More bans of UK nationalist parties

As reported on the Heritage and Destiny blog, the British ‘Terrorism Act’ has been framed in such a way that it is being used against nationalist parties and political groups in the UK.  The former leader of the National Action party, Jack Renshaw, is now in prison:

 Former NA activist Jack Renshaw is in Preston prison on remand, awaiting charges for alleged membership of a ‘terrorist’ group; several serving British soldiers were arrested for alleged NA membership a few weeks ago in a still mysterious case; and this week several individuals seen as the former leaders of NA were similarly arrested, though not yet charged.

British media coverage, such as the linked stories above, are very biased and make the accused men out to be dangerous, not to mention loathsome. Imagine the inflammatory language they used in describing the accused being used to describe the people arrested in connection with actual terrorism. I’m inclining towards believing You Tube blogger BritGirl’s assertion that the EU signed a pact, creating a Euro-Mediterranean Project, which  guaranteed mass immigration from Islamic countries, and implicitly gave some kind of privileged status to the immigrants in Europe. How else can we explain the servile behavior of our political classes toward Islam and their apparent animus towards their own people, the people they supposedly represent? It can’t all be incompetence and fecklessness.

The article in Heritage and Destiny indicates that there is some kind of impending crackdown on Islamic extremist groups and that for the sake of ‘even-handedness’ some home-grown nationalists will be targeted as well.

In our country I see no such crackdown, but it does seem as though even the mildest action that might be construed as anti-Moslem (such as Trump’s proposed temporary travel ban involving a few Moslem nations) was thwarted by leftist judges. The Islamic lobby in the U.S., exemplified by CAIR, is very vocal in denouncing ‘Islamophobia’. Our political leaders have all ritually denounced the ‘alt-right’ and ‘White supremacists’ but would they dare denounce Islamic extremists, or even our home-grown antifas and extremist leftists?

Whether these actions in Britain against nationalist groups are an ominous sign of less freedom of thought and speech, or whether they are just an effort to avoid accusations of Islamophobia, remains to be seen.

It does seem as though freedoms throughout former Christendom are shrinking.

 

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Misunderstanding between cousins

One of the issues which brings out a stark contrast in opinions between Americans and our cousins in Britain is the issue of the American ‘right to bear arms,’, per our Second Amendment.

I see that Theresa May, British Prime Minister, is now lecturing Americans, attempting to shame or browbeat us into adopting restrictions on firearms, along the lines of the British laws. With all due respect, she should keep her opinions to herself. Britain itself is not the safe country it once was, and the allegedly ‘conservative’ Ms May should clean up her own backyard before meddling in the affairs of other countries. Didn’t the pakistani Mayor of London recently tell his constituents that violence/terror attacks were ”part and parcel of life in a big city” in the current year?

I don’t agree with Khan’s cavalier attitude about violence, or his blasé acceptance of danger as normal. In a civilized society that kind of violence — or the kind of violence we have here in the U.S., should not be acceptable.

It’s well-known by most people, at least most people who are not deluded leftists, that countries which have gun control (Canada and Britain for example) are not peaceful utopias as the gun control advocates want us to believe.

“Areas of higher gun ownership rates correlate with areas of lower rates of violent crime, and areas with strict gun laws correlate with areas high in violent crime [source: Malcolm].

Does this mean that guns prevent crime? Not necessarily. After all, the most violent areas are also the most likely to pass stringent gun laws. It’s a chicken-and-egg problem: Which came first, the violent crime or the gun laws? There’s no simple answer. It does appear that high gun-ownership density does not imply high rates of violent crime, and that stringent gun controls do not reduce murder rates across the board [sources: Kates and Mauser; Liptak; Luo]”

I have found in discussing this issue with British people that many of them are vehement about gun control; they believe their country is better and more civilized by having such restrictions, and conversely that Americans are backward and barbaric because in general, most of us strongly support our right to bear arms and to act in self-defense should the need arise. Many of our British kinsmen can’t or won’t understand our point of view, and get visibly irate at our insistence on our right to bear arms. To be fair there are English people (and people in the rest of Britain) who are dissident rightists, English nationalists (yes, they do exist) and others. They would like to see their right to bear arms reinstated and their right to self-defense recognized, not punished, as in the case of Tony Martin, a British farmer imprisoned for shooting a burglar in his house.

But Britain was not always a pacifistic, gun-phobic country. In times past gun ownership, if only for sport, gun ownership was widespread.

