Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Theodore Roosevelt on Becoming American



“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, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet 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. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language here and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people; Theodore Roosevelt  1907

Theodore Roosevelt, arguably one of our greatest if not the greatest president, made the following statement which is as critical to the continued health and vitality of our republic today as it was in 1907. 

The USA functions best as a melting pot in which all who come here to live, seek sanctuary and become members of our society assimilate. That means adopting our culture, learning our language, heeding our laws, contributing to the support of our government, paying taxes rather than accepting subsidies or seeking special exemptions or treatment, finding a job, and accepting our views of freedom, capitalism, education, polytheism, political system, and that we as Americans have no duty to change or adapt to the immigrant just because the views of the newcomers are different.

Our schools should not be required to offer classes in any language but English. With total immersion a child will learn our language. Providing bilingual studies inhibits assimilation. 

My parents became the adopted grandparents of Vietnamese child who came to their small town in Indiana at the age of 6 or 7 and  had nobody for “grandparents day” at school. They tutored him. He learned English through immersion, graduated from school with excellent grades, joined the US Military, assimilated and found an excellent job.  I am proud to consider Henry as a nephew and family member. Henry is part of our glorious melting pot. This is what is should mean to become American.



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