The far right has always been the self-proclaimed protector of “tradition” and “cultural values,” and the forces in this faction are particularly vehement in their desire to protect what they view as the American way of life from Mexican immigration. Since this website is one that seeks to preserve and celebrate Upstate history and traditions, I feel that it is necessary to differentiate my position from those of the xenophobes and fear-mongerers.
To begin, let me quote the website of the Minutemen Project:
At the heart of their argument is the concept that somehow their traditions and their way of life is threatened by the presence of people that don’t practice the same traditions. In other words, Anglo culture will be destroyed by the mere proximity of non-Anglos, especially if they are outnumbered. But yet, by surveying history we can see that the survival of a cultural traditions has nothing to do with whether the possessors of that culture were a territorial majority, but instead on the cohesion between members and individual self-identification of those members. Didn’t the Jewish people survive thousands of year since the destruction of the last Temple without a state, a territorial majority or even any institutions larger than the local synagogue? In Eastern Europe, dozens of ethnic groups have weathered the rise and fall of many great empires without destruction. The Basques have kept their identity and traditions in Spain without a government or state since Roman times. These are not isolated examples, but a mere sampling of the world's history of diversity.
“The Minuteman Project is not a call to arms, but a call to voices seeking a peaceful and respectable resolve to the chaotic neglect by members of our local, state and federal governments charged with applying U.S. immigration law.
It is a call to bring national awareness to the decades-long careless disregard of effective U.S. immigration law enforcement. It is a reminder to Americans that our nation was founded as a nation governed by the "rule of law," not by the whims of mobs of ILLEGAL aliens who endlessly stream across U.S. borders…
Future generations will inherit a tangle of rancorous, unassimilated, squabbling cultures with no common bond to hold them together, and a certain guarantee of the death of this nation as a harmonious ‘melting pot.’
The result: political, economic and social mayhem.
Historians will write about how a lax America let its unique and coveted form of government and society sink into a quagmire of mutual acrimony among the various sub-nations that will comprise the new self-destructing America.”
The reason that the Minutemen and their cohort cannot envision “American” (read: White Anglo) society surviving as a minority is because their ethnic identity is one founded upon the doctrine of white supremacy. To these people, white society is defined by control and dominance, especially over other peoples. White society is a separate entity which has created the “greatest nation in the world,” based upon European traditions and Protestantism. It is something that exists only in comparison and opposition to other traditions. If one accepts their view of America, it would truly cease to exist if whites could no longer dominate and oppress other peoples, if they were no longer the majority.
So how can we, here in Upstate New York, reclaim the banner of history and tradition from the white supremacists?
For one, I believe that we need to counter their “mythic” history of America as the great moral bastion of the white world by promoting counter history. We need to question racist and mythic interpretations of history, whether spoken to the media, taught to our children or written in stone memorials in our parks. We should explore how our local culture has been enriched by the infusion of outside influences. This is perhaps easiest seen in the area of food: without the German immigrants, would Buffalo have Beef on Weck? Without the Irish, would there be salt potatoes in Syracuse? What wonderful flavors, both literal and metaphoric, will the next generation of immigrants bring into our communities?
Secondly, I believe that we have to empower our own communities: when people live with strong bonds to their neighbors, fear-mongering by outside powers is not as effective. For example, if the white folk know the black folk down the road by name (and vice-versa) and see them at town meetings, picnics and other social events, they can no longer be scared by them and label them as outsiders. In healthy communities people are in general not as isolated and fearful, not as needing of national mythic histories to give meaning to their lives, as those who live in broken, estranged communities (like the bedroom towns ringing NYC).
Finally, we need to take steps to oppose and undermine the works of their organizations. If the Minutemen come here to “protect” us from the dangerous Canadians, we need to challenge them and proclaim solidarity with our neighbors. We should step forward to discuss our long and peaceful history of collaboration and cross-border creativity with the Canadians. The North Country would not be the same place without the Quebecois just to the north; western New York has long shared ideas and traditions with Ontario. York Staters probably have more in common culturally with the Rust Belt cities of Ontario than with the sprawling metropolis of BosWash, not to mention more distant regions of the USA. We need to announce that the racists and xenophobes are not welcome in Upstate New York, that we will not betray our true local history of tolerance and social justice for their manufactured mythic history of racial purity and intolerance.
-Posted by Jesse
 In reading that article from NYC and this one from Watertown, I notice a few things. First off, they seem to have expressed no desire in relating to Yorkstaters, recruiting from among us or developing any base here. Instead they travel to Babylon, a relatively well-to do, overwhelmingly white (92%) bedroom community of NYC. Their argument in the news for border control hinges upon fear of gangs and terrorist attacks. They even rave about terrorists possibly using Chinese restaurants as a base for attacks.
 By “mythic,” I am referring those who manipulate historical events to create a story arc where a heroic race of people lead by great leaders (inevitably men) battle against forces of outside oppression to create some form of societal ideal that has become threatened and corrupted in the modern age. The arguments of fascists must be recognized in the modern era and decried wherever possible. A Nazi in a red, white and blue bald eagle t-shirt is still a Nazi.