Diversity and Multiculturalism for all.(LETTERS)(FORUM)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 1, 2002 | Go to article overview

Diversity and Multiculturalism for all.(LETTERS)(FORUM)


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

It is both amusing and confusing to observe the use of the noun "diversity," the most popular buzz word in America today. It is called on by the press, politicians and clergy. It is the shibboleth of the politically correct throughout the nation.

Recently I passed by the campus of the local community college. The sign on the gate proclaimed: "Celebrate Diversity Week." It is as if a new discovery has just been made, that America is now a diverse culture, and that our population has just become "diverse."

But any serious student of our nation knows that from its origins in the 16th century this land has been featured by a rich and varied population of diverse races, languages, religions and cultures.

Perhaps the heavy immigration of the last decade or two has stimulated the popular "diversity thing." That is quite understandable. But what many people do not know is that diversity is not a new phenomenon. It is as American as apple pie and popcorn. Diversity has featured American life and culture from the very beginning.

When the first Europeans arrived in the Western Hemisphere more than 500 years ago, they found many thousands of aborigines living in the two vast continents blocking their way to India and China. Confused at first, they labeled them "Indians," and they have been designated Indians ever since.

The European invaders were, from the first landings, a diverse group. They were from Spain and Portugal, the Netherlands and France, Great Britain and Denmark.

Very early, these Europeans brought black Africans in large numbers to the New World. It is alleged even today that 500 years before these invaders, the Vikings and Norsemen from Northern Europe had discovered and settled the northern coast of the continent.

Each group explored the bays and rivers, and soon went inland and established enclaves for themselves. The Spanish explored and conquered the Caribbean and both coasts of the continents. The French concentrated on the St. Lawrence River, the Hudson Bay, and the Great Lakes region. The English founded Colonies along the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia, then New England and elsewhere on the East Coast, while contesting the Caribbean and Spanish and French territories.

The Portuguese concentrated their efforts in what is now Brazil, the Dutch along the Hudson River, the Swedes along the Delaware, and the Germans settled on the Savannah River and in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. …

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Diversity and Multiculturalism for all.(LETTERS)(FORUM)
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