[cracks knuckles]

Please don’t take any offense when I say this, but you don’t seem to understand what America is, and what we are becoming.

First off, I criticize my nation on a regular basis, and have long castigated my fellow Americans for their racism, their arrogance, their conduct, their ignorance of the world around them, and even their cleanliness habits. BUT there is something that America has — with fits and starts and tragic stumbles along the way — that really is (as far as I can tell) unique not just in modern history, but in all world history.

What is that particular something? The fact that anyone from anywhere can come here and truly BE American.

Think on that for a moment. Someone can immigrate from, say, India to the UK…but can that person ever be truly accepted as English by high society there? Yes, the mayor of London is Muslim…but look at their parliament — only eight percent are nonwhite…and the rise of pro-Brexit nationalism (fueled in no small part by Russia) isn’t helping.

Look at China — can someone who isn’t Han Chinese ever have a hope to become Premier? What about Russia — can any ethnic Asian from east of the Urals ever hope to gain power in Moscow? Yes, there are a few notable exceptions like Alberto Fujimori of Peru and especially Sonia Gandhi of India, but they are very much exceptions to the rule.

But here in America, it’s not just Obama, the son of a Kenyan immigrant and a middle-class white girl. Nearly half of his cabinet were nonwhite. There are nonwhites and immigrants in positions of authority and trust in every major city in every state, in every branch of the military, and in every federal agency, including every law-enforcement and intelligence agency. Yes, there is the backlash by nationalist whites that resulted in the racist Trump regime, but as I pointed out in my article, this is very much the “last hurrah” of white racists in America (remember, I was once one of them).

I know the arguments against my claim e.g. our history of slavery and of Jim Crow, of the Japanese Internment, of the Civil Rights struggle, of the Trump administration’s racism, and of the examples set by other nations such as England’s fight against slavery beginning in the 1800’s, the acceptance during WWI by those in French society of the Blacks who came with the American Expeditionary Force, and even the surprising level of acceptance of other cultures and religions under the Mongol Empire.

But ever since the end of WWII, most of America has gradually come to accept the fact that we are a nation of immigrants, and that the words of Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus” on the Statue of Liberty — “give me your tired, your poor, your wretched refuse…I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” are more than just words.

YES, tens of millions of Americans haven’t gotten the memo yet and still wallow in racism and anti-immigrant nationalism, but _most_ Americans recognize the immigrant character of our nation and accept it, even eagerly so.

Look at the political race today — the ever-whiter (and gradually shrinking) GOP has coalesced around Trump…but of the major Democratic candidates, while White candidates are in the lead, not only is half-Black/half-Indian Kamala Harris very much in the running, but not much at all is made of the fact that she is nonwhite and mixed-race. And then there’s the fact that both Barack Hussein Obama and his wife Michelle both consistently are at the top of the list of people Americans most admire.

In other words, they are accepted as truly American (at least, by those Americans who aren’t racist).

Perhaps you’re referring less to race, and more to culture. Yes, those of foreign cultures tend to cluster with each other…but beginning with the second generation, not so much.

Why?

Look at the Japanese immigrants — the first generation were called Issei, and indeed tended to stick with each other. The second generation were called Nisei, and quickly became part of “normal” America.

Such is the case with every other race or ethnicity except (at least to a significant extent) for Blacks — and even then, it wasn’t because Blacks didn’t want to, but because of White racism from slavery to Jim Crow to “white flight” from new Black residents in formerly all-White suburbs to today’s white nationalism.

But that, too, is changing…slowly, glacially, but inevitably so, and not least because of the fact that a slowly-growing percentage of our nation’s population is — like my youngest son — mixed-race.

California’s your “canary in the coal mine”, as it were. Non-Hispanic Whites now comprise only 37.2% of California’s population…and California is (if it were its own nation) now the fourth-largest economy on the planet. Since barely over one-third of California is non-Hispanic White, how, then, can you expect the fourth-largest economy on the planet to assimilate to what you consider “American culture”?

And as California goes, so eventually will the rest of the nation.

In other words, while in other nations — like those you listed — it’s a matter of whether immigrants can assimilate to the culture of their new nation, in America, it’s a matter of whether non-Hispanic White Americans can ADAPT to the inevitable, unstoppable changing of our nation’s demographic and cultural makeup.

Again, in this respect America’s unique in all human history…and for all the anger and outrage I spout at my fellow Americans on a near-daily basis for their racism and utter ignorance of the world around them, I’m deeply proud of the fact that here — and ONLY here — can one come from anywhere around the world and be truly considered not just a citizen, but a real, accepted, and important part of the melting pot that our nation has become.

One last thing — I’m no longer a young man, but the phrase “melting pot” has been used to describe America since long before I was born. Your reference to “American culture”…what “culture” are you talking about? Our culture has been changing for generations. The point is, that’s why it’s been called a “melting pot” for so long. Every new immigrant that arrives is a different ingredient, if you will, adding spice and flavor, heartiness and nutrition, robustness and contrast to the stew (some might call it a witch’s brew) roiling and boiling in that pot.

Have some. Yes, the bitterness is too strong right now, but give it a few more years and the savor and sweetness and spiciness will return. It’s really very good, if you’ll accept it on its own merits.

Written by

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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