Rather like the rodent-eating aliens of V, the 20th-century invaders are finally beginning to strip off their concealment and show their true identities:
David Brown has never felt a connection to his own name. “To me, Brown means nothing,” said the 49-year-old finance professional, who lives in Manhattan. “There is no heritage, there is no Jewishness. There is nothing.”
So, in June, Brown began legal proceedings to change his last name to Broner — the original surname of his late father, Nechemia — as a way to pay homage to the family’s ancestry. Broner, a Holocaust survivor from Poland, changed his name to Charles Brown after arriving in New York in 1950, seeking acceptance from Americans.
David’s children Jonathan, 12, Sarah, 10, and Isabella, 8, will also have their last names changed to Broner. (His wife, Maria Gonzalez-Manes, 52, uses her maiden name.)
“I always told my children about my father’s story, and how important it is to keep tradition . . . they understand it and they like it,” said Brown. “Being the son of a Holocaust survivor, [this] is an easy way to show the faith and the soul of the Jews have not changed.”
Waves of 19th- and 20th-century immigration brought millions of new Americans through Ellis Island — many of whom, in an effort to assimilate into new communities and professions, changed their names to ones that sounded more American. Now, in an about-face, more and more of those immigrants’ descendants are reverting back to their original surnames to show ancestral pride.
There is nothing wrong with ancestral pride. There is nothing wrong with men and women showing the faith and the soul of their people has not changed. What is wrong is the pretense that they ever were, or ever could be, Americans. What is wrong is the pretense that the interests of their people were ever the same as those of the American people. The observable truth that is no longer even remotely deniable is that these Fake Americans and their children are no more Americans now, or in the future, than they are still Poles, or Russians, or whatever their previous skinsuit happened to be.
The so-called assimilation of the 19th and 20th centuries was, for the most part, a complete charade. For without the total elimination of the foreign identity, faith, and soul, there is no assimilation. If you possess the identity, faith, traditions, and soul of one people, then you obviously do not, and cannot, possess the identity, faith, traditions, and soul of another, no matter where you may reside.