My maternal ancestors were probably a heterogeneous bag of individuals representing defunct royalty, common indigent laborers, persecuted religious misfits, and mixed-race outcasts. Whatever the case, they too came to America to start new lives and to seek opportunity. Although they were technically 98% White and Anglo-Saxon, and by default Protestant, I believe they would likely think it odd being referred to as a venomous insect with a nasty disposition.
It is also possible they were of mixed intellect. After all, why would anyone want to leave Merry Old England in the first if he or she already enjoyed an exceptional station in life or society only to risk hardship or even death in the wild uncharted domain of The New World? Some of them may have been separatist Protestants or social outcasts who did not speak the King’s English, or who fell from the King’s grace. For that they may have suffered persecution at the hands of the Tories, who mocked their accents, harassed, and taxed them, burned down their homes or attempted a forced reunion with one and only true Anglican Church. It is also equally likely that all the King’s men came to think of them as nothing better than the 18th century equivalent of White trash.
Everything is relative in the cruel game of racial superiority. Spain and Germany burned their Jews; Tories persecuted the Colonials; Irish beat up the Italians; Turks massacred the Armenians; then quickly forgetting their own near extinction, Jews turned around and persecuted the Palestinians. You figure it out.
However, after the Revolutionary War, if my ancestors had really been smart, they would have bought or stolen as much of North Carolina or Tennessee as they could possibly get their hands on. Unfortunately, this propensity to squander opportunity became an innate family trait way before the ‘born devious’ gene reared its ugly little head in the Evetts line.
In any event, for whatever personal or military battles won or lost, they did their part to secure American independence from Britain, and at least I can say they were enlightened enough to have fought on the “correct” side; “correct” being a euphemism for “we won.”
I also know for certain that they owned slaves, who were handed down to succeeding generations in Last Wills. But considering this to have been a norm for that society; I will never feel obligated to apologize to any black man still harboring a ridiculously tiresome grudge about that sad yet ancient chapter of American history. I wasn’t the one who did it; and as far as I can tell, this country abolished slavery well before both of us were born.
As an afterthought, I doubt very much that my ancestors were Pilgrims either, as they happened to settle in the Southern United States. Today every school child knows that the South, in the 1860s tried it’s best to reconstitute itself as a separate entity when it seceded. As such it yet remains as culturally and geographically distinct from Plymouth Rock in New England or from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, as night is distinct from day. Thus, regardless of whatever the original Protestant sect, when the family finally settled in Texas, they gravitated to an even more unique Protestant sect, and one whose eventual evolution transformed itself into something known as the ‘Southern Baptist Church.’
I would shout ‘hallelujah’ to this fact as well, but the trade-off in becoming a Baptist holds very little improvement over the self-imposed suffering, rigors, restraints, and the personal denials of being a Pilgrim. No cursing, no dancing, no drinking—then sex can only occur when the all the lights turned off and all your clothing still on. The labels are different, but the doctrine is nearly equivalent.
You might as well beat yourself over your head with a stick, or better yet go out in your back yard, build your own Wailing Wall. Then as you update the equally masochistic Talmudic Jewish protocols; you can join in on the Yiddish ritual of repeatedly bashing your head against it, as your sins slowly disappear along with numerous tiny particles of your brain’s frontal lobe.
A WASP’s Nest
You know, Martin Luther was a Communist.
After all, he robbed from the poor. And then gave it to no-one
(Old Irish Catholic saying)
|WASP’s Nest||Lithograph||The Winter at Valley Forge|