With all the hoopla behind President Obama’s birth certificate and the questions about his citizenship, in addition to the ideals and comments made or alluded to by certain members of the ‘tea party’ and others on the right, I got to thinking…WHAT exactly constitutes the ideals of a ‘real’ American?  I also got to thinking, why do so many cling to ideals that have NEVER in our nations history actually been practiced?   Further to these thoughts, were why are SO many so inclined to BELIEVE, no matter what evidence is submitted to the contrary, that ‘things aren’t as they seem’?

While thinking about this question, I delved into many facets of American culture.   I looked at Native Americans, African Americans, and the various sects of Europeans who came here during the years of colonization and during other periods to make this geographical region, now KNOWN as the United States of America, their home.   I looked at various periods in the last few hundred years of  history, from the days when explorer’s ‘discovered’ this land to the many struggles, challenges and upheavals the nation has faced over the generations. I, looked at the situations encountered by many immigrants in their home lands that LED to their decision to come to America when they did.   I also researched accounts of HOW those who came here from other lands were treated after their arrival.

(Disclosure: it helped that while this debate was raging, I was taking courses in Native American history and Cultural Anthropology through Ethnology, and Economics, in addition to having taken ( other relevant courses last semester) :)} As such, my information IS current and based on the latest trends and concepts being taught in an academic setting.)

This nation is NOT without bad times or unsavory conditions, no NATION escapes these problems or issues.   WE have not had a perfect or ideal past,  nor has any other country.   Our nation has many periods of less than ‘nice’ or benevolent times, and AGAIN, this is not an usual situation ANYWHERE on Earth.  No nation is perfect or a Utopia.   No nation has a perfect or exemplary past, that is without negatives or the subjugation of others.  Contrary to popular mythology, America is NOT really that unique.  Not really, while we have some unique situations, but our reactions and actions have NOT been that unique IF compared to other cultures throughout history.

What IS  unique is the location of this nation from other ‘advanced’ societies.   What IS unique is that the nation was able TO distance itself from the monarchies and rulers who were VERY powerful in their HOME lands.   What IS unique is that the Natives of this land, did their best to welcome the newcomers and help them adjust to the conditions of which the newcomers found themselves.

The America’s were VERY lucky and had many externalities working in their favor.  Sadly many of the original colonists did NOT recognize or appreciate the REAL reasons WHY they had this good fortune, and actually believed it was through their own fortitude that THEY were able to ‘conquer’ the ‘New World”.

As a whole, they did not give credit to the Indigenous people who HELPED them survive…rather they looked at ‘those’ people as savages, and as their ‘lessors’ and wrote stories to those back in the ‘old world’ portraying their benefactors as a backward, unsophisticated, people, WHO THEY, themselves were helping to civilize.   Those early settlers, were ashamed of themselves and their lack of ability to SURVIVE in such an uncultured, raw land that they  actually didn’t appreciate the HELP they received from those WHO were experts in that environment.  As such THEY ‘spun’ the story to make THEMSELVES look good and to make the natives look bad, to those back home.  (Where have I heard this before???)

The people of their homelands bought their stories, hook, line and sinker.  OF course they did.  THESE were people THEY knew and understood, their countrymen, their brethren.  From that perspective, the stories  read or heard, made sense, and of course were factual…’Why would they lie?”   The people back home, in ‘civilization’ had no reason to question the accounts and perspectives of their fellow countryman….’Why would they?”   The people at home in Europe, have NEVER met these ‘savages’.  They have NO idea what these ‘people’ are actually like…they only know WHAT they have been told about ‘these people’.  They have NO understanding of their culture, it is utterly ALIEN to them.   “How absurd”  they think, when hearing of what type of housing the  Native American’s live within.   “HOW uncivilized” they think, when they learn how the people are dressed. “OH MY…  ” they say or think, when they read or hear how the natives live.

