Discuss the interplay between ethnic diversity and national unity on the example of minority groups.

Since time immemorial, the American Continent, and later the United States of America, due to its exceptional receptiveness and welcoming hospitality towards newcomers, has been referred to as “the nation of immigrants”. In the course of time, the US began to assume an increasingly diverse character, with a multitude of different traditions, races, ethnic groups, languages, religions and histories coalescing into one nation. Consequently, the United States has become a country of many ethnic groups and the question remains to be tackled whether the amalgamation of the different groups has produced a homogenous country, where all the minority groups conform to the mainstream American society, or if they retain their separateness in the realm of social relations. Moreover, this essay shall explore the interplay between ethnic diversity and national unity, elaborating on its downsides as well as benedictions for the strength of the American nation. Therefore, it also aims at placing an emphasis on the assimilation of minority groups, such as Black Americans, Native Americans (American Indians), Asians and Jews, to the mainstream American society, and give an insight into how they co-exist in “the land of freedom”.
Scientists and sociologists have been long engaged in a discourse upon the nature of American society and its characteristic features. Hence, several metaphors have been proposed to encapsulate the idea of American society. One of them is the notion of the melting pot, which construes the American nation as a receptacle in which all the different groups gradually lose its original flavour and become a homogenous unit, with no discrepancies, differences and gaps. In view of the reality, though, the conception was unconditionally dismissed as utopian and immaterial, being eagerly superseded by the notion of the salad bowl. This time the stress was laid on maintaining the otherness and dissimilarity within the groups involved, yet with a strong sense of affinity with others. All in all, I believe that the interplay between ethnic diversity and national unity is best represented by the distinction between deep and surface structure. The United States itself incorporates the fact that the country is comprised of a number of heterogeneous and discreet units, which are the result of different cultures, traditions and pasts of the peoples that build the country. They cherish their separateness and distinctiveness, and therefore, they desire to sustain their treasures despite the mainstream current. As a result, all these values will belong to the deep structure of their identity, as opposed to the surface structure, which is displayed for the sake of the country they are currently living in. Let us now have a closer look at whether the conceptions delineated above still holds good and what the real interplay between the groups look like. To understand the problem more profoundly, it is indispensable to familiarize ourselves with a short outline of the history of immigration of the various groups and how it fashions the present-day situation.
As far as the immigration to the US is concerned, it is important to delineate the boundary between the voluntary immigration and the involuntary one. Although the latter hardly deserves to be termed immigration, let us focus on one conspicuous example of its kind. The history of Blacks in North America has its roots in 1619, when a small Dutch warship “Jesus of Lubec” sailed up the James River to the young English colony of Jamestown, Virginia, with a handful of black men and women onboard. At the time the ship anchored at the shores, Jamestown colony was very young and the colonists were short of virtually everything, particularly workers to help clear and till the land, build houses and develop the colony. So the Jamestown settlers welcomed the blacks as a source of free labour. It was then that the seeds of slavery were sown, not officially though. Originally the practice of indentured service was overtly recognized and maintained. From this time onwards Dutch traders started to convey slaves from Africa to America.
For the sake of keeping up the pretence of normality and legality, Blacks, as well as other races of people, were hired by the owners on the basis of indentures, and were themselves referred to as indentured workers of a lower social status. As a matter of course, they were not hold in much esteem, were often tricked, cheated or browbeaten into service. It is worth mentioning that White and Black indentured servants worked side by side at Jamestown, and when their period of service was over, they were considered to be free and given the right to marry, own property and, in some colonies, exercise all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. With time (1640-1680) a shift towards the system of slave labour was beginning to take roots, with a yawning gap between the white and the black servants. The first were guaranteed an estimated time of service, which was stipulated in the contract they signed at the very beginning, whereas the latter could not even hope for such contracts whatsoever. Blacks were sold at auctions like commodity and their servitude was for life. All this contributed to a high death-rate among the blacks and the ensuing need for new labor power. Thus, Blacks in America were treated as non-human beings, who were at the disposal of their owners and utterly subdued to them. Blacks’ transportation to America reached its crescendo in the 18th century, bringing death and untold suffering to millions of blacks, simultaneously rendering a number of avaricious people in Britain and in the British American Colonies exceedingly affluent.