The piece linked above gives us a good summary of how Britain was disarmed.

“In 1900 the British government trusted the people with firearms and to be their own guardians. Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the Marquess of Salisbury said he would “laud the day when there was a rifle in every cottage in England”. However in 1903 Britain passed its first ever “gun control” law, a minor one requiring a permit to carry a handgun and restricting the age of purchasers. It was the first toe over a slippery slope towards complete firearms prohibition.”

It was done gradually, incrementally, over the space of decades, starting around the turn of the 20th century and continuing unto the present day. We can learn a lesson from what happened in Britain: beware of these little restrictions that too often lead towards a complete ban. The leftists always work this way, although in recent times it seems that they are impatient and are speeding up their efforts to eliminate our freedoms. It seems they are feeling emboldened and are ready to stop soft-pedaling their agenda and to drop any pretense of being ‘moderate’ or reasonable.

Sadly it seems that decades of socialist/leftist programming has changed the traditional attitudes of the English/British people so that they actively oppose their time-honored  freedoms in many cases, and they truly don’t understand why we Americans want to retain ours.

One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms.” – Constitutional scholar and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1840

The English love of liberty is often alluded to by many idealistic writers; I once thought that we are our father’s progeny and that the love of liberty was part of our genetic inheritance. Our American Founding Fathers, aware of their English ancestry, spoke of the ‘rights of Englishmen’ as part of their birthright. Now if only the English could shake off the leftist programming and determine to reclaim their rights as Englishmen.

But our English cousins, like us, lack good leadership. There seems to be no political party that represents the rightful people of England or Britain, just as White Americans have no political party that truly represents us and defends our interests. We have no leadership worthy of the name; no charismatic statesmen or orators, no ‘Grey Champions.’

Just as with Americans, I think what is needed for the British is to reclaim their history and their identity as a people; as the rightful heirs of Britain and not as second-class subjects in a multicultural, polyglot globalist province.

Disarming a people does something to their spirit and psyche, I think. The following quote is from a British republican tract, Political Disquisitions, published in 1774:

“No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave.”

And Joel Barlow said this, of disarming the citizenry, that it

“…has a double effect, it palsies the hand and brutalizes the mind: a habitual disuse of physical forces totally destroys the moral [force]; and men lose at once the power of protecting themselves, and of discerning the cause of their oppression. ”  from Advice to the Privileged Orders, 1792-93

 

Old Scandinavian influence on the English

The writer of the following piece, from a 1908 issue of Mentor Magazine, believes the old Scandinavians had more influence on the English spirit or character than is generally thought.

ScandinavianInfluenceOnEnglishRace_MentorMagazine1908

The writer appears to have a less-than-admiring attitude towards the Anglo-Saxons, who are now popularly thought to be the most significant element of the English folk and their character. The article’s writer believes the Danes and Norwegians are the source of the characteristics we associate with the English.

But we have to wonder what happened to the “bold, independent character” of the Scandinavians, as they seem to have developed in recent years into a passive, docile people unwilling to oppose the invasion of their countries and the imposition of what appears to be second-class status on the native Scandinavians. But then again, this kind of condition seems to be almost universal across Europe, and for that matter in all countries which were originally made up of European-descended people.

I often wonder about this question: is the character or the spirit of a people genetic, and if so, is it passed down through generations — or can it be subverted by means of propaganda, dysgenics, and what amounts to psychological/spiritual warfare? Could the original character of these peoples re-assert itself, or can it be restored by conscious effort? Can decades, even centuries or manipulation be reversed?

Questions.

I would like to think that the original spirit of a people is dormant, not extinguished forever, and that given the right conditions it can be resurgent. But it remains to be seen.

L.A. Waddell on origins of Britons

L.A. Waddell, in a 1914 book, The Phoenician Origins of Britons, Scots and Anglo-Saxons, offers another view on the question of where the peoples of Britain originated. Needless to say, the theories held back in Waddell’s day are not politically correct, but I think books like his, with their refreshingly different way of viewing the past, are worth reading, if only to remind ourselves that the current dogmas are not proven fact. There are different ways to look at the evidence available, and doing so requires opening the mind to alternative ideas, outside the accepted ‘BBC’/PC version of Britain’s past.

In any case, here’s the link to the Archive.org version of the book, for anyone interested.

Who founded London?