Unfortunately, this trend of telling stories’ of success to those ‘left behind’ in the ‘Old World’ that romanticized and portrayed the “New World’ of the America’s as something ‘AMAZING’ and with untold fortune continued for many decades.   Often times throughout America’s history, new arrivals provided ‘stories’ to their family back home, that created an illusion of success and well being.   Most of the stories of ‘gilded street’s and ‘people living like kings’ were false, of course but those who took the risk and made the trip, did NOT want to tell their families back home that they had NOT achieved a better life in the “NEW WORLD”.   Remember too, that most who actually TOOK the risk of moving to the ‘New World” were young….those who made the pilgrimage or took the chance to move across the world, were not those in their middle or senior years.

Now, in the mind of the relatively youthful, European, especially those who are highly ranked in society, such as the Royals, Nobles or the aristocrats, what they are hearing from the America’s about the natives is utterly barbaric.   For those of lessor standing, such as Serfs,  the America’s sound like an opportunity to escape their own unsavory lot.   To the peons, the America’s appear to be something better than what they are currently living. To those of higher standing, unless they were of the aristocracy, the new world, provided an opportunity to INCREASE their own standing and become land owners WHO in turn could BECOME aristocrats in their own right.

In the minds of the less fortunate of European SOCIETY at the time, the ‘savages’ of the Americas don’t appear very difficult to manage.   They, the Europeans (The French, The English, The Dutch, The Germans)  of the time BELIEVED, regardless of their stature in society that THEY are more sophisticated and have more ability than the natives of the land.  As to those of higher social ranking, such as merchants or minor lords,, the opportunities to build a new life for themselves in the new world was an OPPORTUNITY to advance from their CURRENT ranking. Religion, too, played a factor, for some, as they believed it was their ‘destiny’ and was a ‘sign from God’ that they should ‘civilize the savages’ while having an opportunity to practice their own beliefs as they so wished.

Now, in addition to those of various SECTS of European dissent and socioeconomic, theological backgrounds,including but NOT limited to English, Dutch, French, German,Catholic, Protestant, Lutheran and Jewish and various combinations thereof, there were also Indigenous people, (you know THOSE who lived here BEFORE the ‘New world” was ‘discovered’) who ALSO inhabited the region.

After quite some time, there were also people who were born in Africa and ‘other uncivilized places’ that were BROUGHT AND BOUGHT, against their own WILL to the Americas. Some of these unfortunate souls were actually SOLD by their own tribes, to the people who threatened their ability to survive or appealed to their own sense of SELF preservation, to actually SELL their own clans people into servitude.   Others were CONQUERED and forced into slavery.   Still others WERE coerced into making such deals’ while others were convinced by unsavory, ‘more’ sophisticated (i.e manipulative) Europeans to make such deals FOR the ‘benefit of their tribes’.    Their were many REASONS why African’s were sold into servitude…however to HEAR some people tell the stories of this time period, one would believe, without explanation…’That their OWN people SOLD them into slavery”.

Now in addition, to the various groups of Europeans who came to the NEW WORLD, for VARIOUS reasons, and aside from the VARIOUS groups of Indigenous people WHO were ALREADY inhabiting this continent, as well as those who were brought here AGAINST their will, as time went on, other peoples from OTHER areas of the world, ALSO got wind of the ‘New World’ and ventured over through the years AFTER its ‘discovery’.  During various times people from OTHER regions of Europe, Asia, Australia, etc. decided to make the pilgrimage to the Americas.

Throughout the KNOWN and recorded history of the America’s, various peoples from various places and cultures have considered the America’ s their home, AFTER having immigrated from other lands.    As stated, the reasons that THEY came here are vast, and the regions from which they originated are ALSO very different…HOWEVER, the various reasons WHY they came here and the various places THEY originated FROM OR WHEN they came,  are NOT really relevant.  Truly, they are NOT.   Because if the truth be known, no matter when, how or why your ancestors found themselves in the ‘New World’ or the ‘Americas’, none of US who came hear from other lands are TRULY ‘Native Americans’.

The only REAL ‘Native Americans’ are those who were ‘conquered’ by the Europeans who ‘founded’ this land, in the name of the ‘civilized’ cultures of the time.

