Ancestry As A Form Of Storytelling

Ancestry As A Form Of Storytelling

It is an analysis into the story of being.

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Learning one's own ancestry can be like a story being told, a real-life Silmarillion, a Dunsanian dream-cosmos that involves an industrious line of immigrants, soldiers, strangers, outsiders, and possible nobility. I looked at this lineage through my maternal side, now I want to look at it through my father's side.

I remember my dad telling me one time that my great-grandfather was an Irish captain who married a Cherokee woman who was known for making pottery with her long fingers. Of course, I knew that it was bupkis even before finding out the real truth, but it does reflect what many Americans have been told. People have the tendency to exaggerate their lineage especially if they are ignorant of it. As Sandor Clegane would say: "Most families claim some great ancestor so far back that nobody can prove them liars." Often, royalty make claims of descent if it benefits their own standing, which was done throughout history. In the case of the Merovingians who were a royal family in the early Middle Ages, they claimed descent from a queen who was bathing one day and then she was impregnated by a quinotaur, which was a bovine sea creature. The Chronicler Fredegar went in a less abstract position but made the claim that they were really descended from King Priam and his band of refugees of the Trojan War.

However, when they cannot "a round, unvarnished tale deliver" (as Othello would say), people who have genuine intentions would simply shrug concerning the real truth of their family's history which they may not actually know. Their intentions may not be cynical, rather they just want to have a tapestried story of their lineage. I will not lie, since I did have exaggerated expectations as to what ancestry I had. I speculated whether I was largely Irish but also part Native American, Jewish, or Italian, if my ancestors came to America during the Potato Famine, or even related to the Clan Scott in Scotland.

I have discovered that none of these were true, though it does not make me disappointed, since now I am curious about how life was like in Northern Ireland that caused my ancestor to leave and come to America. It reminds me of when George R. R. Martin found out that he was not actually 1/4 Italian but 1/4 Jewish, he had more unanswered questions than answers and he even stated to Henry Louis Gates that he wanted to write a story about his family.

Indeed, I can definitely say that there are plenty of gaps within the research conducted by a freelance genealogist I paid to uncover this information, which are where I would want to fill in. Considering how my father was always fascinated by pirates and would always take us on vacation to the Florida Keys, and how my father's mother's side consisted of a line of fishermen, was there a connection? Did my father's fascination with the sea come from his mother?

Since my paternal line originally immigrated from County Tyrone, which is located in Northern Ireland, and since there are plenty of Scottish surnames like "Scott" (obviously), "Miller," and "Rankin" and English surnames like "Newman," "Derby," Smith," and "Ward," it completely alters how I look at my Irishness. Although I was told that I was Irish on my father's side, it was never made clear where exactly in Ireland it is. I have always thought it was in Ireland proper, though now it would appear that I am more Scottish and English than I originally thought. I always thought that I had some degree of Scottish ancestry due to my "Scott" surname, though now this revelation sheds light on that degree.

The problem that I may have had was focusing on the word "nationality" within the context of not just "belonging to a nation" but also "belonging to an ethnicity" like when people say "What nationality are you?" and you list off the nations from where you claim descent. In some ways I was doing that, not out of any strong transnational conviction but out of a general idea cartography, though this insight proves that humans are more mobile than they are actually perceived as being.

Though even if I was part Native American, I know that it would not help if I told people about it; especially not Native Americans since I have never lived in a reservation so I do not comprehend the grievous living conditions that Native Americans have to go through in modern America. This is why Native Americans were upset about Elizabeth Warren's claim of Cherokee ancestry even after it was proven true.

I will tell you that the discoveries you may uncover may not be as exotic as you expected. You might not be descended from Native Americans or Charlemagne, but you will find details that will surprise you.

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Dear Taylor Swift, Christians Are Not Homophobic Bigots, Sincerely, The Majority Of Christians

Taylor, you need to calm down when talking about how most Christians act.

