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Integrating Other Cultures Into the American Dream: Left of Center View

America is a vast and varied place, broken into segments shaped by the landscape and flavored by its inhabitants. Each of our fifty states has it's own proud heritage and history, as do all of our major cities, causing most Americans when abroad to proclaim not just their country, but State and City of origin as well.

There are numerous subcultures in our nation including cowboys, surfers, cheerleaders, gang-bangers, etc. All of them are recognized as uniquely American, yet each of them would be totally out of place in the others element, Yet for all this richness and diversity, the typical conception of the "American Culture" is quite different from reality. Norman Rockwell's America no longer exists. Elvis is dead and family farms are as antiquated as the Model T, but we have trouble admitting that because the reality scares the hell out of us.

Realistically there is nothing you can do to stop the wild mixture that is American culture. People from other countries and cultures will always carry a little piece of where they are from with them. Settle a bunch of these folks together and they will recreate much of the culture they came from. Chinatown, Little Italy, common neighborhoods in almost every American city, usually separated by the one block that has all the Irish Pubs on it.

America is supposed to be the land of the free, a place where people can find a new beginning and escape persecution for their beliefs and religious differences. This is the basic ideal upon which our country is based, and we have no right to demand that it be changed just because we are forced to face the unfamiliar.

There is one major exception to cultural tolerance, and that is the banishment of cultural practices that infringe on the rights and freedoms of others. Muslim women may choose to cover their entire bodies in traditional garb, but they have no right to insist others do so as well. In the work place sexual harassment and discrimination are just that, regardless of the cultural justifications. America is strong because of our diversity, not in spite of it.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column.

Got a liberal viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Political Activism and Illegal Immigration

Send in your view from the Left to be our featured Left of Center View for the week.

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Last Week's View from the Left: Employing Undocumented Workers

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
Bilingual Education
The Minutemen
Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants
Open Borders
Sanctuary Cities
Common Sense Laws
Rise & Fall
Outsourcing & Insourcing
English
Amnesty vs. Reality
Defining Immigration





Integrating Other Cultures Into the American Dream: Right of Center View

When discussing multiculturalism, you have to start by asking what is lost and what is gained by adding other traditions to our society. Some might say that trying to integrate too many traditions into one culture in the end makes all of the traditions lose meaning. Others would argue that not adopting the traditions is excluding people from the larger American culture.

There are many unique cultural traditions. Some African American couples jump over a broom at their wedding as a remembrance of the time when they were slaves in this country and were forbidden to have traditional marriages. Because they were forbidden to marry or have any formal ceremony to signify a commitment to one another the bride and groom would jump over a broom to signify their union. The significance of the tradition is very personal to those who are descendants of slaves. Many African Americans might be greatly offended by their tradition being adopted by others. If people not of African American descent were to take up this tradition would it honor those who suffered or dishonor them?

So what is of greater benefit to our society? Should we try to embrace all the traditions of other cultures even if it might offend some people of those cultures for us to do so? Do we ask them to drop those traditions in favor of more uniquely American traditions? How do we differentiate between what is appropriate to assimilate and what needs to remain uniquely held by the individuals of certain cultural heritages. Who decides? What if some African Americans wanted to see all Americans jump the broom to show respect for those who were so sorely mistreated in our history? Do we honor some people’s feelings and ignore others? This is but one tradition among many. There is virtually infinite potential for debate about which should be observed by whom.

It would seem that the American dream must have inclusion and exclusion to some extent. While we have to find common ground to survive, we can’t possibly follow every cultural tradition or custom as a nation. There have to be some with significance to the bulk of the nation or we have no national unity. We have to make choices and in this democracy we have to look to serving the greatest good. The simple answer lies in respect. With respect comes peace and unity. If we respect the cultures of others and they respect ours including making sure we can all communicate with one another the nation will be a lot better off.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Visit Troy's blog at http://reform-america.blogspot.com | Visit Troy's MySpace page at www.myspace.com/reform_america

Got a conservative viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Political Activism and Illegal Immigration

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Right: Employing Undocumented Workers

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
Bilingual Education
The Minutemen
Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants
Open Borders
Sanctuary Cities
Let's Get It Right This Time
Once Again Congress Fails
American Jobs
English Also vs. English Only
Amnesty
Defining Immigration

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally “The Race” in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isn’t really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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