In the Parade magazine within the Arizona Republic, July 25, 1993, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Daniel J. Boorstin, wrote an article "The Greatest Danger We Face". He warns of a menace to our society--the emphasis on what separates us rather than on what brings us together.
Mr. Boorstin, was the Librarian of Congress, the highest intellectual honor the U.S. Government can bestow, he was the editor of the 30-volume "Chicago History of American Civilization, his trilogy "The Americans" (The Colonial Experience, The National Experience and the Democratic Experience. Two hugely successful "The Discoverers" and " The Creators."
Yes, I agree this article is dated, however, what he says in 1993 has become prophetic in 2009.
Mr. Boorstin says: "I am wary of the emphasis on power rather than on a sense of community."
"The separate groups in our country are concerned about their power--whether it be black power or white power, the power of any particular group."
"I think the notion of a hyphenated American is un-American. I believe there are only AMERICANS. Polish-Americans, Italian-Americans or Africian-Americans are an emphasis that is not fertile."
We can see that in today's society. Minorities are vying for political positioning so they can have an edge--an edge on whatever they desire. If you read Mexifornia, by Victor Hanson, you will find that Americans of Mexican heritage are very well organized in an effort to move into the USA without any intention of assimulating into the American culture. Their goal is to retain sovereignty over the entire Mexican Cession that took place after the Mexican-American war. That would include such notable states as California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, just to name a few. The invasion of Mexican nationals into America has bankrupted California once it may happen again in a few months. Working with the Federal Government, who says that a hospital may not turn away anyone, plus the U.S. Constitution granting citizenship to anyone who has been born on American soil, the invading Mexican population uses up the tax payer money, that they have not paid into, to have the child on American soil, thus the child has American status, and must have an accompanying parent to watch out for the rights of the child. Once here, they receive welfare benefits, again, not paying into it. This quickly drains the state budget.
The last school I taught at had a 60+% of Mexican immigrants. When asked why they do this, the response was "because we can, your government isn't making us go back, so why not?
What about one of the Viet Namese tribes that helped American in the mountains. They did not have any written language, nor any technical skills. A church group in Maine decided to foster one family to their small town of approximately 2500. The first family was very happy to leave VietNam and come to the USA. Asian families tend to have many generations within one household, so year after year that one family grew to approximately 500 people. The Federal government mandates that the local school board has to provide interpreters for anyone not speaking English. This school board had to hire someone to come in and write out their verbal language, then make a curriculum based on that as well as have it taught in their langage. It bankrupted the school district. Then to add insult to injury, one of their number was elected to the school board and demanded more curriculum for these immigrants.
I agree with Mr. Boorstin. Assimulation into the community is the key. He says, "There has been so much emphasis recently on the diversity of our peoples..I think it's time that we reaffirmed the fact that what has built our country is community and that community is not dependent on government. It's dependent on the willingness of people to build together."
Today, with the election of Barack Obama, with the rise of multi-cultural /racial relationships
with a trust that is growing amongst old adversaries America is reaching down into it's soul to come up with a new America. All groups are being treated more fairly than ever before, that doesn't mean there still isn't a ways to go, but we are striving in the right direction.
I further agree with him about the hyphenated American. Blacks are called African-Americans, which was a phrase coined by Jesse Jackson back in the day because he didn't like the term Blacks. A more politically correct term would be Americans with African heritage, Italians, would be Americans of Italian heritage, etc. By doing this, the community comes first, which is what he is saying in the above quotes.