List do redakcji

Dear Editor,

The author of „Misplaced Allegiance” (The Polish Weekly, June 3, 2009), mistakenly imputes to some known to him „members of American Polonia” he speaks with, and to the whole Polonia by induction, supposedly their rather unflattering opinion about other, their American compatriots. This, his obviously mistaken notion of his he likely acquired not from members of true American Polonia, as he claims, but, I suspect, during his regular visits in Poland. But people there are not American Polonia. Our Polonia is an integral part of American society, inclusive in it. Any disparaging remarks about the American society is also disparaging to Polonia, a constituent part of that society. Why then the author thinks that our Polonians would want to speak depreciatingly about themselves among others.

And how the suggestive “Misplaced Allegiance” in the title to his article? I’ve lived in this country for nearly sixty years. My children and grandchildren were born here. To my best knowledge, they and all other known to me such Polonias are hundred percent in every respect allegiant to this country. They are entirely immersed in the culture of this country, good and bad aspects of it. Any learning by them of the beautiful Polish culture and traditions are of marginal and sentimental nature to them, not in any way adversely affecting their loyalty to this country. Besides, there are only relatively small number of young Polish Americans, rather marginal out of ten million plus large American Polonia, who join “facebook groups”, in author’s wording, to learn something about their ancestral heritage.

So, the author’s saying that, “to many young people within our community hold greater allegiance to this Polish heritage than to their American nationality (?)” is his misquided conclusion, apparently based on his perhaps wishful thinking, not on facts.

Likewise his saying that, young Polish-American join Facebook Groups like: “I am Polish and Damn Proud” or “Polish Power” – which I suppose is fine, but why don’t they also join groups like: “USA! USA! USA! or “I Love America”? is another of his misconception that makes no sense. The fact is, they rarely, and relatively few of them join groups such as “I am Polish and Damn Proud”, or “Polish Power”. If they do, it is mostly for sentimental reason, but, on the other hand, in huge numbers they join “USA!” and “I Love America!”, and the like American clubs and organizations.

His saying, “our children envelop themselves in social structures that are largely insulated from American culture: also makes no sense, and warrants no comment. It shows that the young man has little knowledge, apparently acquired on the street, about American Polonia and this country, and yet has a lot to learn on these subjects. It makes me wonder how much his “mostly American friendships” and developed unshakable bond with American family” (are they Polish, or of some other ethnicity?) may be contributive, positively or negatively, in this respect.

A good American is one who is not only loyal to this country and gets adjusted to its culture, but is also knowledgeable about, and treasures the culture and traditions of the country of his or her ancestry. It makes him or her not rootless. It makes them wholesome in body and spirit. All other respectable ethnic groups treasure their ancestral cultures and traditions, and proudly contribute in this respect to the formation of American culture still in the process of being developed, transformed.

So should we.


Jozef Wira

Plymouth, MI 48170

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