PERMIT ME TO WASP-SPLAIN FOR A MOMENT
White and Christian are just a subset of American. We are a very diverse nation, but that diversity exists primarily in the cities, and specifically in a few urban conglomerates. There are of course black people living in the interior, along with Hispanics (essential for agriculture, but often rather invisible) and a smattering of Asians. But the great riotous bubble of a melting pot is far less visible in the heartland, and because it is distant from their lives, odd to the locals.
There are three constructions that mark majority attitudes towards minorities in "White America".
Go back where you came from!
So what do you put first, American or Dingus?
Oh shut up, you're an American; you're as American as I am!
About one year after I had returned to the US from living abroad during my childhood and adolescence, someone screamed at me that I should go back where I came from. That was, and is, unusual, but even today sometimes people treat me like I belong elsewhere based on how I speak English. I've clarified that I was born here and that we've been here for centuries a bit more frequently in the last year, and I feel that I really shouldn't have to do that. And I feel chickenshit that I can and do do that.
Both of my parents were born abroad; their families were American military in Europe after Word War One, who returned to the United States while my parents were still children. Again, this is also something I should not have to explain, but it does account somewhat for why they did not provide a spotless American-accent and cotton wool home environment while I was growing up.
Here's are a few passages from an Article in the Washington Post about a gentleman who has been here longer than me and his encounters with what festers under the pale white faces of his fellow Americans.
Fernando Herboso glimpsed the change in sentiment a few months ago. He was showing a Muslim family a house, also in the Maryland suburbs. Their young daughter needed to use the bathroom. The water had been turned off at the house, so Fernando went to ask a neighbor who was outside gardening.
The woman glanced over Fernando’s shoulder, and saw the family, wearing traditional Muslim garb. She wordlessly turned her back to him, went inside her house and locked the door.
“We don’t want Muslims in our clubhouse. Take off that robe over your head!”
"The couple, who were used to such attacks, were gracious about the whole thing. They’re still house-hunting in Frederick."
“I don’t even know what Hispanic means. Are you from Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, Cuba? Does it really matter?” a fellow Realtor lashed out at Herboso. “I have to assume that it refers to some culture that you relate with that is different than the American culture. But what do you put first, Hispanic or American?”
[SOURCE: A home that looks perfect, until bigotry rears its ugly head . ]
All of this disturbs me. No, I shall not give a long explanation why such attitudes are repulsive. Because I should not have to. And I would feel chickenshit, and somewhat nauseated, if I did.
The comments underneath that article overwhelmingly represent small-mindedness and hate. Many of them vociferously justify casual bigotry, some are from whinging petulant basement dwellers.
The latter class are probably not the majority in this country.
But they scream by far the loudest.
"Hispanics; essential for agriculture, but often rather invisible"
In San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami, the Hispanic population represents every trade, income level, and social class. Which is as it should be. In rural America their role is much more circumscribed.
In the suburbs they often have leaf blowers and ear damage.
Without immigrants some people couldn't survive.
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