North American Anthem
June 22, 2006, 05:43 PM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF
Fans of classic science fiction will be interested to know that many of the works of H. Beam Piper are now available online for free at Project Gutenberg.

I came across this depressing quote in Null-ABC (1953) which was printed by Ace Books as Crisis in 2140:

The "North American Anthem," which had replaced the "Star-Spangled Banner" after the United States-Canadian-Mexican merger, came to an end.

Aargh. Of course, in the 1953 science-fiction version, it was partly the result of the aftermath of nuclear war, and partly a result of a total breakdown of the education system.

The first part hasn't happened, as for the second part...Recently the Michigan Department of Education ordered its teachers not to use the words "America" and "Americans" to describe the United States and its citizens.

We're All "North Americans"

The Department of Education asserts that "Americans" includes Mexicans, Canadians and others in the Western Hemisphere, so referring to U.S. residents as Americans is inappropriate. In the department's view, "America" happens to include South, Central and North America. Accordingly, when referring to the colonial period, the state bureaucracy requires teachers to refer to "the colonies of North America" or "North Americans." After the American Revolution, the nation is called the United States (not of America). [Keep 'America' in Michigan schools By Michael Warren, The Detroit News Online, May 24, 2006]

Karen Todorov, [send her mail] of the Michigan Department of Education is quoted as saying "It is ethnocentric for the United States to claim the entire hemisphere."

Ah, but what if the hemisphere wants to claim you?