Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Real America"

Among the many things chapping my ass these days are the political hacks on the TV talking about how the east coast isn't really America. New York isn't really America because there are all those icky New Yorkers there, Florida isn't really America because there are all those icky Hispanics there, and DC isn't really America because there are all those politicians and foreign diplomats there, etc. Because the "real America" happens elsewhere, away from people who have learned to cohabit with those who aren't exactly like them; people who might eat different foods, worship in a different place, or who might even have an accent. The "real America" happens only in places where everyone goes to the same church, and the same school, and the same diner after identical experiences at the same haircutter. The "real America" describes itself as "God's country," unironically, as if it actually believes that God is originally from Council Bluffs. The "real America" identifies as entirely Anglo, though it -- like me-- is an Irish-German mutt, made possible against the barriers in religious and cultural identity of our ancestors by the unifying hatred of the Anglos that those ancestors on both sides of the Reformation divide felt. The enemy of my enemy is my husband.

And, you know, I kind of get why the people of the middle watch those of us who reside at the borders with a wary eye. There are more of us than there are of them, for one thing. And, as a result of living at close quarters with people of many and varied backgrounds, our melting pot still has quite a few chunks of pure flavor in it. That's weird to a person who really, truly expects all people to be very like him, because all the people he's known so far are very like him.

[Edited to remove reference to innocent relatives who wanted nothing to do with intertubes in the first place.]

This takes care of friends and family I have in my 98% white hometown. But it emphatically does NOT take care of paid political commenters, with very expensive ivy or near-ivy educations, making truly offensive amounts of money to pull theories and data out of their butts and promptly fling their findings at their opponents or, in some cases, directly at the camera.

These people, if one should call them that, have taken the Francis Parkman train to employment. They are predominantly from the east coast, from much, much more well-connected families than any of you can claim. They have been granted access to expensive and exclusive education through the wealthy white affirmative action known as "legacy placements."
However, Francis Parkman actually dragged his bony Brahmin butt out to the midwest once in a while to put forth his racist and sexist theories of Anglo-Saxon superiority to the French and the Indians, because the French are all alarmingly feminine, unless they're being hypersexually masculine, and the Indians are all hyper-masculine and scary and bad, unless they're losing like a bunch of chicks which makes them less scary but still bad. And Francis Parkman was talking to people who were still identifying as Anglo because that's what they actually were, not what they were trying to be. He and his audience were "Anglo-Saxon," though from different sets of the Anglo-Saxon American experience. These bastards sit in New York or DC, and flap their fool jowls about "the real America," and they use Parkman's logic almost exactly (with some words changed as necessary), but they don't have the integrity to say what Parkman did say and think. The gist of which being something like, "We are alike, you and I, in that I am the master class to which you as the servant class owe allegiance. I will use you to fight for me, and you will use me to think for you." And this offends me as a person who comes from New York, and currently lives near DC, because if you think that 60% of the population of this country don't count as "real Americans" because of where they live, you should probably bite me. But it also offends me, because this logic, that once was being spewed forth from the lips of Francis Parkman was used against our common ancestors (my cousins and mine), for the purpose of preventing them from participating in America. Ironically, this logic played well at the borders and made life quite impossible for a number of the ancestors, which is why the German and Irish menaces went west to live in the wilderness, thus becoming today's politically expedient "real America."

I wonder how many generations it will take before a Spanish community in Kansas is up in arms in the Parkman way because of the sudden rush of Somebody elses coming into their community.


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