Thursday, March 18, 2010


I’ve been able to trace two branches of my family tree to the very early 1600’s or earlier. The white bread ancestors I can account for arrived around the 1680’s or 1690’s. It had to be pure dumb luck that the Heatons and the Elmores could pay their way up front. The usual alternative was a loan secured by agreeing to work for whoever would buy the contract of indenture. At least the indentured colonists only had to serve for seven years or so. Then they were free to find their own way.

The first African slaves were sold in Virginia in 1617. That's before the Mayflower colonists fetched up in New England. And at least fifty or sixty years before my ancestors crossed the water. The slave trade, but not slavery, was outlawed in the early 1800’s. Years before the Irish survivors of the combined effects of failed crops and persecution got off the boat, Decades before the waves of European migrants who arrived between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

And that’s what may be sticking in the craws of the Flour Power (I didn’t come up with this, found it on the net) Tea Partiers. I’d love to see the family trees of the likes “I speak for the real Americans” Palin, or pill poppin’ Limbaugh, and or “we’re in danger of a Socialist dictatorship” Beck. Al Sharpton’s African ancestors may have gotten here first. :-)


Anonymous said...

Considering there were people who lived in the "Americas" long before Europeans or Africans arrived on these shores, I really don't take any of these arguments about "real Americans" seriously at all.
Not to mention, most people who spout this generally don't display an even elementary knowledge of the history of the "Americas" much less the history of the United States, the country they claim to be so proud of and love so much.


JACKIE said...

When I was in high school back in the dark ages the social studies curriculem follewed a set pattern; Geography to World History to US history to modern problems.

By the time I did my student teaching stint the districts were going to a cafeteria style curriculem. You could literally get through school and never hear about the Civil War.

I don't watch Fox news but I heard more than I wanted to about Sarah Palin and the Founding Fathers. Ouch. Too embarassing for words. Ignorance of the Founding Mothers I can understand, but she had her eye on Washington DC for cryin' out loud. Better quit before my snarky genes really kick in.