Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Trump administration is waging war on diversity; Vox, August 4, 2017

Dara Lind, Vox; The Trump administration is waging war on diversity

"Back when diversity was a settled question — at least in public — it was assumed that any politician (or company, or celebrity) would want people of different races, religions, and abilities highly placed at public events and featured in promotional campaigns. It was assumed that the president would do anodyne photo-ops like hosting a Ramadan break-fast — things that would both remind Muslims in the US that America agreed they were Americans, and remind non-Muslims that someone can be American while observing religious holidays and eating traditional foods. There was an interest in treating everyone as, if not yet fully American, Americanizable — and an awareness that maybe it would be America that would change to meet them, as much as the other way around.

There was an interest in portraying, and treating, no one as unassimilable. Trump has given those who worried immigrants might not integrate a voice — a powerful one.

The distinction between assimilation and integration — between the vision of America as a melting pot and America as a salad, to use the standard metaphors — might seem like nothing more than a difference of degree: how much someone should have to change to become American once arriving here.

But it’s really a question of how diverse a country can be without breaking."

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