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By Bob Ellis - Toogood Reports
Our metamorphosis into a country filled with Hyphenated-Americans is destroying our nation. For most of our history, new Americans who emigrated from other countries assimilated into our culture. This of course made sense. Why bother to come to live in a new country when all you do is try to transplant the culture of the old one to the new one? Why not just stay home? It would be a lot less expensive and a lot less trouble. It's like a business owner who, through mismanagement, drives his company to the brink of bankruptcy. Disgusted with the way things are going, he sells that company and buys another company that is performing well. Then, instead of looking at how that company does business and what makes it work, he implements the same business practices that wrecked his old company. Now how smart is that? Well, it happens all the time with people from other countries who see the freedom, opportunity and affluence of America: they like what they see, so they come here, but then try to live with the same methods, philosophy and ethos that made their old country less productive and undesirable to live in. I ask you again – how smart is that?
Here's another analogy. Let's say you work at K-Mart, and you wear a uniform that identifies you as a K-Mart employee while you work there. You conduct business the K-Mart way and you speak in business terms that everyone at K-Mart uses and understands. However, let's say you look over at Wal-Mart and see that the employees are getting paid more over there and they're much happier than you and your coworkers at K-Mart. So you quit K-Mart and go over to Wal-Mart. Now how well do you think you're going to do at Wal-Mart if you keep wearing your K-Mart uniform at Wal-Mart? Do you think you're going to get along well with your new boss and your new coworkers if you keep doing things the K-Mart way and speaking in K-Mart terms? How well do you think Wal-Mart would perform as a business if all their employees were wearing the uniforms, working with the practices and speaking in the terms of all their myriad of previous employers? Not very well, right? Then why do we expect such a "multicultural" environment in America to make our country work well?
There's a big difference between bringing different ideas and perspectives to a situation, and trying to make new situations conform to old methods, especially when those old methods were unproductive. Businesses can benefit greatly when new employees come in and take a fresh look at the operation, applying lessons they've learned before to the operation at hand. But if new employees start trying to do it their own way without discussing it with management, without looking closely to see if maybe there's a good reason this new company does it differently, then there are going to be problems for everyone.
We already have enough examples of these kinds of trouble in the world that we shouldn't be going down this dead-end road. Look at the trouble Canada has had in recent years, being a nation with two languages: English and French. The division in Canada once got so bad in 1995 that Quebec almost became a separate country. Although the separatist noise has quieted since the 1995 referendum, those who want to divide Canada remain.
The wisdom of a common language as it promotes common culture and purpose has long been recognized. As Alexis de Tocqueville said, "The tie of language is perhaps the strongest and most durable that can unite mankind." And Winston Churchill: "The gift of a common tongue is a priceless inheritance and it may well someday become the foundation of a common citizenship." President Theodore Roosevelt said, "The one absolute certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, or preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities. We have but one flag. We must also learn one language and that language is English." Senator Samuel Hayakawa, son of Japanese immigrants, said, "English is the key to full participation in the opportunities of American life." British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, "Why in the world anyone in America is allowing another language (other than English) to be his first.I don't know." Saul Bellow, Nobel laureate, said "A melting pot, yes. A tower of Babel, no." You may recall how purpose was thwarted at the Tower of Babel when G-d confused the one-language race of man into many languages.
I don't believe asking Americans to speak English, the dominant and traditional language of our country, to be an arrogant requirement. I am not alone in this view, as the quotes above of many distinguished figures reveals. It should be common sense that when you go to another country, you should be prepared to communicate in the language of that country. When I was in Germany, I realized it was incumbent upon me to be prepared to speak German if I wanted to accomplish much. Likewise, when I was in Mexico, Spanish was called for. Even when I lived in England, home of the English language, the vernacular was so different that I had to learn the local usage in order to communicate effectively. I believe that when living in or visiting a country where the language is different than your native tongue, it is the height of arrogance to expect the people of that country bend over backwards to accommodate you, the newcomer or visitor. Yet that is exactly what many newcomers and visitors (along with their liberal American enablers) advocate. What complete nonsense!
Where does the word "balkanization" come from? The word, which Webster's defines as "to break up (as a region or group) into smaller and often hostile units" comes from the Balkans region, home to the former Yugoslavia (a nation formally dissolved on February 4, 2003). This region is made up of a number of different races, creeds, languages and ethnicities. Various groups within Yugoslavia, instead of assuming a single national identity after the nation was formed in 1918, continued to maintain their own distinct cultures. And what has been the result? They are absolutely unable to live and work together. Only the brutal heel of the Soviet Union was able to keep a lid on the mess, and even then it remained just below the boiling point. After the Soviets crumbled, the region became a flash point for bloodshed and ethnic cleansing.
America was once known as the great "melting pot" where people of different origins came together and became E Pluribus Unum, or "Out of Many, One." It's on the Great Seal of the United States, and it's on our money – what happened to that great idea?! We are fast becoming, instead, a "boiling pot" where instead of coming together with a single national identity, we try to maintain all of our own little distinctivenesses. The result is a clashing, cacophonous mess that wars against itself, accomplishes little and threatens to boil over and spill the whole pot.
Probably the silliest thing about multiculturalism is the people who were born and raised in America, yet wear clothing similar to that of their ancestral lands and refer to themselves as some sort of Hyphenated-American. This is silly! These people would be perfect objects of derision and humor, were they not taken so seriously by so many! A Mexican-American is someone who emigrated (legally) from Mexico and became an American citizen by naturalization. An Italian-American is one who emigrated from Italy and became an American citizen by naturalization. An African-American is one who emigrated from Africa and became an American citizen by naturalization. If you weren't born in Africa before you became an American citizen, then you aren't an African-American. If you were born in America and happen to have dark/black skin and ancestors that came from Africa, then you're an American. If you were born in America and happen to have brown skin and ancestors who came from South America, you're an American. If you were born in America and happen to have white/pink skin and ancestors who came from Europe, you're an American.
My ancestors came to America from England and Ireland because they wanted a better life than they had back home. Coming to America, they adopted American culture and were assimilated into it. While I am aware of my ancestral roots, they mean nothing more to me than a bit of trivia. Why? Because it bears no relevance to my life. I was born in America, raised in America, and I'm nothing but an American. I lived in England for three years, and while there were some nice things about that country, I can tell you for darn sure, I'm even gladder that I'm an American after having visited there than I was before.
We're all Americans, here. We're just plain ole Americans, whether we were born here or whether we became naturalized citizens of America. We're not Hyphenated-Americans; we're just Americans. We're all supposed to be on the same team here, working together. Why don't we start acting like it?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Toogood Reports contributor and "Best of the Web" award-winning writer Bob Ellis is a Constitutional conservative, a Christian and a great American who writes for us from Rapid City, South Dakota. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years, during the Cold War, the Persian Gulf War, and the "Doing More With Less War" under Bill Clinton. Bob is a teacher of Sunday School for adults and has authored several Bible study courses for his church. He is also webmaster for the Black Hills Creation Science Association.