our readings and discussions have been focused on establishing a baseline for understanding diversity. In this module, we’ll begin our tour through the four lenses, beginning with history. As we dive
Get quality term paper help at Unemployedprofessor.net. Use our paper writing services to score better and meet your deadlines. It is simple and straightforward. Whatever paper you need—we will help you write it!
Order a Similar Paper Order a Different Paper
our readings and discussions have been focused on establishing a baseline for understanding diversity. In this module, we’ll begin our tour through the four lenses, beginning with history. As we dive into the four lenses, keep in mind that each lens is framed as a way of seeing the issue and is not necessarily tied to the associated discipline. So, looking through the historical lens isn’t just about History Channel documentaries—it’s also about how you use the lens to understand the past and present. As you write your initial post, answer the following questions:
- In what ways does looking through the history lens enhance your understanding of diversity?
- Consider a current event in the news that has a historical counterpart. How does looking through the history lens influence how you perceive both the current and historical events? Please share a news link to your events.
- How does analyzing the relationship between history, culture, and diversity have an influence on your discipline of study or chosen profession?
Make sure you support your response with the readings from this module, and any additional resources if needed.
our readings and discussions have been focused on establishing a baseline for understanding diversity. In this module, we’ll begin our tour through the four lenses, beginning with history. As we dive
Rutgers University Press Chapter Title: Introduction Book Title: Challenges of Diversity Book Subtitle: Essays on America Book Author(syf : ( 5 1 ( 5 6 2 / / 2 5 S Published by: Rutgers University Press. (2017yf Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1v2xtjj.3 JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at https://about.jstor.org/terms Rutgers University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Challenges of Diversity This content downloaded from 220.127.116.11 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 3 Introduction Ah me, what are the people whose land I have come to this time, and are they violent and savage, and without justice, or hospitable to strangers, with a godly mind? —Homer, Odyssey VI:119–121 1 Migration has been a human experience since the earliest times, and epic stories of migrants have accompanied this experience. In the biblical book of Genesis, Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden, and the three monotheistic religions have drawn on the story of paradise as an ideal place of origin that man forfeited because of his fallibility. Noah and his family are saved from the environmental disaster of the flood and can start a new life elsewhere. In the book of Exodus, Moses and the Israelites escape from oppressive slavery in Eg ypt. In Vergil’s Aeneid the defeated Trojans leave their city in search of a new country. Such great stories have provided vivid and often heartrending scenes that writers, painters, and composers have returned to. They include scenes of departures, as when Aeneas car – ries his father Anchises out of the burning city and brings his son and the Penates along but loses his wife; of difficult journeys, as when the Israelites This content downloaded from 18.104.22.168 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 4 • Werner Sollors follow a pillar of fire at night and of cloud in the day and miraculously cross the Red Sea to reach the Promised Land; and of arrivals, as when Noah’s ark lands on Mount Ararat after the dove he sent out returns with an olive leaf in her beak. Such epic stories tell tales of the hospitality that Nausikaa extends to Odysseus and that the inhospitable Polyphemus does not. They tell tales of the many obstacles along the way; of the sadness at the loss of family, friends, or homeland; of feeling Fernweh, the yearning for faraway and unknown places; of the hopefulness of new beginnings elsewhere; of the wish for a return from exile in what remains a strange location to the familiar place of origin; or of the migrants’ peculiar sense of seeing the world through the eyes of two places. Such stories resonate in a world characterized by vast global migra – tions. There were 244 million international migrants in the world in 2015, more than the population of Brazil, the fifth largest country. The United States was the most important host country with 47 million migrants liv – ing there, followed by Germany and Russia, with twelve million migrants each. 2 But for a very long time, Europe was a continent better known for sending migrants abroad, a good many of them to the Americas, than for receiving them. Hence the term “emigration” became more popular than “migration” in Europe. By contrast, American cultural history has been shaped, from colonial times on, by large-scale immigration (as well as by substantial internal migrations), and it is not surprising that some of the ancient migration stories have been invoked and adapted for the American experience. 3 Both the English Puritan settlers who arrived in order to prac- tice their religion freely and the Africans who were enslaved and brought to America against their wills found in their experiences echoes of the Book of Exodus. Thus Cotton Mather wrote about New England: “This New World desert was prefigured long before in the howling deserts where the Israelites passed on their journey to Canaan.” 