outlines how the effort to be ‘inclusive’ of the many immigrants from widely disparate origins led to a seemingly insoluble dilemma. The new immigrants were taught about ‘Americanism’ and about civics and how to speak English. This worked for the most part with the European immigrants, but some groups remained alienated from society. Kirkpatrick cites Huntington who tells us that the ideas of Europeans like Gunnar Myrdal, with his extreme liberal views on race, was an influence on the approach of the social engineers in this country. Because of the effort to ‘include’ and integrate blacks, there was no longer an emphasis on the [White] ethnicity or racial consciousness; America was now supposed to be all things to all people, but reality proved to be not amenable to this effort. We can’t serve two (or more) masters; someone comes to dominate. Opposing sides can’t both have what they want or need. Somebody loses.

So Anglo-Saxon Americans lost our primacy, our pride of place, as the sons and daughters of those colonists who came here and accomplished so much, despite the odds.

I believe that genetics are not unimportant, contrary to what a lot of Americans think. I believe that it is not impossible that our folk, relatively few though we may be, could experience a renewal, if only we regained the confidence we once had, and that our fathers had. But I believe also that the faith of our colonist ancestors was an anchor, something that kept them strong and grounded, and at times, almost fearless.

Obviously we live in a turbulent time, when ‘things fall apart; the center cannot hold…’ but the center for our ancestors was their faith. If we remove that from the equation, then there’s an almost nil chance of a resurgence and a re-awakening.

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