Of Culture and Identity

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"In a New Country, Struggling to Fit In" [May 26-June 2] approached a timely topic but from a backwards perspective.

Immigration is an issue in our country, but assimilation should not be assumed to be the answer to the problem. I don't find it problematic that after four generations certain populations maintain their heritage, identity, and language, whether that be Spanish, Arabic, or Korean. America was not founded on principles of assimilation but rather tolerance, acceptance, and freedom. Our great melting-pot nation would do well to encourage immigrants to maintain their heritage, identity, and language, while also encouraging them to acquire the skills (if they do not already have them) to attain whatever level of economic stability they seek.

Barbara Bird


Department of French and Italian
University of Wisconsin - Madison  

As an immigrant myself, I believe we should not be called Mexican-American or African-American. We are Americans, either by birth or through naturalization, and, as citizens, have many privileges, including the right to vote. If we are citizens of another country, then we should refer to ourselves as such.

Ingrid Kemper


Henderson, Nev.