Friday, February 04, 2011

To be a Virginian

Jose FloresWhen this news story first came over the wire this morning, it made me wonder if Muslim terrorists had switched tactics, and started hijacking Greyhound buses. The photo of the alleged perp reinforced that impression — to a xenophobe like me, he looks just like a Middle Eastern terrorist.

But then the police released his name, Jose Flores, and said he hailed from Arlington, Virginia. This means he’s probably Mexican, or perhaps Salvadoran or Guatemalan. As of this writing, the police still refuse to discuss a motive for the hijacking and kidnapping.

I became aware of my inherent “racism” as soon as I read the descriptions of Mr. Flores as a “Virginia man” or “an Arlington man”. My immediate reaction was: “This is not a Virginian! I don’t care how long he’s been here — he’s not a Virginian!”

Especially coming from Arlington, which is VINO — Virginia in Name Only.

When I lived in Arlington 35 years ago, its immigrant population was maybe 10-15%, based on the visible evidence. I don’t know what the percentage is now, but every time I go back there, I see very few white faces, and not even very many American blacks. Mexicans, mostly, plus Vietnamese, Koreans, Afghans, Pakistanis, Iranians, Iraqis, Somalis, Nigerians, and maybe some Russians, although they’re hard to spot. You see business signs and advertising in a dozen languages.

Things are a bit different down here in the back country. I am a native Virginian, with an unbroken chain of family in the Commonwealth going back at least eight generations. However, since I have only lived in this county for thirty years, here I am technically known as a “foreigner”. My son, although he was born here, may also be one, depending on whether he learns to speak the local dialect fluently. If he raises his children here, they may finally be considered natives — if they comport themselves according to local customs.

All this is fair and normal. If I moved to Sweden and lived there for thirty years, I would not expect to be called a “Swede”, no matter how well I spoke the language.

Yes, I realize that America is different, and that anybody can become an American. Move here, learn to say “First Amendment” and “constitutional rights”, take the oath, and bang! You’re an American.

But not a Virginian — that’s different. That’s an honor that can only be earned over several generations. If you behave yourself.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

OK, My rant is over. Now for the news story itself, about last night’s bus hijacking of a bus in Warren County, North Carolina, from WRAL:

Man charged in Greyhound bus hijacking

Henderson, N.C. — Warren County authorities charged a man in connection with the hijacking of a Greyhound bus along Interstate 85 late Thursday.

Jose Flores, 32, of 54 Eighth St. Arlington, Va., faces one count of kidnapping, said officials with the Warren County Detention Center. His bond hasn’t been set yet, and he was scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 16.

Passengers on the Greyhound bus from Richmond, Va., to Raleigh said it wasn’t clear what the suspect wanted.

“He was just irate, (didn’t) make no sense,” passenger Xavier Little said. “Nobody understood what was the purpose. He kept saying, ‘I want to go to the courthouse, the nearest courthouse.’”

Vance County Sheriff Peter White said that a passenger asked the driver a question, then pulled out a gun along Interstate 85 South in Warren County. He also implied that he had a bomb.

Passengers said he ordered them to get off the bus, but they were frozen.

“We were too scared. We didn’t know if he was going to shoot us in the back of the head for getting off the bus,” Little said. “He just kept yelling, ‘Y’all got a problem? Y’all going to do something? I got nine shots, and I’ll start killing right from the front.’”

Robert Fusco said the hijacker then pointed the gun at him and three other passengers in the front. “He talked about shooting us an example,” Fusco said.

The suspect forced the driver to stop along I-85, and all but two of the approximately three dozen passengers got out before the driver continued on, White said.

Meanwhile, a passing driver called 911 and followed the bus, White said. When the bus stopped at a gas station in Henderson, officers with drawn guns surrounded it.

The driver and two passengers got away safely, and authorities used a stun gun on Flores before taking him into custody, White said. A search turned up no explosives on the bus.

Greyhound sent another bus to take the passengers to Raleigh. Passengers said they were nervous to continue on their trips.

