Thanks, Observer, for yet another wonderful perspective on this issue. Lead balloon here, too. Another Way Above. I think it’s clear that the
original questions, “Where do we draw the line on signs” and “How does it feel to be inundated with foreign signs” have led to some issues
that are much deeper than I originally suspected.
Even if we don’t go into illegal immigration and driver’s licenses, exploring the feelings beneath the signs question alone is a huge issue in
itself. Bear with me while I explore this new perspective for a moment.
What came to mind when reading Observer’s post is how I’ve heard African American’s say they want to ‘preserve their heritage’ or
‘remember their roots’. And I’m not sure I’ve ever really understood that. But I got a glimpse at least of real understanding when I read
The overly political correctness state of this country makes me feel racist for even discussing this with you.
This was my feeling as I wrote the paragraph above. But I think the more we do talk about it, even though it’s uncomfortable, the more we’re going
to understand our own feelings about it. Our own ‘fear’ of losing our heritage in our own country. And that’s where this all started; with how
TA feels and wondering if we feel the same.
As I look at the foreign cultures and other races in this country (US) I see rich culture and customs, beautiful colors, fabrics, wonderful foods,
art, traditions, pride. I can certainly understand how one would wish to preserve and not lose their heritage! Even though they live in a foreign
country (to them) I can understand why they wouldn’t want to just give up their background and ‘assimilate’ into American culture (whatever that
And what is
that? What is ‘American culture’? For any foreign culture (Chinese, African, Mexican, Italian) certain images, smells, colors,
foods, sounds come to mind. When I think ‘American Culture’ I get McDonald’s and Andy Warhol, Sports, God/Religion, Fatty food, Fast-paced
lifestyle, Workaholics, Pharmaceuticals and Christmas… And not one
of these things do I identify with.
I’m sure there’s more to it, but I, of all people, an American, should be most attached to ‘American Culture’. I should be able to list
indications of my proud heritage, right? Maybe I’m just drawing a blank right now, but I can’t think of much that fits the ideal of ‘American
Culture’. Much I’m proud of, anyway…
When I Yahoo’ed “American Culture”, I got kind of a joke site (about McDonald’s, David Letterman and baseball), and then right into
“African-American culture” and “Native-American culture”, both of which I can envision quite easily… Something’s wrong with this mental
And to bring this home, the lack of my own identity as a white, regular American, is, I believe, attached to the potential fear or encroachment I
would feel as the foreign signs popped up around me more and more. My uncertainty of what American Culture really is and my lack of being able to
identify with a feeling of heritage is what would cause any feelings of disenfranchisement as other cultures showed themselves proudly and freely
I’m with you, TA, I want to have a positive identity as an American. I have a positive self-image. I’m fond of myself, but it has nothing to do
with my culture or heritage, and I’m really kind of sad about that...
True American, I wish I talked as well as I write, but I don’t.