I’ve been reading an old book called The Antiquary’s Portfolio. It’s about literary and historical curiosities in Great Britain “during the Middle and Latter Ages.” I haven’t had a chance to read the entire book, but it is mostly concerned with ‘manners, morals and customs’ though it does touch on government as well.

The descriptions of London from past eras is interesting to read, and it brings a wistful feeling to think about the London of recent years vs. the London of the past. There’s a description of the city and its people in the time of Henry II, as seen by a monk called William Fitz-Stephen:

Among the noble cities of the world, honoured by fame, the city of London is the one principal seat of the kingdom of England, whose renown is spread abroad very far; but she transporteth her wares and commodities much farther, and advanceth her head so much the higher. Happy she is in the wholesomeness of the air, in the Christian religion, her munition also and strength, the nature of her situation, the honour of her citizens, the chastity of her matrons. Very pleasant also in her sports and pastimes, and replenished with honourable personages, all which I think meet proper severally to consider.

Temperateness of the Air.

In this place the calmness of the air doth mollify men’s minds, not corrupting them with venereal lusts, but preserving them from savage and rude behaviour, and seasoning their inclinations with a more kind and free temper.”

And later in the same account:

“According to the reports of the chronicles, London is more ancient than the city of Rome; both being descended from the same Trojan stock; Brute builded this, before Remus and Romulus did the other. Whence still it uses the same ancient laws and common institutions. “The city is honoured with her men, graced with her arms, and peopled with a multitude of inhabitants.

[…]The citizens of London are known in all places, and respected above all other citizens for their civil demeanor, their good apparel, their table, and their discourse.”

[…] “The only plagues of London are immoderate drinking of idle fellows, and frequent fires.”

I’ve heard the stories before about Brutus of Troy being the founder of London and that the British people derive their name from this same man, who is described in some accounts as the “first King of Britain.” Is it true? It’s interesting to contemplate.

Some of this lore is considered less than credible because it has a ‘fringe element’ reputation, based on the way it is presented by some of its proponents. But what if there is at least a grain of truth in it? There are those who believe, too that Rome itself had Trojan origins.

It’s easy to dismiss this kind of speculation but simply observing how most branches of science have become so politicized and driven by political correctness, (the dishonesty and denial around HBD, the claims that ‘race does not exist’, the media lies about ‘diversity’ being part of Britain from the beginning — none of this inspires confidence in the pronouncements of the scientific establishment.

And then there’s the manipulation of data and the collusion among climate scientists regarding ‘Anthropogenic global warming’, climate change, or whatever they are calling it.

As to the origins of Europeans, we’re to believe that we all came “out of Africa” but that theory is obviously following the politically correct dogma, and seems intended to foster the idea that ‘we are all the same’.  This article casting doubt on the official story appeared seven years ago, and yet the scientific establishment clings to their script, ignoring any contradictory evidence.

So for me, the idea that the original ‘Britons’ may have come from Troy is not implausible.

The traditions in Britain about Brutus of Troy, ‘Gog and Magog’, the giants, and the rest of the ‘legends’ go to make up part of a rich folklore, and it serves a function in a culture. I would rather believe the supposed myths, especially those involving the heroes like King Arthur, who lies sleeping until the hour of England’s need.

Rather that, than the BBC’s fantasy about an always-multiracial Britain, and a black Robert de Beaumont arriving with William the Conqueror. It doesn’t get more absurd than that.

British genetics, again

This issue of the genetic makeup of the people(s) of Britain is never settled, what with the Cultural Marxists constantly producing bogus scientific reports about the genetics of Britain. Recently it was the absurd BBC series depicting Africans and other non-European people in Roman Britain, and the defense of those falsehoods by lady academic Mary Beard.

(Incidentally, has anyone noticed how biased the search engines are? Since Goolag Google has the search engine market cornered, and all the alternative search engines use Google’s results (minus the spying and data collection, supposedly) it is hard to find anything that strays off the PC reservation. The hits I got searching the Mary Beard/BBC story are all very much pro-BBC, pro-PC, and anti-reality. Truth is getting scarce.)

And thus, given the lack of regard for the truth, especially where race and genetics are concerned, this battle goes on.

Reading some Internet discussions it’s discouraging to see that so many people buy the falsehoods — because the people who control the media, academia, and even much of the Internet want the truth to be extinguished and the lies to prevail. They are ethnocidal towards people of European descent; if they could, they would efface even the memory of our folk, and that explains, in part, the pulling down of monuments and the re-writing of history to wildly exaggerate both the presence and the importance of everybody but European-descended people. In some cases, the exaggeration becomes outright lying, and this seems to happen more and more now.

