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Thread: Recent European Immigrants Who Identify As "American"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todesengel View Post
    This is a question for Americans.

    What do you think about recent European immigrants (by this I mean 1st or 2nd generation for example) who identify as American instead of their home country identity? Do you think a Swede, a Dutchman or a German has a right to claim this identity, without having had ancestors among the founding fathers, old stock heritage or some sort of continuity in your country? Do you consider them your kin, or distinct?
    I have no problem with the children or grandchildren of Scandinavian, German, English or other Germanic or Nordish immigrants identifying as American. They are racially the same as the founding stock of this country. And unlike Italian-Americans or Polish-Americans they do not play the ethnic politics game.

    What does offend me is when immigrants from Asian or Latin America proclaim "I am an American!".

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  3. #22
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    German is blood. Nationalism is the soil a people takes. German blood is a world wide diaspora.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segestan View Post
    German is blood. Nationalism is the soil a people takes. German blood is a world wide diaspora.
    Sorry, is this an answer to my question? Should German immigrants to the USA identify as American, or not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todesengel View Post
    This is a question for Americans.

    What do you think about recent European immigrants (by this I mean 1st or 2nd generation for example) who identify as American instead of their home country identity? Do you think a Swede, a Dutchman or a German has a right to claim this identity, without having had ancestors among the founding fathers, old stock heritage or some sort of continuity in your country? Do you consider them your kin, or distinct?
    I believe that if they want to be considered Americans that is fine, but it is a shame. They should be proud of where they come from and where their parents came from. Really, I wish they would stay in their home country so as not to be contaiminated by what America has become.
    I would basically consider them my kin, as I am of German ancestry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triedandtru View Post
    I believe that if they want to be considered Americans that is fine, but it is a shame. They should be proud of where they come from and where their parents came from. Really, I wish they would stay in their home country so as not to be contaiminated by what America has become.
    I would basically consider them my kin, as I am of German ancestry.
    European countries are not better off than the US. In fact, I believe some of them are in a worst state, so we cannot contaminate them as you say.


    Die Sonne scheint noch.

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    I recently read some excerpts from a letter written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald while in London in 1921:

    God damn the continent of Europe. It is of merely antiquarian interest. Rome is only a few years behind Tyre and Babylon. The negroid streak creeps northward to defile the Nordic race. Already the Italians have the souls of blackamoors. Raise the bars of immigration and permit only Scandinavians, Teutons, Anglo-Saxons and Celts to enter. France made me sick. Its silly pose as the thing the world has to save. I think it's a shame that England and America didn't let Germany conquer Europe. It's the only thing that would have saved the fleet of tottering old wrecks.... (Letters 326).


    In some ways, I think many of those sentiments still ring true even today (although I certainly don't damn Europe or think it's merely of "antiquarian interest").


    Quote Originally Posted by Vindefense View Post
    I respect them as long as they are genuine and can handle responsibility. We don't need any more people who want the state to pamper them with jobs, health care and housing, we have plenty here.

    I would also expect them to remember where they came from. They should however, have full intentions to adapt to this way of life. They should be prepared to face the challenges and strife here. If they can do this than fine. If not, they are better off in their nation state. America has always been for the daring.
    Well said. I think this sums up my feelings on the matter, too.

    Of course it's not possible for someone who was born and raised in Europe to ever become an all-American type (like say John Wayne ), but they can become a welcome and much-respected part of the community.

    I once knew an old East German lady who had escaped the iron curtain, married an American guy, and settled in the States. She lived here since the sixties and became heavily involved in community affairs. One time I was talking to her about something or another, and during the course of the conversation I mentioned something about her being a foreigner in a totally innocent and non-malicious way. Still, I could tell it had hurt her feelings a bit. I felt pretty bad and tried to back-peddle as best I could. She had worked hard for many years and contributed a lot to the community, including some fine children (who were of course raised as Americans). That said, she had every right to call herself American.

    The moral of the story: yes, I think once Europeans gain citizenship and live here long enough they can call themselves "American." I have absolutely no problem with it.

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    I once knew an old East German lady who had escaped the iron curtain, married an American guy, and settled in the States. She lived here since the sixties and became heavily involved in community affairs. One time I was talking to her about something or another, and during the course of the conversation I mentioned something about her being a foreigner in a totally innocent and non-malicious way. Still, I could tell it had hurt her feelings a bit. I felt pretty bad and tried to back-peddle as best I could. She had worked hard for many years and contributed a lot to the community, including some fine children (who were of course raised as Americans). That said, she had every right to call herself American.
    Blood ties has always been intrinsic to what constitutes a nation throughout history. After all, the most historically accurate definition of a nation is an extended family (There used to be an American nation as such but not anymore on a large scale). There is one other component of the social relationships that bind both nations and families and that is the covenantal aspect of them. I believe that assuming a different nationality is possible to almost to the full extent (almost). To do this there has to be a covenantal relationship that requires both sides to reach out to each other. The equivalent concept in the smaller scale of a family household is known as adoption. The concept of blood cannot be fully dispensed with as far as adoption goes, however. Otherwise there isn't a real family to be adopted into.

