Contrary to popular belief America was not created by immigration. It was created by conquest and exploration and it was done so on top of many other “native” nations. To this day Americans have not been able to assimilate and fully include those natives into its polity or its economic success. How then can we argue that immigration has been so noble and that immigrants are naturally a part of the American way?The truth lies much closer to Plato’s “necessary untruths.” To romanticize immigration, both in terms of why people leave their native lands and in terms of why they come to America is simply false and misleading. People come to America because they hope for better than they have where they reside as they make the often courageous decision to uproot and venture into the relatively unknown. What never seems to be discussed is how few of us here in America consider leaving this country. In an important way, America was created by people leaving their homeland because they were pushed out by various political and economic factors. That is what we have in common with the new comers. They come here because it is not comfortable where they previously resided. Here then lies the central question that needs to be considered by all of us who want to be fair minded and responsible. What would have become of us and our ancestors if the then native “americans” would have had the wherewithal to keep our ancestors out? Just as many of us want to keep other people out today.
More via A Lifeline for No-Longer-Illegal Immigrants – NYTimes.com.
Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Demographic Change, ethnicity in politics, Immigration, New American Electorate, New Electorate, News, propaganda and spin, Public Policy, symbolic uses of politics, WeSeeReason, Immigration, native Americans, The American Dream
Not all American’s are created equal but their status under the constitution is. That is the most important part of the American promise and perhaps of the social contract that makes our democratic polity possible.
What is at stake here is who we are as a nation and how the rest of the world community sees us. After our heroic role in WWII, we have enjoyed a special place in the new world order that manifested itself as east and west–Russians, their allies, and the rest of us free peoples. But today the international community and our internal polity have become much more complex. And we are having a difficult time moving forward.
America’s social, economic and ethnic diversity is becoming an increasing challenge to discussing, understanding and agreeing to a conception of:
what is an American,
what America stands for, and
who is eligible to partake in her bounty.
via ASPE – The Office of The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation: Facts and figures about America’s Poverty Problem – Why we can’t win the war on poverty « HealthThinkShop.
Filed under: Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Immigration, News, waging war, WeSeeReason, poverty, Welfare Reform
As the world’s multiplicity of good and bad personal experiences are seen, quantified and popularized through viral networks and instant messaging, poverty will need to be put into perspective and understood. Not only what it is but how different it is to many different people in extremely different places. What ever you think about poverty, understanding the complexities in understanding it and putting it into appropriate perspective is a good place to start… The London Economist is trying to help us with this task…
“POVERTY is easy to spot but hard to define. America sets its poverty line at $11,490 of income per year for a one-person household, or just over $30 a day. Any income below that amount is judged inadequate for the provision of fundamental wants. Other rich countries set their poverty lines in relative terms, so an increase in the incomes of top earners results in more poverty if everything else is held constant. The threshold for dire poverty in developing countries is set much lower, at $1.25 a day of consumption (rather than income). This figure is arrived at by …”
via The Economist explains: How did the global poverty rate halve in 20 years? | The Economist.
Filed under: Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Culture Think, Feminization of Poverty, diversity and poverty, Global Poverty, poverty
Do you remember Keith Olbermann? The following article credits him for pioneering the niche MSNBC has carved out for itself in its rise to the top tier in ratings.
“At MSNBC they view it as rooting against death and destruction: the last thing the channel wants is more months like the last two, filled with terror bombings, tornadoes and ….”
via Devoted to Politics, MSNBC Slips on Breaking News – NYTimes.com.
Filed under: Blogosphere, consumers, Culture Think, Changing Media Paradigm, Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, Fox, Fox News, liberal media, ideology and the media
Why do we so vigorously debate affirmative action? Truth be told, policies purported to address inequality in our society are neither affirmative nor very “active.”
The value of the idea that underrepresented groups within mainstream institutions is a problem greatly relies on who is defining and how these groups are defined. The following article in the NYTs raises some interesting issues in this area which show that many in our society are beginning to question how and why we quantify and measure representation within our learning communities.
“Opponents of race-based affirmative action in college admissions urge that colleges use a different tool to encourage diversity: giving a leg up to poor students. But many educators see real limits to how eager colleges are to enroll more poor students, no matter how qualified — and the reason is …”
via Income-Based Diversity Lags at Many Public Universities – NYTimes.com.
Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, consumers, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Discrimination, Education Policy, Education Reform, ethnicity in politics, ideology, Education policy