“I still got a long way to go, and these people expect me to get on another bus. Would you get on another bus after you had a gun stuck to your head?” Fusco said.

Fusco, who was traveling to visit family in Florida, called for increased security measures on buses.

“Something’s got to be done. I could have been dead tonight,” he said. “Anybody could walk up on here on a Greyhound bus and have a gun on them and without checking nobody. It might slow things down, but this ain’t right.”

Calls to Greyhound Friday morning have not been returned.


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean Baron. As a native New Yorker I always find it irritating when some shlub moves here from God knows where (States included) and within a year they are a New Yorker. Actually, if you ask where they are from they will usually deny their home State altogether and say NY. Unless you grew up on those mean streets and went through the public school system you are NOT a New Yorker. Ten years or more under your belt gives you the title of honorary NYer. Try pulling that "Im a native" in Texas without the proper paperwork and you might wind up on the wrong end of a rope!

oldschooltwentysix said...

Sorry Baron,

On this one I must disagree.

If I move to Virginia and establish residency, then I AM Virginian, even if you do not like it, even if I cannot speak the dialect, ever. It is my right to decide, not yours, who I am, just as it is my choice to decide if I will conform or not.

There are law abiding Virginians of all stripes, and those that seek to exclude people who are different make a big mistake in my mind, and perpetuate the very thing we try to eradicate in our society, discrimination based on prejudice.

Empedocles said...

Wrong oldschool. Read "On Being Real":

Baron Bodissey said...

oldschool26 --

I see that you have no sense of fun concerning these matters, which is unfortunate.

BTW -- you could recite what you just said to my neighbors over and over again, as much as you like, and they'd still call you a "foreigner". You would not change their minds.

I'm lucky -- although I'm considered a foreigner, at least I'm not a Yankee. That's the worst of all possible designations.

goethechosemercy said...

I associate Virginians with a specific kind of culture and values.
Mostly European-derived, but deeply, deeply influenced by local history and local, historically-derived values.
No. Mr. Flores is not a Virginian.
He is an emigrant from a culture that is alien to Virginia history, precedent, tradition, values and expectations.
You are not being bigoted at all, BB.

goethechosemercy said...

In case anyone thinks my case is made on racial grounds . . . I know several Hispanic Virginians.

oldschooltwentysix said...


It's not that I have no sense of fun, but this is a serious matter to me. Unfortunately, it helps fuel movement in the wrong direction, to my mind. Which is why I spoke up.

I understand your points. However, what you neighbors accept should not be the standard of definition, especially when it tends to exclude and divide people.

oldschooltwentysix said...


It's not that I have no sense of fun, but this is a serious matter to me. Unfortunately, it helps fuel movement in the wrong direction, to my mind. Which is why I spoke up.

I understand your points. However, what you neighbors accept should not be the standard of definition, especially when it tends to exclude and divide people.

Anonymous said...

Know what they call a man in Virginia who can trace his family's Virginia residency back to the Civil War?


@ spackle. Imagine that... someone being proud of being from NYC. Who would have thought it?

oldschooltwentysix said...


All you provided was opinion, which I disagree with, so I am not comfortable with your assertion.

To be "real" or "true" is quite vague and ambiguous, no matter how much academic gobbledegook one may throw at an issue where there is no right or wrong.

PS Sorry for the duplicate post above. Blame it on my computer.

Empedocles said...

I didn't provide opinion, I provided an argument, which is different than mere assertion. You, on the other hand, are merely dismissive and provide no argument.

Anonymous said...

Professor Hale,

I sense your sarcasm but wish for some clarity. Is it because NYC is a leftist Hellhole that you are surprised I am proud or is it because all New Yorkers wear their hometown pride like a badge of honor? Either way I am absolutely proud to have been born and raised in NYC. To most of my fellow Conservatives who only know or think of NY in political terms it would seem that NYC is indeed a horrible place. But believe me it is oh so much more then that. The people I grew up with are some of the most honest, decent hardworking people I have ever had the pleasure to know. And growing up in a cultural Mecca was fantastic

.I wouldn't trade in the street smarts I learned for all the tea in China.
It prepared me for life and gave me the wisdom at 18 that most 30 year olds from elsewhere had yet to learn. Unless you grew up there it is hard to explain. So yes, I am most assuredly proud. And why not? Everyone is proud of where they came from to a certain degree.