But as a counter to those lies, here’s a useful piece from the West Hunter blog.

“Some archaeologists apparently think that there was a lot of diversity in Roman Britain, which means black people. There’s zero hard evidence of a single one. Which doesn’t prove that some Nubian with a serious case of wanderlust didn’t end up in Londinium, but it can’t have been common, and possibly it never happened at all. Ancient DNA could settle the question once and for all.”

The writer addresses the source of some of the misinformation, a craniometric analysis program called FORDISC. The writer concludes it is not that reliable, which is consistent with the evaluation at the link. So those who claim they have ‘proof’ of African ancestry in Britain do not have such proof, as of now.

This link also cites other studies done in the past which refute the idea of ancient ‘diversity’ in the British gene pool, some of which studies I’ve cited in the past here on this blog.

There has been a persistent trope that ‘the British are a mongrel nation’ or a ‘mixed nation’, and that story just won’t die. I have to put some of it down to Anglophobia, based in part on envy of the British successes and accomplishments in the world. Envy is a powerful emotion and resentments don’t abate quickly. I don’t know if these stories can be finally defeated in the struggle for the ”narrative”; maybe if the anti-White, antifa faction finally is shut down, their distortions of history and reality itself will be seen for what they are, or so we can only hope. Meantime we have to do what we can to answer the lies. It’s the least we can do.

William Barnes, English ‘lingual conservative’

English scholar William Barnes on his reasons for seeking to ‘purify’ the English language:

“I am a lingual conservative’, and it is therefore that I wish to see a purer, and more self-enriched tongue, instead of being a jargon of four or five others.” – from Gentleman’s Quarterly, ‘Formation of the English Language’, 1833

I suppose you might call Barnes a ‘lingual nationalist’, in that he believed that English people should speak the English language, and that their language was unique, and deserved preservation in its original form, as much as possible.

He campaigned against the tendency, especially among the learned, to use Latinate words or other foreign words, where a good straightforward English word would do. He immersed himself in the various folk-dialects of England, mainly that of Dorset, which he thought was one of the purest, that is, most truly folk-English, dialects, freest from the foreign influences. Though many educated people thought of regional and especially rural dialects as being simply corrupted or ignorant forms of the standard speech, Barnes and others like him recognized that they were a sort of language of their own, and that they were just as valid forms of speech as the language taught in schools, maybe even more so, given the artificial, foreign-influenced modern English.

Interestingly for Americans, some of the older, Anglo-Saxon words and phrases were brought to this country by the first colonists, and persisted here whereas they were replaced in the mother country by Latinate words. The most widely-known example is our word ‘fall‘, for the season of the year we are now entering. Of course standard British English uses the Latin-derived ‘autumn’. The French word is ‘automne‘, so maybe this word entered the English language via Norman French.

In Barnes’ own words, quoted in the book, William Barnes, Linguist, by Willis D. Jacobs

Barnes on English lng changes_2017-09-11_031033

I can agree to a great extent with Barnes. Maybe it’s a romantic notion, not easy to prove in a ‘scientific’ way, but it seems that the language of a folk is a reflection of the soul or spirit of that people, or at least of their collective mind. I don’t know that Barnes promoted any such theory, so I’m not attributing that belief to him, but it seems he thought that the folk-speech of the people should be preserved; maybe because it is distinct and peculiar to that people and their way of life.

I think of the English language as being a very rich language, in part because of the Latin/Norman French contribution to the vocabulary, so I am not as inclined to try to ‘cleanse’ those influences from the English language, and from a strictly practical point of view, it would be very hard to do that, and I don’t think our current cultural Marxist educational system would wish to make the English language more ‘exclusive’ and less inclusive. If anything, the educational establishment wants to ‘globalize’ and ‘enrich’ our language with more ‘diverse’ elements.

Still, there’s nothing stopping ethnopatriots and ethnonationalists from consciously reviving some of our ancestors’ (or, as Barnes would have us call them, our ‘fore-elders‘) words. In fact a good many of those old English phrases or terms, surviving in various dialects, are still in usage, at least in the United States. For example: “outskirts”, for ‘environs’ or outlying areas, “neighbourhood” for ‘vicinity’, or “upshot” for conclusion. Those examples are from a list of his, quoted in ‘William Barnes, Linguist.’

