April 13, 2008
Originally published August 10, 2003
I've had a lot of dogs as pets in my life. Every one of them was a mutt adopted from the pound or from a neighbor whose purebred slut-muffin got nailed by Tramp when no one was watching.
I consider myself to be a mutt. All links to the family tree vanished when the Harlan County Courthouse burned down sometime in the 1920s, so I have nothing but the Family Bible and my 92 year-old grandmother to tell me about my roots.
I know this much. I have Scots-Irish, Dutch, French and skulking Shawnee blood in me, plus who knows what else. I am an amalgam. I am a mutt. My name is SMITH, for crying out loud. That's what makes me such a good American.
I couldn't honestly hypenate myself if I wanted to. I don't have a "motherland" or a "fatherland" to claim. I was born in Kentucky and I'm proud to call myself a genuine Appalatchan hillbilly. But I've lived most of my life in southeast Georgia, and I am equally as proud to call myself a genuine Jawja Cracker.
But I am an American first and foremost.
In Effingham County, all of the Salzburgers can trace their roots right back to the ship that brought them here and landed at Ebenezer in the early 1700s. They are all German Lutherans and many of them have the family Coat of Arms displayed in their houses. I always was fascinated by roots that went that deep. I never knew where I came from.
Hell, if my family had a Coat of Arms, it probably would have a moonshine still, a hound dog and a shotgun on it.
In some ways I regret not having "The Olde Country" to think about, but I really don't believe that I missed a whole lot. If I DID have a homeland to visit, I wouldn't fit in there. I am too American.
I can tell by the color of my eyes that the Scots-Irish blood in me is the strongest, but I have no burning desire to visit Scotland or Ireland. I would rather see the Grand Canyon. My grandmother on my father's side was a Napier, but I have no urge to visit France. I would rather spend a week in Canada.
I suppose that my lack of roots, other than the ones I put in American soil, is why I despise people who hypenate themselves. African-American. Italian-American. Irish-American. Bullshit. Kiss my Cracker ass.
If you feel the need to be a hypenated-American, be here on a visa and take your disloyal ass back to your "home country" when you are finished enjoying the fruits of freedom and prosperity we take for granted here. Show me any place in the world that is better than the USA and maybe I'll listen to your hypenated bullshit. Until then, either drop the hyphen or get the fuck out of here.
Nobody's making you stay.
I like being a mutt. It keeps things simple for me. THIS is my country, and that's all I need to know.
All content © Rob Smith