4 And African Americans created and sang the spiritual “Go Down, Moses,” claiming their freedom with the biblical exclamation, “Let my people go!” When the founding fathers discussed the design of the Great Seal of the United States, Benja – min Franklin proposed “Moses standing on the Shore, and extending his Hand over the Sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharaoh who is sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his Head and a Sword in his Hand. Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the Clouds reaching to Moses, to express that he acts by Command of the Deity. Motto, Rebellion to Tyrants is This content downloaded from 22.214.171.124 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Introduction • 5 Obedience to God.” 5 Thomas Jefferson thought of choosing the scene of the “children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.” 6 The final Seal promises a novus ordo seclorum (new order of the ages), an inscription adapted from Vergil’s Eclogues 4:4–10. The motto annuit coeptis also derived from Vergil (Aeneid IX :f25), and turned a supplication for Jupiter’s assent into the claim that God already “pros- pered this undertaking.” 7 And many an immigrant tale has been called an “American Odyssey.” The United States is a settler-dominated country, the product of a com – posite of waves of immigration and westward migration that have reduced the original inhabitants of the fourth continent to a small minority called Indians. In the mid-nineteenth century, Irish, German, and Scandinavian migrants joined the English settlers, as did the Spanish-speaking popula – tion of the parts of Mexico that the United States annexed. Toward the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, the so-called new immigration of such south and east European groups as Slavs, Jews, Greeks, and Italians followed, transforming the country from a small English (and English-dominated) colonial offshoot into a polyethnic nation, a process that continued in the second half of the twentieth cen – tury with the still ongoing migratory mass movements of Latin Americans and Asians. The United States has thus become a prototypical immigrant country in which ethnic diversity is a statistical fact as well as a source of debate, of anxiety, and of pride. The statistical fact, well documented by the US Cen – sus Bureau, is readily established: at the moment I am writing this, the tick – ing American population clock shows 324,420,49f inhabitants, with one immigrant arriving every thirty-three seconds. The American population grew from about 5 million in 1800 to 308 million in 2010, and the total foreign-born population as of 2009 was 38.5 million, among whom 20.5 million came from Latin America, 10.5 million from Asia. b Divided by race and Hispanic origin, 244 million (or 79 percent) classified themselves as white, 48 million as Hispanic, 39 million as black or African American, 14 million as Asian, and 3 million as American Indian; there were also about 5 million who described themselves as part of two or more races. 9 Divided by ancestry group, 50 million Americans claimed to have German roots, 3f million Irish origins, 27 million English heritage, and 18 million an Italian background. 10 Yet when looked at through the lens of languages spoken, it This content downloaded from 126.96.36.199 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 6 • Werner Sollors becomes apparent that language loyalty is rather weak for the older immi- grant groups, with only a small fraction of German Americans speaking German and Italian Americans speaking Italian at home. 11 Immigration thus brought an enormous population growth, a fact that made it a source of national pride, all the more so because it took place alongside vast territorial expansions by purchase, conquest, and treaty. Yet immigration also generated a national population of very diverse ori- gins, and this created times of anxiety and fearfulness over diversity and assimilation. For the Puritans it was inconceivable that Quakers could become part of the Massachusetts Bay Company; for the free whites in a slave-holding country it was self-evident that African slaves and their descendants had no rights that a white man was bound to respect, and plans to resettle freed slaves in Africa became popular for some time. Cot – ton Mather feared that Satan was planning to create “a colony of Irish,” and Benjamin Franklin wondered whether the “swarthy” Germans of Pennsylvania “will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our language and cus- toms, any more than they can acquire our complexion.” 12 Alexander Hamilton, though he currently enjoys much fame in the world of musicals and is associated with such lines as “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” wondered whether, because “ foreigners will generally be apt to bring with them attachments to the persons they have left behind,” their influx to America “must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.” 