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The negative connotation that the word "patriotism" has acquired seems to affect "Americana" in the guilt-by-association sense. Americana refers to nostalgic artifacts and collectable items of historical America. I love Americana. I especially love the spirit of self-reliance that Ralph Waldo Emerson described and the idea of that distinctly rugged American individualism and the ideal of civil liberties. I love history from the American Revolution. I love Elvis, American folk and western music, country music, old Hollywood films, the Cold War mentality, the American Southwest, etc.

Unfortunately, however, I feel apologetic about my enthusiasm for Americana. I feel this way because of that which has made patriotism a negative word. It is the ugliness and harshness of the vitriol in which some European Americans engage. I do not associate myself with spiteful and hateful groups of people, though we may love Americana just the same.

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