Teddy Roosevelt wrote:
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 the loyalty to the American people.
Teddy Roosevelt’s words ring hallow in the ears of many immigrants and many homegrown Americans, too. There is no fervent desire to require assimilation or to assimilate: to learn the language, to adopt the customs of America because many times and sadly America loses sight of itself and unwittingly caters to those who defy her. What does this say about us? about our leaders? about our willingness to stay connected to our American roots?
I know I’m not alone when I say that I thoroughly enjoy the shared cultures of the world that reside here in America. I do not take them for granted, not for a second. Our shared cultures season America with creativity and fun and variety and the best of what the world has to offer, but unfortunately, some people bring with them the worst the world has to offer. Thankfully, the vast majority of people who come here to visit and/or to make a life for themselves in America add robust flavor to what would be a banal existence without them.
The message that must be heard by all those who come to America is that our most important values:
Helper of the oppressed,
Defender against tyranny,
Freedom of religion,
—ALL must be held sacred, with honor, dignity, and respect.
Our American values are non-negotiable. Why? Because America is a multi-cultural, one-of-a-kind, as perfect as human nature allows place to be. Why else would so many people be so eager to be here?
Calling all immigrants and all residents of America! If you want to be a part of America, be a part of the whole of America. Put your all into being an American first. Celebrate America. Love her with everything you have and everything you are. America loves you, all of you, but she takes you into herself in good confidence that you will show her the goodwill and respect she deserves.
If you’re blessed or lucky enough, however you want to look at it, to be living life in the United States of America, thank the stars about it—all 50 of them.
Hugs from the Heart,