AS always, contrary to the stories we are told from our youth, there is MORE than ONE reason why people ” did what they did”.   The stories we are often told as children attempt to portray a  VERY simplified version of what REALLY happened.  Sadly, this simplified concept still exists today, in many of our ‘national’ stories.  From history to economics and everything in between we are led to believe everything is ‘simple’ and that ALL concepts can be easily explained in a few short sound bytes or  cute adages.   WE are led to believe that medians are normal and outliers are not to be considered.   We are taught to accept what our ‘betters’ have told us and ‘not question authority’.  We are expected to conform and NOT question what we were told.   Now, of course, there are some of the ‘unwashed’ massed who actually have the opportunity to learn the truth.   These are the people, who are plucked from the masses to achieve access to the knowledge that TRULY is out there…these are those who are accepted to Universities of prestige or have the internal fortitude to ‘learn’ these concepts on their own.

These people ARE NOT the norm, nor are they an accurate representation of our society.   The people who are either CHOSEN to LEARN the REALITIES of our world, or who have the acumen to discover it on their own, are NOT the ‘average’ American.   Sadly, these people are the minority.   Some of this elite minority, will use their knowledge for the greater good, and others in this category will use their abilities and acquired knowledge for their own gain, but make no mistake regardless of HOW these people chose to use their abilities and knowledge, whether that learning is acquired by gaining acceptance into specialized Universities of from their own innate curiousity, they are NOT the majority of Americans.  These people are outliers and probably compose less than 25 % of the populace.

It is hard to get an accurate account, because of those who have chosen and are able to learn on their own without the aid of a University, are not counted.  Even though the statistics say, that 27% of Americans obtain a Bachelors or higher, I’m not sure that the stats accurately measure the true ability of those who attain that piece of paper.   I suspect, that a good portion, maybe 10-15% of those who attain the credentials are NOT really understanding their studies, or maybe legacy admissions, or are ‘good test takers’.   So even if of the 17% of the  27% of those with Bachelor’s degrees ARE truly deserving of that credential and 10% aren’t, and 10 % of those without a ‘formal education’ have the ability and have taken the initiative to learn on their own…the stat barely changes.   WE are still dealing with less than a 1/4 of the populace who is able to actually SEE  and understand the bullshit!

Sadly, there are many in our society, who have not been taught about the truth of our national history, NOR have they taken the time to learn, on their own,  about ALL of what has happened in our nation’s past.   Too many of our fellow citizens have been subjected to indoctrination of various myths and quaint stories that paint a less than accurate picture of our nations founding, beginnings, trials and tribulations.   Equally, as disturbing is that MOST, I would estimate 3/4 of our American society, IS NOT able or UNWILLING to actually LEARN about our history OR our political, economic, social or cultural issues.   MOST of our society, simply does not CARE enough to out in the effort and ARE willing to blindly accept whatever is provided to them.

Now, remember, the various types of people who make up the American culture.  From those of various socioeconomic, religious and national backgrounds, as well as those who are ‘indigenous to the land’.   With all these various cultural identities in mind, not to even mention, those that have been fostered regionally by our 235 years of existence; from the concepts of  the North, South, East and West, to those fostered by 50 different  “Nation States”  and ALL the different nations, religions and economic strata that make up our nation, HOW can ANY SANE, RATIONAL person conclude their is only ONE national AMERICAN identity??

So back to my original question….WHAT is a ‘REAL” American???

My off the cuff, quippy answer:   A mixed race person; of Native, African, Asian, European heritage, whose forefathers, believed in  Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Hindcu, Buddist religions; whose relatives have lived in the South, North, East and Western parts of the US; who likes Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey and Golf;, AND  AT the same time, can shoot a gun, LOVE their neighbor, contribute to charity, run a successful international corporation, MAKE ridiculous amounts of money; while paying NO taxes, while starring in a reality TV show, wearing the latest fashions Designed in Europe (made in China) ;  and looks like they are 25 (although REALLY 45) and married to someone 20 years their junior.   This hypothetical person has a masters degree in international business, has an IQ of 100 and IS a woman with 2.5 kids.   SHE is beautiful, vapid, intelligent and multicultal, fashionable, and FIT all at the SAME time!!!

