On Wed, 14 Feb 1996, Iain Barksdale wrote:
> Thomas G. Mungall wrote:
> >What pray
> >tell *is* this country's culture? I might buy the regional culture concept
> >but what *is* that? Multi-culturalism! I really want an answer from
> >somebody though regarding *what* the American culture IS!
> First, America is NOT a multicultural society. This is a concept that has
> been stolen from we us anthropologists, and wholly misused by
> politicians, educators and the "politically correct". The world is
In a sense you are correct in that there is an American culture. Yet
you have failed to notice that many of these sub-cultures do not share a
common basis with each other and thus lack a true sense of commonality.
Something that many people choose to ignore is the fact that the United
States and Canada are both become a micro-cosm of the multi-cultural
> American culture is predominantly shaped by political thought. The main
> tenets of US culture are containied within the Declaration of
> Independence and The Constitution. Our belief in individual freedom is
> one example. The culture of America supports the acceptance of a
> multitude of subcultures existing within the main US culture.
I must disagree with your premise that a culture is somehow set down by
its documentation. After all the documents were written in a period of
time when many of the settlements in the colonies did not even share a
common laguage, one the best indicators of a common culture. As for 'our
belief in individual freedom' this sadly is not an ideal shared by all
those who call themselves American. We still have portions of this
population who believe in the subjegation of women, people with non-White
skin tones, or differing religious veiws. As for calling the existence
of any one culture within the artifical boundries of a nation a
sub-culture your terminology boggles the mind. After all the Navajo,
Mong, and European cultural traditions in America exist completely
seperatly of each other. At no point in history did the Navajo culture
suddenly start using Mong rituals or the Mong start living by European
values. Certainly I can agree that amongst this cultural conglomerate
there exists a culture which is unquiely American but it is by no means
the only real culture to which all others are a part. You have confused
idealistic European law with cultural values.
> Although someone might lay claim to a particular ethnic heritage, they
> are still Americans first. After all, it is the culture of America that
> allows one to do this will relatively little to no persecution. Ask
> yourself, "For what reasons to folk from other nations/cultures flock to
> America's shores?". These reasons are the definition of American
> culture--our main system of tradtions, customs and shared behaviours.
> America is a culture that is based on diversity feuled by freedom.
In terms of nationality (a legal state) I agree that we are all American.
As for 'the culture of America that allows one to do this will relatively
little to no persecution' the only response I have is confusion. How
can you say that in America cultures which are not a part of our past
are not persecuted when the major cities of this nation are quick to
tension and often reach dangerous levels. In this nation many of the
people who are thought of by observers as American are seen to advocate
a wholesale eradication of new and 'foregin' cultures so that new-comers
may be more easily assimilated into American culture.