When I was a child I enjoyed taking crayons and dropping them into a pot to see what colors I could devise. As I dreamed of creating an unique color, I learned that too much heat would boil away some of the properties of the crayons and leave my new creation brittle and unuseable. I also learned that too little heat would not allow the colors to flow together and blend. The great melting pot of America is struggling today with just how much heat to apply so that those coming to America can blend in such a way as to add to the whole without becoming an unuseable monstrosity.
Yesterday four students were sent home from a school in the San Francisco Bay area for wearing shirts with an American flag on them. They were sent home because children of Mexican descent felt it was their day to express their heritage, and the four were disrespecting “Cinco De Mayo.”
Folks, this is serious business. We seem to have failed those from other nations who have immigrated by not teaching them that America is more than just a meal ticket. The American flag should be proudly flown in the midst of their celebrations. They should understand the policies and loyalties which have contributed to the wealth and freedom they seek here. Their fathers left Mexico seeking a better way of life, or chose to stay when annexation took place. Either way, they are American by choice.
I often wondered about the other large countries of the world why they could not develop, then I discovered that most are hamstrung by language barriers. India has several large states, each with its own language. Canada is wracked by language chaos, with French and English competing, and even China with its strong central government has struggled with the hundreds of unique dialects employed throughout the country.
American has grown because she is the great melting pot, with colors and languages blending their unique attributes into the whole to make a beautiful mosaic where all our lives are richer and more full. However, contemporary officialdom seems intent preventing that mosaic from growing. Policies and laws seemingly designed to prevent the assimilation of other cultures into ours are dividing us according to language, race, and heritage.
Yes, there is a distinct American culture which has been molded by that very melting pot, and those who come here to live should come with the purpose becoming a part of that culture. Poles, Italians, Chinese, Mexican, Navajo, French, African, and from around the globe they have come; making us the pre-imminent nation of the world. But these coming in this era are hyphenated Americans; not attempting to become part of the melting pot, they want to carve out a section of the country for their own where they can maintain the same culture, language, and customs of their native lands.
The most egregious perpetrator of this deadly policy is the public school system which seems to delight in teaching every cultural anomaly except that of the founders of the Country. Students can tell you about Black History Month and Hispanic culture even while they are unable to explain the Bill of Rights, or tell why our forefathers established this great government.
We has best awaken to the danger facing us here in the United States. Celebrate “Cinco de Mayo” but do it proudly under the banner of the Stars and Stripes. This is not Mexico. This is America. The heat needs be turned up a little on our melting pot in order for us to blend more evenly, so that we might continue to become a mosaic of freedom and opportunity for the nations of the world to aspire to.
© 2010 Mike Rasberry