In a rare fit of courage, Virginia Gov. James Gilmore last week put his name to a proclamation declaring May to be "European-American Heritage Month," but alas, the fit did not endure. [VDARE note: the Proclamation has now vanished from the gubernatorial website, although Virginia Beer Month and white canes – for the blind – are still honored.] By the following morning, the governor's aides had discovered that the request for the proclamation came from what the press called a "white separatist group" led by former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke. The proclamation was quickly rescinded, and the aides insisted (Washington Post, May 11) that actually, the governor had never really signed it anyway, you see, because it was really signed by an electronic pen, so it was really all the fault of the pen, you know, and the governor had nothing to do with it.
What a relief. For a moment we were led to believe the governor might be in cahoots with the Klan and assorted extremists of one kind or another, but even the state leader of the NAACP has expressed forgiveness. "I think it was probably an honest mistake," says leader, who calls himself King Salim Khalfani (no extremist he). Every now and then these dim-bulb European-American types step out of line, you know, and it's lucky they have King Salim to set them back on the straight and narrow, where European-American Heritage can be kept in its proper place, which is nowhere.
I myself have mixed feelings about "European-American Heritage Month," but the recent episode with the governor has helped sort them out a bit. Dedicating a month to "European-Americans," also known as "white people," may seem entirely proper these days, when whites or Euros or whatever you want to call them are routinely vilified as nothing more than a gang of pirates, bigots, and woman-beaters. Maybe letting the dwindling horde of Euros have their own month would be nice, affording them a chance for once to tell us something good about themselves and making them feel a little better about losing their country.
Then again, losing their country is exactly what European-American Heritage Month is about. Gov. Gilmore's short-lived proclamation noted the "significant contributions" that "European-Americans" have made "in the fields of medicine, science, engineering, technology, business, law, and government." That sounds swell—except it leaves out a few other significant contributions such as discovering North and South America, conquering and settling them, and creating a new civilization and new nations and governments on and in them.
European-Americans, that is, didn't make "significant contributions" in various "fields." They invented the fields themselves, and they created the country in which the fields flourished. The problem with European-American Heritage Month is that it demotes and distorts the paramount role of European-Americans in creating American civilization to a role as being merely one more color in the multi-ethnic and multicultural rainbow from which the new mythology purports that American civilization derived. Multiculturalists ought to welcome European-American Heritage Month precisely because it obliges European-Americans to deny the whole of their real heritage.
What, then, does it tell us when the governor of Virginia denies even the diminished role that European-American Heritage Month recognized? It tells us that virtually every other group—blacks, women, homosexuals, as well as an endless parade of ethnicities of one hue or another—can have its role in contributing to American history, civilization and government recognized by an official proclamation, but European-Americans can't. It tells us that European-American heritage, so far from being duly commemorated as a legitimate part of the multicultural mosaic, will be eliminated completely—the cultural equivalent of genocide.
The governor (or his aides or maybe the electronic pen) will reply that it wasn't the concept of European-American Heritage Month that they rejected but the group pushing for it. But what kind of group do they think is likely to push for European-American Heritage Month, and how do they think any group that does push for recognition of European-Americans and their heritage will be portrayed by the press? In the narrow vocabulary that prevails in public discourse today, any organization that champions the rights, identity, or heritage of "European-Americans" (let alone "whites") will be denounced as "racist," "white supremacist," "white separatist," or "extremist." The permitted vocabulary contains no other terms to describe such groups or their beliefs.
In fact, European-Americans concerned about their future as well as their heritage ought to be grateful for Gov. Gilmore's speedy act of cowardice in rescinding his own proclamation. What the governor's action reveals is that all the cant about European-Americans having their own legitimate and acknowledged place in the multicultural spectrum of the future is so much fertilizer, that European-American heritage has no more place in a multicultural future than the shrinking number of European-Americans themselves.
COPYRIGHT 2001 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
May 21, 2001