DUTCH AMERICAN HERITAGE
The group which has been here the longest are descendants of the New Amsterdammers who came over in the early sixteen hundreds and settled in New York and New Jersey. Largely of solid stock, and by the turn of the nineteenth century into the twentieth fully integrated into WASP culture.
Despite a small number of them still speaking Dutch in a religious or family context they have seamlessly blended in.
[That, by the way, describes my family's Dutch heritage. The Van Xxxxxs trace their ancestry to Abraham and Isaac Van Xxxx, who arrived in 1630. The family nomenclature has since then deviated considerably, there are numerous variant spellings, misspellings, and complete changes, and intramarriage also confounds things. Good luck finding me in the phone book.]
Over one hundred years ago, deviant hard core countryside Calvinists from Groningen, Drenthe, Friesland, Zeeland, and Overijsel started coming over, largely settling in the Midwest. Holland (Michigan), Pella (Iowa), and a large number of stick-in-the-mud towns hither and yon that are sometimes unimaginatively named 'Nederland', such as a place in Texas now populated mostly by bigots from Louisiana.
Which seems appropriate.
[Also included in this group for convenience are Catholics who emigrated for the opportunities, one of the primary ones being the absence of social discrimination against them such as existed for a long time in the Netherlands.]
After World War Two many Dutch immigrants came over to rebuild their lives, including eventually a large number of Indies Dutch. Their children and grandchildren now take courses in the Dutch Studies department at Berkeley, which is part of the German Department. They speak Dutch badly if at all, and very often vaguely remember small towns that are completely unimportant.
The fourth group is small, and consists of recent Dutchmen and Afrikaners who needed something bigger and better than late twentieth century old world society. They are a diverse bunch. The only things they have in common besides the language are support for the soccer team in the Eurochampionships and the World Cup, and a love of patat friet.
Usually with Mayonnaise.
A man who may end up as Trump's CIA chief is former representative Peter ('Pete') Hoekstra, who represents both the second and the third wave. Who may or may not be a decent man. But his past-history suggests that he might have "issues" with Muslims and Chinese.
In 2012 he authorized what is widely considered the most repulsively anti-Asian political advertisement in modern times.
[See this article: Asians Talk Funny.]
Shan't say anymore than that.
As a Dutch American, I despair over anyone who came over in the second and third group. They often do not represent a damned thing with which I can identify, and far too frequently show their ass in public.
Not all of them are venal ignorant grubbers.
That's the best one can say.
Please note that America's greatest president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (a distant relative) is from the first group, the New Amsterdammers.
By the way: Today is "Dutch-American Heritage Day".
There are a great many ways to celebrate it.
Being an asshole is just one of them.
Personally, I should think Boerenkoolstampot met Rookworst is best.
NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.