Letter to the Editor: Country is a colorful tapestry of people

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Dear Editor,

Although I wrote the following in 2011, recent events and comments by a leading candidate for President of the United States in which he implied that immigrants were “poisoning the blood of this nation” have prompted me to share my concerns about the values that made this country the envy of the world.

Ask any visitor to these United States what characterizes us as unique among nations, and the answer is likely to be our diversity. Native Americans fathered diversity with the Anasazi, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Pawnee, Sioux, Seminole, Iroquois, and Pueblo among the myriad other cultures that inhabited this land.

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Then from foreign shores the immigrants arrived: Norse, Portuguese, Spanish, English, Irish German, Italian, Chinese. Travel to Sitka, Alaska and one will see onion top chapels a reminder of our Russian heritage.

Travel to San Antonio and our Mexican heritage is apparent in language and food. In the northwest and San Francisco our Asian roots are prominent; and in Cincinnati and Milwaukee we can enjoy German beer and culture; New Orleans and Louisiana celebrate French culture.

In New York (New Amsterdam) our Dutch ancestry is evident, and we cross the Brooklyn Bridge to find essential Jewish values. Then travel to the South where the shameful past has failed to limit the great contribution to our country by black Americans.

The English, the Scots, the Irish, the Poles: all are a part of our great country bringing with them their unique cultures, attitudes, and religions. And religions abound – legions of religions: Mormons, Muslims, Catholics, Jews, Reformed Jews, Protestants (with too many to count sects), Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, Deists, Wiccans; all celebrating man’s attempt to explain the unexplainable.

This great blending forms the wonderful, colorful tapestry that is our country: the United States of America.

s/ E. Jeff Justis