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post #1 of 9 Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 1:31 am Thread Starter
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Definition of an American

Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

"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. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... 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."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907


Some how we lost this idea along the way and now every ethnic group expects special treatment to "preserve" thier heritage or expects bilingual services (check out the forms at the motor vehicle dept.) and education.

Did anyone save any of Theodore's DNA and can we clone him so he can fix what we screwed up these past 99 years?

Doug Holck
Lodi, Ca
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post #2 of 9 Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 7:06 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougholck
Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

"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. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... 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."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907


Some how we lost this idea along the way and now every ethnic group expects special treatment to "preserve" thier heritage or expects bilingual services (check out the forms at the motor vehicle dept.) and education.

Did anyone save any of Theodore's DNA and can we clone him so he can fix what we screwed up these past 99 years?

Doug Holck
Lodi, Ca
Don't forget the mandates (read, "taxpayer-provided") to provide ESL (English as a Second Language) classes AND individual tutors, in some states, for those students who need to learn English.

Don't even get my wife started on this . She's an elementary school teacher, and even here in SE Ohio this is an important issue. Funds spent having one-on-one tutors who accompany one single student all day could be put to use teaching another whole class, but that's a different topic...

Good luck with finding a resolution to this. It's important, every one has an opinion, and I certainly don't claim to have the answer to it.

Howard Schisler
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post #3 of 9 Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 7:28 am
 
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I don't have an answer for the problem either, but the same problem exists here in the UK. I am not racist/sexist in any way shape or form and never have been.
But, when I read in the news that some Counties and districts in England (not UK, just England) declined to put up Christmas lights and decorations in the streets for fear of upsetting the ethnic population just beggars belief. If these people choose to settle in another country, or as is more likely the case, they were born here, then surely they can respect our way of life and religions and live and let live as we do with them. Political correctness gone pear shaped if you ask me.
I think we bend over backwards to make life easy for everybody, but we generics get shafted in doing so!
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post #4 of 9 Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 11:24 am
 
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It seems to be a widespread problem. It has gotten to the "insane" point in Canada.
"English speaking male hetrosexuals need not apply"
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post #5 of 9 Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 12:10 pm
 
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Sensitive issue, for sure..I am of mixed ethnic origins..I AM an American..I spent a career in the Corps defending our way of life..I have spent time in other countries and noted that they do not go out of their way to respect other countries customs..The second language privilege afforded to immigrants is overkill..They expect us to learn their language when we live in their countries so why not learn ours? If they choose to live here and be part of our country then they should meet Teddy's R's requirements and be Americans..Whenever I visited or was based in other countries, I always observed their customs and complied as best I could..This great country of ours is made up of immigrants from day one who became American as this country grew and developed..As far as I'm concerned, being an Amercian is not a given and if one prefers not to become part of our way of life then there are a lot of other places in this world they could migrate to and live..(or go back to where they came from)
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post #6 of 9 Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 5:21 pm
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Alternative point of view

Personally speaking, I think Teddy has little tolerance for anyone unlike himself. A true American can take on many forms. We should tolerate alternative ideas; ways of life; cultural background; belief systems and language (of course everyone should be fluent in English). Teddy grew up in a different time and culture (era); note the use of the word "men" "he"; everything written in the masculine case; our understanding and culture continue to evolve. Welcome to the 21st century!

Take special note of the word tolerance. This certainly does not mean "agreement" or "acceptance". We should all be more tolerant.

Chuck J

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post #7 of 9 Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 5:59 pm
 
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i came here as a child on a boat myself, and i'll never forget how hard my mom worked to learn english and to get a leg up on the new world. she didn't put on airs at all. she and pop worked their arses off.

my dad was an american GI so he didn't have any language issues, but he had zero money, and he worked hard, too.

i don't quite understand the immigrant bashing thing. if you are not one i'll bet you're not too far removed.
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post #8 of 9 Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 6:13 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksailor
Personally speaking, I think Teddy has little tolerance for anyone unlike himself. A true American can take on many forms. We should tolerate alternative ideas; ways of life; cultural background; belief systems and language (of course everyone should be fluent in English). Teddy grew up in a different time and culture (era); note the use of the word "men" "he"; everything written in the masculine case; our understanding and culture continue to evolve. Welcome to the 21st century!

Take special note of the word tolerance. This certainly does not mean "agreement" or "acceptance". We should all be more tolerant.

I'm pretty sure "Teddy" was Talking about allegience, not giving up one's culture or beliefs. There shouldn't be any argument there.
And using "Men" and "he" as a general reference for all peoples is a common literary practice. For both Male & Female Authors, regardless of what Era they are in.

My grandfather was a first Generation German immigrant. A baker. He worked hard to assimilate his family to the American way of life and the English language. He felt that it was his duty as a "American." He was very successfull and his bakery was very popular because of the German pastries that he made every day. He kept his German heritage very much alive.

Last edited by Macker; Mar 3rd, 2006 at 6:30 pm.
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post #9 of 9 Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 6:29 pm
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Mike: Good point on allegiance. I think that's very important. Always pledge allegiance to OUR flag. I may differ somewhat on the literary prose.

Turn of the century culture did little to recognize womans rights until the 20's & 30's with the Suffragette movement. Really took off in the 50's & 60's though as I recall (senior moment) burning bras, equal pay for equal jobs, etc.

So I'm not convinced that it's simply literary form.

Chuck J

02 K1200LT (Black Beauty)

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