I had a conversation a few years ago with a young, very bright and exceedingly well-educated woman who was from an Afrikaans background. She had all the hallmarks of Afrikaaner ancestry, including a Dutch surname. When I asked about her heritage, she became rather indignant and dismissive, assuring me that she was not. I find this sort of thing very sad and troubling.
Indeed, the older I get the more evident it becomes to me that one simply cannot abandon one’s identity and instead should embrace it. I will always be proud to be a small-town Southerner and count it as a far, far greater influence on my life and outlook than any other influence, including being American.
As a matter of fact, I have reached a point in life where I really don’t give a tinker’s dam that some people, notably the people who purport to be our elites, regard Southern identity as some sort of historical focus of evil against which all that is lofty and sublime should be defined, including the conceptual rope of sand known as “propositional (American) nationhood.” Concepts such as this only work to perpetuate the notion there is such a thing as individualism bereft of ethnic and cultural influences.
The further I get along in life, the more this notion strikes me as just another form of intellectual snake oil.