I wonder, if immigrants were expected to assimilate, would the Uzbek immigration lottery winner have killed a whole bunch of people in New York City?
Right now we don’t expect immigrants to assimilate. In fact, in the name of multiculturalism we promote the notion that immigrants should remain true to their home culture. We denounce the idea of America – excuse me, ‘merica – and suggest that it’s racist to require someone who wasn’t born here to assimilate.
The consequence is that some guy from Uzbekistan got to come to America and less than a decade after his arrival he felt detached and disaffected enough to murder as many of his countrymen as he could on a chilly but sunny afternoon in New York.
I mean, a generation ago when assimilation was expected we didn’t see things like this happening. But we did see people coming to America from all over – sometimes with literally nothing (some of my best friends fall into this category) – and emerge as successful in their personal and professional lives. One of my best friends arrived in America from Asia and spent his first years in this country pruning grape vines in northern California. Today he’s incredibly successful and has put his three kids through college.
My best friend never subscribed to the idea of living in some ghetto where English was a second language and the overarching goal was to make a block or two in northern California appear to be some south Asian village.
My best friend subscribed to the idea of “Hey, I’m in America now so do as the Americans do and make something of yourself!”.
Today though, we somehow think that we’ll award via lottery American citizenship to a guy in Uzbekistan. No doubt when he got the news he was elated. Then he flew to America where the expectation was that instead of assimilating into something new and bigger than himself, he find the Uzbek corner of the ghetto and live there as he did in Tashkent. The allure of America thus remained as out of reach as he lived in New York as it was when he was back home in Uzbekistan. Driving for Uber no doubt rubbed it in his nose over and over and over again even as Hillary and all the rest ballyhooed about diversity and against the idea of America itself.
photo credit: Screen Shot: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/11/01/terror-suspect-details/823436001/