In the early 1900’s, America was looked upon as being “The land of Opportunity.” Immigrants looked to the United States as a place where they could begin to rebuild their lives with a fresh new start. America soon began to be called the melting pot of the world. Immigrants were no longer Irish, French, or German. They were American. Immigrants were assimilated into the American way of life. They gave up their individuality.
Towards the end of the century, people began to realize the importance of retaining their customs, beliefs, and way of life from their homeland. Anna Quindlen supports this idea in her editorial “Making the Mosaic.” A mosaic can be likened to a patchwork quilt. The quilt is made up of many different pieces, but collectively they are one quilt. According to Quindlen, America is a mosaic. There are approximately five million people in the United States today. Every one of them is unique in their own way. Characteristics such as age, sex, and race are only a few of the things that make us completely different from those around us. That is what sets America apart from the rest of the world. America is only one country. Within America, there are people from virtually every nation in the world. America can be called a nation of nations.
Despite the optimism that Quindlen shows, there are some who disagree with her. Some people believe that the United States should not allow people to immigrate here because of the problems that they bring with them. It is a natural tendency for people to blame their own problems on someone or something else. These “conservatives” should focus on how to resolve their own problems before they try to eliminate innocent people from having a chance to better their lives.
Quindlen makes a good point when she wrote, “It I foolish to forget where you come from, which, in the case of the United States, is almost always somewhere else.” Those wh...