Multiculturalism

No Place for Hyphenated Americans

February 03, 2012

In his book The Disuniting of America, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. was dismayed by many immigrants’ unwillingness to embrace the concept of Americanism. We perpetuate such division by opening our sympathetic arms to those who even after a few years continue speaking a language not our own or who are loyal to a country other than the United States. And we foolishly believe it makes us better Americans to accept their refusal to assimilate.

There are apologists in our midst who believe that by embracing everyone, we become everyone, which somehow makes us more humane. But who are we, then? When everyone is everyone, what happens to the concept of being American? Who, then, is an American?

If the trend continues—if universities continue to emphasize our differences rather than the ideology of Americanism—we may find ourselves being ripped apart like Yugoslavia by various ethnic groups who had never coalesced around a single American identity. By focusing on our ethnic background we’re ignoring more important matters and instituting a quota system rather than a value system—a willingness to work hard and a respect for our beloved country—which should be the criteria of intellectual curiosity.

Our nation’s motto used to be E Pluribus Unum. We seemed to have lost sight of that unifying concept and have chosen to make our motto more like E Pluribus Pluribus.

 

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