13 Race and religion have often overlapped in calls for exclu – sion, from the nineteenth century to the present. For mid-nineteenth- century Protestant culture, it was the threat of the religious difference that Irish and German Catholic immigrants presented that led to the anti- immigrant Know Nothing movement. Racial anxieties stoked fears of Chinese immigrants and led to the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 and the Gentlemen’s Agreement with Japan in 1907. The pass- ing of the 1924 Johnson-Reed Act, in the name of US racial homogeneity, restricted each nationality to no more than 2 percent of its presence in the United States as of 1890 (that is, before the “new immigration” This content downloaded from 188.8.131.52 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Introduction • 7 had peaked). And after half a century of high immigration figures, the current political mood, fomented by fears of terrorism, seems again to turn toward restricting the influx of immigrants, with a primary target of the religious difference of Muslims. Diversity implies that it may be challenging to find the unifying ele – ments that hold this heterogeneous population together in a Hamiltonian “harmony of the ingredients.” Nationalisms are often based on myths of shared blood and soil, yet present-day Americans are not of one blood and hail from quite different terrains. Other settler countries chose racial mixing or interpreted figures that seemed to embody such mixing , like the Mexican Virgin of Guadalupe, as symbols of national unity. Mixing races was also common in the parts of Mexico that were annexed, as well as in New Orleans and other parts of formerly French Louisiana where the important category “free man of color” stood between black and white. For the English colonies and much of the later United States, however, mixing black and white remained a vexed issue through the twentieth cen – tury. Hence turning diversity into unity took different forms. “What is the connecting link between these so different elements,” Alexis de Tocqueville asked in a letter. “How are they welded into one people?” 14 The first three essays in this book pursue this question in various ways and search for the answers given in American texts and symbols. One answer was that enforced assimilation in an English mold, or Anglo-conformity, was the most promising pattern that would unify the population. It made English the dominant language and turned Amer – ica into a graveyard of spoken languages other than English, except only among recent immigrants; currently that means speakers of Spanish and of Asian languages. Anglo-domination also meant that a historical con – sciousness of American culture as an offshoot of England had to be devel – oped and instilled in the population. Though it may always have sounded somewhat odd to hear children with thick immigrant accents sing “Land where our fodders died,” the assertion of Anglo-American patriotism by non-Anglo Americans could sound hollow, at times even duplicitous, when the United States was at war with the countries of origin of millions of immigrants, as was the case during World War I. Furthermore, racially differing groups, most especially blacks and Indians, were excluded or severely marginalized in Anglicization projects. Their status as citizens still needed to be fought for, even though they were clearly a continued and This content downloaded from 184.108.40.206 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 8 • Werner Sollors strong presence in American cultural productions. Could the invocation of shared English origins really serve as a “connecting link” between Ameri- ca’s “different elements”? Religious typolog y, examined in the opening essay “Literature and Eth – nicity,” was particularly adept in making sacred biblical stories prototypes of secular American tales that could then be seen as their fulfillment on Earth, and the Puritan method of reading migration history in the light of the biblical text has left many traces in the culture. Biblical stories could provide answers to such questions as: Why did we leave? What did we come here to find? And how may we still be connected to the people and places we left behind? For nonadherents to messianic religions and even for nonbelievers, American “civil religion” (Robert Bellah) helped to transfer religious to political sentiments, leaving the meaning of “God” relatively unspecific in the formula “In God We Trust.” Invoking New World Puritan, Pilgrim, and Virginian beginnings—also by people who were not descended from any such group—thus became a way of imagining a cultural connecting link. Feeling like a fellow citizen of George Washington or reciting the founding fathers’ revered political documents could create a feeling of national cohesion that each Fourth of July celebration reenacted. Yet the Declaration of Independence, the sub – ject of the third essay, “Dedicated to a Proposition,” was interpreted and invoked and parodied in heterogeneous ways, sometimes quite irrever – ently, in Massachusetts freedom suits, by immigrants, by Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King , and it was echoed differently in the suffrage and labor movements and in the musical Hair. Frederick Douglass’s rhetorical question “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” stands for many other vantage points from which such documents could be cited for the purpose of demanding urgent changes of the status quo and not yet for celebrat – ing the country’s unity. The “American Creed” was often less a firm set of beliefs in an existing system than a promise that would still need to be ful – filled through struggles and hard work. Beyond Anglo-conformity, religious typolog y, and invocation of founding fathers and their texts, making arrival points stand for ultimate origins could provide some form of family resemblance and American inclusiveness. As the second essay, “National Identity and Ethnic Diver – sity,” suggests, instead of tracing one’s roots back to different places on the globe, one only had to go back to such heterogeneous arrival points This content downloaded from 