Throughout the 18th century the slave trade was conceived of as an abominable and resentful practice, which many disapproved of, yet had no political fortitude to influence the potent governmental organizations which fostered slavery. As time went on, people were becoming increasingly aware of the conflicts of conscience and considered revolutionary claims that all men are created equal to be at odds with the prevailing practice of slavery. Further, it was later assessed that owning a slave was not so cost effective as was originally anticipated.
The years of thriving black trade left America facing a great number of black population, whose status quo left much to be desired for many years to come. Growing awareness among the Blacks and their emboldened aspirations for equality would create a bone of contention between the Blacks and American Government, with Local Governments in particular. In 1831, a bloody slave rebellion took place in Southampton County, Virginia. A slave named Nat Turner, who was able to read and write, and had "visions", led what became known as the Southampton Insurrection. On a murderous rampage without an apparent goal, Turner and his followers killed men, women and children, but were eventually subdued by the militia. Nat Turner and many of his followers were hanged. They had done little to combat the inequality and accomplish unity, except to harm the relationship between the races and generate new fears among whites, an effect which spread far beyond the area of his violent acts. All across the South, new laws were enacted in the aftermath of the 1831 Turner Rebellion. Typical was the Virginia Law against educating slaves, free blacks and mulattos, which points at the precipice between the Blacks and the Whites, growing intolerance and bias, as well as a vicious circle for the future.
Strifes and frictions continued to tore the American continent apart, deteriorating the already-strained relations between the South and the North. It was the North that evenatually opted to abolish slavery, as opposed to the South. The above-mentioned tensions escalated into Civil War, fought between 1861 and 1865. The conflict between the South and the North lead to the signing of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on 1st of January, 1863. It was a powerful move that promised freedom for slaves in the Confederacy (Southern States) as soon as the Union armies reached them. The proclamation made the abolition of slavery an official war objective, which was implemented as the Union (Northern States) took territory from the Confederacy. All slaves were freed by 1865 during the American Civil War, many by Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation but finally and completely by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in December 1865. All the promises and legal warranties notwithstanding, the US still witnessed segregation stemming from past experience and prejudice. One of the many white people that despised blacks was Jim Crow, who held a strong conviction that blacks are “free but not equal”, a conviction that he incorporated into his laws. The Jim Crow Laws were state and local laws enacted in the Southern and border states of the United States and enforced between 1876 and 1965. They mandated "separate but equal" status for black Americans. In reality, this led to treatment, facilities and accommodations that were almost always inferior to those provided to white Americans. The Jim Crow period or the Jim Crow era refers to the time during which this practice occurred. The most important laws required that public schools, public places and public transportation, like trains and buses, have separate facilities for whites and blacks. As a result, Jim Crow laws allowed whites to legally segregate blacks, which exacerbated the already-critical interplay between blacks and the mainstream American society. The anti-literacy laws after 1831 undoubtedly contributed greatly to the widespread illiteracy facing the freedmen and other African Americans after the American Civil War and Emancipation 35 years later. After Emancipation, the unfairness of such laws helped draw attention to the problem of illiteracy as one of the great challenges confronting these people as they sought to join the free enterprise system and support themselves during Reconstruction and thereafter. Consequently, many religious organizations, former Union Army officers and soldiers, and wealthy philanthropists were inspired to create and fund educational efforts specifically for the betterment of African Americans in the South. They helped create normal schools to generate teachersbuild schools for blacks in the South using private matching funds provided by individuals. The predicament of the Blacks might have seemed to be ameliorating steadily, with the 14th amendment granting suffrage, civil and individual rights to blacks; however, they still felt marginalized by the society and many of their privileges were breached.
This caused Martin Luther King to arrange Black Power Movement on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Declaration. In 1963, he conducted a peaceful demonstration in Washington. As the leader, his exemplar was Mahatma Ghandi, whose idea of passive resistance was implemented by M. L. King as well. Bearing in mind that “an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind”, Martin Luther King wanted to impress on the white leaders that all men are created equal and deserve to be treated so without exception. He preached equality and opportunity for black children at school and no impediments in career prospects for the young prospective black workers. The assassination of M.L. King in 1968 shook the confidence of the movement and left the country in the state of disarray.
