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Who and What Are Americans?

Updated on August 19, 2017
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Mike has a keen interest in the effects of politics in our culture. He has a unique way of simplifying complex concepts.

A Summary of Pre-Columbian History

In order to answer the question in the title of this article, we have to start with the time before explorers like Columbus came to the new world. Before Columbus discovered the new world, there were indigenous peoples living in what we now call North and South America. In South America, these people included the Maya, Incas, Aztecs. North America included all the Indian tribes of America and the Alaskan people and Canadian people, including the Inuit, Yupik and many others.

The Conquistadors

After Columbus, The Conquistadors (The Conquers) came to the new world. While Columbus was concerned about exploring the new world, the Spanish conquistadores were concerned about gold and conquering the indigenous people of the new world. By interbreeding with the indigenous people, they created what are now the modern-day people of South America and the Mexicans of North America.

The Europeans

Next came the European Colonizers, they included the English, French Portuguese, Spanish, and many others. They conquered the North American Indians and made refugees out of them by placing them in reservations all in the name of “Manifest Destiny.” This was the hue and cry for the westward expansion of the settlers from all the European countries and even some Asian countries.

The Civil War

America then had a civil war where the South were the Confederates and the North were the Union. It was all fought about slavery of Africans that were brought to the Americas as free labor. After the North won the civil war and the slaves were freed by the Emancipation of Proclamation, there was still hard feelings by many of the people in the south against the Africans. During the time of the slaves there was interbreeding of slaves and their plantation owners and other non-Africans.

The 1800's Until Now

Starting in the late 1800’s there was a vast influx of immigrants from all walks of life and cultures into America. This process of immigration and naturalization continues today. All though Trump is trying to curtail it with a wall and a ban on certain groups that he deems as terrorists and others who are ruining our country and economy.

Who are the Immigrants?

My point of all of this is how can we think of ourselves as Americans, when the indigenous people of the Americas are the true Americans? The rest of us our immigrants in their country. How can people say they want their country back, when it was never their country to begin with?

When the Europeans came here and conquered and settled in this country, they had a rich heritage that could be traced back many centuries to conquering tribes and nations in Europe. However, they had no heritage in the Americas. We are all immigrants except for the indigenous people of this land and we have no heritage here.

Racism and Prejudice

When any group of people or individual, devalues the worth of others, it can justify anything from slavery to killing of others and destroying nations. People are not born as racists or with prejudice. They have to be taught.

How can the white supremacist justify wanting their country back, when they and their people never owned this country? The white supremacist and neo NAZI’s are a lowly sub-set of the human race which is far superior to their culture and attitude.

The people and the causes they represent lost the civil war and world war II. They call the people who didn’t vote for Trump poor losers, but they have been the real poor losers for generations. They live in the states that have the most electoral college votes. My concern is that Trump will get re-elected for a second term because he and his campaign people know how to play to these miss-guided people.


Self-Worth

Trump uses the same tactics that the white supremacist use. But he calls it “Counter-punching.” When opposed by others, he devalues their self-worth, usually in public, so that he makes himself superior to those who oppose him. That’s what he did in this press conference by not answering the questions presented to him, but by calling the reporters the fake news and bad people, and insulting them. He said McCain is the reason why the repeal of Obama Care failed while praising himself about all the jobs he is taking credit for that he did not create.

Do you think Confederate symbolism has a place in the United States of America?

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Do you think Neo-NAZI and KKK Symbolism should be made illegal?

See results

© 2017 Mike Russo

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    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 3 months ago from Placentia California

      Hi Larry: It's great to hear from you. I think so much of the white supremacy stuff and racism has to do with fear. You are right the world is changing and they don't know how to adapt to the changes. So there only defense is to hate those that can't relate to. Thanks for stopping by.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 3 months ago from Placentia California

      Diane: I read the whole thing, but it was hard to understand in some places. But wars are fought for two things territory and money.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 3 months ago from Placentia California

      MizBejabbers: I can understand the miss-treatment of your relatives from the north, but in my mind I don't see how anything they could do would be as bad as what I saw and heard in the south.

      I was there in 1955 when a black teenager, Emmett Till was tortured and murdered for whistling at a white woman. Do you know what they used to say about him? What is the fastest thing in Mississippi?...Emmett Till riding a bicycle across town.

      I come from California. They told me, there are two things that come from there... queers and hot rods and I don't see any tail pipes coming our your ass.

