September 10, 2012

"European and Mediterranean Americans" down through history

A commenter points to this Google nGram graph so we can see the history of the phrase used by by the Democratic National Convention for one of their 14 identity politics communities: "European and Mediterranean Americans" (of whom, we are informed by the Democrats: "The culture and history of European and Mediterranean Americans contribute to America’s unique fabric.")

In other words, from 1800 through 2008 (the latest year Google allows), the phrase "European and Mediterranean Americans" appeared in zero books known to Google.

It appears that the term was chosen by the Democrats to represent what used to be called the "white ethnic" vote, but without using the word "white."

The phrase "Mediterranean American" was probably chosen to represent Christian Lebanese, who aren't from Europe in a geographic sense, but are a prosperous group. The leaves up in the air "Armenians," who used to have a Black Sea coast and have a fairly Mediterranean culture.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

'The leaves up in the air "Armenians," who used to have a Black Sea coast.'

And a Mediterranean coast! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Kingdom_of_Cilicia

Matthew said...

Why the hell wouldn't anyone prefer a 15 syllable label over a 1 syllable label?

Anonymous said...

o/t

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/10/no-country-for-angry-old-white-men

Anonymous said...

Oh, wait, isn't there another little Mediterranean country just south of Lebanon which is ever so much dearer to our hearts?

Peter said...

Also Georgians, though there aren't many in the United States.

Silver said...

I don't know how "Mediterranean" Armenians' culture is, but the sort of people who'd place value on "Mediterranean culture" would, I bet, prefer the company of Armenians over the company of Algerians, despite the latter's geographic claim on the term.

Anonymous said...

The phrase "Mediterranean American" was probably chosen to represent Christian Lebanese, who aren't from Europe in a geographic sense, but are a prosperous group.


Or Jews, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

@2:55 anon

Indeed! Why is jewish not one of the recognized communities?

Anonymous said...

o/t http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/10/no-country-for-angry-old-white-men

How is that off-topic?

The Frankfurt School said...

Oh, wait, isn't there another little Mediterranean country just south of Lebanon which is ever so much dearer to our hearts?

Nothing to see here.

Move along, now, move along.

a very knowing American said...

“The culture and history of European and Mediterranean Americans contribute to America’s unique fabric.” (from the Democratic Convention website)

“Gee, Dad, I don’t know much about European and Mediterranean Americans. How have they contributed to America’s unique fabric?”

“Well, son, I’ll bet you didn’t know that our President, Barack Obama is actually partly of European descent! And his first name comes from a Mediterranean word meaning “blessed”! So those European and Mediterranean Americans are more important than you might think.”

Anonymous said...

So, colón, Columbus, Colombo, was European or Mediterranic?

Matthew said...

On Obama's own campaign site, there still, alas, is no seat at the table for my beloved fellow European and Mediterranean Americans. Presumably because we are what's being carved up for dinner.

Anonymous said...

"Why is scots-irish not one of the recognized communities? "

they are a powerless minority. no country for.. oy vey!

Acting with Ugly People said...

The ngram for "white hispanic" is equally non-existent.

The Dems and MSM keep creating and promoting more divisions between people and stoking the fires of resentment fueled by an unearned sense entitlement they push.

Too bad the Reps are no better and just their comic foils.

patrick said...

Tend to agree with Silver. Armenians are Christian (and have more in common with Italians and Greeks* than do (Muslim) Algerians who currently have a Mediterranean coastline.

*Not only the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, but a number of semi-Hellenized Armenians (in the guise of Byzantine Emperors) ruled over the ancestors of modern Greek- and Italian-Americans.

Professor Woland said...

I have noticed restaurants that advertise themselves as "Mediterranean". Never heard it put that way until a few years ago. Presumably these are non-Europeans from the southern or eastern cost who are trying to broaden their appeal. I have also noticed that Persians and Caucasians try the same approach. It is too bad because some of the food from that region is excellent. Somehow, Mingrelian food just does not have the same ring.

Hail said...

"The culture and history of European and Mediterranean Americans contribute to America’s unique fabric"

How nice of them to say that.

Anonymous said...

'Mediterranean' also includes Egyptian and other North African immigrants who the U.S. Government and its 'Equal Opportunity' / 'Affirmative Action' complex classify as 'white'/'caucasian'.

http://www.cohenseglias.com/library/files/delisle_dayton_daily_news.pdf

http://academywatch.blogspot.com/2011/10/diversity-is-strength-its-also.html

Anonymous said...

