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Old 08-20-2008, 01:22 PM
 
Location: America
6,704 posts, read 10,853,024 times
Reputation: 1816

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Quote:
Originally Posted by compelled to reply View Post
I like different cultures, but I don't really like the idea of hyphenated Americans either. I'm going to have to agree with the Baconator here in a sense. Diversity is great but if you are in America, you are first and foremost an American. It's fine to identify yourself culturally to your original land, but please assimilate to your new home land or else you end up having have a divided mess of people who don't really like each other, with zero sense of unity. That's not good no matter what your cultural background is. I do like a blending of ideals, since that is what defines us as America, but we need to keep the blender running. I don't think the blender is broken just yet, but it's slowing down after running for over 300 years. I do think it can be repaired however.
^^ this only works in utopia. People will always self identify with their ethnicity/culture regardless of the nation they live in. Unless you can find a way to indoctrinate people, this will never work.

 
Old 08-20-2008, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Houston, Tx
3,644 posts, read 3,674,389 times
Reputation: 1585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Style View Post
^^ this only works in utopia. People will always self identify with their ethnicity/culture regardless of the nation they live in. Unless you can find a way to indoctrinate people, this will never work.
That's precisly why we need to acknowledge that there is such a thing as American culture and that by living in America you are part of American culture. It may be hard for first generation Americans (i.e. people living in America with no intention of returning to their country of origin) but it should be second nature to 2nd generaion and beyond. That's how it worked for 200 years. Yeah, the Irish, Italians and others still thought of themselves in those terms when they first came here but their kids and their kid's kids did not. In fact that was the same way even before the founding of this country. Each ofthe representatives at the first contenential convention thought of themselves as Virginians, Marylanders ,etc. No one thought of "American" at that time.
Today it is harder than ever for immigrants to shed their old identifications and become Americans. Satellite tv let's you get programming in your old country's language. Phone cards let you call home for 2 cents a minute, and most of all, no one is pushing "Americanization" as an alternative to multiculturalism. Now cheap phone cards and custom satellite channels are great and I have both but we also need to show newcomers to this coutry that htere are benefits to joining the American culture and disadvanatges to not joining. Through subtle social pressure, not indoctranation, we can stillencourage people to join the melting pot. If we can not then look to the Balkans to see America's future (not a prety sight).
 
Old 08-20-2008, 02:13 PM
 
8,376 posts, read 20,580,364 times
Reputation: 2235
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbacon View Post
That's precisly why we need to acknowledge that there is such a thing as American culture and that by living in America you are part of American culture. It may be hard for first generation Americans (i.e. people living in America with no intention of returning to their country of origin) but it should be second nature to 2nd generaion and beyond. That's how it worked for 200 years. Yeah, the Irish, Italians and others still thought of themselves in those terms when they first came here but their kids and their kid's kids did not. In fact that was the same way even before the founding of this country. Each ofthe representatives at the first contenential convention thought of themselves as Virginians, Marylanders ,etc. No one thought of "American" at that time.
Today it is harder than ever for immigrants to shed their old identifications and become Americans. Satellite tv let's you get programming in your old country's language. Phone cards let you call home for 2 cents a minute, and most of all, no one is pushing "Americanization" as an alternative to multiculturalism. Now cheap phone cards and custom satellite channels are great and I have both but we also need to show newcomers to this coutry that htere are benefits to joining the American culture and disadvanatges to not joining. Through subtle social pressure, not indoctranation, we can stillencourage people to join the melting pot. If we can not then look to the Balkans to see America's future (not a prety sight).
Well said, I was just acknowledging that yes, there will always be cultural identities that people will hold on to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Style View Post
^^ this only works in utopia. People will always self identify with their ethnicity/culture regardless of the nation they live in. Unless you can find a way to indoctrinate people, this will never work.
Well, it was working for 300 years...and the way has been the 1st generation children in the public school system for the past 100 years.
 
Old 08-20-2008, 02:20 PM
 
1,769 posts, read 5,706,955 times
Reputation: 480
I found it offensive when immigrants in school would refuse to do the Pledge of Allegiance, especially when they came from dangerous countries such as Colombia and are doing so much better off here. They said things such as

"This isn't my country" or

"I'm not an American".

 
Old 08-20-2008, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Little Rock, Ar
214 posts, read 443,678 times
Reputation: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by crisp444 View Post
Since there are so many whites of Hispanic descent in Miami, it is not always obvious who is Latin and who is not. People speak of "nationality" (even if it means where your parents or grandparents are from) for white/Latin people but usually not for blacks or Asians. I have many times heard "American" used to describe white people whose families have been in the United States for several generations. On the other hand, I have heard an American with French-born parents called "French" instead of "American." The term isn't supposed to be insulting and just is asking if you have no ethnic/family ties to a Latin or European nation. Your average Iowan whose family immigration to the US in 1870 would be called "American" by many in Miami while a person raised in New Jersey with Italian parents would likely be called "Italian" and a person raised in Miami by Cuban parents would be called "Cuban." Get it?
I completely agree. I one had a couple of Cuban women at one of the stores in Dadeland who thought I was Latina based on my Spanish accent, but I had no problem replying Soy Americana...I'm American.
I think coming from PA it's got to be a big culture shock. I moved to Miami more than 12 years ago from Connecticut when it was really different but I embraced the uniqueness that is Miami. As annoying as it is, and it can be annoying, I think if you try to recognize why Miami is different, and the variety of cultures there are you'll be able to come to terms with it. And if after awhile you don't like it then you can always move on to another place.

