• Donnie Boursaw

Diversity is the anti-thesis of Unity

I hate "buzz" words. In the 21st century, "buzz" words have become the popular form of communication. Take the statement "Our diversity is what unites us." What a crock! As wordsmiths all writers should refute this statement based solely on the words "diversity" and "unity". One of the foundational principles of Americanism is unity. We are the "United States of America" not the "Diverse States of America".

The very definition of the word "diverse" is showing a great variety:being very different. The United States has a very diverse population:culturally, racially, religiously,ideologically, politically, and demographically. Being diverse implies divided, which we are at this point in history, and division has never brought unity.

In contrast, to be unified is to fuse or join, merge, become uniform or whole. Since our population is so "diverse" in so many ways, the question to be answered is how do we become unified in our diversity?

Being a professional genealogist and family historian I have dealt with all manner of diversity on more than one level. When the lady with the torch held up her light and said "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free," she offered not division, but unity in purpose, in fairness, and in principle. Equality before the law.

Once upon a time in America the huddled masses yearning to be free came to these shores for a new and better life. The time worn adage "birds of a feather flock together" was displayed in their congregation with people like themselves, who spoke their language and were culturally, racially, and religiously compatible. However, they also wanted to be an American, and they recognized that the way to do that was to build upon the things they all had in common. That commonality is what brought unity.

Although they spoke their native tongue at home, children were encouraged to attend school and learn English, which is the language of the United States. My mother-in-law's family came from Quebec and spoke French, which she spoke at home, but she went to school and learned English. Citizenship was the desire of the immigrant and they did what needed to be done to merit that designation. Their hand raised to God they swore allegiance to their new nation, its laws, and its sovereignty and never referred to themselves as Italian-American, Irish-American, or African-American. They bore the title "American Citizen" and were proud of it.

Think things through. Don't simply accept the "buzz" words that are popular at the present time and base your opinions, thoughts, and actions on what you hear from those who most of the time know even less than you do. Politics and religion are said to be the most divisive subjects one can discuss and that is because commonality is never thought of or sought. If politicians and activist really wanted to change things they would concentrate on the principles and beliefs that we have in common rather than the ignorance and bias that we all harbor to one degree or another. Persuasion rather than manipulation, debate instead of argument, and knowledge over ignorance should be sought.


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