In Australia the connotation of the word 'Mediterranean' is Southern European, ie, non-Nordic, whites. Australians use a blanket term, 'wog', for these. The term has become almost inoffensive these days, due to 'wog privilege' or something, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

In Australia the connotation of the word 'Mediterranean' is Southern European, ie, non-Nordic, whites. Australians use a blanket term, 'wog', for these.

Yes, in Australia, "Mediterranean" and the pejorative "wog" would refer to the Southern European, Balkan, and Lebanese immigrants who came after WW2.

In the US, "Mediterranean" would probably refer more to people like Lebanese.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the Mediterranean Americans label I thought it was in reference to Jews. I've heard several Jews refer to themselves or Jews as Mediterranean. Being Middle Eastern and associated with all the other Middle Eastern ethnicities is undesirable. I think the European and Mediterranean Americans group is a backdoor way to have Jews in control of white people. There is a big fear of white people acting like other groups given how successful white people were when they did.

Silver said...

In Australia the connotation of the word 'Mediterranean' is Southern European, ie, non-Nordic, whites. Australians use a blanket term, 'wog', for these. The term has become almost inoffensive these days, due to 'wog privilege' or something, I suppose.

Nothing to do with any supposed "privilege." (You sound bitter.) It's long been possible to use the term completely inoffensively, any offense generated depending much more on context and manner of utterance than on any inherent power of the word to offend.

I had an interesting conversation with an Australian girl in her mid-20s this past weekend. I was telling her about having caught up with an old friend I hadn't seen since we were teens and how parties (with plenty of booze) at his house were a weekly event, involving both young and old. She said she couldn't relate, that she'd never been to a party with both adults and adolescents present. "No, it's only ever been young people. Maybe that's just how you wogs do it," she said. I said, no, these people were aussies [i.e. real aussies, anglo-saxon types] -- just not the kind that hate wogs. Then I added, "Well, they use 'wog' freely, just not in a vicious way, like 'what are ya doin' here ya f---n' wog?' -- you know what I mean." She said, "Oh please, as if anyone ever uses it like that!" It's very true that the incidence of the term's use in a vicious way has dropped off markedly in the past ten years, still, it surprised me she'd wouldn't be aware it can be used that way, but I just said, "Well, honey, I grew up in the country, and let's just say I could tell you some stories."

Anonymous said...

Near where I live there is a "Mediterranean" restaurant that is actually a Persian (Iranian) restaurant. During WWI, hamburger became "Salisbury steak" - it's not good business to own an "enemy" restaurant.

I think "Mediterranean" has nothing to do with the actual sea of that name. It is a euphemism for swarthy white people who are not from Northern Europe. "White People for Obama" (or even worse "White People for Romney") is obviously off limits so you need another term. Democrats especially need a term because all of Democrat politics consists of hyphenating and atomizing Americans into different little groups - divide and conquer.

pat said...

Reverance for Mediterranean stuff is obsolete now that we have central heating.

Civilization began in the Fertile Crescent and other places that had natural water resources amenable to early agriculture.

Then we had a couple millenia of Western world dominance by the Mediterranian Greek and Roman people. This was roughly from Marathon to Adrianople.

Mediterranian people prospered because of the mediterranian climate (the Roman Warm Period). At this time a Swede could expect to be locked up in a single room for five months of the year sitting around looking at the open fire.

With the invention of the chimney and glass for windows. Northren Europe became much more liveable. The Mediterranian (Italy) had to wait a millenium for the next warm period so they could have their Renaissance. As human technology improved it became possible to have civilization where it snows.

There are still limits. In Calgary they have a bubble city like a city on Mars. They have glassed over the spaces between the buildings. You can use the water slide when there is a blizzrd out side. Much of the south eastern United States lives in an air conditioned bubble too.

The Mediterranian was once important but now the genetically superior northern people have greatly reduced the climate advantage of that region.

Italy remains very nice for vacations.

Albertosaurus

Anthony said...

"Mediterranean" restaurants around here are run by Turks. Amusingly, one nearby one has dishes from nearly every country bordering the Mediterranean *except* Turkey.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who's spent time with people from the region knows that despite the fact that they hate each other, Italians, southern French, Greeks, Turks, and Lebanese are very similar to each other. They're physically indistinguishable, have largely the same food, and a lot of the same culture and folkways (the Christianity vs. Islam thing is a lot less important than the older traditions of hearth and family.)

The Greeks and Romans were onto something when they divided the world into Mediterranean peoples and everyone else (blond barbarians to the north, black barbarians to the south.)