The following essay by JLH was occasioned by his translation of the previous post.
What is Citizenship?
According to the Federal Statistical Office a person has immigration background if that person or at least one parent was not born a German citizen. The definition comprises the following individuals: 1) foreigners, whether immigrants or not; 2) naturalized citizens, whether immigrants or not; 3) (recent) ethnic re-settlers; and 4) progeny of the first three groups born with German citizenship.
I have been reading the phrase “German with immigration background” defined above, and not really understanding it. It is a way of looking at your citizens that is — pun intended — quite foreign to me. I did realize that “pure French” or “pure German” etc. meant something different to the citizens of an ethnically homogeneous country. But I did not understand how closely it was possible to examine that ethnicity. Some thoughtful Germans have been advocating a revision of the categories described above.
Germans have for some time been reacting to Muslim and other immigrants to their country, who have coined phrases for the resident population such “Scheissdeutsche” (S*** Germans). Unlike the French, Dutch, Swedes, et alii, they are also asked by their neighbors and their own self-appointed consciences to remember that they deserve this, because of what their parents and grandparents did or did not do.
I do not and never have denied the Holocaust. How could I? I was one of the children who got money for a ticket to the Saturday morning cartoon show at the local theater. In those days, you never got to see anything — cartoons, feature film, etc., without first seeing the News of the Day. And the news never ran in those days without a new clip on the liberated death camps.
And since I first heard of it through things like Franz Werfel’s gripping novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, I have never doubted or denied the Armenian Genocide. There are many terrible massacres in history, but these two are alive for me, because I have had friends and acquaintances who are the children of those who survived.
Knowing these things does not oblige me to hate Germans or Turks. My Jewish friends have taught me that much. I also do not hate the English because of my wife’s Scots and Irish Gaelic ancestry. I do reserve the right to be indignant at and even contemptuous of the modern-day deniers of Ataturk’s reforms or Churchill’s egalitarianism.
Being an American “of a certain age,” I grew up with the conviction that the Founding Fathers were heroes, the Constitution was a new way to look at the rule of law, and our prosperity came largely from our desire to work — and think — for ourselves.
Those who truly despise freedom of thought and speech have been hard at work to undo those “illusions” of mine. And seeing the tortuous attempts of German statisticians to come to grips with what it means and implies to be “German,” I ask myself, What is it that makes an American? Ethnicity? Don’t make me laugh!
What is it that once made us proud and should now make us ashamed? Is it that our ancestors came here and took the land from the people who were already here? From whom had those people taken it? And what became of those previous people? Must we blame our Cro-Magnon ancestors because they outlasted, out-married and possibly outfought the Neanderthal? And is it not enough that we have not only won wars and freed people, but tried to help the vanquished to a better life?
Or is our cardinal sin that we have been “Eurocentric”? Do we seem too subservient to the ideals of the French Revolution (sans Madame Defarge) or the Magna Carta? Perhaps we should have followed the path of Lenin — or was it Trotsky? — to the greater equality and prosperity of the mob masses? Should we have followed in the pioneering steps of Castro and Maduro? Have we missed an entire evolutionary step by avoiding the clash in our streets of redshirts and brownshirts? Or, correct me if I am wrong, aren’t they all “Eurocentric”? Did we have to stop being “Eurocentric” so we could become Afrocentric, Hispano-centric, anything-but-Euro-centric?
Perhaps we pay too much attention to the writings of Dead White Males. What is their greatest transgression? Being dead is probably all right, if it just did not confer this undeserved mantle of respectability, of dignity, of wisdom. So it is not enough to delve into history and discover the feminine counterparts — or better parts — of these male icons. Perhaps when women and people of color — both alive and dead — are recognized as not only the equals, but the superiors of these undeservedly honored figureheads, we will arrive at some kind of acceptable balance in our society. “All folks are created equal — and if not, we will fix it.”
Or is it the White Male that is the problem? If you are male, ipso facto, you are a misogynistic rapist. If you are a White Male, you are a misogynistic, racist rapist. Not only that, you represent White Privilege. Damn! I thought I was working on that. But apparently I can’t really lose that stigma. What if I gave away everything and went to live on the streets of San Francisco, where I could live in my own filth — always careful to share it with others — and bitch all day long about the damned elitists. I’d do it on Twitter and Facebook of course, and use Google to look up things I didn’t know. And guess what? Somebody would be sure to come by and give me a tongue-lashing for taking up too much of the shade, like the damned White Supremacist I am.
Of course, if I went to California, I should buy that book called “Hablo Español” because I would want to be able to handle the real official language there. No big deal. It’s only what our ancestors did, when they learned German in the 18th and 19th centuries to greet the newcomers, or Italian and Polish and Chinese later on. Hell, we needed someone to build the railroads and how else could we talk to them — by making them learn English? And let’s not hear any nonsense about being united by a common language. Every gang in the history of this country was united by a common language: the Mafia, the Tongs, the Yakuza, the Russian, Ukrainian and Serbian Mafias, and, of course, MS-13. Now there is something we can really get behind — it began in LA in the 1980s. So let us stop pretending that it is somehow important to read the Declaration of Independence in the original, or conduct national and international business in what has through osmosis become the universal language — English.
Please! As a debased While Male m****rf****r, I know my place. In line behind all the other sexist, racist Nazis waiting for a beating by the Antifa. Come and get me!