By James C Nelson

On October 12, 1915 President Theodore Roosevelt spoke these words, “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism… We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as anyone else.

The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English- Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian- Americans, or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality than with the other citizens of the American Republic. The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country.

The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land, to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American.”

Although these words were spoken nearly one hundred years ago, they are more relevant now than they ever have been. The idea of America as a melting pot where all immigrant cultures are amalgamated into one has been replaced by multiculturalism.

Multiculturalism is an ideology that by its very nature seeks to separate people. Proponents of multiculturalism are quick to point out its claims of diversity, but they rarely address the negative affects some of these “diverse” cultural differences can have on society.

Language, possibly the key component of multiculturalism, is one of the primary ways in which the ideology divides people. By encouraging governments and businesses to cater to the native tongues of immigrants it makes it easy for them to find reasons not to learn English. In the past, subsequent generations would learn the English language through the public school system insuring the melting pot would continue taking the best aspects of all of the cultures that make it up. However, we now find the proponents of multiculturalism supporting bilingual education in the public schools. So while other nations of the world have moved to requiring English language courses in schools so that their citizens are better equipped to compete in a growing global economy, the United States is moving in the reverse direction.

Language divisions and multiculturalism have led to major conflicts in other nations. In the mid 1990’s Quebec citizens nearly approved a measure that would have allowed the province to succeed from Canada. In 2004, Theo Van Gogh was shot and killed by a young Moroccan immigrant because he made a short film questioning the role of women in Muslim society. On November, 2005, immigrant youths in France rioted for days burning cars, buses, government buildings, and schools over what they called job and social discrimination.

So while the word multiculturalism may give westerners a warm fuzzy, it does more to harm immigrants than it does to help them. It keeps them separated from the society as a whole and breeds an atmosphere rife with conflict and misunderstanding. So the next time someone asks you what you are, no matter what your ancestral background, I hope you will answer with the simple truth, you are an American, because that is such a blessed thing to be able to say!

The Undocumented Blogger

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