    Your example of the particular East German lady you mentioned, reminded me of one girl I know who was studying abroad for a full year in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Now the Irish probably more than else have had to endure Americans giving them speeches on how they are Irish and expected to be regarded as cousins. My friend never was keen on making any genealogical links to anywhere in Europe a topic for polite discussion and considered herself just "plain American." Some of the people her age at the church she tried to get involved with would not stop making these teasing remarks about how she was a foreigner as the months went by. I know from my own experiences when I traveled abroad I happily engage in good-natured banter about how I am different and perceived as an American. But she said the ongoing sarcastic jokes telling her that she was an outsider hurt her feelings.

    Sometimes there are boorish and ignorant Americans that deserve to be told that stuff. But it seems as though that Europeans are much more likely to be malicious and say things that suggest that their local third-world asylum seekers have more of a right to identify with them than Americans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Resurgam View Post
    Your example of the particular East German lady you mentioned, reminded me of one girl I know who was studying abroad for a full year in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Now the Irish probably more than else have had to endure Americans giving them speeches on how they are Irish and expected to be regarded as cousins. My friend never was keen on making any genealogical links to anywhere in Europe a topic for polite discussion and considered herself just "plain American." Some of the people her age at the church she tried to get involved with would not stop making these teasing remarks about how she was a foreigner as the months went by. I know from my own experiences when I traveled abroad I happily engage in good-natured banter about how I am different and perceived as an American. But she said the ongoing sarcastic jokes telling her that she was an outsider hurt her feelings.
    How old was your friend when she studied abroad? Teenagers (or those who still have teenage mindsets) tend to be pretty obnoxious and quick to taunt the "new kid in class." Foreigners in these circumstances are especially easy prey.

    A lot of an individual's ability to fit into these situations depends on whether they possess an all-around likability, or charisma, that can transcend cultural differences. It also really helps if you know a local who can show you the ropes.

    Sometimes there are boorish and ignorant Americans that deserve to be told that stuff. But it seems as though that Europeans are much more likely to be malicious and say things that suggest that their local third-world asylum seekers have more of a right to identify with them than Americans.
    Indeed, there is no shortage of cretins in America, nor is there a shortage of Euro-snobs in Europe.

    However, I think most of the sneering anti-Americanism on display from some Europeans in this forum, for instance, is just net-nazi stuff. I've spent a fair amount of time in Europe and I don't think I can recall any situations where anyone was rude to me. Of course I was always respectful, and respect begets respect as they say.

    I've even been all around Berlin and Potsdam, where anti-Americanism seems to be most pervasive, and didn't experience any problems with the natives. I did get pick-pocketed when I was there, but I'm pretty positive Turks were responsible for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torch_Bearer View Post
    I've even been all around Berlin and Potsdam, where anti-Americanism seems to be most pervasive, and didn't experience any problems with the natives. I did get pick-pocketed when I was there, but I'm pretty positive Turks were responsible for that.
    I'm from Potsdam and I can't say I feel any significant, rampant anti-Americanism among the natives here. Then again, rampant pro-Germanism is not very common here either, unfortunately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todesengel View Post
    I'm from Potsdam and I can't say I feel any significant, rampant anti-Americanism among the natives here. Then again, rampant pro-Germanism is not very common here either, unfortunately.
    Heh.. I was in a restaurant not far from that statue of Baron von Steuben, and there was either a Turk or an Italian guy working there (sometimes it's hard to tell the difference, and the guy didn't speak English), when this German man who looked like he was in his 50's walks in and started verbally lambasting the worker. I didn't know much German at the time (or even still) but I heard him say "Auslander," "Volk," and "Deutschland" quite a bit. He was obviously telling the worker he wasn't German, never would be German, and had no place in Germany. It was quite a scene.

    I was the only other guy in the restaurant, and when the German guy saw me he came over to my table saying "mein Freund." He evidently thought I was German and wanted me to join him in razzing the immigrant, so right before I told him "ich spreche nicht Deutsch" I thought to myself I was going to have to put up my dukes since despite his age he looked like he could put up a good fight.

    He was totally cool though, he just smiled, chuckled a bit, and took off.

    So maybe you're right about Potsdam. I have just always been led to believe (from net-nazis anyway) that Americans are targeted for beatings in that area.

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