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Blending May Straints into a Single Nationality

John F. Kennedy, Immigration, Nationalität, 'melting pot'

Oscar Handlin has said, "Once I thought to write a history of the immighrants in America. Then I discovered that the immigrants were American history." In the same sense, we cannot really speak of a particular "immigrant contribution" to America because all Americans have been immigrants or the descendants of immigrants; even the Indians ... migrated to the American continent. We can only speak of people whose roots in America are older or newer. Yet each wave of immigration left its own imprint on American society; each made its distinctive "contribution" to the building of the nation and the evolution of American life...

Immigration plainly was not always a happy experience. It was hard on the newcomers, and hard as well on the communities to which they came. ... But the very problem of adjustment and assimilation presented a challenge to the American idea – a challenge which subjected that idea to stern testing and eventually brought out the best qualities in American society. ... The ideal of the "melting pot" symbolized the process of blending many straints into a single nationality, and we have come to realize in modern times that the "melting pot" need not mean the end of particular ethnic identities or traditions. Only in the case of the Negro has the melting pot failed to bring a minority into the full stream of American life. Today we are belatedly, but resolutely, enganged in ending this condition of national exclusion and shame and abolishing forever the concept of second-class citizenship in the United States.

Quelle: A Nation oif Immigrants
Autor: John F. Kennedy
Quellendatum: 1964
Bearbeitungsdatum: 22.01.2006

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