      I believe most of the white supremacists are maladjusted misguided people. What is their end game? How are they going to secede from this country. I don't think they even think that far. They just want to exercise their power because it gives them an adrenal rush...just like the drugs they take. I stand my ground on this one.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 months ago

      Mike, I was born and reared in the South. I didn't expect an outsider to understand the way white southerners were treated and are still being treated by the North. Even our cousins who moved North when we were children came home with a "we're better than you attitude." So we lost the war, but the North keeps fighting us. It is no wonder that a few crazies can't get over it and turn to white supremacy. I stand my ground on this one.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      It all has a place. History books, mainly. All of this crap being unearthed recently is a reflection of society's recent failures.

      Great read and wonderful points. It's just all so depressing. Stay strong and keep fighting the good fight, my friend.

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 3 months ago from Fontana

      I really don't care about the tariffs. Each of the southern states drafted articles of separation. They all included maintaining state's rights to own and traffic slaves.

      Confederate States of America - Georgia Secession

      The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. This hostile policy of our confederates has been pursued with every circumstance of aggravation which could arouse the passions and excite the hatred of our people, and has placed the two sections of the Union for many years past in the condition of virtual civil war. Our people, still attached to the Union from habit and national traditions, and averse to change, hoped that time, reason, and argument would bring, if not redress, at least exemption from further insults, injuries, and dangers. Recent events have fully dissipated all such hopes and demonstrated the necessity of separation. Our Northern confederates, after a full and calm hearing of all the facts, after a fair warning of our purpose not to submit to the rule of the authors of all these wrongs and injuries, have by a large majority committed the Government of the United States into their hands. The people of Georgia, after an equally full and fair and deliberate hearing of the case, have declared with equal firmness that they shall not rule over them. A brief history of the rise, progress, and policy of anti-slavery and the political organization into whose hands the administration of the Federal Government has been committed will fully justify the pronounced verdict of the people of Georgia. The party of Lincoln, called the Republican party, under its present name and organization, is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party. While it attracts to itself by its creed the scattered advocates of exploded political heresies, of condemned theories in political economy, the advocates of commercial restrictions, of protection, of special privileges, of waste and corruption in the administration of Government, anti-slavery is its mission and its purpose. By anti-slavery it is made a power in the state. The question of slavery was the great difficulty in the way of the formation of the Constitution. While the subordination and the political and social inequality of the African race was fully conceded by all, it was plainly apparent that slavery would soon disappear from what are now the non-slave-holding States of the original thirteen. The opposition to slavery was then, as now, general in those States and the Constitution was made with direct reference to that fact. But a distinct abolition party was not formed in the United States for more than half a century after the Government went into operation. The main reason was that the North, even if united, could not control both branches of the Legislature during any portion of that time. Therefore such an organization must have resulted either in utter failure or in the total overthrow of the Government. The material prosperity of the North was greatly dependent on the Federal Government; that of the the South not at all. In the first years of the Republic the navigating, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the North began to seek profit and aggrandizement at the expense of the agricultural interests. Even the owners of fishing smacks sought and obtained bounties for pursuing their own business (which yet continue), and $500,000 is now paid them annually out of the Treasury. The navigating interests begged for protection against foreign shipbuilders and against competition in the coasting trade. Congress granted both requests, and by prohibitory acts gave an absolute monopoly of this business to each of their interests, which they enjoy without diminution to this day. Not content with these great and unjust advantages, they have sought to throw the legitimate burden of their business as much as possible upon the public; they have succeeded in throwing the cost of light-houses, buoys, and the maintenance of their seamen upon the Treasury, and the Government now pays above $2,000,000 annually for the support of these objects. Theses interests, in connection with the commercial and manufacturing classes, have also succeeded, by means of subventions to mail steamers and the reduction in postage, in relieving their business from the payment of about $7,000,000 annually, throwing it upon the public Treasury under the name of postal deficiency. The manufacturing interests entered into the same struggle early, and has clamored steadily for Government bounties and special favors. This interest was confined mainly to the Eastern and Middle non-slave-holding States. Wielding these great States it held great power and influence, and its demands were in full proportion to its power. The manufacturers and miners wisely based their demands upon special facts and reasons rather than upon general principles, and thereby mollified much of the opposition of the opposing interest. They pleaded in their favor the infancy of their business in this country, the scarcity of labor and capital, the hostile legislation of other countries toward them, the great necessity of their fabrics in the time of war, and the necessity of high duties to pay the debt incurred in our war for independence. These reasons prevailed, and they received for many years enormous bounties by the general acquiescence of the whole country.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 3 months ago from Placentia California

      Jo: I couldn't agree with you more. We have come a long ways from the 50's, but there seems to be a resurgence undercurrent of racism in this country and most of it is coming from the white supremacist. Thanks for dropping by.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 3 months ago from Tennessee

      Mike, I've been living in the South all of my life, and I said from the beginning that the Trump campaign was largely about race. And those Confederate symbols are just a convenient way to keep this alive. Even those not carrying Confederate flags or chanting their Nazi symbols and insisting that 'they' for goodness sake are not racist go around spouting their revisionist history about how really great these Confederate generals were. In fact, they were traitors who took up arms against their country in defense of slaver, who after the Civil War established the KKK that went about lynching folks for generations.. Nothing heroic about that.

