Joe Doakes from Como Park emails
A writer on-line was musing about tracing her family’s roots, going back to The Old Country as Mary and Joseph did when Caesar ordered the census.
Going back to my home town would be a snap – my folks still live in the same house. Beyond that – Dad was from a small town in southern Minnesota and Grandpa grew up on a farm around there, I think, but beyond that I’m not sure.
The family legend is the ancestors snuck into the country when the borders were not so vigorously enforced. And no White men originally lived in North America, they must have come from somewhere in Europe, but where, exactly? Not a clue.
Don’t really care. Nothing there for me, now. The Old Country is so far back that it’s merely myth. I’m an American now. Minnesotan, really, since we’re intrinsically superior to Iowans and cheeseheads and wouldn’t want to be lumped with that riff-raff.
I suspect it’s the same for all Fourth Generation people. If we could slam shut the immigration gates for a generation or two, the grandkids would hold no sentimental attachment to The Old Country beyond eating tacos on Cinco de Mayo, the way Irishmen drink green beer for St. Paddy. A novelty, not an identity.
Trump should be pushing a moratorium while we build The Wall and revamp the immigration system to eliminate anchor babies and chain migration. That would be his greatest legacy.
‘My familh’s connections to one of our Old Countries – Norway in this case – are pretty strong; I’m in some contact with a fourth cousin who happens to earn a living studying arctic foxes on Svalbard Island – but otherwise, I agree.
There was a time when ethnic identity was a diversion and a hobby, at least in theory.
“But Mitch – if you were black, you didn’t have that option”.
Well, yeah – you’re right. America’s greatest mistake keeps paying dividends.