One Southerner’s Musings on Diversity

… that may (or may not) be of interest.

Just a few examples. In my personal case, American Indians (Cherokees) influenced my European forebears by marrying them. By the time I came along, that influence had been lost in the past (I look plain vanilla white but it’s unmistakable in photos of some older generations of my family) but the internet has helped me recover some information about it.

Indian names liberally sprinkle our landscape. These sub-cultures influenced our food/diet. Foodwise, one of the best things the Indians gave us is corn, and one of the best things the slaves gave us is okra. Succotash, gumbo… fried okra, creamed corn…You get the idea.

Although the Founders of the government were operating form a European Christian standpoint, and knew models from that tradition, their creation was as much a rejection of European government (royalty, peerage) as adherence to it. Some people say the Iroquois Confederation influenced the kind of government the Founders gave us; some say they didn’t.

But the cultures of the Indians and Europeans clashed more than they meshed.

Africans — music, speech patterns, story-telling. Did I mention music? When I was 17 or so, living in Montgomery, Alabama, and racial unrest gripped the country, I was driving across town one day, listening to WBAM Radio (The Big Bam, Rockin’ the CRAdle of the ConfFEDeracy with FIFty THOUSand WATTS of POWer!) and the news had just ended, and a report about racial unrest had me thinking. And I tried to think it out, and I finally came to the conclusion, “Well, it probably would have been better if they had not been brought here.”

About that time, the Big Bam plays Reach Out, I’ll Be Thereby the Four Tops. It was my mostest favoritest song in the whole wide world at the time and it hits me like a slap, “That song wouldn’t exist if they hadn’t come here.” In fact, many of the songs I liked were Motown tunes, and none of them would have come into existence without the presence of blacks here. So I’m driving along trying to think of all the ways it would be different without blacks (and okra was one of the first things to come to mind), and I realized, “My gosh, without them, we’d be just like yankee pablum…” I’ve learned enough since then to recognize some basic difference between Southerners and yankees, much of it based on the differences that existed between the European stocks who settled the different areas before they even came here, but I didn’t know that then. And yes, I recognize that my reasons for appreciating black influence were selfish.

I love black music. Always have. Spirituals, jazz (well, not so much traditional jazz as the more melodic subgenres of it), blues, ragtime, Motown. There are a few I don’t much care for — rap/hip hop, because they don’t have tunes/melodies to speak of, so I don’t consider them music. Black music isn’t the only music I like, but it is among my favorites. In 1956, when I was seven years old, I loved a lot of songs I heard on my aunts’ radio, but two of my favorites were Memories are Made of This by Dean Martin (who spoke Italian only until he was five years old, but I only found that out recently) and Honky Tonk Part 2 by Bill Doggett.

These are pop culture references. I could probably give you lots of other ways these groups influenced American culure if I sat down and thought about it, but I’m posting here while I’m trying to finish writing a novella, and that’s what my mind is on.

The difference between that and today is that much of multiculturalism, immigration, and similar/related issues are being deliberately engineered to target the dominant culture, which the targeters perceive to be “white” culture, which they think makes it worthy of reduction or elimination.

11 thoughts on “One Southerner’s Musings on Diversity

  1. Thelibertylamp February 8, 2014 / 4:41 pm

    Is Connie conveniently pretending to be an American Indian again? Or is this her sister, Tommy Lynn?

  2. Pamela DiVanna February 8, 2014 / 4:49 pm

    America to me means multi culturism. We have our unique music, food, language. …it’s all good. Being ex military and having lived in several countries. ..This is home…and the best in the world. Yes we do have our problems…but remember, the majority of our population are immigrants whether we came here free or by force.

  3. M.D. Blough February 8, 2014 / 5:43 pm

    Apparently, the model that the writer prefers is the one where the dominant culture/race takes what it likes from the others and refuses to share what it has with anyone else.

  4. seanmunger February 8, 2014 / 7:02 pm

    I bet whoever wrote this loved that Coke commercial from the Super Bowl!

  5. khepera420 February 8, 2014 / 7:23 pm

    “The difference between that and today is that much of multiculturalism, immigration, and similar/related issues are being deliberately engineered to target the dominant culture, which the targeters perceive to be “white” culture, which they think makes it worthy of reduction or elimination.”

    I see this lie, in many forms, time and again from people like this blogger. Leaving aside the fact that there isn’t any such thing as some en bloc “white culture,” it seems to me a bit pathological that these people assume that recognizing or appreciating aspects of another culture means the destruction of one’s own, perceived, culture. Projection? It seems to me the only ones hell-bent on reducing or eliminating anything not of their own tiny worlds is themselves.

  6. Nancy Winkler February 8, 2014 / 9:25 pm

    Number one contribution that Blacks made to this country is generations of unpaid, back-breaking, whites-don’t-wanna-do-it labor. They built the economy of the South without being recognized as human beings. And he thinks of okra and Motown.

  7. Brad February 8, 2014 / 10:05 pm

    Whoever wrote this started out well but then got lost in nonsense. Many cultures have made contributions to American culture but none more so than the slaves who brought with them sounds and musical patterns (e.g., poly rhythms) passed down from one generation to the next. They begat blues, which begat jazz. Between the 1920s and 1946 or so, jazz was the pop music of its day. It led to R & B. You have to look no further than the Stones or the Animals to see the influence of Blues on rock and roll. Elvis Presley and his music was just black music (called race music) modified for what music executives though 50s American white youth wanted to or, more importantly, should hear.

  8. Brad Griffin February 9, 2014 / 10:15 am

    Here’s a scene that comes to mind when I think of America’s multiculturalism:

    I’m driving down Manchester Expressway in Columbus, GA. To my right, there is a Chinese restaurant where a tired looking Chinese businessman is serving Americanized slop to fat people in his all you can eat buffet. To my left, there is a black gentleman with shiny rims on his car whose vehicle is putting on a musical performance for the rest of the street:

    Soulja Boy off in this bich
    Watch me crank it, watch me roll
    Watch me crank dat, Soulja Boy
    Then Superman dat bitch like oh

    • Jimmy Dick February 9, 2014 / 4:43 pm

      Too bad you left out the Korean working as an EMT or the biracial woman waiting tables. If you could get your racist head out of your ass you might see Hispanics working on highways. You might see all kinds of people doing all kinds of jobs, but you only see what you want to see because you’re blinded by your own pathetic hatred for anything that isn’t lily white.
      Pack your bags, Brad. This is our America and you racists are finished.

      • Joshism February 10, 2014 / 8:52 pm

        I don’t think Brad’s comment is completely pointless.

        Reality is saying there are some black people who wear low-hanging pants, listen to misogynistic gangsta rap, and speak bad English. Racism is saying that because some black people are like this, all black people are therefore inferior.

        Multiculturalism will always struggle if it wants all of us to believe that gangsta culture is as valid as any other culture.

    • Rob Baker February 9, 2014 / 5:45 pm

      Your scene is like 2005. What an old song.

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