Anonymous said...

Unless you grew up on those mean streets ...
NYC is a leftist Hellhole ...


Not everyone is proud of where they came from. Resonable people seek to improve their lives by abandoning places that are inferior or harmful and seeking out places that are superior and healthy. Mentally ill people advance arguments for why the inferior is good and worthy of pride.

john in cheshire said...

I lived in South Africa during the '80s. and was always referred to as a rooinek (red neck) because I came from England. I accepted that because I was in immigrant. First generation immigrants will never be the same as those born there. However, the children of immigrants, if they are immersed in the life of their country, by going to school with the local children, will very readily be accepted. Obviously, a blood tie is an even greater tie to the country. I have Chinese and Black relations. They are as English as I am because we all interact and behave as Englishmen and women. But when an immigrant community sets itself up as a separate entity within its host country, they can never be accepted as part of the indigenous populace. They will forever be outsiders. That's the problem here in England, too many muslim immgrants wanting to live here but not be part of here. They marry people from their home countries, they establish ghettoes and they try to use force to change our way of life to suit them. They are not welcome for those reasons. So, you Virginians, you have nothing to be ashamed of, in my opinion, for wanting to preserve your identity.

Anonymous said...

Prof Hale

Your insinuation that I am mentally ill because I am proud of my roots has effectively shut down any further discussion between us. Thank you for taking a light hearted thread and turning it ugly. Have a nice day professor.

Empedocles said...

I am a dolphin. How dare you say I'm not! It is my right to decide, not yours, who I am, just as it is my choice to decide if I will conform or not. You should not go by any standard or definition, especially when it tends to exclude and divide. Those that seek to exclude those who are different make a big mistake in my mind, and perpetuate the very thing we try to eradicate in our society, discrimination based on prejudice.

oldschooltwentysix said...


You are just using semantics.

Your first sentence said I was wrong, and you provided a link, yet you say I am dismissive?

The argument that was provided was not your own, but of another, and it was based on a pre-conceived opinion from the way I see it. You support that argument, so is it not your opinion?

Perhaps if you were less interested in proving right and wrong, there could be a better dialogue. I explained my position to Baron, so I must disagree that I was merely dismissive.

Once more, I refer you back to your first comment for an example of what I believe is dismissive.

Takuan Seiyo said...

The posters above deploying memes like “law abiding Virginians” and “exclude and divide” or fretting about the possibility of a case “made on racial grounds” remind me of the soi-disant “Texan,” one Jorge W. Bushez, the dumbest POTUS since names like Hoover and Harding and the most harmful since at least LBJ, though by 2012 BHO will have surpassed him. He’s just given a speech decrying the “evil triplets” of nativism, isolationism, and protectionism.

Though an immigrant myself I must endorse the Baron’s sentiments as expressed above. The Progressive–Neocon notion of a “propositional” America is pure reality-blind dementia. Until 1965, when America was 90% White and had distinctive regional cultures, it was a nation rooted in its past and able to look forward to a viable future. Neither is the case now, and nothing illustrates it better than the continuous stream of Third World Muslims and their U.S.-born children turning into Anwar Al-Awlaki and Nidal Hassan.

BTW, I am now an expat because I had emigrated to America but after ten years on the East Coast found myself living in Soweto, and after three decades in California found myself living in Mexico. That is not what I had had in mind when I left Europe for the New World.

Baron Bodissey said...

To elaborate in a more serious fashion on the point I was making, which Takuan Seiyo emphasized in his response —

Oldschool26 (and possibly others) refer to rhetoric that “tends to exclude and divide people”. As far as I am concerned, this is a PC/MC formulation that derogates and demonizes a laudable human characteristic.

