Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Americans Were Destined to Be Dumbasses

That is the thought I had when reading something about the Quakers today. The Quakers, while not Amish, are often thought to be one and the same. And the Quakers make really good oatmeal. But I am not calling neither the Amish nor the Quakers dumbasses. It is in fact early Americans I allude to, and in turn their descendants, aka us.

Because the Amish (and other religious groups) settled into small communities in the area known as Pennsylvania. When other settlers in the area asked what country the Amish hailed from, they replied "Deustchland", which is German for "Germany". But the English speaking settlers, on their way to becoming the first generation of Americans, wrongly assumed they came from the Land of Dutch, aka Holland.

So the early inhabitants of Pennsylvania are forever known as "Pennsylvania Dutch". I think it is this hereditary trait of confusing ethnicities and nationalities that causes Americans to think "all Asians are the same" and prevents us from viewing as a Caucasian from Zimbabwe as "African American". If our ancestors couldn't get it right, when the country was even less of a hodgepodge than it is today, what hope is there for the future???

1 comment:

JMB said...

I agree...but I differ a little on the Zimbabwe part. I think on that part it sort of goes back to race. Just as a White Zimbabwean wouldn't be seen as an African American, Mr. John Amaechi who happens to be a Gay British American basketball player wouldn't be called a British American, but a Black Man. Presidential Candidate Barack Obama faced similar problems when people asked, "Is he black enough?" But I doubt the question of race, and our stupidity will continue to plague us as we continue to fall down this endless abyss of complacency.

The only thing that I could think of to cure this is probably a greater respect toward individualism, and a greater knowledge of history. Beyond that we are probably screwed…

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.”
- Albert Einstein