I really enjoy many of W.J. Butcher's pieces. I really appreciate his reminders of the sacrifices made each and every day by our first responders.
I respect his service to our community, and although I may disagree with some things: as an American I will happily give my life for his right to speak his mind. However...
I was struck with the number of myths that was encapsulated in one body of work: "When in Rome."
Here, I thought no one could hear the Nazis a couple of months back, but maybe people were listening. Maybe the similarities are coincidental. In either case, there is the common theme about how everyone must give up their culture as price of admission into our melting pot.
He even invoked our common Scots-Irish ancestors – mine were from Middle Tennessee. He spoke about how he would never speak Gaelic – neither did the Scots-Irish who came over in several waves in the early 1700s – nor wear a kilt.
He then repeated the myth of vast swaths of children not allowed to speak English in their homes. This is a common myth repeated in generations past against Italians, Catholic Irish, Eastern Europeans, Chinese, Mexicans. Every wave of immigrants has heard this slander.
And while the writer proudly took his American flag and bumper sticker and left, Miami's economy exploded, becoming the marketplace of the Americas. The Cuban-Americans became an immigrant success story and evolved into one of the most patriotic segments of the American population. Surprising to some, I guess, the second-generation Cuban immigrants all speak English.
I want clear up one other tiny misconception.
Our Scots-Irish ancestors did not assimilate into American culture. We created American culture. The first thing we did when we arrived – huddled on ships – was get away from the coast, the common culture, and went to the mountains and created our own culture based on our traditional way of life. Bluegrass, a rich story-telling culture, unique agricultural practices – the list goes on.
Then, in the mid-1770s when it came time to create this idea called America – even though half of the people on the coast wanted to stay with Britain – we came out of the mountains and shed more blood for the Revolution than any other group of people. Afterwards, we went back to the mountains, back to our own culture and our own traditions. Seventy years later, we volunteered and helped Texas fight for its independence. Many stayed in Texas. Many of us went back to the mountains.
Today, like many cultures, that of the Scots-Irish in Appalachia is being lost. Rich American traditions and art forms are being lost to a culture of bland consumerism – a culture of assimilation. Ours isn't the only American culture being lost. Delta Blues is also a rich American Art Form created by another group of Americans who did not assimilate. They weren't even allowed to assimilate.
To conclude, I know not what Romans do, but I am extremely grateful many of them came over to our shores and shared their culture and made us stronger. When in America, however, we open our arms and our homes to the wretched, tired, poor, persecuted and oppressed. Our doors are open to anyone who wants to come over and make a better life and make our country better in the process.
I agree, it is always optimal to learn the common language wherever one goes. However, while they learn, I'm going to be giving grace because it is only by the Grace of God Himself that I was born in the one country on this planet that is the land of the free and where all of God's children are welcome.