Tag: multicultural

USA is no typical nation

People fleeing Western Europe in the 17th century created a unique civilization eventually called the United States. They left Europe but brought its ways and ideas with them — some that we cannot be proud of now, such as ideas of racial superiority, and some we can be proud of, such as unleashing human potential.
 
The English-centered nature of the U.S. civilization began, with time, to expand to be more broadly European, then more African, Hispanic, and Asian. (Africans participated from the start but were subjugated and oppressed. It took emancipation to free them to help lead this nation into its greatest days.)
 
Some things written 100 years ago about immigration can be instructive now. I’ve encountered two quotes lately that I love for describing the USA.
 
Randolph Bourne praised the United States as “the first international nation” in 1916.
 
Horace Kallen spoke of the USA as a “symphony of civilization” in 1915.
 
The historical context is different today, but I still like those two ways of describing and understanding the USA — an international nation and a symphony of civilization.
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