Although the history of Blacks in America is often tinged with suffering, inequality and segregation, it must also be borne in mind that Blacks made enormous contributions to the development of cultural activities in the US. The evolution of Jazz, a kind of music that originated in the United States, New Orleans (from a mixture of rhythms from West Africa) toward the end of the 1800s, is definitely a landmark in the history of the country and a marker of national unity. Between 1910 and 1920 jazz moved northward. During the “golden age” of jazz in the 1920s jazz music flourished throughout the United States. Among the well-known pianists and composers of this period were Thomas “Fats” Waller and “Jelly Roll” Morton. Louis Armstrong, an outstanding cornet player, became the first renowned male jazz singer and the first to use meaningless syllables in place of words. As a consequence, Blacks could and can pride themselves on developing the culture of the country through their ethnic diversity blending with national unity.
Thanks to the endeavours of M. L. King and many outspoken people of his calibre, people in America now do tend to judge each other more often by the content of their character than by the colour of their skins. Blacks can now be found in all professions, working side by side with whites, and living in the neighbourhood with them. An outstanding example may be Colin Powell (born 1937 and raised in New York City) who would go on to become one of the country's best known figures during Operation Desert Storm, the U.S.-led United Nations offensive against Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 1990-1991. Rising through the ranks and increasingly responsible commands, from 1987 to 1989 he was a presidential assistant for national security in the Reagan administration. As such, he was the highest ranking African American in the administration. He was the first (and to date only) African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As this example indicates, the blacks were also able, through perseverance and persistence, to merge into and influence the mainstream American society.
A survey conducted in 1985 showed that Blacks are moving from inner cities to once all-white suburbs in ever-increasing numbers. There are still poor, all-black areas in American cities, and the average income of blacks is lower than that of whites, however, despite these facts, the black community is one of the most upwardly mobile element of the American society. The number of blacks completing high school doubled from 1970 – 1980, as did the number of blacks entering colleges. Characteristic of this generation is a new tolerance between blacks and whites, and an increasing acceptance by whites of blacks in all walks of life and social situations. Further evidence of the assimilation can be provided by "Black English" - the language of African-Americans (negroes) in the United States. This is usually called Black English Vernacular and has its historical roots in a creolised form of English which dates back to the time of slavery.
Having discussed the issue of blacks in America, my intention is to move on to another ethnic group whose struggle to subsist on the American Continent is also tinted with injustice, humiliation, persecution and suffering that resulted in countless deaths.
The Indians (as fallaciously termed by Columbus) or Native Americans were misunderstood and ill-treated for many centuries, and it was a great clash of cultural values and lack of understanding that underlay the conflicts between Native Americans and white settlers. The immigrants from the Old World (Europe) went to extraordinary lengths to obtain the land that belonged to the Natives. The Europeans believed in the superiority of their culture, religion and values, and therefore they were unwilling to accept any lifestyle that differed from their own. The European mode of life in a businesslike civilization generated a competitive, capitalistic and money-oriented society for which the land was a commodity to be owned and used. As a matter of fact, they were unable to grasp the bond between the man and Nature (the land) that the Natives cherished. For the Indians, the land was not only a sacred thing, but they were also very vociferous about collective ownership – their sense of belonging to a tribe (and consequently to Nature itself) and their abiding love of freedom and movement. At first, the Indian policy towards the newcomers aimed at a peaceful coexistence and trade with the settlers. The French accepted that policy unlike the Spanish settlers who came to North America to conquer, convert and exploit its inhabitants for profit. Any sign of objection and refusal to accept Christianity was punishable by death. It was the British that adopted very cruel policies intending to use Native Americans and eliminate them afterwards, as soon as their mission was completed. Their reasoning was based on the conviction that Americans were lazy vagabonds, savage servants of Satan, who refuse to accept Christ or the Puritan ethic of hard work and thrift, and thereby deserving no ownership of land. All these artificial fallacies misled the Europeans into thinking that killing the Indians was justified. Seeing the prevailing situation, the U.S. Government put an emphasis on the maintenance of peace, friendly relationships with Indians and insisted that the whites desist from unnecessarily antagonizing them. However if the Indians’ needs interfered with the needs of white settlers, it was the latter who would emerge victorious from the ‘conflict’. So theoretically the Indian territorial ownership was recognized, areas out of which the whites were to keep off were earmarked, but in practice the whites paid little if any attention to the agreements and treaties, which were repeatedly contravened and ignored. With time, the first reservations for the Native Americans were set up and the Bureau of Indian Affairs came into existence with a view to controlling trade with the tribes and to run Indian reservations. It adopted a paternalistic policy towards the Native Americans which engendered bloody wars in which the Indians rose in open warfare against the Whites. In 1876 the Battle of Little Big Horn, in the course of which the Sioux defeated General Custer`s forces took place. The victory notwithstanding, the Indians, due to heavy food shortages, were compelled to sell their land and retreat into the reservations where life was painfully intolerable. As a result, they had no opportunities for progression, not to mention the possibilities for being on a par with the mainstream American society dominated by the white settlers. The year 1890 was a calamitous landmark in the Indian history. In the Battle of Wounded Knee Indians were ignominiously defeated, thereby losing their last hope for a return to the life they had known before.
