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Jewish World Review / July 17, 1998 / 22 Tamuz, 5758

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas One Nation?

MY LAST NAME IS WELSH in origin. Two years ago I visited Wales for the first time. It was an interesting trip, but I felt no siren call to "come home.'' I returned to America with no sense that I needed to hyphenate my nationality, or learn the ancient language of Wales, or read more of Dylan Thomas than I already have. I am an American, and my ancestors left Wales several centuries ago for a better life and a new identity.

But that was then. This is now: The Los Angeles Times reports an 18-year-old high school student brought hamburgers to class in response to a school assignment requesting samples of each family's favorite food. But the student, John Concordia, says he was shocked when his teacher told him "This is not your food.'' When Concordia wrote "American'' in the ethnicity box of a school emergency notification card, he was told by a counselor: "No, you're Filipino.''

Funny, but Concordia didn't think he "looked Filipino.'' He considered himself an American. "You strive so hard to be an American,'' he told the newspaper, "but all the time there's reminders that you're not. People kept telling me I was a Filipino, but I really didn't know what one was, so I had to search for it.''

Hasn't this young man been subjected to a form of racism? What he was told certainly is un-American. It elevates the group over the whole. Instead of our national motto, "out of many, one,'' we are rapidly becoming "out of one, many.'' The strength of America is not in its diversity, as President Clinton and other multiculturalists regularly tell us. The strength of America is in its unity, its oneness. A rope is strongest when its many strands are tightly linked. A nation is strongest when those of many origins see themselves as Americans and not people of dual citizenship and dual loyalties.

There are political points to be made by pitting us against each other. People have access to federal resources if they are part of a victim class. Their political clout is increased if they can join groups and petition politicians for a redress of their grievances, promising votes to the candidate or party that offers the most goodies. Who wants to be an American when hyphenating your ancestry might win you attention from the big media, which are always looking for the next controversy and new opportunities to attack and tax those whites with European, Anglo-Saxon ancestry, which they hope will soon assume minority status.

I recall something the late comedian Sam Levinson said about growing up poor in Brooklyn. Levinson said everybody in his immigrant neighborhood was poor, but they didn't know it until the social worker came by and told them.

Concordia would not have thought of himself as "Filipino,'' with a list of grievances against others, unless someone had told him. The system re-made him into its image. Seeing himself now as a Filipino and not an American, Concordia, The Times reports, "felt nothing but self-loathing when he heard Filipinos denigrated as dog-eaters whose women were mail-order brides, and whose children cheated in Little League baseball. But soon he realized it was impossible to ignore his heritage'' -- who made it impossible? -- "and he began learning about Filipino history and culture through a nonprofit community service agency.'' In New York, one of those agencies is called Diversity Resource Collaborative.

The diversity proselytizers seek to divide, not unite. They're trying to create a "divided states of America,'' not strengthen these United States. Their goal is to tear down, not build up.

Concordia dropped out of school and is planning to take his first trip to the Philippines. He would have been better off staying in school and learning what it means to be an American.

This is the bridge to the 21st century over which liberals wish to drive us. Taken to the extreme, America might come to resemble Bosnia, Northern Ireland or the Middle East. Divided we fall. Only in unity do we stand.


7/14/98: Who cares about killing when the 'good times' are rolling?
7/10/98: George W. Bush: a different 'boomer'
7/08/98: My lunch with Roy Rogers
7/06/98: News unfit to print (or broadcast)
6/30/98: Smoke gets in their eyes
6/25/98: Sugar and Spice Girls
6/19/98: William Perry opposed
technology transfers to China
6/19/98: The Clinton hare vs.the Starr tortoise
6/17/98: The President's rocky road to China
6/15/98: Let the children go
6/9/98: Oregon: the new killing fields
6/5/98: Speaking plainly: the cover-up continues
6/2/98: Barry Goldwater: in our hearts
5/28/98:The Speaker's insightful remarks
5/26/98: As bad as it gets
5/25/98:Union dues and don'ts
5/21/98: Connecting those Chinese campaign contribution dots
5/19/98: Clinton on the couch
5/13/98: John Ashcroft: another Jimmy Carter?
5/8/98: Terms of dismemberment
5/5/98: Clinton's tangled Webb
4/30/98: Return of the Jedi
4/28/98: Desparately seeking Susan
4/23/98: RICO's threat to free-speech and expression
4/21/98: Educating children v. preserving an institution
4/19/98: Analyzing the birth of a possible new nation
4/14/98: What's fair about our tax system?
4/10/98: CBS: 'Touched by a perv'
4/8/98: Judge Wright's wrong reasoning on sexual harassment
4/2/98: How about helping American cities before African?
3/31/98:Revenge of the children
3/29/98: The Clinton strategy: delay, deceive, deny, and destroy
3/26/98: Moralist Gary Hart
3/23/98: CNN's century of (liberal) women
3/17/98: Dandy Dan
3/15/98: An imposed 'settlement' settles nothing
3/13/98: David Brock's Turnabout

©1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Inc.