220.127.116.11 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Introduction • 9 as the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock; a slave ship in Jamestown; and the steerage of a steamship at Castle Garden, Ellis Island, or Angel Island and thus settle on comparable threshold symbols in America. Some immi- grants regarded their moment of arrival on American shores as their true birthday. They sometimes celebrated that birthday with fellow passen – gers, now christened “ship brothers” or “ship sisters.” The shared feeling that a pre-American past had been transcended, that even the Hamilto – nian “attachments to the persons they have left behind” had been severed, could thus paradoxically turn diversity with its “foreign propensities” into another source of unity. This origin story could also lead to an eradication of any past and a reorientation toward the future of things to come. Thus the narrator of one of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories introduces himself: “Of my coun – try and of my family I have little to say. Ill usage and length of years have driven me from one, and estranged me from the other.” 15 “All the past we leave behind,” Walt Whitman proclaimed in “Pioneers! O Pioneers!” and he continued: “We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world, / Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march, / Pio – neers! O pioneers!” 16 Willa Cather used Whitman’s poem in a title of one of her novels of immigrant life, while the Norwegian immigrant Ole E. Rølvaag invoked the text of the poem in one of the volumes of his saga of the settlement by Norwegians in the prairies. What a reader of Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick, or, The Whale learns about Captain Ahab’s background is only that he had a “crazy, widowed mother.” 17 In his White- Jacket , Melville wrote that the “Past is, in many things, the foe of mankind,” but that the “Future” is “the Bible of the Free.” 1b If the past is dead, then migration could be like a rebirth experience. Thus the immigrant Mary Antin begins her memoir, The Promised Land (1912): “I was born, I have lived, and I have been made over. Is it not time to write my life’s story? I am just as much out of the way as if I were dead, for I am absolutely other than the person whose story I have to tell. [. . . ] My second birth was no less a birth because there was no distinct incarnation.” 19 Ethnicity as ancestry could thus lead to the denial, forgetting , or in any event, the overcoming of the past. Here, again, racial difference created an odd counterweight because though self-monitored rebirth, renaming , and other ethnic options were open to the diverse immigrant population that the US Census Bureau considered “white,” “non-whites” were often This content downloaded from 18.104.22.168 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 10 • Werner Sollors believed to remain immutably tied to their past. When a black passenger seated in the white section of a segregated train tells the conductor, “I done quit the race,” he is saying something that is believed to be so impos- sible as to make his statement funny, even at a time when Jim Crow rules were sadistically enforced throughout the society. The nameless narrator- protagonist of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man fits well into the American “all-the-past-we-leave-behind” camp because we learn little about his par – ents, and he only refers to his grandfather’s one-sentence deathbed maxim, to “overcome’em with yeses, undermin’em with grins, agree’em to death and destruction”—yet the identity shifts of this urban migrant never cross the color line. 20 The color line was crossed, of course, in the extensive lit – erature on racial passing. The word “passing” itself was an Americanism that names the supposed impossibility for characters of mixed-race ances- try to successfully define themselves by their white ancestors and as white, except by deception. In a country that believes in social mobility and wor – ships the upstart as self-made man, racial passing was often a tragic affair. And for a racially passing person, success furthermore meant abandoning past attachments with a vengeance, for even just acknowledging a colored relative could mean the immediate end of passing , as characters in Jessie Fauset’s or Nella Larsen’s novels rightly fear. Can all Americans perhaps share a form of double consciousness, as their deep history points to other continents? That we are all immigrants could be the answer here, and one finds even the migration across the Bering Strait of the people who would become American Indians merged into this unifying story of a nation of immigrants. The migratory back – ground could be folded into a neatly harmonized family metaphor, as when the Danish immigrant Jacob Riis wrote in his autobiography, The Making of an American (1901): “Alas! I am afraid that thirty years in the land of my children’s birth have left me as much of a Dane as ever. . . . Yet, would you have it otherwise? What sort of a husband is the man going to make who begins by pitching his old mother out of the door to make room for his wife? And what sort of a wife would she be to ask or to stand it?” 21 Mother country and country of marriage partner are thus rec- onciled as unchangeable parts of one single family story. One can surely be proud of both one’s parent and one’s spouse, and spouses should not demand the discarding of their mothers-in-law. One also notices Riis’s weighty phrase, “land of my children’s birth.” As the dominant cultural This content downloaded from 22.214.171.124 