That Anglo Saxon Flap
Mitt Romney seems to be putting his foot in his mouth at every turn this week, giving Joe Biden a good run for his money. First Romney insulted the Brits with a remark about a less than stellar start up to the Olympics. He was able to walk that one back in time, it appears. The Mayor of London did make fun of him, but Oh Well….. Then he waded in up to his ears by saying something about shared “Anglo-Saxon heritage”. The Democrats went ballistic. Anglo-Saxon heritage? What gives?
Well, not to chose sides but what do we call it then? This country was founded by people from England. the Pilgrims, the Puritans, the Jamestown folks led by Captain John Smith were all Anglo Saxons from England. I heard it my entire life and no one bothered to tell me that it was now politically incorrect to speak of Anglo Saxons. What should be be calling them?
Someone had better straighten me out real fast because I have been told I was mostly Anglo-Saxon my entire life. They meant from the British Isles, I know. Obviously, the Anglo Saxons don’t think the expression is wrong. Don’t we Anglo Saxons get to chose what we want to be called just like everyone else does?
Arthur David Millers thinks I should probably already know:
This isn’t about liberals/conservatives, left/right or Democrats/Republicans; it’s about being dumb or smart during a tough and closely fought campaign. Anything that talks about Anglo-Saxons in the politically charged campaign world is truly dumb. Regardless of where this comment stands on the offensive scale, it reinforces the exclusivist, little richie-rich elite image of Romney world.
Politico: The Arena
My family wasn’t elite nor were they rich. Far from it. Up until the time of the Civil War they were farmers, millers, and the patriarch kept a tavern. Nothing fancy. After the Civil War, most farmed for food but they weren’t farmers by trade. Yet they were Anglo Saxons and didn’t hesitate to tell you. They were proud of their heritage in much the same way anyone else would be proud of their roots and their heritage. I think I will have to side with Mitt on this one until someone can explain the error of my ways. I think I have fallen into some sort of “Anti-Other” trap.
Dewey Clayton thinks worse of me than the other guy:
The use of the phrase “Anglo-Saxon heritage” is an example of racial code words and should be offensive to everyone in this country. In 1955, in Money, Mississippi, Emmett Till was murdered by two white men for allegedly “talking fresh” to a white woman. The two men were ultimately charged with murder. At the end of trial, the defense attorney said to the all-white, and all-male jury, that “Your fathers will turn over in their graves if [the two defendants are found guilty] and I’m sure that every last Anglo-Saxon one of you has the courage to free these men . . .” I don’t think that the White House “jumped” on these comments but I think they were right to respond to them. If these comments are true, there is absolutely no place for racism to rear its ugly head in this presidential campaign.
That comment, at least to me, is sort of over the top. so some one mentions Anglo Saxon in an unflattering way in 1955 and I get stripped of my heritage? Well, half heritage. I have a bunch of Celt in me also with the Irish ancestors. There is some French and some Swiss.
So what’s a vintage Virginia girl to do? Where are our genealogists to help me out? For the record, President Obama very well could be just as much Anglo Saxon as I am.