"We are richer for it," says Weiser, perennially defending the demise of Pennsylvania German folk culture. Richer means poorer. Instead of celebrating sauerkraut and language for themselves, it has to be for "the tolerance of American polity" (xiii). Welcoming the diverse may be what America says of itself on the Statue of Liberty, but the first example was among the Pennsylvania Germans in Philadelphia where American rhetoric hatched all men equal. It was a Pennsylvania dream of equality. Weiser celebrates "styles at variance with the majority" (xiii), but it is not an American majority; it was not "the majority" they were at variance with, it was the English! Continual apologies for Deutschness are not so much false to the fact as apologies for being what they are. Keyser on the texts of fraktur in his Preface to Hershey's book says that "none of this little-studied body of folk poetry is fine literature" (This Teaching I Present, 2003, 8). He could easily have said, "these texts are an invaluable window into the mind of their art."
Pennsylvania German art critics want to show that even if they are German they really belong. Millard Gladfelter in his Foreword to Pennsylvania German Fraktur by Frederick S. Weiser calls the cultural war between the English "on the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers" and the Germans of "outlying countrysides" a "contest" for retention of custom and language" (ix). As if he never heard of English domination. Weiser likewise pains to make the Deutsch into Americans by declaiming "the much-celebrated openness of the United States...to receive into its midst persons and cultures of widely disparate origin" (xiii), but it was not the United States that welcomed them, only Penn's Quaker Pennsylvania. The English never welcome the disparate [except now that there are whole sections of Muslim London!]. From "Negro Spirituals to Pennsylvania German Fraktur" (Gladfelter, ix) they exploited them. To assimilate even in the bi-centennial world of 1976 these volumes commemorate, Weiser constructs a rhetoric that celebrates the whole for its part, the United States for Pennsylvania. Fraktur's introduction is worth attending for so transparently reflecting the fear and prejudice in the background of its paradise.