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Introduction • 11 outlook may have subtly shifted from following the example of one’s parents to imagining a better future for one’s children, the importance of success stories of upward mobility is not negligible for this reorienta – tion to work. And the fact that American-born children may be the first American citizens in immigrant families intensifies this forward-looking identification. Yet in situations of war or other great conflicts, the immigrants’ parent – age or former citizenship, their “foreign propensities” and “attachments to the persons they have left behind,” could matter again. Public anxieties could emerge and be stoked by rhetoric, culminating in strong majoritar – ian beliefs in the incompatibility of some groups who are believed to tend to “change and corrupt the national spirit.” Attempts to stress and normal – ize hyphenated double identities as family stories did become particularly troubling during World War I, when national loyalty had to be reinforced and seemed to demand “pitching one’s old mother out of the door.” Hence the fast-track abandonment of the hyphens in Americanization campaigns, the Ford Motor Company Melting Pot rituals, and the slogans promis- ing “Americans All!” Yet the more melting-pot catalogs listed the hetero – geneous pasts with the intention of making sure that they would be left behind, the more these differing pasts could also be reclaimed now that they had been named. It is thus telling that Randolph Bourne’s utopian-cosmopolitan notion of a “Transnational America” as well as Horace Kallen’s concept of cultural pluralism emerged in opposition to the wartime assimilation project of the Americanizers. Bourne thought Americanization would lead to the dominance of vapid, lowest-common-denominator popular culture of cheap magazines and movies and eradicate the country’s vibrant cultural- linguistic diversity. Kallen believed that assimilation was a violation of the democracy of ethnic groups that a country like Switzerland realized more fully than melting-pot America, for assimilationists fail to recognize that “men cannot change their grandfathers.” 22 As Philip Gleason showed, this belief in the immutability of ethnoracial origins was a feature that early pluralist thinking shared with that of racists, and neither believed in assim – ilation. Did pluralists, to use Kwame Anthony Appiah’s formulation, sim – ply “replace one ethnocentrism with many”? 23 The complex and somewhat surprising story of the origins of cultural pluralism is the subject of the fourth essay, “A Critique of Pure Pluralism.” This content downloaded from 126.96.36.199 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 12 • Werner Sollors From such beginnings, there slowly emerged a new sense of Ameri- canness that emphasized more and more the aspects of ethnic diversity as constitutive and hopefully unifying features of the country. Rather than generating anxiety, diversity could now become a source of national pride, generating the belief that the inhabitants’ “heterogeneous com – pound” was, in fact, the answer to the quest for national unity. The pro – cess was interrupted by World War II, when the search for “common ground” (also the title of a magazine edited by the Slovenian immigrant Louis Adamic) summoning national unity out of diversity was challenged by the fear of new sets of US relatives of wartime enemies: fifth colum – nists from the European Axis countries, but most especially West Coast Japanese Americans who were held in detention camps for the duration of the war, even though the majority of them held US citizenship. During the Cold War, new fears were targeted toward immigrants who had Com – munist backgrounds and affiliations or who were merely suspected of Communist sympathies. Big changes in race relations and in immigration policies came in the course of the 19f0s. Neither the Americanizers’ assimilation project nor Bourne and Kallen’s pluralism had paid much attention to African Amer – icans and Indians in their models of transnational or pluralist America; they remained “encapsulated in white ethnocentrism,” as John Higham put it. 24 However, the successes of the civil rights movement forced a new rec- ognition of the privilege of whiteness that earlier models of Americanness had quietly taken for granted or simply ignored in their reflections. The example of African Americans’ struggle for equality inspired the Ameri- can Indian movement, women’s liberation, the struggle for gay rights, and other movements and led to more vocal demands for a more universally egalitarian country, measured by its inclusiveness of previously excluded groups. This was reflected in the 19f5 Immigration and Naturalization Act that abolished racially motivated national origins quotas. The recognition also gained dominance that past discriminations on the basis of categories like race, gender, and religion needed not just corrections on the individual level but “affirmative action” toward groups that had been discriminated against as groups. This recognition required strenuous attacks on exclu – sionary practices of the past and generated a new hopefulness that stressing what had divided Americans in the past could become the connecting link of the present. This emphasis on group rights is what became known in the This content downloaded from 188.8.131.52 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Introduction • 13 1980s as multiculturalism to its advocates and, a decade later, as identity politics to its critics. The transformation of an Anglo-American settler country