Personally, we have really missed it. After moving to Argentina three years ago, we returned to the U.S. a year and a half ago and have lived in NC, San Antonio, and Savannah and by far I preferred Miami with SA coming in a close second. And I am a blonde haired blue eyed Americana... btw there are blonde haired blue eyed Latinas (think Cameron Diaz) and also people who have grown up in a country...in Argentina you can meet a German blonde blue eyed that speaks fluent Spanish and identifies herself as Argentine. anyway, so I think if you examine your preconceptions you'll see that you probably have just as many as the women you work with. We all tend to label and clump people into groups no matter how hard you might try not to.

Come to think of it, my husband is a citizen now but he was born in France. He will identify himself as born in France but as an American but the people in Savannah always saw him as THAT French person.

Just try to find the things that are good in Miami to try to help you balance things.
 
Old 08-20-2008, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Hialeah, FL
483 posts, read 1,050,186 times
Reputation: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbacon View Post
No, it wouldn't be "shameful". That is exactly what it MEANS to be American. You drop the baggage (heritage) of where you were from and take pride in where you ARE, what you've become. I see the idea of accepting hyphanated-Americans as part of the lie of multiculturalism. A house divided can not stand. Everyone here is from somewhere but when you become American in your heart you stop mentioning where you were you were from (unless specifically asked) and just answer, "yes, I'm an American". We have many internationalist and multiculturalists (many are white native born Americans too) who are working to undermine our national identity to the long-term detrement of our country.
There is room in this country for anyone who wants to BE an American. Just drop the prefix and keep the -American part. That's it. You're in.
I agree about being American, and yeah the hyphanated-American isn't ideal but thats how its going to be. I appreciate their language, food, music but of course they should learn english and take pride in America and most do. Most of them are happy to be here and appreciate this country. But I dont think its right when they might come here and not take pride in their own country too. In LA theres some mexicans or Central Americans that are undeniably Hispanic talk rough english but deny they are and insist on speaking only their rough english not participate in their cultural celebrations. If I go live to Mexico I wont deny im american, pretend to only talk spanish even though I hardly speak it and wont go to 4th of july celebrations because I need to be as Mexican as possible. Thats really what I mean. The taking in American pride and appreciating and identifying oneself as American is important, most learn english, listen to our music, live our lifestyle, eat our typical foods too, but dont deny the spanish, german or chinese, dont deny the salsa, samba, whatever it might be. Again thats really what I meant. We might disagree to some some degree but I believe I partially agree with you.
 
Old 08-20-2008, 03:34 PM
 
710 posts, read 1,472,796 times
Reputation: 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbacon View Post
That's precisly why we need to acknowledge that there is such a thing as American culture and that by living in America you are part of American culture. It may be hard for first generation Americans (i.e. people living in America with no intention of returning to their country of origin) but it should be second nature to 2nd generaion and beyond. That's how it worked for 200 years.
...
Today it is harder than ever for immigrants to shed their old identifications and become Americans. Satellite tv let's you get programming in your old country's language. Phone cards let you call home for 2 cents a minute, and most of all, no one is pushing "Americanization" as an alternative to multiculturalism.
EVERYONE is pushing "Americanization" all the time! Every mall, every TV channel (even the Spanish ones), every Marlins or Dolphins game, McDonalds, the way we live, drive, and what we aspire to. American ideals prevail even in Miami.

I agree it's harder for newer immigrants to quickly assimilate -- especially in Miami where waves of hispanics have reinforced Spanish and the overall Hispanic culture.
BUT I think it's clear that a second generation Cuban is less likely to say "Soy Cubano" and a third generation Cuban even less likely.

And as I wrote before, the "natives" in this country have some blame too, "Will the last American in Miami please bring the flag?" If a great part of the US doesn't consider you a "American," then that makes it harder to feel it too.

Of course this happened before, to the Irish, Italians, Germans, Jews, etc. They ALL eventually assimilated fully even though some retain the hyphen.
Last year, in my kids lilly-white school in San Diego, St Patricks Day is like a national holiday!
When they give presentations on ancestors, half the class self identifies as "Irish." Nobody forced them, they do it themselves - Irish-American. You think ANY of these kids were 100% Irish? Almost certainly not. The 1 actual Irish family was flabbergasted! lol They don't even do St Paddys Day in Ireland like they do here.

