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Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by viper32cm, Jul 28, 2006.
I'll be passing this on to everyone I know.
If this is believed at face value....oh crap!! If, as the only "super power" left, we can't close our southern border, we are not super at all...
It is as believable as the "invasion" by Asians, mostly Chinese, during the 19th century, and many, many ethnicities (including huge numbers of Irish and Italian) during the early 20th century. In most cases, the immigrants kept their own cultures and languages to varying degrees for 1 or more generations. They even frequently had their own communities or neighborhoods. Over the years, assimilation has tended to erode the boundaries of such neighborhoods. There are notable exceptions (e.g., San Francisco's Chinatown).
The extent to which people keep some of their own cultures and language varies. I have a friend who is a native-born American. His parents were Romanian. He speaks very little English. He was born in West Virginia in the 1930s. His children speak both English and Romanian and like Romanian food. Some of them are Romanian Orthodox, and some are not. His granchildren speak English and virtually no Romanian, and also like Romanian food. None of them are Romanian Orthodox. Do I resent having to speak to him in Romanian? No (but our conversations don't last super long ), not any more than I resent putting tomatoes on the side for my guests that don't like tomatoes in their salad. There are a lot of people in this world, and I have no reason to believe my way is the best way. Sure, he limited his opportunities in life by living in America and not learning English. But, he lives with his choice.
Is America being destroyed by the current large influx of Latinos? I hardly think so. Is America being changed by the current large influx of Latinos? Absolutely. Is the change good or bad? I don't know, but it probably is some of each.
I do know that Americans largely are woefully ignorant of other languages and cultures. If we are going to be a "superpower," with the concomitant responsibility of policing the world, we must have a greater understanding of what we are policing.
However Ilegal immigration is a different matter.
I was not intending to imply that people have to convert from their religions in order to assimilate. My point was that people frequently retain portions of their culture, including their religion. The family to which I am referring attends a Romanian Orthodox Church in the US. The services (a few of which I have attended) are conducted largely in Romanian. And, while you no doubt have a much greater knowledge of Orthodox Christianity than I do, I do know that there are some differences between Russian and Romanian Orthodox beliefs, including the date on which Christmas is celebrated (Russian Orthodox Christians use the traditional Orthodox calendar, while Romanian Orthodox Christians use the traditional Orthodox calendar to determine when Easter is, but not Christmas).
And, in Romania, they call it the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Thanks for the lesson. As I said above, we must strive to understand other cultures.
Which brings me back to the video that started this thread. It implies in its "modest proposal" that encouraging immigrants to keep their culture will destroy America. That's why I raised the example of the language, religion, and food of one family I know (of third-generation native-born Americans). They have kept, in varying but lesser degrees through the years, some of their language, religion, and foods (significant aspects of any culture). And, I don't accept the premise that anyone ought to be discouraged from keeping any of that.
IMHO, the video is a bit extreme and contains statements that are, at the very least, misleading. Example, Switzerland seems to get along pretty well with four official languages and has been a sovereign political entity since the 1600's.
There is a big difference between an immigrant community retaining its cultural identity and an immigrant community seeking to alter the host nation. I am a member of a fairly unqiue ethnic group that, unlike many others, was annexed by the US government rather entering it as immigrants. We have a fairly strong cultural identity, but I am unaware of any demands ever made on the local level to require classes to be taught in multiple languages or road signs to include multiple languages or voting booths to have instructions in multiple languages.
I just stand in disbelief as I see a group of people come to this country voluntarily and in a number of cases illegally, and then have the audacity to demand that we accommodate them. While I am cognizant of the point that JRM makes regarding histeria created by mass immigration of other groups through history, I believe that there are some rather large differences in our current situation.
I don't think it is as much the ones entering that are demanding changes, it is the Democrats that want to gain votes who sponsor such crap.
Not too long ago the Dems were trying to get ebonics taught in schools as a formal class. Those usually got defeated when it gets pointed out that ebonics is just a lack of proper grammer.
You just have to watch the ultra liberal Democrats like a hawk, they are full of stupid ideas.
I think GS1 is right. I don't see demands from the so-called "Hispanic community" that we go bilingual. Some efforts are political (as GS1 points out) and some are economical. Home Depot apparently has decided that it sells more cleaning supplies if it also says "limpieza" above the aisle. If they make two bucks instead of one by going bilingual, more power to them.
But, pockets of state-sponsored bilingualism and other forms of other cultural recognition have been around in this country for decades. Again using Chinatown as an example, the street signs are in English and Chinese. There is a U.S. Post Office somewhere in this country (I can't remember where) that delivers mail on Sunday, but not on Saturday, because of the overwhelming majority of the population having a Saturday sabbath.
Are either of these conditions destroying America? nope
Do some people take bilingualism and "cultural diversity" too far? yep
But, we live in a country where there are some people that take just about anything you can name too far. And, for the most part, we still get by.
So when do we have "Scandavian-American Heritage Month" so I can get together with the other Scandimericans and eat Lefsa and Lutefisk and drink large quantities of beer? I'm feeling represed here! Where are my Scandimerican only college scholarships, hiring preferences and no interest government loans? Who's looking out for the Norse guys?!!! :sarcasm off:
GT, that's a good example (in fact I considered raising it myself). The video cites Canada as a nation torn apart by bilingualism. While that may be a bit extreme, there's no doubt Canada suffers a lot of strife over the issue. But, as you point out, Switzerland does not.
I think the main reason for this is that Canadians make it a divisive issue by making it a war of cultural identity. The Swiss apparently just deal with the fact that they have large numbers of native speakers of different languages.
We can go either route here. We can allow it to be a divisive issue by making it a war of cultural identity. Or we can accept the fact that we have large numbers of native speakers of different languages, most notably Spanish.
And, there's no denying that large numbers of those Spanish speakers are here illegally. There's also no denying that large numbers also are here legally, and at our behest and because of our wars with Spain and Mexico (or just purchase and annexation of land), the results of which gave us Florida, parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California (as well as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, and the Philipines). We can't very well acquire millions of acres of land, populated by Spanish-speaking natives, and then complain 150 years later that some people want to speak Spanish.
I grew up in an area where the largest ethnic-oriented cultural festival was settende mai (May 17th, Norway's constitution day). No one seemed to make a big stink about the fact that people from far and wide came to the festival to celebrate the government of a foreign power.
COOL! Where was that, if you don't mind saying? My guess would be somewhere in the midwest, most likely Minn or Wisc. Not much of a Norse crowd here in the south. My family line is mostly from Norway with a Cherokee thrown in to mix things up a bit. Sure would kill for some of Grandma's Lefsa these days!
You nailed it -- Wisconsin.
Sorry, though, I never could stomach lutefisk and never met a lefsa I thought was that great. Both were served in abundance at settende mai.
I have to agree with ya on the lutefisk or as we called it as kids, "Fish Jelly". But I would bet you would change your stand on Lefse if you ever tried my Grandma's with a big ole chuck of smoked salmon rolled up in it!
Rolled? Most of what I've seen was more like hard tack. You'd need a brake to roll it.
Grandma's definitely sounds better.