 

Amazing…isn’t???   Somewhere along the lines, an old and wise saying has been lost…you can satisfy SOME people SOME of the time, but you CAN’T make EVERYONE happy ALL of the TIME.

 

Perhaps we need to remember where WE ALL came from and REMEMBER we aren’t always going to agree on everything.  IT would also help if we REMEMBER that WE ALL aren’t always RIGHT and ALL come from different perspectives.  NONE of US are omniscient or omnipotent, WE all HAVE baggage  AND we ALL have histories.

No American is ‘pure’ and seriously….would we want to be?

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Buddy McCue
Member

I feel like an American.

Even though I’m a liberal, I’m still a real American.

SallyT
Member

As I once described myself to someone: I am a woman that is part Scottish, Irish, French, German and Native American. When you put that all together you get: A person who is tight with their money, Enjoys a good drink, Loves to love, Has a temper and is entitled to go on the war path atleast once a month. You only have to read Mr. Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence to see how they felt about the Natives they found here: “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the… Read more »

ardethbay
Member
ardethbay

Excellent post! There are alot of people who fail to notice that the United States is part of a bigger picture and should act accordingly.

Pepe Lepew
Member

Being an American is a state of mind.

I’m part Assiniboine, part Cree and part French.

All you Europeans … get off MY lawn.

Especially you right-wingers obsessed with “illegals.”

You liberals can stay. Most of you get it.

Being American is a state of mind.

audadvnc
Member
audadvnc

My favorite part about the states that are so obsessed with Mexicans wanting to live there, is that those states used to be part of Mexico. Until Sam Houston and US Grant stole it from them, that is.

KillgoreTrout
Member

I don’t usually think in terms of nationalism, but I think what made America different, was our constitution and our great land mass and variation of natural scenery. Deserts, mountains, plains, the great lakes, the warmer more humid areas in the south and the Everglades in Florida.
I certainly don’t view Americans in terms of superiority. What is it that makes us American? Citizenship. America is such a conglomerate of cultures and races, citizenship is the only determining factor in what makes up an American.

whatsthatsound
Member

Really nice, wise, passionately expressed essay, Abby! I enjoyed it a lot and fully jibe with its POV.

ADONAI
Member

Do you value other’s opinions but always consider yours to be the superior one? Well, you’re an American. Do you feel like a comfortable life is entitled to you despite never having contributed to the well being of the republic? Well, you’re an American. Do you feel that foreign cultures and customs are not just strange but possibly evil? Well, you’re an American. Do you fawn over useless “royals” while tax money is frittered away to suspend them in constant luxury? Well, you’re probably British in this case, but you could just be watching CNN at 3 in the morning.… Read more »

bito
Member

Do you fawn over useless “royals” while tax money is frittered away to suspend them in constant luxury? Well, you’re probably British in this case, but you could just be watching CNN at 3 in the morning.

Is this a good example of being an American?

ADONAI
Member

Watching a Royal Wedding in England at 3 in the morning?

Yeah.

bito
Member

No is it an American thing to ridicule another culture than their own. If the Brits liked it, let them. It’s their day not Americans, so lets poke fun, like a true American, next we can make fun of Cinco de Mayo, eh?

escribacat
Member

Touche, bito.

KillgoreTrout
Member

From wikipedia; Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a holiday held on May 5 that commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.[2][3] It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States.[4][5][6][7] While Cinco de Mayo sees limited significance in Mexico itself, the date is observed nationwide mostly in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.[8] “Cinco de Mayo is not a Mexican holiday—it is an American Civil War holiday,… Read more »

escribacat
Member

Killgore, I grew up in the west and Cinco de Mayo has always meant a celebration of Mexican-American culture. It is true though, Mexicans will have a celebration over just about anything! I love that about them.

KillgoreTrout
Member

e’cat, that’s one of the things about Mexicans that I really like. They have a large sense of life and love to celebrate it. They remind me of the Greeks in that way.

escribacat
Member

Exactly, Kilgore. I’m really not like that myself but I admire it in others. I vividly remember a 4th of July with my mother and bro out on my back deck. We’re quietly eating food from the grill while the Mexican family next door had this huge crowd there and music and firecrackers and beer and food and shouting … man, they were having a good time. We had to laugh at ourselves, the difference was so obvious.