Many of the words that Barnes recommends are compound words, made from two single-syllable English words, and are therefore easy to understand, even if we haven’t heard them used before. For instance, ‘Forewit’ for caution or prudence.  ‘Hindersome‘ means obstructive. ‘Earth-tillage‘ is self-explanatory.

The King James Bible seems to use a lot of simple English terms, as in this verse:

“The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Ps. 121:8

I think the word ‘preserve‘ may be the only non-English derived word there.

George Watson writes here on the ‘dual origins’ of English, that is, its Germanic origins and its later ‘Romance’ influence. He mentions the issue that Barnes was concerned with in his time: that the less-educated classes, the ordinary folk, do not usually speak the more literary kind of English, and even educated people fall back on the Germanic English words when in a more informal setting.

“The British filter their language, both in speaking and writing, using Germanic words for popular or childish conversation and admitting Romance words for learned and technical usage—or for ironic effect. If that amounts to a mild national difference between Britain and the United States, that is because Americans often have a fainter sense of the double derivation of English and are in consequence more polysyllabic.

[…] Since Romance terms often reflect a higher rank, or education, or state of sophistication, they can boast a higher prestige than Germanic; though there are exceptions, and in the days of the U and non-U controversy it was diverting to be reminded that Germanic “napkin” is of higher standing than Romance “serviette.” Another is a difference of length. There are rather few Romance monosyllables in English; and exceptions like the verb “to pant” are somehow surprising to learn. (The word is ultimately related to Greek “phantasia.”) Much of our Germanic vocabulary, by contrast, has been left as words of one syllable, as a consequence of the collapse of English terminal inflections in the later Middle Ages.”

This is what strikes me about many of the memorable passages in the King James Bible, like the psalm I quoted above: the plain, one-syllable words, with their simplicity.

I confess I like the richness of the full English vocabulary, which may extend to over 400,000 words.  But how many people make use of this array of words?

The February 14, 2000, issue of Time magazine reported some disturbing news: in 1950 the average 14-year-old had a vocabulary of 25,000 words. By 1999, the average 14-year-old’s vocabulary had dropped to only 10,000 words, less than half. This is disturbing because a person’s vocabulary reflects his or her overall general knowledge.

It seems few people really use the full treasury of words that is the English language. Is this in part because, as Barnes said, the ‘educated’ form of our language is inaccessible to a good many people? Would ‘reforming’ our language amount to dumbing it down even further, or would it remove some of the communication problems between the more educated and intelligent, and the less gifted? But wait; we’re all supposed to be equal in capacity for learning, and equally able to achieve.

Any attempt to reform our language would be out of the question for the cultural Marxists who are in charge; it’s too loaded with sociological implications. Still, Barnes’ ideas were interesting and he did a great service to English speakers by recording and preserving these old words and dialects, and offering new coinages.

 

Distressing

So much of the news coming out of the UK is distressing these days, as well as depressing.

Example: this story about a young girl, a Christian, being placed in foster care with a Moslem family, where she is being de-Christianized.

“Members of Parliament have demanded an urgent inquiry after it emerged a five-year-old Christian girl had been forced to live with strict Muslim foster carers.

The girl, who speaks English as her first language, has been cared for by two different Muslim families in the past six months. One family reportedly told her to remove her crucifix necklace and prevented her from eating carbonara because it contained bacon. She was also told to learn Arabic and was begging not to go back to the family because “they do not speak English”.

The story continues with the information that her natural family have spent the last six months pleading with the Tower Hamlets council to allow her to be placed with other blood relatives. So far it seems the appeals have been in vain.

I’ve heard that Tower Hamlets is Moslem-dominated, and this Wikipedia information confirms that:

‘Tower Hamlets has the highest proportion of Muslims in England outnumbering the Christians, and has more than 40 mosques and Islamic centres. The East London Mosque, one of the first mosques in Britain allowed to broadcast the adhan and is one of the biggest Islamic centres in Europe.”

Considering the demographics of the borough and the Council, as well as their majority political views (Labour), it would seem that a Christian family could not expect to be treated favorably.

It’s a cliche these days, when confronted with an outrage like this, to say ‘imagine if the situation were reversed!’ We know that non-Moslems, specifically White people of Christian backgrounds, lean over backwards to accommodate minorities, especially Moslems in the UK. I don’t think that the reverse situation, that is, a Moslem child placed in a very religious Christian home, would ever be allowed to happen. The authorities in the UK as in most Western, once-Christian countries, are too intimidated — or is it besotted by? — Moslems and other exotic peoples to ever do anything but appease them, at the expense of their own fellow native Britons.

