I would normally leave it at that. But I’ll add a little here. RichSmith gets a spanking from Sue, the emphatic and eloquent Sue. The guarantor of the English language and the semantics thereof. But no, there is no dichotomy here with abuse of power by civil authority in the US vis-à-vis Lawrence’s view of the American soul. His quoted assessment is in tandem with a direct reference to James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking, to his Natty Bumppo on the one hand and to the soul of America on the other.
To quote Lawrence in his essay “Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Novels”:
“The passionate love for America, for the soil of America, for example. As I say, it is perhaps easier to love America passionately, when you look at it through the wrong end of the telescope, across all the Atlantic water, as Cooper did so often, than when you are right there. When you are actually in America, America hurts, because it has a powerful disinte- grative influence upon the white psyche. It is full of grinning, unappeased aboriginal demons, too, ghosts, and it persecutes the white men, like some Eumenides, until the white men give up their absolute whiteness. America is tense with latent violence and resistance. The very common sense of white Americans has a tinge of helplessness in it, and deep fear of what might be if they were not common-sensical.”
“But probably, one day America will be as beautiful in actuality as it is in Cooper. Not yet, however. When the factories have fallen down again”.
America is not there yet.
The correlation is still there and together. Lawrence’s concept of “whiteness” does not refer solely to skin color. Black people and indigenous people and hispanic people, the “aboriginal demons”, are still there and may be until the homo sapiens disappears from the planet.
Sue, get off your Semantic Hobby Horse. Everything we perceive is through our senses and never corresponds unequivocally to reality. There are only instances of a perception of what is. You assume too much in your act of perceiving.