Who are the ‘Invisible Race‘, the people Andrew Hamilton refers to in his article at Unz.com? Somehow when I saw those words, I surmised it was the Anglo-Saxons.
“The defining characteristic of WASPs is that they are much less ethnocentric than other peoples; indeed for all practical purposes Anglo-Saxon Protestants appear to be all but completely bereft of in-group solidarity. They are therefore open to exploitation by free-riders from other, more ethnocentric, groups.”The WASP Question, by Andrew Fraser
The article by Andrew Hamilton is that rarity, an essay that is not a hit piece on WASPs. It is refreshing to read something in which the WASP is not a villain. The article does not avoid discussing the weaknesses of WASPs or Anglo-Saxon Protestants; the writer does offer a defense of Anglo-Saxon ‘Yankees’, and echoes Dr. Fraser’s assessment that WASPs are very weak on ethnic consciousness and ethnocentrism.
Naturally I can’t pretend to be neutral or purely objective on this subject; as a descendant of Massachusetts Bay colonists who arrived mostly during the early 1630s I can say that it does vex me at times to hear my ancestors vilified and blamed for much of what is wrong with this country. I’ve never really understood what is behind this animus (noted by Hamilton here in this piece) on the part of the later immigrant stock people towards Anglo-Saxons. I can only conclude that they feel slighted for their ‘Johnny-come-lately’ provenance in this country, and I notice that many of the later arrivals claim their ancestors were here first. Envy seems to be a motivation. There is also the stereotype that all ‘New England Yankees’ were rich and grasping, which is an inaccurate depiction of WASPs.
I’m glad to see that Andrew Hamilton speaks out against the false stereotypes — unfortunately people cling stubbornly to their negative views of Yankees/WASPs, and probably will never change their minds.
In my small way I’ve tried to argue against popular beliefs which aren’t true or valid but to little avail. Those who have more visibility and who have an audience are better positioned to change attitudes; people would likely recognize my ancestors’ names but I am just an obscure blogger with little influence.
Hamilton certainly covers a lot of ground in his piece. He covers some little-known facts about the surprising hardiness of the Yankee stock, who seemed to thrive in the harsh climate of New England, and he also mentions their fecundity — which I know to be true of my own ancestors — they did have many children. People insist on thinking of those Puritans as inhibited and averse to sexuality, when in fact they had large families. Their fertility meant that they represented a rapidly growing population. Natural increase, thanks to their large families, meant that they had a thriving society without resorting to mass immigration.
And speaking of immigration, the piece informs us that mass immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe began to change the New England of the early Puritan colonists. I’ve blogged about that fact, and yet people still believe that the Yankees still inhabit and control New England — when in fact they had long since moved West, leaving much of New England to the throngs of newcomers. I’ve called it an early case of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in America. I have had a hard time convincing people that it happened that way, and that parts of New England have a small percentage of residents of English stock — something like 11 percent in some areas. New England is very multicultural in certain places. And the old-stock people are scattered from the places they settled and named.
Please read the whole article at Unz.com. It should be of interest to all of us who are of old-stock English Puritan descent — but also to anyone interested in the history of this land.