This article, by Robert Henderson, appeared a few years ago, and it’s more relevant than ever. I do notice that a number of bloggers now have taken up the message of this article, which is that English-Americans (or British-Americans, to be more ‘inclusive’ are the very ethnic/cultural foundation stone of America. To say that in so many words, though, invites a certain number of incensed replies from ethnic Americans, especially those of more recent immigrant origins. Nonetheless, just because some people feel offended or ‘excluded’ or insulted by stating that fact, does not invalidate it.
Henderson asks and answers his question at the beginning:
They are the glue that still holds the country together.
There are Irish-Americans, Scots-Americans, and Scotch-Irish-Americans. There are Polish-Americans, German-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Chinese-Americans, and a host of other hyphenated citizens. Why are there no English-Americans?”
The whole piece is well worth reading, especially in light of the point I have been attempting to make on this blog: that English-Americans must acknowledge their own identity and assert it, rather than attempting to evade it as some seem to be intent on doing.
Henderson points out that Census figures from 1980, showed that English-Americans were not as scarce as people nowadays assume:
The English are a significant demographic group to this day. The 1980 census showed that 26.34 percent of the white American population reported English ancestry (49,598,035). German heritage was just behind at 26.14 percent, followed by Irish (21.33 percent), French (6.85 percent), Italian (6.47 percent), and Scottish (4.34 percent).”
But why, in recent years, has it become so common for people to assert that ‘there are more German-Americans than any other ethnicity in this country.’ Hardly a week goes by that I don’t read that somewhere in blog comment sections. German-Americans are very insistent on making themselves the dominant American, or at least White American, ethnic group. But as Henderson’s article says, how can so many English-Americans have disappeared since that 1980 census? Are there that many more German-Americans being born?
Henderson answers that more recent immigrant ancestors (say, one or possibly two German immigrant grandparents) win out over ancestors whose origins in England were 400 or so years ago. Also, more exotic or colorful ancestry is seen as preferable to ‘generic, White-bread, English-speaking’ ancestry.
Also there’s this sad fact:
There is also the pressure of political correctness that casts WASPs (into which category almost all English-Americans would fall) as an abusive, exploitative group. That may discourage some from identifying as English.”
No doubt it does. I could cite many, many examples of outright loathing of ‘WASPs’, expressed by people of other ethnicities, and yet few English-Americans will take their own side. Is it seen as ‘bad form’ to defend one’s own ethnic group? I was brought up to be well-mannered but I believe in countering slanders and lies with truth; in fact I think it an imperative, manners notwithstanding.
WASPs as an ‘abusive, exploitative group’; that’s a popular stereotype. Some people have to have someone to blame for their, or their group’s, shortcomings or misfortunes. The successful are always resented, envied, and often hated simply for that very quality. In fact, if people could only see it, the English fill the role in the context of the European-descended peoples that Whites fill vis-a-vis the rest of the world. Just transpose the names ‘Whites’ and ‘Englishmen’ and you will find that they receive the same condemnation from the ‘victim classes’ and the self-described underdogs of the world. The same.
When will it be acceptable for English-Americans to stop apologizing for our ancestors’ successes and strengths? Maybe on that day, people of English or Anglo-Saxon descent will not be reluctant to acknowledge their identity.