into a poly – ethnic and self-consciously multicultural nation may thus appear as a story of great progress toward the fulfillment of egalitarian ideals in a more and more inclusive society. When seen through the lens of mul – ticulturalism, one could imagine a success story: that a slow equaliza – tion process among different status groups had affirmed the “American Dream” of high social and economic mobility. There are more women in leadership positions than before the 19f0s, and African Americans and Latinos have a far stronger representation in governmental bodies and educational structures, in business, health care, law, and the military. Dis- crimination on the grounds of race, sex, national origin, or sexual orien – tation is being monitored, and nasty jokes or spiteful comments about minorities are no longer common currency or politely tolerated in many areas of American life. 25 Yet it is also the case that classes have been drifting apart in America. The status and share in income of poor people has been declining , while that of the highest-earning strata has increased dramatically. Whereas the bottom half made 19.9 percent of the pretax national income in 1980, their share has declined to a mere 12.5 percent in 2014, while that of the top 1 percent has risen from 10.7 percent in 1980 to 20.2 percent in 2014. 26 And this American situation has global relevance, as nowadays the world’s eight richest men—among them six Americans—own as much as the world’s bottom half, or 3.f billion people. 27 Economic equalization is not in evidence, then, and multicultur – alism’s focus on group rights may have made it harder for the poorer half of Americans to form intergroup alliances, while antisocial tax and healthcare legislation can be advanced in the name of opposing iden – tity politics, thus further deepening the class divide and accelerating the movement toward a multiculturally styled plutocracy. How could social movements be built, Richard Rorty asked, that would attempt to fight the crimes of social selfishness with the same vigor that mul – ticulturalists have focused on the crimes of sadism against minority groups? 2b Group divisions, reinforced by the bureaucratic procedures of what David Hollinger criticized as America’s “ethnoracial pentagon,” a “rigidification of exactly those ascribed distinctions between persons This content downloaded from 184.108.40.206 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 14 • Werner Sollors that various universalists and cosmopolitans have so long sought to diminish,” seemed to assume a much more permanent and quasi-natu – ral status, obscuring more malleable connections by choice and around shared interests. 29 Pluralism also alienated radical young intellectuals, as Higham observed, “from the rank and file of the American working peo – ple—that is, from all the people except the culturally distinctive minori- ties.” 30 And those nonminority working people could now be mobilized by populist politicians as “forgotten Americans” who consider them – selves free of the racisms of the past but express forceful, and even spite – ful, resentment against those minority groups who were singled out for policies of collective redress or benefit, and against the political and educational elites as well as the liberal press they hold responsible for devising and defending these policies. Multiculturally oriented intellec- tuals in turn register and indict this reaction as racism, xenophobia, and anti-intellectualism. In the face of growing class inequality, multicultur – alism may no longer serve as the “connecting link” between the “differ – ent elements of America,” but might instead enable potentially explosive group divisions and help to create that “discordant intermixture” with “an injurious tendency” that Hamilton feared. Perhaps it is no coinci- dence that the debate about multiculturalism was drawn to the dysto – pian imagination of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a novel that has again moved to the center of public attention. (Erich Fromm’s use of the term “mobile truth” in his 19f1 afterword to Orwell’s novel also has assumed a new relevance at the present moment.) The last essay in this volume, “The Multiculturalism Debate as Cultural Text,” focusing on the so-called culture wars, includes the sentence, “There may now be many multicultural men and women who are completely disconnected from any proletariat anywhere, and multicultural internationalism may even serve as the marker that separates these intellectuals from people, making multiculturalists instead part of a global ruling class.” Multicul – turalism may thus need a strong infusion of social consciousness and a steady, active attention to economic inequalities. But what other model of integration could we turn to now, when an immigrant arrives every thirty-three seconds in the United States, than multiculturalism’s affir – mation of diversity as a sign of strength? Which tales of hospitality toward refugees and strangers will the cur – rent moment generate in the United States or, as a matter of fact, any – where in the world, since the United States is no longer exceptional as a This content downloaded from 220.127.116.11 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Introduction • 15 host country to large numbers of immigrants. Many other countries have become the destination of global flows of refugees and migrants. More than 140 countries, among them the United States, signed the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, an important international treaty that was expanded by the 19f7 Protocol and reaffirmed by the 201f New York Declaration. 