Posted by Rick Denney on June 30, 2003 at 12:18:32:
In Reply to: Re: Re: isn't this is a good thing? Re: VPO posted by Benjamin Schardt on June 30, 2003 at 11:42:06:
Which WASPS are you referring to? The Angles and the Saxons lived so long ago (and were themselves completely separate groups) that it hardly means anything any more. In fact, "Anglo-Saxon" was pretty hard to identify even before there were protestants.
So, do you just mean "white"?
I use the term "anglo" because that is the term used by those who perceive themselves as not being "anglo", particularly in the Southwest where I lived most of my life, by Hispanic people with some indigenous American blood. We both used the terms so we could describe each other. "What did he look like?" "He was an anglo--about six feet tall and maybe 230 pounds..." or "He was Hispanic with a mustache and he was driving green Pontiac..."
Of course, vast numbers of "anglos" have plenty of that indigenous American blood, too.
So, let's not define people by their skin color at all (though I don't mind describing them that way). Let's rather define them by their cultural ancestry, and then let's celebrate THAT diversity. That diversity includes polka bands as well as conjunto, in addition to reflections of African and Asian culture. The line dancing you deride is actually rooted in folk music, which comes from Appalachian rural settlers who themselves came from a wide variety of homelands where they were being persecuted for one reason or another. If you don't think the music and dance of Appalachia is interesting both from cultural anthropology and from purely musical and artistic perspectives, then you don't live where I do.
Personally, I'm quite happy to see the mix of broad cultural heritage in this country, from all sources. But for your genetic metaphor to work there has to be a mix. It seems to me you can't praise the value of mixing in Vienna and then complain about the "corruption" of a native or narrow immigrant culture in America, Africa, or Asia that results from mixing.
I wonder if an Austrian would have difficulty being invited into a traditional Japanese music group (i.e., not a European-style symphony playing largely European music, but one playing traditional Japanese music on traditional Japanese instruments). Cultural identity, and the desire to protect some examples of it, goes both ways.
Rick "who wonders if Japanese are Eurocentric when THEY use the term 'Far-East'" Denney