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When Taylor Swift released her newest single "You Need to Calm Down" last Friday, I didn't agree with the entire message of the song, mainly because of its heavy political overtones. But as the great Dick Clark once said, "It's got a good beat, and you can dance to it." So, for what it is, it's really easy to dance to this song, and I can see it becoming a pretty big hit.

But then the video came out, and I saw something that really bothered me.

In the music video for "You Need to Calm Down", Taylor is seen partying and hanging out with multiple LGBT+ icons in honor of Pride Month, such as the hosts of Queer Eye, RuPaul, and Ellen Degeneres. There's also a moment with Taylor, dressed as French fries, renewing her friendship with Katy Perry, who's dressed as a hamburger, which is as amazing as it sounds.

However, there's another cast of characters which acts as a foil to the happiness and colorful joy which is taking place in the video. There's a group of protesters surrounding the trailer park where Taylor and all her friends live. They're all dirty, buck-toothed, and dressed like your typical redneck stereotypes. They're also holding up protest signs while screaming at everyone in the trailer park. I saw one of the signs said something about Adam and Eve, and I realized most of the protesters were most likely meant to represent Christians.

And that...didn't sit well with me at all.

I know that these people never explicitly said they were Christians in the video, none of them even wore a cross. But, whenever someone sees anyone protesting rallies and organizations such as Pride, I can guarantee you that most of the time, the first thing people think is that they're from the Westboro Baptist Church, which is notorious for its protests. And I won't lie, there are some Christians who act that way.

But if you haven't heard this yet, let me be the first to tell you that not all Christians act like that. In fact, most of them don't act that way.

Christians don't agree with the LGBT+ lifestyle because of what the apostle Paul wrote in the book of 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). However, Jesus never once taught that just because you don't agree with a person doesn't mean they're automatically your enemy (Matthew 5:44). Christians are supposed to represent the love of the Savior of the world, which encompasses every and all aspects of humanity. This definitely includes people whose lifestyles we don't agree with. By not showing love to certain types of people, we are directly going against one of Jesus's greatest commandments.

Not agreeing with people is one of the cornerstones of humanity. It's a divisive world out there to be sure, but that doesn't mean people from any side of the debate need to perpetuate the division. Grouping all Christians into one group of hateful bigots is no different than Christians grouping all the members of the LGBT+ community into one group of evil people. One of the key elements of Christianity is showing people who have different beliefs from us the same love Jesus would show to anyone. And I know I'm not the only Christian who wants to show love to people of all walks of life. I may be the only Jesus they ever see in their lives, and we all wish to express the same love to others.

So Taylor, it looks like you're the one who needs to calm down on this issue.

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Everything You Need To Know About The Sudan Crisis- And What You Can Do To Help

Now is not the time to remain silent.

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Sudan Military Kills Over 100 Peaceful Protesters | NowThis www.youtube.com

Turmoil is spreading in Sudan as civilians are being massacred left and right, but few are aware of the details leading up to and regarding the calamity. Here is everything you need to know about the crisis in Sudan.

Civilians began to protest against President Omar al-Bashir as his presidency was one of violence and suffering. Under his rule, thousands of villagers were murdered by the government militia in 2003, and millions of Sudanese people were displaced from their homes. While the president was charged with genocide and war crimes, the charges were dropped when the government failed to get support from the UN. Bashir was again arrested in April 2019, after three decades of rule and several large protests.

After his rule came to an end, the people demanded a democracy, and smaller, peaceful protests eventually merged into a mass civil disobedience. Sudanese authorities banned social media and cut internet and mobile data in the capital of Sudan. Recently, soldiers have begun to open fire on crowds of protestors, rape women and men, and beat the protestors that remained on the streets. So far, it is estimated that over 100 people have been killed, 70 raped, and 700 injured. Among these numbers are hundreds of young children.

These people have no access to the outside world, or basic necessities like food and water. Instead of remaining silent and waiting for our country to step in, do your part and 1. Share this article informing others of the crisis 2. Sign this petition demanding the UN investigate this atrocity 3. Donate something to this GoFundMe raising money for Sudanese medical aid. Every share, signature and donation can and will make a difference.

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