There were, however, superficial bids on the side of the U.S. Government to assimilate Indians into the mainstream culture but all were done by weakening the Indian self-sufficiency, tribal organizations and minimizing the function of tribal leaders (chieftains). This amounted to no more than a denial of the Indian culture, which all but helped remedy the sinister situation. Moreover, several acts were issued to achieve ‘progress’ through assimilation, but they were bound to be unsuccessful, since they were imposing foreign values on Indians. One of the most important was General Allotment Act (1887), which proposed to parcel out land among individual Indians rather than give it to entire tribes, and encouraged individual Indians to farm on private homesteads. This was clearly a measure aimed at setting the Indians at variance with one another. Gradually the Indians were beginning to get wise to their plight, and from 1960 onwards, growing self-awareness among the Native Americans led to the movement commonly known as ‘pan indianism’ – the movement towards unification of Indians of different tribes in order to outface the common enemy - the U.S. Government. Today, the conditions of Indians have undergone considerable changes - changes into the better it might seem. The variety of their tribal heritage, with over 300 languages orally transmitted through their literature, the diversity of religions, the kinship system and political organizations, all make their contribution to the mosaic of the American culture, but are also the source of their partial isolation in terms of socio-economic status. There are instances of Indians being unemployed or temporarily employed, and one third of Indian families now live below the poverty level. Reservations lack the resources and capital necessary to generate job opportunities, and Indians are discriminated in private industry with tourism being the primary source of employment. In the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th, Indians were seen as an impediment to headway and the development of an advanced American civilization.
However, I should also like to mention a few out of quite a number of individuals who managed to break down the barriers and force their way into the American culture. One of them is Billy Mills, born in South Dakota, who in 1964 stunned spectators in one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history. As a virtual unknown, he outpaced the competition in the last 100 meters of the 10,000-meter race and took home a gold medal. Sherman Alexie, the writer born in 1966 in Washington, has also gone down in the American history - as an artist whose inventive, realistic, and often humorous writing evokes contemporary American Indian life. Through literature, he is forging his identity among the American society, and is simultaneously an enormous contribution to the richness of the American culture and the literary oeuvre, where the voices of all are beginning to be heard. With regard to the cuisine, modern day native peoples retain a rich body of traditional foods, some of which have become iconic of present-day Native American social gatherings (for example, frybread). Foods like cornbread, turkey, cranberry, blueberry, hominy, grits and mush are known to have been adopted into the cuisine of the United States from Native American groups. Linguistically, Native Americans are also of considerable importance, having contributed many loanwords into Modern English. But for the Natives, we would not have such expressions as anorak, hickory, kayak, moccasin, moose, powwow, tepee (from the Sioux "tipi," dwelling), toboggan, totem and wigwam. They were incorporated into English to facilitate the reference to the Indian culture, but with time they have assumed theirown figurative meanings as well. This examples are clearly indicative of the fact that Native American culture is present within the mainstream American culture.

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Another group that greatly contributed to the intricate issue of American society is the Asians. In the years following the Civil War in 1865, the United States was becoming the world’s leading industrial power, a country where great fortunes were made by shrewd businessmen whose undertakings greatly developed the American continent. This in turn made the country a magnet for skilled workers, many of whom arrived from Asia. Between 1864 – 1869, large numbers of Chinese were brought to the US to help build the Central Pacific Railroad. Initially, both countries were eager to protect and maintain this immigration, and therefore signed Burlingame Treaty in 1869 to do so. However, with time tempers among those who feared Asian immigration began to temper. Not only did they fear Asians because of their number and the potential threat they posed to the occupational stability of the U.S. citizens, but also due to their willingness to accept low wages for unskilled work. With such an undemanding and industrious group looming at the horizon, the assimilation of Asians into the mainstream American society must have certainly been on a very precarious position, particularly in 1882 when the Chinese Exclusion Act was enforced. It placed a temporary ban on immigration from China, which was made permanent in 1902. Moreover, the Japanese were largely excluded in 1907 (Gentlemen’s Agreement), and in 1917 a law was implemented that barred most immigration from Asia, and created literacy requirements for adult immigrants as well.
