Dziennik Chicagoski -- February 13, 1891Polish Patriotism in America (Editorial)
Ibi Patria, Ubi Bene (there is my country, where all is well) is apparently one of the guiding principles of Mr. Thaddeus Wild. His other principle is that one cannot be an American and a Polish patriot at the same time. It is either one or the other.
Let us adhere to the example we gave in yesterday's issue.
A boy has a guardian who cares for him as his own father would. He also has a father who is mentally ill and who has been an inmate of an insane asylum for a number of years. According to Mr. Wild's theory, this boy should stop loving his father because his guardian gives him shelter, education, and other necessities of life. Now, let us suppose that this father needs the boy's help, that he needs his assistance in getting a physician. Then, according to Mr. Wild, the boy should be very sympathetic 2towards his unfortunate father, and deeply, but not necessarily actively interested in his fate.
Let us assume that the father of the boy has been cured and, being still unable to take care of his son, entrusts him to a merciful guardian for some time. Then this boy, in order to be a good and grateful foster son, must get rid of his filial love and abandon his father to his fate because the guardian has more right to his gratitude. Such attitude could be possible if the foster son does not remember his father, but if he has loved his father such behavior would be impossible and contrary to the laws of nature.
Should we renounce our love for the mother country just because she is unfortunate?
Should we deprive ourselves of our most noble sentiment just because our mother country does not appear on the map of Europe? And if she really 3needs us, if we can help her with money, good advice or by shedding our blood, should we not help her because we are American citizens? Did Kosciuszko and Pulaski think that way? Is this the attitude of the Irish residing in America?
It would be difficult for anyone of another nationality to understand the feelings of an Irishman or a Pole. It is obvious that Mr. Wild is not a Pole, for he cannot understand this sentiment. He is merely an Austrian who can speak Polish. Unfortunately, there are many individuals in Galicia (Austrian Poland) who cannot comprehend Polish patriotism.
"Deeply but not necessarily actively interested" means that we as Americans citizens should not give any assistance to Poland, our mother country, and at least we should not instill in our children any desire to help her. We should bring up our children only as Americans so that when we are too old instead of taking our place they may ridicule our noble sentiments. In the opinion of Mr. Wild they as Americans, should not spend their 4accumulated money, or risk their health and even life, for any mother country other than that of their adoption.
Yes. We should kick the mother who could not feed us; we should deny her in the same manner as the enriched parvenu denies his poor father. We should proudly call ourselves Americans just because gold was found here. We should change our names from Lasowski to Wood, from Lisowski to Fox, from Slowikowski to Nightingale, from Czarnecki to Black, only because real Americans have difficulty in pronouncing them.
Mr. Wild, is this the kind of morality and American patriotism taught in public schools?
Yes, if our whole generation would receive this education, the nihilistic principle of no God, no father, no mother, nothing but the dollar, would would spread very quickly.
Fortunately, there are persons who complete their education by studying 5at home or abroad; fortunately, there are parochial and private schools which cultivate healthy principles, and on account of that the people as a whole have not accepted nihilistic principles. We wish to call Mr. Wild's attention to our terminology as regards the word "Nihilistic," which used in its proper sense, does not mean either "anarchistic" or "bombers," which denote entirely different things.
If, as in the case of the foster boy, a successful young man who has been brought up in our parochial schools were asked how he gained his good education and position, he would reply that he owes everything to his guardian and, if asked about his father, he would say that his unfortunate father is ill and that he would give anything for restoring his health.
If a fosterling of our schools, be he a Pole or an Irishman with a high position in a foreign country, were asked about his citizenship he would reply with pride that he is a citizen of the United States, but if he were asked about his nationality or his native land, he would answer with 6sadness that she is in chains, but that as soon as either his native or adopted country needs him he will give up honors, high position, property and even his life in order to help either one of them.
Mr. Wild writes: "I have fulfilled my duty and I am inviting all citizens who share my views to express their frank opinions."
Our proposition: We will donate one dollar for every brother citizen sharing Mr. Wild's views if Mr. Wild will donate only five cents for every brother citizen whose views are contrary to his. With this money we will build a school. If Mr. Wild collects more than we do, we will build a public school; and if we collect more than him, we will build a parochial school.
Isn't this a fair proposition?
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