KillgoreTrout
Member

When I was in Southern California, I was only about 30 miles north of the border. I didn’t like TJ, but I loved to go south of there. TJ was just a tourist trap, but just a little further south and you got into the real Mexico. The people are very warm and welcoming. (provided people showed a little respect)

bito
Member

KT, Living in SoAZ, I think I and many others do know the meaning of the holiday. Just like “president’s day” is a “White Sale” and so many other holidays have long forgotten their whys so has Cinco de Mayo. Let me ask you this, on May first will you wear red and honor the the workers movement or send a spring bouquet to some one? On Labor Day, do most take time to appreciate organized labor for giving them the day off, the long weekend, or fire up the grill? Sorry, a bit preachy, but I do tire of… Read more »

KillgoreTrout
Member

I’m not sure why this reply was to me. I am surely not one who thinks his country has been taken away in the first place.
Cinco de Mayo is just a celebration of Mexican heritage, that actually started in California during the American civil war. I used to love to go to Carlsbad CA to celebrate it.

KillgoreTrout
Member

bito, it’s quite funny, but it doesn’t matter what I wear on any particular date. I only leave my place to go grocery shopping. I am somewhat of a hermit, and like it that way.

escribacat
Member

Kilgore, I’ve been to Mexico many times. I really love that place. There are things about it I don’t like — the incessant noise, for one! — but there’s something about it. I call it the “oh well country.” “Oh, well, I guess the train won’t leave at 9 o’clock.” But there is a side to that same characteristic that really draws me in. I always mellow out when I’m there. I like being able to say, “Oh well!” I’m not like that normally. I’m almost pointlessly driven in my daily life. I get a lot done but I miss… Read more »

KillgoreTrout
Member

That is very unfortunate. It really saddens me that the honest, hard working citizens have to be surrounded by that horrible behavior.
I haven’t been there since the 80s, so I don’t know what it’s like any longer. But from what I see in the news, the decent Mexican citizens are being held hostage by the cartel madness.

Kalima
Admin

Hey, I stayed up the whole night to watch your 08 final election results, does that make me stupid?

Caru
Member

Dedicated?

Kalima
Admin

Caring and concerned. I have a lot of American friends, some from over 30 years ago. I care about what happens to them.

Caru
Member

You’re a great person.

Kalima
Admin

No Caru, I’m just a good and loyal friend to people I love and care about, it is reciprocated many times over, so I feel lucky.

Caru
Member

Like I said, a great person.

Kalima
Admin

That is very sweet Caru, thank you. 😳

Kalima
Admin

I don’t get the cynicism of your press bito. Are they just jealous, or are they “secret” British complaining because it’s their money too?

A fact. 78% of Brits like the Royals. My suggestion to your rabid msm, stuff it, and mind your own frigging business.

Do we tell you how to run your country?

Caru
Member

Britain and Ireland are joined at the hip, so I take pride in myself at being able to snipe at the British Government just as I do my own.

This AV referendum is hilarious, in my opinion. The talking points the “No” side are putting out could be flipped, dismissed and destroyed in two sentences, but the “Yes” campaign is about as effective as a wilted cabbage.

And Ed Miliband just looks so hilariously out of place in it all.

Good times. 🙂

Kalima
Admin

Caru it is sometimes hilarious, they are acting like a bunch of school boys, I’m enjoying it immensely too.

As you say,”Good times”. 🙂

kesmarn
Admin

The Queen brings in boatloads of tourist dollars (if we’re going to look at it through the monetary lens) while costing each citizen a relatively trivial amount.

The Queen costs every person living in Britain 66 pence a year, four pence more than last year.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/yourview/2207125/Do-we-get-value-for-money-from-the-Royal-family.html

I realize she may cost slightly more now, since this article is 3 years old, but she’s still a pretty good investment. 😆

Kalima
Admin

Thanks kes. I’d like your petty media detractors to ask a Brit what they can buy for 66p these days, they would laugh until they choked.

escribacat
Member

That’s a really good point, Kes. When I was younger I used to scoff at the Royal Family, but the whole thing is probably the #1 tourist attraction in England!!

kesmarn
Admin

e’cat, this wedding alone surely must have provided a needed boost to the British economy. And it’s really harmless fun, too.