      I am sick, sick, sick of this. Just get over it and let this country move forward.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 3 months ago from Placentia California

      MizBejabbers: I spent 14 months in the Air Force in Biloxi Mississippi in the 50's. I know what prejudice and racism looks like up close and personal. I also know there is still an under current of racism in this country that has never gone away. We are much better than the 50's. However, there are people in this country who still can't get over the fact that the South lost for whatever the reasons maybe. The symbols of the KKK, Neo-NAZI, and white supremacist still ignite people into rage on both sides of the equation.

      I am not advocating that we go back to the aboriginals. I'm saying how can people say they want their country back when it has never been their country? How can people say that their race is superior to others when we are all from the human race?

      This is what they used to say when I was in the South: "Save your Dixie cups, the South will rise again."

      Thanks for your comments.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 3 months ago from Placentia California

      As always, thank you for your comments Diane.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 months ago

      Mike, I laud your hub because I know it comes from the heart, but it is still based on whitewashed history.

      "It was all fought about slavery of Africans that were brought to the Americas as free labor." That is an untrue statement, and herein lies today's problem. You used the word "all" in the sentence which renders it untrue. The South was burdened by northern tariffs that overly punitive. Northern owned ships transported Southern cotton to Europe and cotton owners paid exorbitant taxes to export their cotton. Couple this with the high tariffs on imports of industrial goods by the agrarian South, and the situation fermented. Couple this with efforts of the abolitionists and the situation escalated. Lincoln wasn't worried about slaves, but he was worried about saving the Union. During the Lincoln Douglas debates, he said:

      "I will say then that I am not, nor have I ever been in the favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races . . . There must be a position of superior and inferior, and I... am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race ... I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position that the negroe should be deprived everything." http://www.lib.niu.edu/1997/ihy970225.html

      He realized that to save the Union, he would have to have the support of the anti-slavery forces on his side. In the Federal Registers of 1858 and 1859, there were only about 12 pages of discussion of slavery in Congress, while there were more than 100 pages of discussion of raising the tariff items the South had to export, one in particular, sugar from the Caribbean Islands raised their hackles. I won't go any farther because you know the rest of the story.

      Speculation is that had Lincoln not been shot, he would have moderated the treatment of the South after its surrender and treated it with dignity, instead of further stomping it into the ground under Presidents Johnson and Grant. In giving away the South to political carpetbaggers and former slaves (right or wrong here, is beside the point,) the north cut off its supply of easy money and also suffered financially. Anyway, we all, as a result have had to live with as much northern resentment and hatred as northerners claim the South has heaped upon the black population. There is resentment on both sides and as long as a contingent wishes to take away the heritage of the South, there will continue to be the likes of the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists. I'm not excusing the latter two, but I'm saying that as long as there is a demand for politically correct diversity, it will exist because there don't seem to be sensible people on either side.

      Your idea that the country would have to be return to its aboriginals, the Native Americans is on the spot, but not feasible. Now many of us are of mixed heritage, both European and Native American or African-American and Native American, so where would that leave us? Just another fight with the government because that while most of us can prove our heritage genetically, the government says that unless our NA ancestors were on certain government rolls, we are not Native American. There aren't enough Native Americans left on the tribal rolls to take over a country this big. So that would present a dilemma.

      So I guess we just need to learn how to get along and become amalgamous, not diverse.

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 3 months ago from Fontana

      Exactly article. I couldn't answer questions as they are posed. Confederate symbols should be displayed in context with the facts of what happens. Doing a drive by and pointing to the statue doesn't give the history. Started to write another sentence and changed my mind.

      Neo-NAZI and KKK symbols should be displayed in context also. There should be no tatoos, jewelry or fabric to show their design. Boy this is a toughy!

      Thanks Promise! You always provoke thought.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 3 months ago from Placentia California

      thebiologyofleah: I agree with you completely. Thanks for the comments.

    • thebiologyofleah profile image

      Leah Kennedy-Jangraw 3 months ago from Massachusetts

      I agree with your leading point in this article, we are almost all immigrants to this country. If we are going to start kicking people out where do we draw the line? Most of us would be packing our bags and the Native Americans would have their country back.

      I cringe when I hear the 'Make America great again' slogan because I worry about how far back people want to go in our history.

      For a long time now this country has been a melting pot. And I think diversity- of gender, religion, orientation, culture- is what makes us great. We need to work on equality for all not segregating and isolating.