Diversity makes America great

Editor:

Russell Sias’s glowing tribute to Kenny Williams (“Illegal immigrants ?are criminals,” Jan. 31) was touching. Unfortunately, Sias and-I have to assume-Williams may need to brush up on U.S. history.?

For starters, I have to assume that the law-abiding “ancestors” to which Sias is referring are those who settled here in the 18th century or earlier, not immigrants who came over in the early 1900s.

If so, he must have forgotten that these folks more or less stole the colonies from England, refused to leave when told to do so (in spite of bounties being put on their heads) and ended up winning the land through a war. Lawlessness and rebellion were rampant. Even high school history books don’t gloss over this fact.

Next, when Lincoln said “United we stand, divided we fall,” he was discussing the north/south cultural differences that brought on the Civil War, not the English language. I actually think embracing his words would be a good idea right now as cultural differences here and abroad are making a lot of folks become dead.

??And about “not allow(ing) diversity to create factions within our country that divide us in our goals?” Pardon my ignorance, but whose goals are you talking about? I would guess your goals are not the same as your neighbor’s, and that neighbor doesn’t align perfectly with his or her other neighbors, etc. Part of living with diversity is accepting that not everyone is exactly like you.

The great melting pot is not a homogenized white boys’ club, or at least that’s not what it’s supposed to be. This country is great because of its diversity, not in spite of it. Letters such as those by Sias and Williams show me that the experiment known as the United States of America is still in development. Of course, being a melting pot and an experiment, I welcome Sias and Williams to the fold. Even folks that I believe are confused contribute to the wonderful diversity of this country.

Erik RatcliffeSenior, Graphic Design