Politically Incorrect New Year’s Resolutions
Break Up White America
Each self-identified minority group, immigrant and native, seeks some sort of ethnic or national cachet other than Joe-Blow “American.”
Have an ethnic boost of something other than “white,” and the road to victimhood and with it an edge in admissions and employment is supposedly enhanced. But in our multiracial and mixed-up culture, what is “white” other than a crude and inexact rubric that somehow includes darker Greeks and Armenians, but not lily-white Ted Cruzes?
Is Barack Obama more a “black man” than my authentically black Punjabi neighbor? So why not junk “white,” and let so-called whites, as others, fragment to rediscover their own sometimes distant ethnic identities?
We can go back to “German,” as in: “Robert Heine, a German, was injured yesterday in a car accident.” Or “Jack Lang has become the first French supervisor at the DMV.” If the usage of just “Latino” or “black” is OK identification, without even the need for hyphenation, why not return to IDs like "Czech" or "Polish"? Did not Hitler only about 80 years ago invade and destroy Poland? Why then are Polish-Americans and German-Americans supposedly indistinguishable brotherly “whites”?
Are so-called “white” ancestries any shakier than fourth-generation “Latinos” who may be Oaxacan or Castilian or Brazilian, or 1/16 “Native American”? Why not just toss in “whites” in 2016 and rediscover the map of Europe?
Who needs even “European-American” when we all can become a minority nation again of Brits, Scots, Irish, Italians, Danes, and French? My second- and third-generation high-school Mexican-American friends often spoke Spanish no better than I did. Their children speak not a word. They are, or are not, as Latino as I am Swedish. And with such new ethnic cachets come claims on identity victimhood. We can return to catchy ethnicized first and last names. Someday I will tell my son to name his son Ragnar Björn Hanson. French has accents; so why not use them as do Latinos? The nobody Herb Berger can -- Voila! -- become a somebody Hebèrt Bergère, who will have a lot better chance getting that job at the VA.
Poor George Zimmerman might have fared better had he been maternalized into Jorgé Mesa. I doubt the media would have edited Jorgé’s 911 call or photoshopped away Mr. Mesa’s facial injuries. Germanic Zimmerman for too many conjures up some scent of the Waffen-SS. Mesa, George’s mother’s surname, instead suggests victims of Spanish conquistadors. Barack Hussein Obama was no big deal when for a while he was Barry Dunham.
With exoticism comes advantage. Can we once again remember the Irish indentured servants? The loyal Germans in the U.S. who were interned in World War II and in some cases deported to Germany after the war? The innocent Scottish immigrants who were butchered on the Western wagon trails? They all can be in 2016 if their names show ethnic pride—1/32nd or not.
Campuses now lecture us on cultural appropriation. Americans “steal” Mexican food and ruin Calypso music and offer in return only tasteless burgers and syrupy bland tunes. Europe, we are told, gave us toxic legacies, from diet to lifestyles. Forget Shakespeare and Shaw; anybody supposedly could write such drivel, which is why you don’t have to be white to play Hamlet or Eliza Doolittle.
But cannot Americans in 2016 also blame others cultures as the fonts for our current destructive habits?
Corn starch and corn syrup are two of the most deleterious of food additives that wind up in everything. Who is to blame for both? Was the world a healthier place without this toxic New World gift of corn? Did anyone have a peanut allergy before Columbus? Did Jack Daniels incapacitate us before indigenous peoples brought us corn?
For that matter, did pre-Columbian and pre-Magellan British or French smoke, snort cocaine, gulp addictive coffee and teas, pour sugar on their food, or eat fatty potatoes before non-European tribes hooked them on these sometimes deadly food and recreational habits? Were not bathing suits modest before the contamination of bikinis?
Who gave us incense-driven allergies? Is there much evidence that syphilis was epidemic in Europe before Columbus? There certainly seems no evidence for it in Greek and Roman medical texts.
Can we hunt back promiscuous indigenous Patient Zero on the basis of fossilized DNA?
In 2016 can Americans culturally disassociate themselves from these injurious foods and bad habits that once were the sole domain of a victimizing America, Africa, or Asia? Why is an eagle feather torn from an endangered species considered sacred but not a cigar at 7-Eleven?
If we are going to take stock of our pathologies and start an inventory of which culture is to blame for making us unhappy, then let us start with those foods, drugs, and practices that do the most damage. Yes, we can!
(Artwork created using a modified Shutterstock.com image.)