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Assimilation vs. Pluralism

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HTColeman

A while ago there was a debate on whether immigrants should learn English (please don't bring that up, that is not what this is about). Many were saying that people should become a part of the 'culture'.

I thought that the 'culture' was really a lack of American 'culture'. I would hate for everyone to blend in to a collective culture and create the American culture, i.e. assimilation. Pluralism, respecting yet retaining different cultures, is much more desirable. Both have their problems, pluralism requires acceptance of diversity which is not common among humans, assimilation usually ends up everyone conforming to the dominant majority. What do other people think?
 

hawk2

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I think you're guilty of a superficial view of pluralism. We already have religious pluralism in this country and I'm completely in favor of that continuance which equals religious freedom which is not condoned in any Muslim country that I am aware of. What you are advocating is multiculturalism which in my mind causes devisiveness instead of unity. A good example of the evil created by your brand of pluralism is that which was exposed in England just recently by the Muslim Bombers of 7/7. The little enclaves of Muslims which can not or will not assimilate into British society, create an environment which allows the Immams to preach hatred and unrest instead of helping the Young Muslims to adapt to a new society with tolerance and understanding.

Societies within a society which you advocate, contribute to disunity instead of the more desireable national unity. The Irish, Italians, Germans and other nationalities who immigrated to America in the 19th, and 20th centuries, wanted to become Americans and they did, creating the true melting pot of the world. IMO, anyone who does not want to become an American, should not be welcome on a permanent basis. Temporary yes,as in the case of students, guest workers, etc., but if they come only for opportunity, they should only be allowed to remain here on a temporary basis.
 

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Generally agreed. That which unites us is good, that which divides us is bad.
 
H

HTColeman

hawk2 said:
I think you're guilty of a superficial view of pluralism. We already have religious pluralism in this country and I'm completely in favor of that continuance which equals religious freedom which is not condoned in any Muslim country that I am aware of. What you are advocating is multiculturalism which in my mind causes devisiveness instead of unity. A good example of the evil created by your brand of pluralism is that which was exposed in England just recently by the Muslim Bombers of 7/7. The little enclaves of Muslims which can not or will not assimilate into British society, create an environment which allows the Immams to preach hatred and unrest instead of helping the Young Muslims to adapt to a new society with tolerance and understanding.

Societies within a society which you advocate, contribute to disunity instead of the more desireable national unity. The Irish, Italians, Germans and other nationalities who immigrated to America in the 19th, and 20th centuries, wanted to become Americans and they did, creating the true melting pot of the world. IMO, anyone who does not want to become an American, should not be welcome on a permanent basis. Temporary yes,as in the case of students, guest workers, etc., but if they come only for opportunity, they should only be allowed to remain here on a temporary basis.
I disagree, the example you provided is not pluralism, the radical Muslims did not want to respect other cultures, therefore they were not participating. But I think learning to respect different cultures creates a broader view of the world and it is a much more admirable goal. Assimilation you lose your identity and more often than not you end up conforming to a dominating culture, such as Anglo (please do not make this a race issue just because I said anglo). The unity derives from the respect that you must have for the differing cultures, if you are divided then you are not respecting each other and you are not working towards pluralism
 
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HTColeman...

I think because of your age you see things in an ideal light. You look through rose colored glasses so to speak. As young adults I would guess that most of us did. Life experience will show why pluralism alone will never work. I suppose it will also show you why assimilation alone will always be considered old fashioned or restrictive & thus fought against. As with most things I think you'll find that a little of both will go a long way. When entering a new culture there must be some assimilation. However, since none of us are exactly alike there also must be some respect for our differences; not just in our culture either.
 
H

HTColeman

Mark A Shrider said:
HTColeman...

I think because of your age you see things in an ideal light. You look through rose colored glasses so to speak.
Ummm...I would appreciate you considering my opinion as a person, regardless of my age, it is somewhat patronizing. Furthermore, I am talking merely about ideals, which is more valuable assimilation or pluralism, ideally.

As young adults I would guess that most of us did. Life experience will show why pluralism alone will never work. I suppose it will also show you why assimilation alone will always be considered old fashioned or restrictive & thus fought against. As with most things I think you'll find that a little of both will go a long way. When entering a new culture there must be some assimilation. However, since none of us are exactly alike there also must be some respect for our differences; not just in our culture either.
In real life, yes, you must have a balance between the two in order for a functional society, but which is a more desirable goal? That is my question.
 

hawk2

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Diogenes said:
Generally agreed. That which unites us is good, that which divides us is bad.
I repost the response from Diogenes which you have not addressed.

