It’s St. Jing-Tao-Wow Eve and I wanted to do something very special to commemorate the occasion. As it stands, it looks like I’ll be absent from Blogtopia for much of the day. It’s all good, though, because a major champion of this holiday, Nate Peele of That’s Right Nate, very kindly agreed to do an interview for this blog. This is an opportunity for us to reach out to a rather exotic ethnic group to Long Islanders – a White Anglo Saxon Protestant. There are WASPs living here, but they’re few and far between and located in North Shore communities where the roads are named after their ancestors. Mostly, you don’t run into them. On the local level, I know more people from Nigeria (4) or Bangladesh (lots) than I do White Anglo Saxon Protestants. So, it seemed like a good idea to learn about this group of Americans before they’re all gone. Here, then, is our interview:
Q.First of all, I'd like to thank you for virtually sitting down with
me today, Nate. Here on Long Island you don't meet so many WASPs. It's my hope that this opportunity to learn about your culture and your people will help us all to understand each other a little better.
A. No blog has done more than Thatsrightnate.com to try and bridge understanding between WASPs and non-WASPs. I think we have a lot more in common that you'd think. If you could ever be admitted into our clubs and organizations I think you'd see that.
Q.Now, as well as being a WASP, you're a male, so are you angry? Very angry? Do you currently own any assault weapons or explosives?
A. LOL, no I've barely even begun researching my manifesto. I think a lot of the whole white male anger thing is overblown by the media. A lot of this is because WASPs are very quickly disappearing from local media markets. You have two anchors and one of them needs to be a woman and one needs to be a minority. Most television stations go with the black male and white female anchor team so you don't hear our viewpoints much.
Q.Thank you for clearing that up. Now, about St. Jing-Tao-Wow Day -This is a new holiday, suggested by Lou Dobbs and promoted by you, correct? And all that had something to do with ethnic holidays and the St. Patrick's Day parade. There are quite a few ethnic parades in New York now, especially if you count the Gay Pride parade, but no WASP parade as far as I know. I see you come from Illinois. There have been some WASP parades there, particularly in Skokie if I recall correctly. Did you attend or participate in those? How do WASP parades differ from, say, the Puerto Rican Day parade, if at all?
A. Wow, there are a lot of questions that you're asking there. There are no WASP parades. The problem is we hate walking. That's why when we build a new suburb or subdivision we don't bother putting in sidewalks. We also hate bumper to bumper traffic. We're not really a parade people. We do picnics though and we quite enjoy them.
Q. What kind of food is your people's soul food? If we wanted to go
out for some WASP, what sort of restaurant or fast food place should we look for?
A. It’s funny because most WASP foods are white. We're big consumers of marshmallow fluff, mayonnaise, white bread, and mashed potato flakes. We also love Fresca, but its hard to get anymore. As a culture I would say that our main contribution to food though is that we are able to take from other cultures and adapt them. Olive Garden, Panda Express, and Taco Bell are great examples of ethnic cuisine that we've transformed.
Q. Is there one particular person that you'd say is the epitome of a
WASP cultural icon? African-Americans have MLK, Jr. and now, President Obama, Irish-Americans still have John F. Kennedy plates on their walls, Jews have Paul Newman (he was a nice looking man with a social conscience who stayed married for about a hundred years to a woman who wasn't a pretty as he was) and Italians have Frank Sinatra. So who is absolutely IT for White Anglo Saxon Protestants?
A. Wow, I had no idea Paul Newman was Jewish. In entertainment we have a few that really stand out. Pat Boone did a lot to make black culture accessible to us without frightening. As actors go, I've really been fond of Jack Webb who was also quite a musician in his own right. In terms of a social figure like Martin Luther King, I'd have to hold up Henry Ford who united the car manufacturers against the workers.
Q. This comes from someone else. She wants to know if you have any native dances. I said that according to my research that would be line dancing, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. We're here to learn.
A. Line dancing is a good answer, but it does have ethnic moves in it. The dance form that I think is purely ours is called the overbite. It is actually a dance used by WASP males to court our females. We also do it at a lot of weddings. The nice thing is it is a versatile dance that can be done to most popular music.
Q. How do you feel about having a president who is not one of your
people? That's only happened one other time, I believe, and at least
JFK was pale. Do you think your best days are over?
A. Not at all. One of the things that we have come to believe in is that minorities and women should be allowed into our most exclusive organizations. The key is limiting their membership. My hope is that my grandchildren will never have to listen to anybody say that all the Presidents have been white males because he can just point to Obama's picture and remind people we had a black President too. I hope that in the next 40 or so years we will even have a woman President.
Q. Is there anything you'd like to tell us about the experience and
struggles of being a White Anglo Saxon Protestant in America?
Something that you'd like the rest of us to understand.
A. First, we are the largest minority group in this country. We're not going anywhere either. Without us there wouldn't be dinner theatre, golf pants, lawn ornaments, or jazzercise. I really think we need a WASP history month. Last year on my blog I tried to designate white males of distinction who had done something to truly stand out. You'd be surprised how few students even study the lives of people like Robert C. Baker who in my mind was the Thomas Edison of poultry. He not only invented turkey ham, but also the chicken nugget. Our textbooks and liberal teachers would rather spend their time on Pocahontas or George Washington Carver, but I think if you asked most people they'd rather have chicken nuggets than a peanut butter sandwich any day of the week and you also have what the nugget did for the whole honey mustard industry.
Q. If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
A. I'd definitely be an ash. Thanks for interviewing me. Have a joyous Saint Jing-Tao-Wow Day! I'm going to take my daughter out to Olive Garden to celebrate.
I’d just like to thank Nate again, for helping us out. I feel like I learned quite a lot from that and I hope others did as well. I’d also like to wish all of you a happy, safe and healthy St. Jing-Tao-Wow Day. I look forward to getting back here tomorrow night and learning about the different ways that people have celebrated.