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Friday, July 11, 2008

What American 'Culture' did you grow up in?

An article out today, "Who Stole Our Culture? ", presents some interesting ideas. I’ve been thinking about ‘culture’ and just what the ‘culture’ was that I grew up in. It’s difficult to ‘identify’ by visuals. It wasn’t about race or religion, ethnicity or ‘tribal’ prejudices.

Part of my time was spent in a Mormon Community in Idaho about 1958. The little black girl that moved into town and I went to their church and sang like the good Baptists we were and were welcomed and loved and never felt left out. A girl from Mexico moved in and she taught me Spanish and I taught her more English. Her family learned the language before they came. She excelled in school without government intervention.

Most of my childhood, young adulthood were spent in a small West Coast rural community. REDNECKS...so I’m told. My Mexican friends were rednecks too. All I know is EVERYONE said Merry Christmas for a month and everyone was included, the few Jewish families enjoyed it and I learned to appreciate a Menorah. Everyone was included as long as you could be civil and obey the law. We respected our elders and had manners. Our parents and the lady next door always knew where we were.

I never experienced bigotry or prejudice and everyone spoke the same language, except when we wanted to make other ethnic families feel included and we learned to greet them in their native language, as a courtesy. Soon, the big cities and their liberal ways brought the new economy and political correctness to our town. I only saw bigotry after marrying into a very ‘ethnic’ family from Los Angeles who never quite left enough bad parts of their 'culture' behind. You understand it when you’ve been the victim of it.

A farmer or butcher who sold bad food was out of business. We knew where our food came from. Mostly from our own back yards. We helped our neighbors. People pulled their own weight. When a businessman gave you his word, if he didn’t keep up his end, he was out of business. We knew what laws were and we obeyed them or at least encouraged lawfulness and telling the truth. We discussed things like ethics, freedom, fairness in SCHOOL. Oh! MY. And EVERYONE flew the flag...the SAME flag. After school we took our guns and went hunting and NO ONE ever got hurt.

That’s the American ‘culture’ I grew up in. Yours may vary. I miss it! It just didn’t get any better than that and I was lucky to grow up when and where I did. I don’t see that future for any of our children again.

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