I also want to ask you a question: Do you want a united nation or a nation divided by a dozen little societies with each seeking to become dominant.

The old addage that says: When in Rome do as the Romans do, is timeless and correct for all time IMO. Any immigrant to this country should be allowed to observe and practice portions of his culture but the US culture must remain intact and dominant including our language which is English....not Hispanic, not German.....not Italian......English!!!!!!
 
H

HTColeman

hawk2 said:
I repost the response from Diogenes which you have not addressed.

I also want to ask you a question: Do you want a united nation or a nation divided by a dozen little societies with each seeking to become dominant.
I post what I just said that answers those

I disagree, the example you provided is not pluralism, the radical Muslims did not want to respect other cultures, therefore they were not participating. But I think learning to respect different cultures creates a broader view of the world and it is a much more admirable goal. Assimilation you lose your identity and more often than not you end up conforming to a dominating culture, such as Anglo (please do not make this a race issue just because I said anglo). The unity derives from the respect that you must have for the differing cultures, if you are divided then you are not respecting each other and you are not working towards pluralism
Is the African-American culture trying to dominate? Are Asians trying to dominate? Who is striving for dominance? Besides if someone is trying to become the dominant culture they are trying to make others conform to their culture, which is a branch of assimilation.


The old addage that says: When in Rome do as the Romans do, is timeless and correct for all time IMO. Any immigrant to this country should be allowed to observe and practice portions of his culture but the US culture must remain intact and dominant including our language which is English....not Hispanic, not German.....not Italian......English!!!!!!
And it is that same addage that leads people to abandon their personal beliefs and values to "jump on the bandwagon". What is the U.S. culture?
 
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HTColeman said:
Is the African-American culture trying to dominate? Are Asians trying to dominate? Who is striving for dominance? Besides if someone is trying to become the dominant culture they are trying to make others conform to their culture, which is a branch of assimilation
Non-assimilation leads to no dominate culture. It leads to higher taxes because of increased costs to cater to the non-assimilated. There is a distinct American culture. Though some claim there isn't as we are a nation of immigrants. However, the Europeans see it & look down at us for it. The Islamic Terrorists see it as a reason to call us the infidel & a reason to wage war upon us.

The cost & problems of non-assimilation:

"Back in 1996, the school board in Oakland, Calif., declared that Ebonies, the urban dialect spoken by US blacks. as a separate language. Now the school Board in San Bernadino plans to 'affirm' and 'recognize' Ebonies through a supplemental reading program to improve black self-esteem and school performance."
From "Ebonics Returns," O Tempora, O Mores! American Renaissance, September 2005, page 16. Address: PO Box 527, Oakton, Virginia 22124.

"Should people who apply for driver's licenses be able to read and understand the English language? [. . .] All our highway warning and hazard signs are in English. So it's easy to understand the danger posed by drivers who cannot read English. However, officials in states across America are caving in to pressure from 'immigrants' rights' groups to make driver's license exams and manuals available not only in Spanish but in many other languages."
From "Foreign Language Driver's Tests Threaten Safety," by K.C. McAlpin, Human Events, August 1, 2005, page 18. Address: 1 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Phone: 202-216-0600.


"The U.S. now takes in almost half of the world's immigrants. Immigrants, legal and illegal, cost taxpayers a record $66 billion in 2002. Immigrants were 64% more likely to receive Medicaid benefits than native Americans and 75% more likely to get food stamps, medical benefits and housing assistance. All told, non-citizens now collect nearly $7 billion a year in benefits. Bilingual programs currently consume over $28 billion education dollars a year (because 1 child in 20 now can't speak English adequately), even though bilingual education has been proven to be an ineffective way to teach English."
From "Immigration Facts," Resource Roundup, June 2005, page 3. Address: PO Box 790, Spearfish, South Dakota 57783. Phone: 970-856-6086.
 
H

HTColeman

Mark A Shrider said:
Non-assimilation leads to no dominate culture. It leads to higher taxes because of increased costs to cater to the non-assimilated. There is a distinct American culture. Though some claim there isn't as we are a nation of immigrants. However, the Europeans see it & look down at us for it. The Islamic Terrorists see it as a reason to call us the infidel & a reason to wage war upon us.

The cost & problems of non-assimilation:

"Back in 1996, the school board in Oakland, Calif., declared that Ebonies, the urban dialect spoken by US blacks. as a separate language. Now the school Board in San Bernadino plans to 'affirm' and 'recognize' Ebonies through a supplemental reading program to improve black self-esteem and school performance."
From "Ebonics Returns," O Tempora, O Mores! American Renaissance, September 2005, page 16. Address: PO Box 527, Oakton, Virginia 22124.