This is baffling when we consider it, asking ourselves how things reached their present state — unless we consider the possibility, which I’ve raised before, that some kind of deal has already been struck. I mean that the political classes, corrupt as they are, might have in fact capitulated, ceded control of at least certain areas of the country, and the citizenry are just not being informed yet. Now they are seemingly learning to accept their new inferior status as a fait accompli.

Or, putting the most innocuous face possible on it, this absurd obsession with equality, this willful blindness towards real differences, causes these true-believer officials to pretend that religion, race, culture, and even sex, are all superficial things which must not be taken into account. We are all interchangeable. We are all one race, all God’s children, we all bleed red.

To think that up until maybe the mid-to-late 20th century, Britain was a very Christian country. I know that very few people identify as Christians in today’s Britain, and fewer attend Church or maintain any kind of Christian practices or traditions. I wonder if, given the sad state of the educational system (as in the United States as well) many young people know of the great men of the Christian faith who came from Britain, men like Richard Baxter, or Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“When Charles Spurgeon died in January 1892, London went into mourning. Nearly 60,000 people came to pay homage during the three days his body lay in state at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Some 100,000 lined the streets as a funeral parade two miles long followed his hearse from the Tabernacle to the cemetery. Flags flew at half-staff and shops and pubs were closed.”

Imagine anything like that today.

We’ve become an amnesiac people, all of us in the West. The younger generations have no idea of their past, and are now prey to all the lies that underlie our decaying society.

And the little girl who is being sacrificed to ‘holy diversity’ or ‘sacred equality’ — she and others like her are the casualties.

 

 

‘How shall you forget…?’

In the 1920s, at a time when immigration levels to the United States were high, the U.S. government, intent on assimilating the various immigrant groups, published  a booklet called Gateway to Citizenship. Immigrants could submit poems about their country’s contributions to America, and among them was the following poem from an English immigrant.

I am the England
In this man, this woman —
A bright star in the morning sun
To the millions of mine who crossed an ocean
And a half continent westward.
And I am content —
Yet, lest a star grow too dim,
Being far away and the sun near,
These things I remind you —
I gave the nucleus of a race,
A language, and 800 years tradition
Into the keeping of an American wilderness —
And you speak my tongue still,
And you keep my traditions
And the strong stock of me:
Pilgrims, planters, freebooters
Is in the heart of you.
And the stout men that sired you
Were Englishmen:
Adams, Hancock, Hale, Williams.
How shall you forget them?
Your rivers, mountains, States,
And your proudest cities wear English names,
And the rock at the core
Of your beloved democracy
Is the unbending will of English yeomen to be free.
How shall you forget these things?

Almost a hundred years after the anonymous poet wrote those words, we have not forgotten these things. At least, those of us with some historical grounding and those who are the descendants of the English colonists and later immigrants are still mindful of our old inheritance. But it seems the rest of the country, those who are taught faulty or false history, or those who for whatever reason are unfavorable to the English roots of America, have forgotten, or choose to deny the history.

It seems ironic in the extreme that Americans with English or British roots have to assert our right to claim our heritage, in contrast with most other ethnic groups who are encouraged to flaunt theirs.

At the very least, within our family circles we can work to preserve that legacy and to foster a healthy kind of pride in our ancestry and in the heritage which is ours, passing that on to our children.

 

What makes a WASP?

Is it just a matter of ancestry, or is it a cultural thing, which anyone can adopt as their own? Articles like this one (and there are websites and blogs centered on this idea) seem to reduce WASP identity to styles of clothing, prestigious name brands, and manners.

“The hallmarks of the WASP — besides being white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant — are good taste and good manners, neither of which Trump possesses. When The Donald has nothing nice to say about someone, he says it loudly, proudly and repeatedly. When he has only nice things to say about someone, he is that someone.”

Actually the article seems to have been written as a vehicle for anti-Trump carping. It seems Trump is too brash, not modest and unassuming, which proper WASPs supposedly are.

First, it seems people are throwing the label ‘WASP’ around very carelessly, very imprecisely. I suppose it’s too late to correct this trend, but it seems most Americans, even those of Anglo-Saxon/British Isles ancestry, use the word ‘WASP’ to describe a cultural thing, namely, the Northeastern country-club set, the preppy-clad, socially connected upper class, of vaguely Anglo-Saxon origin.