31 That most recent declaration stipu – lates “a shared responsibility to manage large movements of refugees and migrants in a humane, sensitive, compassionate and people-centred man – ner.” It continues: Large movements of refugees and migrants must have comprehensive policy support, assistance and protection, consistent with States’ obligations under international law. We also recall our obligations to fully respect their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and we stress their need to live their lives in safety and dignity. We pledge our support to those affected today as well as to those who will be part of future large movements. [. . . ] We strongly condemn acts and manifestations of racism, racial discrim – ination, xenophobia and related intolerance against refugees and migrants, and the stereotypes often applied to them, including on the basis of reli- gion or belief. Diversity enriches every society and contributes to social cohesion. One can only hope that the governments of member countries will live up to the language and spirit of the United Nations and that the stories that dominate our time will resemble Nausikaa’s caring hospitality and not Polyphemus’s violence. The Illustrations Each essay is accompanied by an image, inviting the reader to ponder how one might be able to visualize multicultural America in a single telling image. Edward A. Wilson, critically casting America as El Dorado (1913; see Figure 1, the opening image of the first essay), imagined the arrival of an immigrant family in the harbor of New York not with the Statue of Liberty but with a golden Fortuna-like goddess who rolls the dice of chance toward the newcomers, thus casting a critical question mark on the myth of America. The representational shortcomings of such artwork This content downloaded from 18.104.22.168 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 16 • Werner Sollors as Howard Chandler Christy’s poster Americans All! (1917, see Figure 2, the frontispiece to the second essay) are immediately apparent, as the Christy girl is a poor allegorical embodiment of the varieties of physical features that the list of ethnic names suggests. The Enlightenment-in – spired egalitarian promise of “All Men Are Created Equal” remains an ideological foundation of any multicultural sensibility, but John Trum – bull’s 1819 painting Declaration of Independence (in its two-dollar bill adaptation, the frontispiece of the third essay, Figure 3) does little to give visual expression to American ethnic diversity. Grant E. Hamil – ton’s cartoon Uncle Sam Is a Man of Strong Features (1898, Figure 4, the image opening the fourth essay) is a valiant, Arcimboldo-style attempt to transform a virtual catalogue of all major ethnic groups—not only English, German, Irish, Swede, French, Italian, Greek, and Russian, but also Indian, Negro, Hebrew, Cuban, Esquimaux, Hawaiian, Turk, and Chinese—into the facial features of the familiar Uncle Sam figure. Uncle Sam’s beard, composed by the only female figure, a stout Quaker woman with piously folded hands, forms a comic counterpoint to the rather wor – risome male specimens. Whether a twenty-first-century viewer is more startled by the Negro and Hawaiian as thick-lipped dark pupils of the eyes, by the big-nosed Hebrew and shiftless Italian as ears, or by the stoic Indian with his outstretched arms as nose and eyebrows, one simply has to wonder about Grant’s employment of grossly stereotypical ethnic fea – tures and his need to give captions to all those figures in order to make the heterogeneous ingredients of America more readily legible. The fifth and last essay opens with a diagram (Figure 5) adapted from Stewart G. and Mildred Wiese Cole’s Minorities and the American Promise (1954) rather than an image, in order to highlight the significance of the now forgot – ten history of mid-century research about cultural diversity and inter – cultural education. In the absence of a single trademark-like image that would recognizably signal America in all its diversity, the cover designer arranged ten of Francis Augustus Sherman’s Ellis Island portrait photo – graphs from the years 1905 to 1920. 32 Sherman worked as chief registry clerk with the Immigration Division of Ellis Island and thus had ample opportunity to get migrants who passed through, or were detained at Ellis Island to pose for him. Starting with the image at the top center of the cover, “Three Women from Guadeloupe,” the photographs represent, in clockwise direction, “Greek soldier,” “Ruthenian Woman,” “Slova – kian Women,” “Algerian Man,” “Danish man,” “Protestant Woman from This content downloaded from 22.214.171.124 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Introduction • 17 Zuid-Beveland, The Netherlands,” “Greek Woman,” “Russian Cossacks,” and “Bavarian Man.” Dressed in traditional costumes, many of Sherman’s subjects stand in front of recognizable Ellis Island buildings, often look straight at the camera, and thus manage to prompt the viewer to wonder about their individual stories, the meaning of migration, and the chal – lenges of diversity. This content downloaded from 126.96.36.199 on Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:57:49 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms
Our affordable academic writing services save you time, which is your most valuable asset. Share your time with your loved ones as our Unemployedprofessor.net experts deliver unique, and custom-written paper for you.
Get a 15% discount on your order using the following coupon code SAVE15
Order a Similar Paper Order a Different Paper