E Pluribus Unum and Teddy Roosevelt
E Pluribus Unum is the motto on our currency that goes all the way back to America’s beginning. It exemplifies the principle upon which we are founded: Out of many cultures come one American culture. This is America’s strength.
Throughout our history, this concept has met and overcome obstacles to its realization: freeing slaves, expanding voting rights regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, religion, improving employment opportunities, etc. The effort continues.
The Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning, which recently held a training day for Summit teachers, principals and counselors, got it backwards. It wanted to help Summit faculty to create successful environments for cultural integration.
No mention was made of assimilation into one American culture.
Our faculty and students are all wrapped up in diversity training ignoring that an American culture even exists.
Theodore Roosevelt said it best in 1917. It applies today as well:
“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, birthplace or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”
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