Letter to the Editor

A lesson from history

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dear Editor:

For those who are worried about the Hispanics or other immigrants taking over America, here is a little lesson from history.

One hundred fifty years ago it was those darn Irish. They were coming here in droves, taking the jobs in the Eastern cities, grabbing up land in farm country, and competing for positions in building the railroad in the West.

One hundred twenty years ago it was those darn Germans. They were coming here in waves, bringing with them their strange language, bizarre food, and unusual customs. Some of them were even starting German-language newspapers.

One hundred years ago it was those darn Slavs, Poles, and Czechs. They were coming here by the boat load and moving into Anglo Saxon Protestant neighborhoods in the major cities, bringing with them languages no one understood and religions like Catholicism and Judaism.

All of these groups eventually were accepted by American society. They assimilated and, despite threats and harassment, they kept their customs. Today, we celebrate St. Patrick's Day regardless of our ethnic background, we put up the German Christmas tree, and we appreciate the music, literature, and knowledge of science brought by the East Europeans. One day we will all accept the Hispanic people and other immigrants and all of us will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo. It's the American way. E pluribus unum. Out of many, one.


David Shipp