A well-functioning community “excludes and divides” by defining itself in a way that distinguishes it from other communities. This is actually a great good. It is what allowed historically vigorous and productive regions, provinces, and nations to function. A stable community, with a sense of place, values, and traditions, is a basic requirement for the psychological maturation of all children into healthy adults.

The destruction of such communities is the single greatest tragedy of modern times. Our cultures have been atomized and homogenized, sometimes quite deliberately, with the intention of destroying any sources of power that might rival the almighty Socialist state.

The destruction has proceeded so far that maintaining a sense of place and taking pride in the superior nature of one’s homeland is now deprecated as exclusion and division, rather than celebrated as self-respect and patriotism.

Preferring one’s own kind to exotic strangers and foreigners is now “racism”. Seeing one’s homeland as better than other countries or regions is despised as “xenophobia”. And so on.

Yet all of these denigrated characteristics are valuable, important, and essential to a strong and vital culture. They are part of what made Western (i.e. European) civilization the greatest in the world.

To eliminate them does not just mean throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It means throwing out baby, bathwater, bathtub, pipes, and water heater — and then burning down the house.

Our precious culture has been so effectively destroyed that many people find it difficult to grasp the simple facts described above — we are that far gone.

When I was in my late twenties, I recognized my own deep need for tradition and place, so I moved out here to the redneck outback. The venerable forms of traditional Virginia culture — both black and white — are preserved here relatively intact. This area is a remote repository for the recessive genes of our culture.

Such genes may have no special selective advantage right now, but they will come in handy in the near future, when the welfare state collapses and a new system forms. The Snatchers and Pod People (to borrow from Takuan) will find their skills and habits useless at that point, and the old virtues will re-emerge from the rubble of the post-modern West.

But none of that is of any use right now. For the time being these sentiments are a lost cause; that’s why I feel compelled to write about them with humor and irony. I realize that I am swimming against the current. At my age, it’s rather futile — nothing that I do within my lifetime will delay the juggernaut of cultural destruction by as much as a nanosecond.

Even so, it’s all worth doing. I love my homeland. I feel the spirits of my ancestors trailing back through the 20th and 19th centuries into the 18th. I know the towns and counties where they lived, died, worked, fought, married, and raised their children.

This is my place; it is like no other. I belong here.

I inhabit the Sovereign Commonwealth of Virginia. Many valiant men stood and died on her soil in her hour of need.

Their deaths were not in vain. They and their homeland have not been forgotten, at least not by all of us.

Crotchety Old Man said...

My ancestry in Virginia goes back to the 1600's.

As far as I'm concerned, if you're kin haven't left tracks back to the Old Colony times, you're all newbies.

If you're family doesn't have a thousand or so graves to tend to in this neck of the woods on Memorial Day, then in my humble opinion, you're an immigrant, or a transplant at best. Or just passing through and making a pitstop before you get transferred to your next job.

Discrimination and prejudice are otherwise known as "instincts" and "survival skills." I am not planning on anesthetizing my brain anytime soon.

How's that for politically incorrect bigoted xenophobia?

According to Webster's online dictionary, the word "xenophobia" came into usage in 1903.

I guess that means that, before 1903, folks still had their wits about them.

Webster's also says that "discrimination" means "the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently."

The brain's ability to discriminate is what marks the difference between the tribe that survives, and the tribe that gets wiped out and is replaced by the invading tribe that tricked you into thinking that your neurological capacity to act in your own self-interest is shameful.

oldschooltwentysix said...


It is not necessarily PC/MC, nor is it necessarily as laudable as you say.

There are plenty of people who do not act in a positive way, using similar rhetoric to deny rights and liberties to others.

WWII did not happen so long ago, and we should, in my view, be hesitant to classify those who are different as others. Because as much as we retain ourselves, it creates the grounds for mistreatment, too.

EscapeVelocity said...

Im afraid the New Left has already divided everyone up into their victimizatin groups.

The battle just hasnt gotten nasty yet.

