SPRING HILL, FL – Most immigrants who came to the USA left their homeland and extended family for increased economic opportunity. In contrast to the legal immigration surge of the late 19th and early 20th century now there are illegal immigrants flooding our borders to be given the American dream of prosperity and freedom, not to earn it. These immigrants may believe the promises of government handouts, but it is doubtful it will actually happen. They will have to work for their livelihood just like previous immigrants in the land of opportunity.
When first entering America, new arrivals tend to live with those from their former countries. They establish “Little Haiti,” “Little Cuba,” “Little Cambodia” and “Little Venezuela.” These enclaves provide a comfortable environment to ease the transition of becoming a full-fledged American. The connection to their ethnic community is comforting while providing support to learn the American way of life.
These communities that helped people assimilate into America are exotic places to visit. Often you can experience the flavor of the culture, especially the authentic food and customs. Most people living in these ethnic neighborhoods find their friends and even spouses there. By the third generation their English speaking and cultural knowledge allows them to branch out from their community comfort zone combining being an American with customs from their ancestors.
At this juncture, the hyphenated American is still melting into the American culture. They are on a rapid course to being assimilated into America. The longer a family sets down roots in this country, the more second and third generations lose their strong ethnic identity.
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Initially they appear as a mosaic or salad-bowl of identifiable items. As they blend into the American culture their appreciation of other ethnic identities and customs are adopted as their own. The large and more diverse groups of associates and friends becomes greater as these recent arrivals learn and integrate them into their personal lives. They might date or marry a person from a different subculture or a person who totally identifies as an American.
When one walks down this path, they are no longer solely in their past ancestor’s culture but are blending into what has been called “the melting pot.” The social-cultural rivalry between identity politics and multiculturalism of the melting pot concept is a false dichotomy. It is not an either-or choice; both take place over time. The time period differs usually depending on the language. Northern European immigrants’ transition is generally easier than Asian, African, Middle Eastern or Southern European individuals, but they too learn that they can become part of the culture.
Being an American is not a religion, race or ethnic factor. It is an appreciation of our form of government, freedom, opportunity, and moral values. These have been propagated on the fertile soil of our experiment with the power of freedom. The original colonists were confronted by the greatest empire of that time.
England was the most powerful centralized empire in Europe. Many of the colonists thought of themselves as Englishmen with all their inherent rights. King George III and most of the aristocrats viewed the colonies as possessions of England that should follow the legal decisions of their mother country. This chasm in thinking led to the colony’s war for independence. The more Britain turned the screws of oppression on America the more the founders realized the potential evils of a centralized government.
The Constitutional Republic and the Bill of Rights were inspired documents by the powerful, hard learning experience of exploitation. There is no other culture that is equal to the United States. Immigrants have flooded to America to receive its liberty, opportunity and prosperity for almost four centuries. The greatness of our nation attracted people worldwide. Immigrants who choose to become solid citizens fall in love with the founders of our country and the Constitutional Republic that inspired other men to become extraordinary leaders, generation after generation.
It is our lack of repressive laws along with our numerous protective ones of citizen rights that has motivated foreigners to reduce their fears and drop their previous hesitation to become full-fledged American citizens. Let us not undermine our nation’s liberties by turning to false Marxist ideals that have turned ethnic groups against each other to divide and conquer them.
The melting pot will still unify all immigrants, legal or illegal, into our great nation. Identity politics is a desperate, evil attempt to derail the United States’ virtue as the land of opportunity and freedom. It will not work.