Special Essay by Charles Landis
Protest of a White Anglo Saxon Protestant.
This is the first of several essays I contemplate during the 2020 election process.
In the interest of disambiguation and with a penchant for pithiness, I am proud to say that I am a WASP and I doth protest the prejudice.
In this age of identity politics, I am identified as a conservative white Anglo Saxon protestant. A WASP .This cultural identity is disparaged, deprecated, and used in the pejorative by Progressive Socialist Democrats as deplorable white nationalists/supremacists, racists. sexist, xenophobic …etc. Indeed, even such WASPs as the founding fathers are reduced to this characterization by Socialist Democrat Party presidential Candidates Sanders, Warren, Booker, Harris, Biden.. et al.
My WASP heritage traces back to Germanic tribes in Europe which migrated to England between the 6th and 11th century. While Pepin de Landis ( c 600 AD, Duke of Brabant and governor of Austrasia under Dagobart, King of the Franks) may be the first of my Saxon ancestors, the first of my Anglo Saxon ancestors were the Ligons who came to England in 1066 with William the Conquer. The first of my Ligon ancestors to settle in America was Col. Thomas Ligon who came to Jamestown in 1641 at the age of 16 with his cousin Governor Sir William Berkley.
In “ A Landis Family History”, which I recently published, I document the lineage of my branch of the Landis family in America from the Landis family that settled near Zurich, Switzerland in 1392 and the genealogy of Hans Landis ( Zurich, 1521-1590) to myself. Because of religious prosecution (they were Mennonites who were pacifist and believed in separation of church and state) they migrated to the Palatine region along the Rhine River in Germany. Descendant Jacob Landis (1685-1749) was first to migrate to America in 1710.
The union of the Landis and Ligon families occurred when my grandfather, Augustus Landis (1833-1892) married Annie Fenner Ligon in 1882. My Anglo Saxon pedigree has been fully documented in the “History of the Ligon Family and Connections” written in collaboration with Sir William Ligon, 7th Earl, Madresfield Court, England, published 1947, in which I was among t the last to be recorded (pg.666). The Landis genealogy was researched in collaboration with the Eastern Mennonite University up to the birth of my great grandfather, Augustine Landis, in Oxford, North Carolina in1806.
Among my WASP ancestors is a member of the Council of Virginia, appointed in1606 by King James, which founded Virginia. Eight generations of Landis and Ligon families have served this country since the War of Independence. WASPS have been involved in the defense of human rights from Magna Charta Libertaum in 1215 to the challenges of today.
In “American Colonies” (2001), acclaimed historian, Professor Alan Taylor, transcends the usual Anglocentric settlement of the Atlantic Seaboard in the early years and explains more fully the diversity of the peoples that colonized the American Continent: Native Americans, African Americans, and the Spanish, French and Netherland empires as well as the English. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand our heritage and who the American people were that founded these United States.
In “The Development of Constitutional Guarantees of Liberty” Roscoe Pound among the most eminent authorities on the letter and philosophy of law, divides the development of constitution guarantees of liberty into four periods:1) the Norman Conquest of England to the Reformation. 2)From the Reformation to the Revolution of 1688 (English Bill of Rights. 3) The American Colonial Period to the Declaration of Rights of the Continental Congress (1774). 4) The era of the Declaration of Independence, written Constitution(s) and the Federal Bill of Rights. One could as well also consider these divisions as dividing WASP involvement in the development in the Constitutional guarantee of Liberty and human rights.
The Charters of English (WASP) colonies included guarantees of the rights of Englishmen. These rights were fundamental in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.The Founders did not simply assemble at Philadelphia and figure out what rights they wanted. WASPS such as Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton.. et al were all well read in the political philosophies and writings of other WASPS such as John Locke (concept of civil liberties). Sir William Blackstone ( Commentaries on the Laws of England), John Stuart Mill (advocate of progressive liberalism and against despotism of all kinds), and the failures of democracy in Greece and Rome. One could say the founding documents was a WASP thing and unique among the colonizing models.
The first time I was called a WASP (more than 50 years ago) was by a very liberal friend who was editor of the National Education Association Journal. While still a pejorative, one did not consider this as anything like today where it is tantamount to being considered fascist white supremist. I mark this change from the time Obama was elected, vowed to fundamentally change America, and on day one ordered the removal of bust of Winston Churchill from the White House and returned to the British Embassy. To Obama, Churchill was a symbol of white imperialist power in Africa.
In front of the British Embassy is a statute of Churchill with one leg forward in American soil and the other to the rear on British soil. This symbolizes the relationship between the two countries from the founding to today. In this age of political correctness, I suspect the usual protests will someday be made and the leg of Churchill in America will be cut off! l