We are already enjoying the fruits of that labor, however we havent reached the nadir yet.

Dymphna said...

@ escape velocity--

I kinda thought the nadir was approached during that stooopid and inane "Beer Summit" held by Obama.

A sitting president of the US actually did that, proving there is no limit to his intrusiveness into what is/was a classic regional dispute in Cambridge: town vs gown (complicated by a Professional Grievance Master out to take advantage of the opportunity raised by his own arrogance).

The coming "battle" will encompass ever more trivial victimizations. Trivial or delusional, or both.

1389 said...

Baron and Dymphna...

Speaking of Virginia...I know that you don't approve of swears on your blog (I don't allow them on mine either, by the way), but THIS story is so upsetting that I wouldn't blame either of you if you did.

Virginia Military Institute Sells Out to the Jihad

goethechosemercy said...

Oh, where's the barf bucket?

Dave said...


I was raised by Massachusetts liberals, but later became very conservative and moved to New Hampshire. Three of my grandparents grew up in this state, and two never left, so I consider myself a Granite Stater. I like the idea of self-reliant rural folks keeping the old virtues alive, away from the urban sewers of multiculturalism.

But let's not kid ourselves here, this isn't the country Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up in. I don't pry much into the affairs of my neighbors, but many rural white folks drink heavily, abuse drugs, have babies out of wedlock, and live on welfare. Are they going to help rebuild society after the dollar collapses and the cities burn?

Baron Bodissey said...

Dave --

It's a good question, and I don't know the answer. All I know is that that they're a heck of a lot more likely to do the job than any combination of the effete urban elites and their underclass neighbors.

Most people in my neck of the woods go to church. They respect the law. They teach their kids the difference between right and wrong. They don't hold with PC nonsense. They tend to be self-reliant. They have close-knit families, and take care of their ailing relatives. And so on.

They may look good only in comparison to the people in D.C. or L.A., but that's better than nothing.

Hesperado said...

This issue is more complex than the observers above have fully recognized.

1) the various ideals and axioms that more or less incoherently mush together to form the multiculturalist paradigm are not merely a product of a "Socialist state" -- they derive much of their substance from the Judaeo-Christian Graeco-Roman heritage of Western universalism. Were multiculturalism merely an extraneous and hostile ideology impinged upon The People by a dastardly cabal of "Elites", the problem would be a lot simpler and easier to solve than it is. The complex problem ahead lies in untangling the raveled mess of good and bad that have become mired in the hearts and minds and cultures of Westerners throughout the West.

2) It's not merely God-fearing conservatives who are decent moral and peaceable citizens: most of those deemed "liberal" (though I dare say among that category may be fit innumerable individuals otherwise recognized as "conservatives", as well as comfortably apolitical), particularly the comfortably middle-class and upper-middle-class live in and maintain by their behaviors areas that are probably the cleanest, safest, most decent and socially polite and most productive areas of human coexistence in the history of the world. (Of course, ironically their inhabitants are strangely oblivious to the fact that they are in fact better than non-white non-Westerners and would in fact self-righteously object to such a notion, even though their own behavior and sociology when compared with any non-white non-Western one in the world would easily prove they are wrong.) And I don't deny that their PC MC is facilitating the problem of the massive inundation of destabilizing non-Westerners into the West. That's a separate issue, however, from the fact that they too are more or less good citizens.

3) What is the ideal opposite PC MC? I think it's unrealistic to expect the realization of a purist demographic. The world has been "gobalist" for at least 2000 years, and especially in the last half century that has accelerated, with each passing century into our own at an astonishing exponential rate. The realistic feat will be to control and manage it, and along with that to assert the right of demographic cultural dominance -- not the unrealistic and untenable goal of purist exclusion. (I speak here with regard to all non-Muslim non-Westerners; on the unique matter of Muslims, I do support purist exclusion -- total deportation and global quarantine.)

In Hoc Signo Vinces† said...

In hoc signo vinces

Are they going to help rebuild society after the dollar collapses and the cities burn?

Yes all those lost values are in their genetic memory.