If you’re like me, then, at every connection point, you try to learn as much about a “people” as you can. While my family is traditionally Celtic leaning, I’ve been working my way through what it may mean to also be the other guy. It’s a growth process and I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Comparing myths and art, literature and history and looking at migration patterns.
So I’ve been owning it and been actively seeking knowledge about my other people…all the people, who make me me. Right now it appears to be mostly Northern European with some recent additions of Native Americans. I am not any one thing.
Neither is anyone else and they never were.
So, recently I’ve been trying to find out more about the Northmen. Music, art, culture. It’s actually been hard. I hate to say it, because of the perseption of WASPs, but it’s hard to find cultural references on them. I have tons of Irish music. I can find German music and Scots music. Trying to find some examples of Anglo Saxon music or literature has been really discouraging. It’s been harder than I thought. Part of the problem is the perception of Race.
I was hunting around for Anglo Saxon stuff last night and ran across a bunch of Youtube videos. One was a newscast from Britain that stated that “The English are Germans and the Welsh are true Britons”.
I watched this video and the analysis was done with a single transect line of Britain from East Anglia to Llangefni. 300 people were sampled (from a nation of millions) and the results were stated as the English are Germans and the Welsh are the true Britons. Now if you look at the map of England in the 800s this would totally make sense. It would be a total shock if you didn’t get that result! East Anglia is named East Anglia for a reason!
Now if they ran that same line of testing further north what could they have said? I expect the results would be much the same, with the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings being more populous in the east and the britons being more populous in the west, but you’d have to change your headline to “The English are Germans and the English are the true Britons”.
England is a modern nation state and the genetic makeup of it’s people has little to do with it’s current borders. The Belgic tribes inhabited southern England and Ireland well before the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings came, in Ireland they were there before the “Irish” showed up from Spain (it’s actually part of the origin myth of the Irish that this happened). Julius Caesar couldn’t figure out if the Belgic people were Germanic or Celtic, but there they were. Who is the true Briton then? Labeling all English as Germans is like labeling all Danes as Germans or all Swedes as Germans. These Anglish people spoke a Germanic language with many words that are not unlike Celtic words. They were not all the same people. They were not a part of a modern nation state like Germany and certainly after living in England for a thousand plus years they’re just as much British as anyone else.
I can’t possibly do any legitimate searching because I constantly have to fend off this kind of us versus them crap.
I challenge anyone to do legitimate internet searching for Anglos Saxons and see what you get. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other. I can’t search for Anglo Saxons or Germanic information in general without running smack into the white pride sites. I can’t search out information on R1b-S21 or Germanic Tribes or innocuous things like Saxon art without slamming into Stormfront (which I don’t even like to name because it might somehow give them traffic).
And that’s just the obvious one. I’ve run through several seemingly normal sites and forums only to become dragged down in the “Germans look like this and Other people look like that” lines of reasoning. I have to watch where I’m stepping all the time or I get my boots stuck in the mud of people lamenting the debasement of their “Race” in England or Germany.
I try to walk the line. It’s hard. I believe that it is okay for a person to be proud of the accomplishments, lives and struggles of their ancestors. It informs who you are, but it is not the sum total of who you are. How do I get the message to my kids that you can be proud without having to be better?
Do you see the difference? It can be subtle. If you wake up every day and say “I am a Crow Warrior. I am strong and do not need to eat any more doughnuts today.” and it helps you lose 40 pounds and be there for your grandchildren, then you do it! On the other hand if you wake up every day and say “I am a Crow Warrior. I am strong and I will rid my land of these buttery Irish by blowing up a McDonalds playland.” then you’ve got mental issues.
It seems though that all around me people are falling into two slippery muck holes. One muck hole says you cannot be proud of any accomplishment you didn’t do yourself (never mind if your country put a man on the moon. What did you do?). I think that hole was dug out of fear. Any acknowledgment of group culture and it’s influence is a bad thing.
I think the fear comes from the other hole which is nationalism and ultimately group based hatred. Where you determine that there was once a pure Christian Culture or Muslim Culture or American Way or German People or Celtic tribe and anything that moves away from that core of absolute goodness is a debasement of your perfect group.
I think that has been a lesson for me. I find in my family tree many roots in different places and I have to broaden my world to accommodate them. I have to have room for many different ethnic groups and religious views and not everyone who gave me life has been a saint. What I want to do is to be able to understand what happened to them and where they were and when, even if it doesn’t fit my rosy picture of some mythical past. Knowing the truth is knowing myself and expanding my worldview.
I am a Thompson Warrior. I am strong and I know that the real battle is with fear and ignorance and hatred. I also do not need to eat so many doughnuts.