"Should people who apply for driver's licenses be able to read and understand the English language? [. . .] All our highway warning and hazard signs are in English. So it's easy to understand the danger posed by drivers who cannot read English. However, officials in states across America are caving in to pressure from 'immigrants' rights' groups to make driver's license exams and manuals available not only in Spanish but in many other languages."
From "Foreign Language Driver's Tests Threaten Safety," by K.C. McAlpin, Human Events, August 1, 2005, page 18. Address: 1 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Phone: 202-216-0600.


"The U.S. now takes in almost half of the world's immigrants. Immigrants, legal and illegal, cost taxpayers a record $66 billion in 2002. Immigrants were 64% more likely to receive Medicaid benefits than native Americans and 75% more likely to get food stamps, medical benefits and housing assistance. All told, non-citizens now collect nearly $7 billion a year in benefits. Bilingual programs currently consume over $28 billion education dollars a year (because 1 child in 20 now can't speak English adequately), even though bilingual education has been proven to be an ineffective way to teach English."
From "Immigration Facts," Resource Roundup, June 2005, page 3. Address: PO Box 790, Spearfish, South Dakota 57783. Phone: 970-856-6086.
You can learn english and still not assimilate, it is a skill, you would just be bilingual. As far as Ebonics, that was a trend, schools don't offer classes in Ebonics. Also, you said that other countries look down at our culture, I disagree, they look down at our policies, and most of what they look at are stereotypes (they think we are all fat, fast food, arrogant s.o.b.'s) at least the ones who look down on us. You can't define a culture based on what others say, what are our defining points of culture?
 
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HTColeman said:
Also, you said that other countries look down at our culture, I disagree, they look down at our policies, and most of what they look at are stereotypes (they think we are all fat, fast food, arrogant s.o.b.'s) at least the ones who look down on us.
Policies? I was not refering to our government or the politics of this country as how we relate to the rest of world.


You can't define a culture based on what others say, what are our defining points of culture?
The court of the world's public opinion certainly doesn't define our culture but our culture does influence that opinion.


*You believe deep down in the First Amendment, guaranteed by the government and perhaps by God.

*You're familiar with David Letterman, Mary Tyler Moore, Saturday Night Live, Bewitched, the Flintstones, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Donald Duck, the Fonz, Archie Bunker, Star Trek, the Honeymooners, the Addams Family, the Three Stooges, and Beetle Bailey.

*You know how baseball, basketball, and American football are played. If you're male, you can argue intricate points about their rules. On the other hand (and unless you're under about 20), you don't care that much for soccer.

*You count yourself fortunate if you get three weeks of vacation a year.

*You're fairly likely to believe in God; if not, you've certainly been approached by people asking whether you know that you're going to Heaven.

*You think of McDonald's, Burger King, KFC etc. as cheap food.

*You probably own a telephone and a TV. Your place is heated in the winter and has its own bathroom.

*You do your laundry in a machine.

*You don't kill your own food. You don't have a dirt floor. You eat at a table, sitting on chairs.

*You don't consider insects, dogs, cats, monkeys, or guinea pigs to be food.

*A bathroom may not have a bathtub in it, but it certainly has a toilet.

*It seems natural to you that the telephone system, railroads, auto manufacturers, airlines, and power companies are privately run; indeed, you can hardly picture things working differently.

*You expect, as a matter of course, that the phones will work. Getting a new phone is routine.

*The train system, by contrast, isn't very good. Trains don't go any faster than cars; you're better off taking a plane.

*You find a two-party system natural. You expect the politicians of both parties to be responsive to business, strong on defense, and concerned with the middle class.

*You find parliamentary systems (such as Italy's) inefficient and comic.
You don't expect to hear socialism seriously defended. Communism, fuhgeddaboudit.

*You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

*You take a strong court system for granted, even if you don't use it.

*You know that if you went into business and had problems with a customer, partner, or supplier, you could take them to court.

*You'd respect someone who speaks French, German, or Japanese-- but you very likely don't yourself speak them well enough to communicate with a monolingual foreigner. You're a bit more ambivalent about Spanish; you think the schools should teach kids English.

*It's not all that necessary to learn foreign languages anyway. You can travel the continent using nothing but English-- and get by pretty well in the rest of the world, too.

*You think a tax level of 30% is scandalously high.

*School is free through high school (at least, it's an option, even if you went to private school); college isn't, unless you get a scholarship.

*College is (normally, and excluding graduate study) four years long.
 
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