However the people who describe Trump as a WASP are stretching the definition. As far as I am aware, his paternal ancestry was German, and his mother was actually an immigrant from Scotland. The Scots will tell you that they are not Anglo-Saxon/WASP, and Germans are, well, German. Though there is a region in Germany called Saxony, where the ancestors of the Saxons of England supposedly originated, the two peoples are not interchangeable.

Donald Trump is very much a New Yorker, culturally, and with that goes the brashness and the bluntness. I think all lifelong New Yorkers have some of those qualities, probably including whatever genteel upper class WASPs that may still exist there. Where are those legendary WASPs anyway? They seem to be pretty hard to find in New York City proper, or anywhere for that matter. And the English-descended families of the New York area, those of the old-stock upper classes, long since intermarried with the Dutch and other well-to-do colonial stock people. Many of the people described as WASP in the Northeast have mixed lineages, not all Anglo-Saxon by any means.

The linked article also refers to the Bush family, who are almost always held up as a (bad) example of WASP power in this country. However if you look at the genealogy of the Bush dynasty (which I have, being very into genealogy) you will find they are far from all English, having some central European ancestry among other things.  Yet people continue to refer to them as some sort of pur sang, quintessential WASPs. They are not. And as the article points out, Jeb Bush has Hispanicized his lineage, and opted out of being a supposed WASP.

This article, discussing the same article to which I link, is about how being a WASP is ‘bad politics’ in America these days, as White Anglo-Saxon Protestants are out of favor, passe, and just out of step with the times. WASPs, allegedly, are too gentlemanly, in an era which requires manliness — not a trait of Anglo-Saxons supposedly. But wait: wasn’t Trump being bashed in the other article for being too blunt and rough in his manner? Isn’t that part of what constitutes manliness, being forceful and direct, as opposed to being self-effacing and deferential? How, then, can Trump be called a WASP? It’s all too confusing to me.

On the ‘Ivy Style’ blog comments, some people ask about other WASP presidents, like Bill Clinton. Someone replies that he was not truly a WASP because he was allegedly poor. First, I don’t accept that his supposedly poor childhood disqualifies him; second, to be somewhat blunt, his ancestry is uncertain on his paternal side; his surname is that of his stepfather. His mother was of Irish descent.  But what about the many, many Southern people of strongly English (Anglo-Saxon) descent who are not rich? The fact that there was once a wealthy English-descended elite in the Northeast, families like the Lodges, the Cabots, the Lowells, and others, hardly means that wealth and power (long since passed from the old-stock English descendants) are essential to being ‘WASP.’ Most English-descended colonial stock Americans were neither wealthy or powerful; many more were middle class or lower, and lived their lives in quiet obscurity.

To define WASP as a cultural category, and wealth as a prerequisite, is to deny an ethnic identity to most English-descended Americans. Most other ethnic groups would object strongly if the name of their ethnic group began to be applied promiscuously to any White person who was of a certain social class, wore the ‘right clothes’, exhibited good taste and etiquette, and attended the right schools. Why is this supposed to be acceptable for White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, then?

Most of the English-descended Southern people would not describe themselves as WASPs, I think, even though they are (of course) White, Anglo, and Protestant. Often they’ve been the types to describe themselves as American, or as Southern, or a citizen of their particular state. They were still aware of their roots in England, however, until the recent confusion over identity (The Celtic South vs. Anglo-Saxon South).

The White people of Utah, many of whom were Mormon settlers, are apparently a very English group of people, by descent. Maybe that is because most of their forefathers left New England or the Midwest when their lineage was still very unmixed with the immigrant groups that had begun to enter New England, and they then intermarried within their Mormon ranks, preserving their ethnic ties. So Utah as a state apparently has the greatest percentage of English-Americans.

But they would not be culturally ‘WASP’ enough to fit the current definition. And maybe they don’t dress according to the prescribed style code. But White Anglo-Saxon Protestants is a description of who they are nonetheless.

With so much talk about ‘cultural appropriation’ should it be acceptable to appropriate another group’s ethnicity and their culture, even if that culture is reduced to merely dressing a certain way and adopting certain manners and ‘taste’? Being a ‘WASP’ or an Anglo-Saxon American is a heritage which is much more than such surface things, and it should not be trivialized.