20 May 2010

Teddy Roosevelt: "No Room in This Country for Hyphenated Americans"

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all.”
“This is just as true of the man who puts “native” before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance.”
“But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else.”
The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English- Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian- Americans, or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality than with the other citizens of the American Republic.”
“The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country. The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American.”
Theodore Roosevelt 
Address to the Knights of Columbus 
New York City- October 12th, 1915

Please be sure to sign the petition supporting Arizona's state rights and brave and principled Governor Jan Brewer -here-


Steve Dennis said...

Wow! What a great speech, and how right he was. If only we had listened to him back then!

Reaganite Independent said...

His "Man in the Arena" speech is favorite of all time... when it came to patriotism and foreign affairs, TR was the man

FeminizedWesternMale said...

A favorite weapon in the armory of multiculturalism is the lowly hyphen. When we speak of an African-American or Mexican-American or Asian-American these days, the aim is not descriptive but deconstructive. There is a polemical edge to it, a provocation. The hyphen does not mean “American, but hailing at some point in the past from someplace else.” It means “only provisionally American: my allegiance is divided at best.” (I believe something similar can be said about the feminist fad for hyphenating the bride’s maiden name with her husband’s surname. It is a gesture of independence that is also a declaration of divided loyalty.) It is curious to what extent the passion for hyphenation is fostered more by the liberal elite than the populations it is supposedly meant to serve. How does it serve them? Presumably by enhancing their sense of “self-esteem.” Frederick Douglass saw through this charade some one hundred and fifty years ago. “No one idea,” he wrote, “has given rise to more oppression and persecution toward colored people of this country than that which makes Africa, not America, their home.”

From Roger Kimball
November 18th, 2007 9:11 am
“Affirmative Action,” hyphenated Americans, and other conundrums

Adrienne said...

My grandparents came from Italy. They never, ever referred to themselves as Italian-American.

The real immigrants wanted to be American. The grands loved America and never sugar coated life in the old country. Where else in the world could uneducated people end up having their own business, owning their own home, and raising 7 children - with never a dime in handouts? Only in America, and they knew that.

My grandparents even went so far as to want their six sons to marry "smart American women." True story. So my Dad married my Mom - a very, very smart college educated American woman. Their one daughter married a very, very smart American doctor. I call that smart!

And when speaking of "African-Americans" one would have remember that Charlize Theron is a real "African-American."

Reaganite Independent said...

Thanks Spehnophalatine- I couldn't agree more.

And Adrienne... that's another thing we've got in common, on my side it was Polish/Irish immigrants... same pro-American view... greatful for the opportunity, not looking for a handout.

And same result... only in America

MathewK said...

Wise words.

The way it's going these days, they don't even bother with the 'American' anymore. You're more likely to hear, i'm mexican, where's my welfare cheque.

Reaganite Independent said...

You know, MK- you almost can't blame them, it's the statists handing checks, how many people can say no to that

Post a Comment

The Reaganite Republican welcomes your comments...