Of course, I wouldn’t be a fan of royalty that actually did claim to rule over the “peasants” and all that, but clearly that’s not the case here.

ADONAI
Member

Kalima, Just a joke. Really. I meant no offense to it. I was watching the Daily Show last night and they had John Oliver over in England for the wedding. Making fun of it the whole time. And John Oliver is British. They reported that a recent poll showed that an overwhelming 80% didn’t think the wedding was such a great idea. They did a few in the street interviews and the people didn’t sound too excited. So I’m just poking fun. Putting myself in their shoes. In these tough times I wouldn’t want this shoved in my face either.… Read more »

Kalima
Admin

Ok, I’m just a bit touchy, I saw detractors in your msm and really had to wonder what was wrong with these people. Do they feed off “hate” about everything? As for those polls, that’s nonsense, where were they done, as I said here, 78% of Brits are for the Royal family, the crowds in London yesterday would show that. I don’t care what some petty royal hater has compliled for his show. Do you think for one moment that they would include a lot of people who were for it, of course not. I think that Americans have a… Read more »

ADONAI
Member

Kalima, They actually did interview just as many people who were for it. They got more screen time as a matter of fact.

But still, it was all in jest. But I get some Brits problem with the whole thing. It costs a little over a billion pounds(1.6 billion US dollars) to keep up the Royal Family.

Most of the costs of the wedding will eventually be recovered so they shouldn’t be seen as a detriment. I’ve seen some video and it looked like a beautiful ceremony. I’m happy for those kids.

Kalima
Admin

I just posted that in a national poll, 78% of Brits were still for the Royal family, and as for wasting tax payers money, I think that Americans need to look much closer to home to check their own wasteful spending for decades, you can bet it will be much, much more than the estimate for this wedding. You know the old saying that people living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, well it would work well in this instance too don’t you think?

KillgoreTrout
Member

Kalima, you said “our,” royal family. Are you British? I’m a bit confused here.

bito
Member

KT, if I may intrude, Kalima has stated that many times in her MB post. We have readers from over 93 countries and members from many. Our tweets go out worldwide about our posts. We may think that we are in our little corner of the world, we aren’t. This is not directed at you or anyone in particular but as a reminder to all members.

Kalima
Admin

I’m a naturalized Brit since I was 19 KT. I was being “patriotic” because there is so much snark flying around.

Personally I don’t do America or other country bashing, I find it shallow and worthless but I will criticize governments like Iran’s who oppress their people.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Kalima, I only asked, because I thought you moved from America to Japan. Obviously I was mistaken.
I don’t like to bash other nation’s people, just their corrupt governments. Including America’s.
I like John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Imagine there’s no countries.

Kalima
Admin

KT, I was born in Germany, left when I was 9 because my mother remarried a Welshman, and was in and out of both countries until I was 13 due to some serious anti-German, anti-Catholic feelings at my school. My mother, the last of 15 children of a Swedish couple who died, was adopted by my German grandparents, friends of my mother’s parent. My birth father was Estonian, and I’m in Japan because my Japanese husband brought me over from London a year after we were married there, which was nice of him I suppose, he could have left me… Read more »

KillgoreTrout
Member

Wow, that’s a good deal of moving around. Enviable in a way. Kalima, I wasn’t trying to imply that you were lying about being British. I would never suspect you of lying. I was just under the misunderstanding of thinking you came from America. I don’t get up early enough for the morning blog, so I rarely go there. Hence my misunderstanding.

Kalima
Admin

No problem at all KT, I didn’t think anything of it, and you would have to have been here longer to have know it anyway. Btw, MB is open 24/7. I don’t get here until your afternoons or early evenings anyway to reply to comments or read them.

Yes it was a lot of moving around, and I’ve been lucky to visit many different countries in my lifetime, it has helped me open my eyes to many things.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Kalima, that’s why I say your early years were enviable. What great opportunities to experience different cultures firsthand.

