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Old 09-28-2009, 11:11 PM
 
10,107 posts, read 14,420,016 times
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I think it's easier for immigrants not to assimilate these days because of technology and communications, at least in the Western Hemisphere. People can call, email, text, Skype, etc., back to the Old Country. They can fly to visit if financially able.
When my grandparents came here at the turn of the last century, they had to come by boat. No hopping back and forth (from Ukraine). I believe one side was not literate. There was the guy in the neighborhood who might write a letter back to the Old Country for a fee- who knows if it gets there, and how long? The ties were broken, especially if really far away. (There's a rumor that my non-literate grandfather left a wife and kids back in Odessa and just sort of married here and kept going. Who knows?)
My father, one of ten Ukrainian Jewish kids, went to public high school in Philadelphia, as did his siblings. All of them finished high school, none went to college. I believe his parents were literate, although the mother barely learned English. The Philly public schools, among other things, offered a classical education, including Greek and Latin. Imagine that!
I think the firstgeneration is very eager to dump the past and become American (often ashamed of their Old Country parents). I think it might be the second generation who gets interested in "roots" and interviews grandparents and makes documentaries and all.
I asked my father once if his father ever talked about the Old Country. My father said, his father would say, "Russia. SPIT." (They were Ukrainian Jews who fled pogroms).
So much for my roots. I'm a disaffected, disaffiliated, alienated American, and I like it that way.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:12 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 18,539,137 times
Reputation: 14469
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyGem View Post
I'm asking because the face of the USA is changing.

When many of these people come here they carry on the same cultural standards where they came from. They don't attempt to integrate into American society.
This canard has been a nativist theme since the early 19th century, whether it was used to decry the immigration of Irish Catholics in the early 1800's, Italians in the 1850's, or eastern Europeans in the beginning of the 20th. I find the argument to be no more valid now than it was then.

Quote:
The immigrants who came to the USA in the 1700's - 1800's and early 1900's assimilated into American culture.
This didn't seem to what occurred from the perspective of nativist or immigrants at the time. As I mention above, throughout those periods there were very clear tensions, often violent, between nativist and immigrants over what defined "Americaness."

Unfortunately, then and now the idea of assimilation is too often viewed as a one way street, immigrants become, "like us" when the fact of the matter is that both the immigrant population and the nativist population become something other. That is assimilation. Both populations adopt those cultural aspects that are deemed beneficial, discard those which aren't, and learn to tolerate those which are not mutually compatible.

Quote:
Yet today, when people come here they find niches in this country and carry forth the culture they had where they came from and don't attempt to assimilate into American culture. One excuse I have heard many give is that America doesn't have a culture.
Again a very ahistorical view, if that were the case, Chinatowns, little Italy and other ethnic communities, "ghettos", many of which remain to this day, would have never come into existence.

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Where do you see this nation in 30 years?
Different, just as 30 years ago is different from today or 130 years ago.

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At what point does a person become an American?
I would think that even a 4th grader would know the answer to that one. In the 17th and 18th Century becoming an American meant that you could be free to be a Quaker, a Puritan, a Baptist, or a Huguenots, in the 18th Century it was so that people could be free to Irish Catholics, Slavs or Jews. And while trend in religious refuge have receded over the last century, political/economic freedom have risen, yet people come to America because they are free to be who or whatever they wish to be.

You know, like the sign on the big lady says:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

The only assimilation we should require is the obedience to both our civil and criminal codes of conduct, that is our social contract, anything else is up to each of us to decide. I think they call that freedom.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:24 AM
 
3,073 posts, read 4,473,324 times
Reputation: 1540
NO freedom to come here without doing it by our laws.We call this law breaking. Never lump todays illegals into any group that came here before that didnt break the law to do it.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:45 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,755 posts, read 39,152,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nativechief View Post
NO freedom to come here without doing it by our laws.We call this law breaking. Never lump todays illegals into any group that came here before that didnt break the law to do it.

That statement would be predicated on the principle that Law takes absolute priority over all other human moral or social constructs. Is Law the only factor that qualifies virtue?
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:04 AM
 
10,107 posts, read 14,420,016 times
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No.
But it's the arbiter of whether one is here legally or not.
There are some six billion people in the world, about two-thirds squalor/starving poor to medium poor. Don't you think most would like to live somewhere more stable and offering a living, or at least food for your kids, like the U.S. or Europe? Is it a higher virtue to bring everyone to these stable places and therefore destabilize them and use up everything?
I've seen Port au Prince and Kathmandu. Life sure isn't fair.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:10 AM
 
3,566 posts, read 3,082,817 times
Reputation: 1828
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyGem View Post
I'm asking because the face of the USA is changing.

The immigrants who came to the USA in the 1700's - 1800's and early 1900's assimilated into American culture.

Yet today, when people come here they find niches in this country and carry forth the culture they had where they came from and don't attempt to assimilate into American culture. One excuse I have heard many give is that America doesn't have a culture.

Our nation allows people to come to this country from every nation on the planet to live "the American Dream". When many of these people come here they carry on the same cultural standards where they came from. They don't attempt to integrate into American society.

Where do you see this nation in 30 years?

Hyphenated Americans... Haitian/Americans, Mexican/Americans, Armenian/Americans, etc...

At what point does a person become an American?

I do understand that the first generation of immigrants usually cling to the culture where they came from but there are people who have lived here for 50 years who do not speak English or attempt to assimilate and continue to see Americans as foreigners when a person out of their culture ventures into their comfortable segregated city block.

The face of this nation is changing.

Discuss.

Riddle me this:

How is it a Mexican American can still be called a Mexican American and yet never cross into the US? You will find the same to be true of Chile, Columbia and Brazil.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:42 PM
 
1,251 posts, read 2,754,710 times
Reputation: 744
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
I would think that even a 4th grader would know the answer to that one. In the 17th and 18th Century becoming an American meant that you could be free to be a Quaker, a Puritan, a Baptist, or a Huguenots, in the 18th Century it was so that people could be free to Irish Catholics, Slavs or Jews. And while trend in religious refuge have receded over the last century, political/economic freedom have risen, yet people come to America because they are free to be who or whatever they wish to be.

You know, like the sign on the big lady says:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
The only assimilation we should require is the obedience to both our civil and criminal codes of conduct, that is our social contract, anything else is up to each of us to decide. I think they call that freedom.


Perfect.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
40,059 posts, read 20,017,663 times
Reputation: 10140
We'll all become Americans as soon as the Hyphenated American is dead; not before then.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:11 PM
 
3,566 posts, read 3,082,817 times
Reputation: 1828
No, people that live in South America also use a hyphen, so until the day that we either remember or accept that America does not just constitute the United States it will be around.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:31 AM
 
43,177 posts, read 47,049,205 times
Reputation: 13668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Once the influence,control and greed of corporate business is removed from politics all that will be left is "just" Americans.
Yep we will all be robots of politcal correctness of politcs.We will be killing for the means of survivsl like i teh past otherwise.
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