Humans are tribal, and while we can all agree that the US is the best country and we can agree to work to make it better, we're not losing our small vestiges of tribal identity anytime soon. Whether it's Oktoberfest, Godfather movies or Lutefisk, we don't let go very easily, it isn't a new phenomenon and isn't limited to Hispanics in Miami.

And frankly, that is EXACTLY what I think makes America so great! We're a nation of immigrants in a "new land" (sorry Native Americans) that have gathered together to make one strong country.

Last edited by planetsurf; 08-20-2008 at 04:02 PM..
 
Old 08-20-2008, 03:51 PM
 
Location: America
6,704 posts, read 10,853,024 times
Reputation: 1816
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbacon View Post
That's precisly why we need to acknowledge that there is such a thing as American culture and that by living in America you are part of American culture. It may be hard for first generation Americans (i.e. people living in America with no intention of returning to their country of origin) but it should be second nature to 2nd generaion and beyond. That's how it worked for 200 years. Yeah, the Irish, Italians and others still thought of themselves in those terms when they first came here but their kids and their kid's kids did not. In fact that was the same way even before the founding of this country. Each ofthe representatives at the first contenential convention thought of themselves as Virginians, Marylanders ,etc. No one thought of "American" at that time.
Today it is harder than ever for immigrants to shed their old identifications and become Americans. Satellite tv let's you get programming in your old country's language. Phone cards let you call home for 2 cents a minute, and most of all, no one is pushing "Americanization" as an alternative to multiculturalism. Now cheap phone cards and custom satellite channels are great and I have both but we also need to show newcomers to this coutry that htere are benefits to joining the American culture and disadvanatges to not joining. Through subtle social pressure, not indoctranation, we can stillencourage people to join the melting pot. If we can not then look to the Balkans to see America's future (not a prety sight).
I don't know about places outside of big cities. But, Chicago, NYC, Boston, Philly etc. even third, fourth... generation people identified heavily with their culture more so than with a over all national culture. I think it may have been different in places like say a georgia or Florida where you may not have had large concentrations of one ethnic group. But any place that has a establish community, your not going to get this adoption of American culture over their own ethnicity. Just look at little haiti, or cubans in South Florida. You see many 2nd and 3rd generation people who still think in terms of their culture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by compelled to reply View Post
Well said, I was just acknowledging that yes, there will always be cultural identities that people will hold on to.



Well, it was working for 300 years...and the way has been the 1st generation children in the public school system for the past 100 years.
maybe in mayberry, but in big cities, with large concentrations of a particular ethnic group living together as a community, it didn't.
 
Old 08-20-2008, 04:19 PM
 
8,376 posts, read 20,580,364 times
Reputation: 2235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Style View Post

maybe in mayberry, but in big cities, with large concentrations of a particular ethnic group living together as a community, it didn't.
What makes you say that? It took a while, but it definitely happened in NYC, Chicago and other cities. Yes they put their little guido flags on their cars but there is still identification to American ways and customs.
 
Old 08-20-2008, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Living in Paradise
5,701 posts, read 17,450,340 times
Reputation: 2852
Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post
I don't know what you're talking about. Fun? Marketable only in Miami or certain other parts of Florida. Bilingual is marketable. Not a novice attempt at fooling around in Spanish. Like Beavis and Butthead at Taco Bell. but you probably weren't born then so don't remember that.

Yeah no kidding there's a whole crew who only go to Spanish speaking places. We know that. Unfortunately in the hospital they will have to deal with the lowly Gringa.

The OP is a freaking nurse in a hospital for goodness sakes. No way on the face of the earth is she going to become bilingual enough to speak Spanish at work. Nor should she have to even want to.

Only in Miami would this suggestion be considered normal. And only in Miami would it be considered impressive to speak pigeon Spanish. As if I care...nope. Try impressing me by assimilating like my husband did as an immigrant he couldn't learn English fast enough he was so happy to be here.

I am bilingual. I am a European American who speaks Greek fluently. Bilingual enough to do everything EXCEPT WORK IN A GREEK hospital And pretty much any other job I can think of besides waitress or something. You have to live there for a LONG TIME to be truly bilingual.

I mean are you guys for REAL? The nurse should spend her free time learning Spanish to humor the residents in one city in America. Nah, don't go for your masters, don't go for further higher education, go learn Spanish that won't even really help you.

Imagine OP, you get to learn all the names of the operating room instruments and all the anatomy and phsy ALL OVER AGAIN in SPANISH so they're all real impressed. Try not to kill someone while you're at it, though, 'kay?
I'm a certified USAF translator, we used translators in San Antonio hospitals due to the large Hispanic community. The Lackland AFB hospital was the primary hospital for emergency care in the city and many of the hospital staff and patients benefited from our services.

Off-base hospitals also had a large staff of Hispanics and Spanish was spoken in the hospitals. Is all about the location and ethnic groups in the area...

I was very fortunate to attend the DOD Defense Language Institute and learned Spanish, during my travels in Central and South America I had a superb time while taking care of the military requirements of my unit...

Imagine Chinatown in San Fransisco?
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