Kalima
Admin

I can assure you KT that it wasn’t at the time, but I can appreciate it all much more since I became an adult, I could have turned out very bitter, but I didn’t, it was a part of my learning experience, and I have never held a grudge against the whole population of England, not even as a kid.

agrippa
Member
agrippa

I guess that makes me a lousy american. I do not do any of that.

Caru
Member

Congratulations! 😉

ADONAI
Member

Where is your national pride?

Kalima
Admin

Well ADONAI, maybe just remembering that not everyone who posts here, or just comes to read here are Americans, might help.

EDIT

The comment I was replying to, seems to be MIA.

ADONAI
Member

Kalima, But this article is about America and Americans. I don’t know where I overstepped my bounds. It’s all just my opinion.

As I said, the royal wedding thing was just a joke. Actually, the whole thing was.

Kalima
Admin

Yes and it’s a public blog read by people from 93 different countries. I didn’t say you overstepped your bounds, I believe you did, with your comment above. My comment was just that I didn’t understand the cynicism. The British public certainly don’t spend all day pondering about things happening in America. You are entitled to your opinion, I just pointed out that I thought that you were wrong, kidding or not kidding. Also Jon Stewart is a comedian who often talks about politics and gets things right. I like him, but he is a comedian first, and not an… Read more »

ADONAI
Member

Kalima, I really do apologize if I offended you. Was not my intent.

As I said to AdLib above, I should be more mindful of how I present my opinion, in jest or not.

And I hope you don’t think I was calling the wedding itself a joke. if so, i can see the reason for the offense. And rightfully so. What I meant was that my off the cuff remark was a joke. Not the actual proceeding itself. I got respect for Prince William. And a big mouth.

Kalima
Admin

Ok ADONAI there was really no need to apologize if you were kidding, still I’ve read a lot of negativity in your press, and it has become a bit of a sore point because I just don’t understand it, never will.

With that I must leave to start my Saturday morning ritual of cleaning the house. I will be wearing nothing but a Union Jack tied around my waist and my mother’s tiara on my head.. Have a nice night.

AdLib
Admin

It is legit at The Planet to criticize America and any other country or their government or people. Nothing is off limits from being criticized but those who take issue with a criticism have just as much right to express themselves. As always, the main goal here is to be able to have such free expression without it becoming personalized and veering off into a conflict. There has been delight and criticism about the Royal Wedding and it’s fair to express both. I think the key is not generalizing too broadly because when that happens, those members here who such… Read more »

KillgoreTrout
Member

I really am indifferent to the British royals. And we Americans have our own version of “royalty.” No Kings and Queens, but I would say the 1st family is a form of royalty, without the bloodlines.

Buddy McCue
Member

We always have what FDR described as the “economic royalists…”

ADONAI
Member

AdLib, Fair enough. I know my sense of humor is not universal. I shall work to dial it back a little.

audadvnc
Member
audadvnc

No don’t. Your comment was spot on! All those different people are Americans, and more besides.

jkkFL
Guest

Agree!
I Expect a healthy dose of sarcasm from you!

jkkFL
Guest

ADONAI, where does a son of Kentucky acquire such a razor-sharp sarcasm? 🙂

bito
Member

Very good post Abby, and if I may add this question is alive and well in Arizona. I live in an area that was one of the last (1853) that was incorporated into the continental US, south of the Gila River http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadsden_Purchase ,a land infested with Mexicans and “Injuns.” I’m not going to go into the history only to say that it has had a long history of unique culture with a strong Mexican influence. Flip the page to today there is quite a row over “Ethnic Studies” program in the schools. The legislature calls is “un-American” and worse, educators… Read more »

PocketWatch
Member

I suspect (and POV members that live in other places can and will comment on this, I expect) that the USA is viewed in other places in the world as an adolescent nation, a petulant teenager at best, and one with enough power to be dangerous and to be handled carefully. And collectively, US citizens are hardly much better. We have a lot of growing up to do, both as a nation and as individuals, and our politics shows that without a doubt. A few points… The ‘rugged individualist’ myth was actually generated by dime novelists back in the 19th… Read more »

Caru
Member

Quote:
“I suspect that the USA is viewed in other places in the world as an adolescent nation, a petulant teenager at best, and one with enough power to be dangerous and to be handled carefully.”