It very often occurred that immigrants encountered prejudice from native-born Americans – who, of course, were themselves descended from immigrants. And the Chinese were no exception here. Initially widely-desired for their hard work and perseverance, they were later feared and repudiated, and by the same token hindered from merging with the American society. Another important event that had an damaging impact on the relations between Asians and mainstream American society was the Pearl Harbor bombings of 1941 carried out by the Japanese. As a result, hatred and resentment escalating into vicious prejudice against all of the Asians were engendered. Not only did the US government declare war on Japan, but in an atmosphere of war hysteria, many thousands of Japanese-Americans were forced into relocation camps. Government officials justified this action as a precautionary measure taken against sabotage and espionage, but no Japanese-Americans were convicted of any act of disloyalty during the war. It appears that the blame always lies with both sides, and as long as there are no reasonable decisions to regulate the relationships, the chances of a peaceful and cooperative co-existence are extremely poor.
Despite their ups and downs, the Asians have made their way into the American society, maintaining much of their treasures up till now. One of the sources of their pride and joy is the creation of Chinatowns - sections of urban areas with a large number of Chinese within a city outside the countries of China, Taiwan, and Singapore. In the past, overcrowded Chinatowns in urban areas were generally shunned by the non-Chinese public as ethnic ghettos, and seen as places of vice and cultural insularity where "unassimilable foreigners" congregated. Nowadays, many old and new Chinatowns are considered significant centers of commercialism and tourism. Some of them also serve, to various degrees, as centers of multiculturalism, if in a somewhat superficial manner. Therefore, it is a misconception to assume that a city's 'Chinatown' constitutes the place where most of the city's people of Chinese ancestry live. Chinatowns are, apart from being a magnet for tourists, with their numerous restaurants, stores, markets etc., also famous for their benevolent associtations, which provide immigrants with help including social support, religious services, death benefits, meals, and recreational activities for the Chinese. As we can see from this example, the Asians, and the Chinese in particular forged their own identity in the US, and add its peculiar and extraordinary fragrance to the mosaic texture of the country. Moreover, a brilliant contribution to the development of American culture has been made by such celebrities as Bruce Lee (an actor), Michael Chang (a tennis player), Staven Chu (a Nobel laureate) and Charles Wang (software magnate). It should also be borne in mind that Chinese cuisine is widely seen as representing one of the richest and most diverse culinary cuisines and heritages in the American world. It originated from different regions of China and has become widespread in many other parts of the world – including the US where the domestic culinary styles include many Chinese ingredients and influences, due to the high number of Chinese and Asian immigrants. These Chinese elements are often combined with those of other cuisines in novel ways. As typical and distinctive examples, we might include: jiaozi (steamed or boiled dumplings), guotie (fried dumplings), Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings), Kung Pao chicken, fried pancakes (including green onion pancakes), zongzi (glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, usually with a savory or sweet filling)

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The American richness and diversity would not have been so great without the Jewish element as well. The history of the Jews in the United States began with small groups of merchants in colonial ports such as New York City and Charleston. In September, 1654, shortly before the Jewish New Year, twenty-three Jews of Portuguese ancestry from Brazil arrived in New York, which at the time was under Dutch rule and known as New Amsterdam. This arrival was the beginning of Jewish-American history. By 1776 and the War of Independence, around 2,000 Jews lived in America, most of them Spanish and Portuguese Jews. They played a significant role in the struggle for independence, including fighting against the British (the first Jew to die during the War was Francis Salvador). David Salisbury Franksan, aide-de-camp of Benedict Arnold, suffered from his association with the traitorious general despite loyal service in both the Continental Army and the American diplomatic corps. For those feats they were commanded and remembered by President George Washington when he wrote to the Sephardic congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, in a letter dated August 17, 1790: "May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in the land continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants. While everyone shall sit safely under his own vine and fig-tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."
Jews also played a key role in financing the Revolution, with the most important of the financiers being Haym Salomon. In the mid and late 19th century well-educated German Jews arrived and settled in cities across the country. From 1880 to 1924 large numbers of Yiddish-speaking Jews arrived from Eastern Europe, settling in New York City and other large cities. After 1945 numbers came as refugees from Europe; after 1980 many came from the Soviet Union, and there has been a flow from Israel.
