One of the more annoying habits of foreigners who move here, particularly bumptious Third World foreigner with high esteem and little to contribute but cheap labor and more work for infectious disease specialists, is telling all us stupid whites what it means to be an American.
Thus isthis tweet from the New York Times really annoying:
These are the words of someone called Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who, apparently, is something of a wunderkind of the Dark Continent. She received a MacArthur Genius prize a while back after attending some top-notch schools to perfect the craft of writing fiction that tells whitey how to behave and what’s wrong with whitey.
This is not a perfect country. It is, in fact, not as hallowed as American nationalists like to think. But it was built on an idea that is humane, beautiful, and very much worth perfecting.
I am not familiar with the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie canon, but I have a feeling it doesn't much resemble Dante or Shakespeare, but instead surpasses the two dead white males in what has to say about the human condition.
Anyway, the Times included a few of her remarks in a compendium of thoughts that other geniuses offered in commencement speeches. I passed on reading the rest.
Madame Adichie's remarks remind me of the story Clyde Wilson tells about Confederate Gen. Richard Taylor after the South surrendered:
In May 1865 Taylor went with one aide in a railroad handcar to find a ranking Union general and surrender the last few thousand Confederate soldiers in the vicinity of Mobile. Formalities concluded, the federal officers invited Taylor to join them for a meal (which he badly needed). Most of the federals behaved politely and avoided any conversation that would create hard feelings in their recently surrendered foe. However, as Taylor relates:
There was, as ever, a skeleton at the feast, in the person of a general officer who had recently left Germany to become a citizen and soldier of the United States. This person, with the strong accent and idioms of the Fatherland, comforted me by assurances that we of the South would speedily recognise our ignorance and errors, especially about slavery and the rights of the States, and rejoice in the results of the war. … I apologised meekly for my ignorance, on the ground that my ancestors had come from England to Virginia in 1608, and in the short intervening period of two hundred and fifty-odd years, had found no time to transmit to me correct ideas of the duties of American citizenship. Moreover, my grandfather, commanding the 9th Virginia regiment in our Revolutionary army, had assisted in the defeat and capture of the Hessian mercenaries at Trenton, and I lamented that he had not, by association with these worthies, enlightened his understanding. My friend smiled blandly, and assured me of his willingness to instruct me.Taylor did not mention that he was the son of a President of the United States