Assimilate–Absorb and integrate (people, ideas, or culture) into a wider society or culture.
No one taught Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston bomber, to love America, observes Mike Gonzalez, vice president of The Heritage Foundation. “He wasn’t taught that assimilation into American society was desirable.”
“We no longer teach patriotic assimilation. By that I mean love of country, not just its creature comforts. We teach the opposite, that we’re all groups living cheek by jowl with one another, all with different advantages and legal class protection statutes, but not really all part of the same national fabric. We teach multiculturalism and diversity, and are officially making assimilation very hard to achieve,” he said.
Tsarnaev, the bomber, came to America at age nine, attended outstanding public schools, captained a wrestling team, went to the prom, became a citizen, and received a college scholarship.
“We didn’t just get lazy and stop teaching immigrants (and natives) to love America; we decided to stop and made assimilation a dirty word that connoted coercion and loss of ancestral culture. This despite all the evidence that assimilation, as preached and practiced since the nation’s founding, was not coercive nor did it demand an end to St. Patrick’s Day parades or love of Italian cooking,” he continued.
Gonzalez cited a Hudson Institute review of a recent Harris Interactive Survey that showed a large patriotic gap exists between naturalized Americans and native born. On questions about the constitution or international law being the highest legal authority of the land or whether they considered themselves Americans or “citizens of the world,” U.S. citizens led naturalized Americans by more than 30 percent.
“American leaders have essentially altered our de-facto assimilation policy from Americanization (or patriotic integration) to a multiculturalism that emphasizes ethnic group consciousness at the expense of American common culture. In short, we have sent immigrants the wrong message on assimilation,” the Hudson Institute review concluded.
Originally appeared August 13, 2013