- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 6, 2004

Rudyard Kipling is recorded as saying, “East is east and West is west and never the twain shall meet.” This oft-quoted philosophy emanating from my own mother at odd moments during my childhood, surfaced from the deep recesses of my subconscious as I read a recent news report titled, “Dutch to expel thousands of asylum seekers” by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Daily Telegraph.

I have been writing a lot about multiculturalism and it’s no secret I believe this idea has gone awry in our nation’s schools and society at large.

How does this relate to the Dutch? According to the above cited article, their parliament reported that, “The country’s 30-year experiment in tolerant multiculturalism had been a failure, and has resulted in poor schools, violence and ethnic ghettoes that shun intermarriage with the Dutch.”

Because our country is so focused on the multicultural ideal, I think there may be a lesson to be learned in the situation facing the Dutch.

The first has to do with the Dutch problem of poor schools. It would seem, across the United States, public schools serve minority families, not all of whom share the same vision or principles regarding education that guided prior generations of Americans. Some students come to school with a chip on their shoulder and defiantly cite their ancestry as an excuse for malevolence when called on unacceptable behavior. This presents significant challenges for the teachers.

Complicating this is the difficulty conversing with English Language Learners (students and parents) who often know enough English to get by but choose to communicate in their native tongue given the opportunity, rather than strive to master our common language.

Many children of first- and second-generation arrivals to this country, both legal and illegal, choose not to be defined by their adopted American ancestry. The question one has to ask is: From where does this attitude stem?

In the face of all this, Linda Bowles states in her article titled, “The third front in this war — our borders”: “In the minds of the ruling elite, diversity trumps unity as our greatest strength.”

Contrary to that prevailing notion, it has been found that “70 percent to 80 percent of third-generation Dutch-born immigrants imported their spouses from their ‘home’ countries, mostly Turkey and Morocco.” The Dutch intelligence service has, since September 11, 2001, discovered the terror network al Qaeda was “stealthily taking root in Dutch society.”

Knowing this, we should take more than a passing glance at this assertion by Linda Bowles: “America is suffering an immigration glut. Parts of America are like Third World countries. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants have no interest in learning the language or adopting the culture of their new country. They have formed separate communities that function as avant-garde outposts of their countries of origin. They offer a ready-made home base for terrorists.”

Jerry Seper writes that there are currently 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens, mostly Mexican nationals, estimated to be in the United States. Regarding amnesty, Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, said it is unlikely these illegal aliens will be deported.

The agenda of multiculturalism has taken hold of our education system and effectively eliminated studying the greatness of our inherited heritage. We need common values and commitments to unify us, rather than allow for ethnic diversity to “generate suspicion and hatred.”

It is likely that by 2050 there will be no majority race in America. Knowing this, it frightens me that immigrants are not expected to assimilate to our common culture, language, traditions and especially allegiance. This is threatening the very foundation of our society.

We must continue the tradition that allowed us to say, “Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses longing to be free. …” But we must not compromise the promise of freedom that beckoned by allowing our common culture to fracture — forever dividing east and west — assuring that never the twain shall meet.

NANCY SALVATO

Mrs. Salvato is a middle-school teacher in Illinois and an independent contractor for Prism Educational Consulting.

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