Over at the Libertarian Republican blog, Eric Dondero has posted a video where a person playing the role of Thomas Paine lectures Americans about the supposed dangers of multiculturalism, diversity, and multilingualism.
Personally, I think it was a rather ignorant video. The speaker seems utterly confused about American history.
This nation has always been multi-ethnic. There has never been a time where people considered all of its residence as belonging to one culture. Without this diversity, just think about how much would be missing from our nation's history.
Secondly, this business about the English language is just divisive crap. When has this nation ever been English-only? Never. Spanish has been spoken here since before it became the United States of America. Why should we pretend as if it is somehow "foreign"? The English language is just as foreign, if you want to be factual. If folks really want to take it back to the "old school", then English would have to be phased out completely because there are plenty of languages that were being spoken here before English was ever introduced.
I think it's great that many people here choose to acknowledge and celebrate their heritage. We all deserve to be able to retain elements of the cultures that our ancestors came from. It's like colors in a crayon box. Calling a crayon "blue" doesn't change the fact that it's still a crayon. Calling another crayon "pink" doesn't mean we are trying to put the uniqueness of being pink above the uniqueness of being a crayon. I could call stretch out the label and call it "the pink that reminds me of the pepto-bismol that I used to drink when I was sick" and it would still be just as much a crayon as all the non-pink ones.
We don't need to pretend as if we all have the same customs and traditions in order for us to be wholly American. I love to pig out on brats at Oktoberfest. I like to share a few drinks with my friends and fam on St. Patrick's Day. I go out and catch all kinds of goodies during Carnival season and I believe that the Lenten season is a perfect time for spiritual contemplation and sacrifice. I love how Tet gives New Orleanians a second opportunity/excuse to pop firecrackers in between 4th of July celebrations. Isn't all of that a part of being an American? The fact that we are a culture where all of this stuff is a part of who we are is what makes us unique.
Come on, do you folks really want to try and deny that this is the stuff that contributes to what makes it great about being from this country?
By the way, appeals to "common sense" aren't logic-based. Just because a few or even a lot of people think a certain way doesn't mean that belief is logical or even beneficial for the rest of us to adopt. It seems to me that folks often resort to "common sense" appeals when they don't have facts to back up their point. If the creator of the video actually had any valid arguments, he wouldn't need to dress up as some historical figure to try and bolster his claims. That's an attempt to appeal to authority which is, also, not logical.