I am sad to say that PW is right on this one. My dad, who works with people from across the globe from places such as France, Israel and America, has frequently told me (I’m paraphrasing here) that many of the Americans that he’s met tend to come across badly to others.

It’s really unfortunate.

agrippa
Member
agrippa

In 1900, Europe was on top of the world; mighty Europe. Then came 1914; goodbye to all that. It had to be learned again: 1939. The second time, 60 million died. Americans did not want to get involved in either war. With good reason. 1945 was zero hour for Europe; Europe had to put itself back together after trying to destroy itself twice. Perhaps, Europe has learned something. In many cases they have. But, not all. When I was working, I had, on several occaisions, to go to Europe on business. There were a few uncultured Europeans who made fatuous… Read more »

Haruko Haruhara
Member

Am I the only person here really bugged by groups like the Daughters of the American Revolution?

PocketWatch
Member

HH – NOW we’re talkin’ ELITIST!!!!

Haruko Haruhara
Member

I’m part Moari, Irish, Scottish AND Aboriginal … my ancestors have been in North America a LOT longer than the dang DAR!

bito
Member

And if your part Irish/Scottish you have 90% chance you have Viking genes also.

Caru
Member

Maybe, though from what I’ve heard a large portion of my ancestors came from France.

bito
Member

Caru, and those nasty Wikings had many settlements there too. 😉

foxisms
Guest

Sorry for the synchronicity, PW.

PocketWatch
Member

fox – nothing else to call ’em, really!

foxisms
Guest

I wouldn’t imagine you are, HH.
It’s just status and an extended family for members of the elite. (IMO)

foxisms
Guest

A very thoughtful and well expressed article, Abbyrose. From my vantage point, those who voluntarily came to these shores and made the most of their given situation, facing the discrimination that those of no better standing bestowed upon them (excluding this continent’s original population who attempted to defend themselves)…these are the “real Americans”. Transplants and mongrels alike. For the rest of us who are offspring, we are but (fortunate) accidents by birth To some this can present itself as a blessing while to others, as a curse. But as far as curses go, even those — in America, ain’t too… Read more »

agrippa
Member
agrippa

I say that there is no such thing as a “real american”. I say that question come from the fact that the USA is very diverse. I expect that nearly every ethnic/language group in the world has people of that ancestry living here. Plus, religions. This distingushes the USA from most of the rest of the world. This makes some people pretty uncomfortable. The USA is unique in other ways: the two oceans give us a physical separation from the rest of the world. The diversity and sectionalism of the USA also led to the constitution; the differing interests of… Read more »

Caru
Member

That was a fantastic post, Abby. You can lay the tracks for your train of thought much better than I can. Forgive me, if I go off on a tangent here. I’ve often wondered what makes a species native to a geographic location. Is it that the species evolved there? Is it simply a matter of the length of time that the species has dwelt there and if so how long must a species live in a land to be considered native. If I take the first definition, then human beings are only native to a small section of the… Read more »

choicelady
Member

Caru – I agree with you. It always struck me as very odd given the unity on the frontiers of the time of Indians and the Brits which most colonists certainly considered themselves, against the French and those Indians who allied, wisely or not, with them. The very brief moment of accord, 1620-1630, waxed and waned from the arrival of the Puritans on. That was true everywhere. The people arriving – surely NOT natives to the land – simply could not follow the Pilgrim lead of respect for indigenous nations. That the discord was laid at the feet of the… Read more »

choicelady
Member

Wow Abbey – I think you’ve nailed the single biggest problem in defining “what is a real American” by showing that there is no one such person. When I, like you, lived in Buffalo, we called ourselves the city of good neighbors. That was as often NOT true as true, but it was sufficiently accurate to hold us all in thrall about our essential kindness to one another. I think most Americans believe that is our key superiority: we cooperate in small things such as bringing food to sick neighbors as in big such as helping one another after 9/11.… Read more »