Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Dissolving States of America

Us and Them, as we know, is bad. Bad. We have to think of Everyone as Us. (Except for the Christian Right, Republicans and the Tea Party.) Be inclusive, sensitive, diverse. After all, doesn't the wonderful European Union represent the bright (though rapidly bankrupt) future, to say nothing of the sainted United Nations (even though most of its nations are run by thugs, thieves and tyrants)?

Several years ago I noticed the demise of the concept of "the foreigner" when applied to America, or the West. We are not supposed to call people that. It's unfriendly. Exclusionary. It creates Us and Them. Encourages bigotry. And one of the left's favorites, makes them Other.

Which, of course, being foreigners, they are. And which we, of course, indubitably are when we are on their turf. Make no mistake about that.

But the whole point of this change in lingo is to eradicate the Us-ness of US. If there is no Them, no Other --except the aforementioned White American Conservative Religious Bigots--, then there really is no Us worth talking about.

When my former workplace started a scholarship program for what they first referred to as Foreign Scholars, that quickly changed to "International". So much more embracing. After all, what's a foreigner but someone who hasn't moved to America yet? (And while enjoying America's benefits, maintains his roots with his home country, which we are bound to honor and celebrate...).

How many "Foreign Students" centers are left in America;s universities? The free high school for non-English speaking immigrants in San Francisco (who are encouraged to speak their native languages at school, too...) is not called "Newcomers" anymore, as it once was, but "International."

And now United Airlines tells us that the very notion is dissolving.

Ah, Global Utopia. Flyers Beyond Borders. Even Superman has renounced his American citizenship. How noble, to transcend the narrow borders of Yankee nationalism and Western colonialism. (Although everyone else's identities, cultures, boundaries and citizenships are sacrosanct.)

Utopia, as always, can't be far off.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

St Paul puts the matter, »Community corrupts good morals.« (1Corinthians 15:33)

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