Skip to comments.Dude, Stop Microaggressing My People – The Plight of German Americans
Posted on 05/20/2014 6:59:54 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
College campuses across the nation recently played host to Cinco de Drinko-styled parties celebrating the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Battle of Puebla.
Steadfast Mexican national-holiday-legitimacy defenders did their best to try to stymie the partygoers before they could ignorantly and shamelessly appropriate Mexican culture for their own tequila-drinking needs.
One particularly brave cautionary poster was posted outside of Haines Hall on the UCLA campus on Monday:
In the wake of these dark festivities, at which bumbling white people dared speak high school-level Spanish and wear certain types of hats, I would like to follow in this brave culture-defenders footsteps and call attention to the plight of another oppressed group of people currently residing in America: German-Americans.
I am a cultural and ethnic mosaic: half German, a quarter Swedish, an eighth Swiss, and an eighth Norwegian. That makes me Sub-Scandinavian Anglo-European Heterodox American/Questioning (look it up, its one of the 51 ethnicities you can choose from on Facebook).
However, though I may practice certain Scandinavian cultural norms and I subscribe to the social constructs of the power structures of Switzerland, I identify predominantly as German-American.
You may be wondering what forms of oppression my people are subject to? Let me enlighten youthough you may have to think long and hard about where you have seen these types of oppression because they largely take the form of microaggressions and structural racial animus deeply ingrained in American society. You simply cannot understand this sort of oppression or even notice its existence unless you are a part of the oppressed people, therefore youll have to take my word for it that it exists, and that it hurts.
This whole Cinco de Drinko fiasco hit home for me because it reminded me of a particular German celebration that Americans blithely appropriate for their own drinking needs (beer in this case): Oktoberfest.
I have many friends that studied abroad in Europe over the past year, and their itineraries all contained one commonality: they all made sure to attend an Oktoberfest celebration in order to engage in massive beer consumption.
Heres a picture of boorish Americans having fun at my cultures expense:
The perpetuation of negative stereotypes we see here is rather astounding. Do Americans think we all have long blonde hair and blue eyes? Are these three really so bold as to caricature my people as being chronic suspender wearers? I bet theyre all speaking their filthy high school German, too.
Above all, the worst aspect of this is that these Americans perpetuate the negative stereotype that Germans get hammered and go nutsnotice the guy on the right crossing his eyes in blatant microaggression?
Id be willing to wager my American comrades know nothing about the history behind Oktoberfestthat it is a celebration of the nuptials of King Ludwig I. Theyre simply having too much ignorant fun.
My culture is not yours to appropriate.
Wait, now that I think about it, Im actually not even sure what appropriating a culture means well, anyway, at least I know that my ability to live my life the way I wish is severely diminished when I see my friends getting bashed whilst donning German garb and blonde wigs. Or is it? Nevermind, lost my train of thought
Though cultural appropriation is despicable, microaggression is even worse.
During my sophomore year, in the last session of my molecular biology course, my instructor was showing us a slideshow of careers we could have with a molecular biology degree when a slide of two older, white men doing science came up on the screen. The instructor proceeded to say: We have too many old, white men in lab coats, I am hoping all of you will help change that as you become scientists.
Wait, was that a microaggression or macroaggression against me? Let me check my critical race theory textbook real quick.
People sometimes tell me: youre being too sensitive. So what if your friends are having fun with a German holiday? Have fun with them, laugh with them, and make fun of your own culture a little bit with them too! Itll be funa little self-deprecation never hurt anybody!
They just dont understand. My Germanness is what defines me more than anything else. Not the values I might share with my non-German American friends, nor the goals, nor the sense of humor I might share. I am German and they are not. I take pride in being German first, American second.
As for the molecular biology course incident, Ill turn the humor off for a second.
That actually happened, and the quote relays what the instructor, whom I wont name, said nearly verbatim.
How did I respond to this clearly racist professors stupid remarks? I laughed out loud, promptly decided she was an idiot, and simply decided not to take another class from her.
Finally a grievance for me.
you mean like on “the big bang theory”, when that Texan and intolerant Christian, Sheldon says, “i have always found the germans a comforting people”.
(if parsons had an ounce of integrity he would throw his paycheck in chuck lores face and tell him to do his own dirty work)
or, when, at the height of the eu crisis, when Germany was balking at a bailout, on cnbc, becky quick says, “Germany is trying to do what they couldn’t in two world wars”.
German culture rocks.
Being part Irish, or so I’m told, this story was painful just to read. I don’t think I have to tell you what holiday comes to mind for me. (Here’s a hint; I think it’s in March but I can’t really remember most years, so maybe early April) Anyway, if anybody wants to fight about it let know.
As an Irish-American, I get disgusted when St. Patrick’s Day is abused by obnoxious-looking “leprechauns” and people hawking green beer on the radio with fake Irish accents. It’s pure racism I tell you! Insensitive and there should be a trigger-alert so people like me don’t get offended.
Don’t mention the war.
I KNOW NOTHINK ABOUT VAR!!!!
1/4 German, 1/4 Swiss, 1/2 Czech.
German and Austrian here.
You get the double whammy. (grin)
Their Kulturkampf is the reason my ancestors came to this country from Silesia.
1/4 German (Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt)
1/4 Austrian (Tyrol)
1/2 Bohemian (South Bohemia).
Descended from six generations of brewmeisters, too.
Half German, half Dutch.
I was TDY (temporary duty) in Paderborn, Germany in 1981 while stationed at the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. Dozens of Germans came up to me speaking German as if they thought I was a native. I started to think “this is probably the area of Germany that I’m from” after several weeks of this. I was NOT dressed in lederhosen.
Just to spare you pain and anguish, I’m providing you with a Trigger Alert...St Patrick’s Day is only 10 months away. Get yourself prepared.
Half-German and Half-Canadian here. I think. Dad always joked about Mom being a Blackfoot. At least I think he was joking. And Great-Great-Opa emigrated from SE Holland to Cologne sometime in the mid 1800s before winding up in the eastern outpost of Danzig where there was a lot of mingling with Poles. Frankly, I’m not too sure. But I was born in the USA, so that...makes me anything but American. Right?
Yup. The three “B”s.
What’s not to like?
(All you non German-Americans need to back off)
A ruthless drinker who can’t hold his likker and a little slow to pay for a round.
I was stationed in Germany in 1982 and was driving on a back road near Hanau & pulled into a village where the road did not pass through like most. As I stopped to turn the car around in the town square I noticed there were about fifteen women there, staring at my Japanese car with U.S. plates & my Korean girlfriend riding with me.
Every last one of those women looked like my German grandmother from photos when she was young. They wore dirndls like from the 1930’s. It was eerie.
German-Slovenian-Scottish here. Unaware of any joke combinations.
100% German here. Proud of my heritage but I always consider myself American with German blood.
Gott Mitt Uns.
This is brilliant!
Finally! A day for us poor oppressed Kraut desecendents.
Even though the fam came from Hanover in the 1860s, we’ve lost a lot of connection ...Family legend is that they packed up the kids, telling teh boys “You shall not serve the Kaiser.”
At least I thought we had lost touch with our German roots until I started dating and my mom would ask the guy’s last name and then follow up with ... “Is that a German name?”