Restoring the Sacred

Friday, May 20, 2011

Diversity vs Assimilation

That's Bruce S. Thornton. He's a professor in the classical studies program at California State University Fresno. His latest book is The Wages of Appeasement: Ancient Athens, Munich, and Obama’s America.

In a recent article (below) he wrote for City Journal, he shows how the lack of assimilation (a by-product of multiculturalism) has wrecked the state of California where he is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Classics and Humanities at California State University Fresno. Of course California is not the only state that has been hurt badly by a lack of assimilation encouraged by those among us who rank "diversity" above performance. Remember Army Chief of Staff George Casey after the Ft. Hood massacre during which a lone radical Muslim Army Major (Nidal Malik Hasan) killed 12 and wounded 31? "Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse." One wonders whether General Casey ever considered the possibility that had "our diversity" become a "casualty" prior to November 5, 2009, the 43 casualties that actually took place that day at Ft. Hood might have been averted.

Imagine if we had a department of education (which we did not) when this country was being built by immigrants who were coming here for a better life from all points of the globe. By now we would make the Balkans look like Mister Rogers' neighborhood in comparison. Fortunately for us, those early immigrants counted themselves lucky to be able to assimilate, and the first order of priority for them was to learn our language while they worked hard to provide a better life for their progeny, and the government, rather than assist them in maintaining their "cultural identity," encouraged them to assimilate as quickly as possible.

In Professor Thornton's article, he relates how his own family's ancestors assimilated into the American culture (yes, we do have one), and how difficult it was for them at times:

The choice was hard, at times even brutal. Racism, ethnocentrism, and prejudice could make the work of becoming American notoriously difficult. But people understood that to have a nation composed of immigrants, there had to be a unifying common culture in the public sphere. Transmitting that common culture was the job of the schools. My mother’s mother came from Maschito, an Albanian village in southern Italy. Many Maschitans settled in Fresno, where every year they celebrated the feast of their ancestral village’s patron saint, Santa Elia. But I never heard a word about any of this in school. We were busy learning about George Washington and the Constitution, Valley Forge and the Gettysburg Address, the nation’s history and heroes, its virtues and ideals—and, crucially, those core American principles. It was at school that the immigrant learned American history and celebrated the leaders who had created the country, fought in its defense, and embodied its most cherished values. In short, he learned how to be what he or his parents had freely chosen to become: American.

Click on the link below to read the whole article.
How Assimilation Works by Bruce S. Thornton - City Journal

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