Jews (particularly Sephardic Jews) have over a 300 year history in Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston had, until around 1830, the largest and wealthiest colony of Jews in North America. All of the Jewish contributions have been profoundly engraved both in the past and in the present of the US. Their assimilation have been extremely successful, as evidenced not only by the glorious and valiant history when the Jews fought for the US like native Americans, but also by the current situation. They have weaved their way into many aspects of American culture, trasforming it, seasoning it with their own flavour and thus becoming part of it. Several staples of Jewish cuisine for instance have been adopted into mainstream American culture - bagels and lox (cured salmon) are examples, and to a lesser extent we might consider corned beef and pastrami. Initially, they were adopted as part of New York City's culture, and then spread to the rest of America. A famous adage says ”the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” but the way to the American mainstream culture has been by no means restricted to gourmet marvels. Furthermore, the Jews have made a linguistic imprint on the American culture. Although almost all American Jews are today native English-speakers, a variety of other languages are still spoken within some American Jewish communities, communities which are representative of the various Jewish ethnic divisions from around the world that have come together to make up America's Jewish population. Many of America's Hasidic Jews of Ashkenazi descent are raised speaking Yiddish. The language was once spoken as the primary language by most of the several million European Jews who immigrated to the United States. Yiddish has had an influence on American English, and words borrowed from it include “chutzpah” ("effrontery", "gall"), “nosh” ("snack"), schlep ("drag"), and schmuck ("fool"). Those Jews who speak Persian also support their own Persian language newspapers. Classical Hebrew is the language of most Jewish religious literature, such as the Tanakh (Bible) and Siddur (prayerbook). Modern Hebrew is also the primary official language of the modern State of Israel, which further encourages many to learn it as a second language. Some recent Israeli immigrants to America speak Hebrew as their primary language. All this had its influence on the development of the Jewish American literature, not to mention the input of Jews into the arts overall. Jewish American literature generally explores the experience of being a Jew, especially a Jew in America, and the conflicting pulls of secular society and history. The literary traditions of Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Chaim Potok, Leon Uris, Herman Wouk and Bernard Malamud all fall in this category. Younger authors, like Paul Auster, Michael Chabon and Jonathan Safran Foer continue this view of Jewish American literature, examining the Holocaust, and the meaning of being an American Jew. Talking of famous people and their contributions to the assimilation of Jews into the mainstream American culture, it would be a glaring ommision not to include such figuers as Scarlet Johansson, the American actress of Jewish descent, and her colleague in the same line of work – Alicia Silverstone. As actresses they have been enjoying international fame and simultaneously been a pride for the American nation is very much the same way as Jewish sportspeople have been. To name only a few, let us focus on such stars as Cal Abrams, outfielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers and other teams (baseball), Isaac Berger - Olympic weightlifter and Oscar B. "Ossie" Schectman - a retired American professional basketball player. As presented by the abovementioned examples, Jewish assimilation into the American society and their contribution to the strength of the country has been remarkable. In a more down-to-earth realm, the merging of Jews and Americans may be observed in the high number of intermarriages.
All things considered I believe that the quotation “Without contraries there’s no progression” stressing diversity as a constructive factor seems to be an apt conclusion to the essay. Common experience, tolerance, dependence of interests when everyone is welcome to fulfill their ambition and enhance their living standards are exceedingly important in the creation of a powerful nation. As we could see from the review of America’s minority groups, members of most ethnic groups are full participants in the broad tapestry of American life, even if they keep alive many of their old tradition, which I had included in the above-mentioned term – deep structure. Jews and Asians, as well as Poles, Germans and other nationalities, have moved into almost all social and economic sectors. Other groups have lost much of the distinctiveness of their culture, like third generation Germans who may only speak English and think of themselves as “plain” Americans. Third generation Chinese, however, often retain their language and many cultural and family traditions, defining themselves as Chinese Americans. Yet another example is provided by those ethnic groups which suffer disadvantages continuing to keep them from freely participating in some areas of American professional and cultural life. Poverty and all the deprivation, albeit of decreasing intensity these days, have often made it more difficult for Black Americans and Puerto Ricans to acquire the social and educational skills needed to enter more desirable and more highly paid occupations. As mentioned in the essay, the interplay and assimilation of different minority groups within the American society has been convoluted and intricate and the social drama of the struggle for equality and acceptance will continue, as it has for over 300 years. As always, the pivotal roles in this drama will be played by ethnic groups themselves.