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The Collapse of American Identity

 
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justintyme



Joined: 08 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: 05/14/17 11:47 am    ::: The Collapse of American Identity Reply Reply with quote

European nations were founded upon a common heritage and a common shape to everyone's nose. America was founded upon a shared set of political values. In the changing face of American demographics, no one seems to agree on what they are anymore. What does that mean for America?

The Collapse of American Identity

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An Associated Press-NORC poll found nearly mirror-opposite partisan reactions to the question of what kind of culture is important for American identity. Sixty-six percent of Democrats, compared with only 35 percent of Republicans, said the mixing of cultures and values from around the world was extremely or very important to American identity. Similarly, 64 percent of Republicans, compared with 32 percent of Democrats, saw a culture grounded in Christian religious beliefs as extremely or very important.

These divergent orientations can also be seen in a recent poll by P.R.R.I. that explored partisan perceptions of which groups are facing discrimination in the country. Like Americans overall, large majorities of Democrats believe minority groups such as African-Americans, immigrants, Muslims and gay and transgender people face a lot of discrimination in the country. Only about one in five Democrats say that majority groups such as Christians or whites face a lot of discrimination.

Republicans, on the other hand, are much less likely than Democrats to believe any minority group faces a lot of discrimination, and they believe Christians and whites face roughly as much discrimination as immigrants, Muslims and gay and transgender people. Moreover, only 27 percent of Republicans say blacks experience a lot of discrimination, while 43 percent say whites do and 48 percent say the same of Christians.

Taken as a whole, these partisan portraits highlight contrasting responses to the country’s changing demographics and culture, especially over the past decade as the country has ceased to be a majority white Christian nation — from 54 percent in 2008 to 43 percent today. Democrats — only 29 percent of whom are white and Christian — are embracing these changes as central to their vision of an evolving American identity that is strengthened and renewed by diversity. By contrast, Republicans — nearly three-quarters of whom identify as white and Christian — see these changes eroding a core white Christian American identity and perceive themselves to be under siege as the country changes around them.



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pilight



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PostPosted: 05/14/17 12:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

In truth, the US was never a mixture of cultures from around the world. The melting pot was an amalgamation of different European cultures with a little Native American culture for spice. Immigration from Asia was severely restricted until well after WWII. Lots of people were brought here from Africa, but they were discouraged (and often prohibited) from expressing their cultural identity.



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justintyme



Joined: 08 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: 05/14/17 1:21 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
In truth, the US was never a mixture of cultures from around the world. The melting pot was an amalgamation of different European cultures with a little Native American culture for spice. Immigration from Asia was severely restricted until well after WWII. Lots of people were brought here from Africa, but they were discouraged (and often prohibited) from expressing their cultural identity.

Yep. That was discussed in the article. The "melting pot" idea worked as long as the dominant culture (white Christian) stayed dominant. As long as they were allowed to pick and choose which aspects they wished to appropriate and define the rest as "savage" or "improper".

What we are seeing now is something that has played out times innumerable throughout human history. When a once dominate culture feels their dominance slipping reactionary forces harden in an attempt to maintain their position. ISIS and the Taliban are excellent examples of this. As Western culture started chipping away at their traditional cultural powers, they answered with a brutal response.



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Howee



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PostPosted: 05/15/17 12:16 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
In truth, the US was never a mixture of cultures from around the world. The melting pot was an amalgamation of different European cultures with a little Native American culture for spice. Immigration from Asia was severely restricted until well after WWII. Lots of people were brought here from Africa, but they were discouraged (and often prohibited) from expressing their cultural identity.


Mostly agree. If "melting pot" infers equal chunks of colors blending uniformly, then yes....it's not so valid for us. But I think your idea minimizes the extent of diversity that exists *just* within the Euro-cultural milieu. I mean, the cultural differences between Germans and Spanish and Polish and British ARE significant in themselves. Even over the centuries, in a more confined geography, those cultures maintain their distinctions in their homelands, while they've blended a bit better over here. (mostly! Razz) And weren't Asians (Chinese, mostly?) brought over in large numbers during the 19th century's westward expansion, as a readily available/exploitable labor source?

justintyme wrote:
ISIS and the Taliban are excellent examples of this. As Western culture started chipping away at their traditional cultural powers, they answered with a brutal response.

You may be meaning this same thing, but I'd suggest that it's more of a seismic backlash against a centuries-long suppression and brutalization of their culture. Especially more volatile now, as technology enables them to unite and recruit world-wide, and the hated infidels remain addicted to their petroleum, i.e., didn't just 'rape-n-go', but continued to inflict their will upon their lands.



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