Originally Posted by Requiem
But most don't remain isolated. After a generation or two, immigrants tend to adopt the values and beliefs of mainstream culture, while holding onto the significant parts of others. The ones that refuse to do this are usually the first ones who come here. They are shocked by many things and holding on to what they know keeps them balanced.
I see it happening into my town right now with the Hmong and Karen refugee immigrants. The grandparents are very conservative -- hold onto their home beliefs. Very traditional. It is all they have ever known. Their kids, practice the traditional beliefs, but are slowly assimilating into our culture. They get involved in ESL programs and do their best to become citizens. The youngest ones, the kids growing up now and teenagers -- they are all about what America has to offer. They wear our clothes instead of common threads back home, have cell phones, gadgets, etc.
This is the norm for most immigrant populations. I can think of a few exceptions (and I may be wrong on that) -- in particular Somali's.
It's the same old story throughout history, isn't it? First it was the Germans and the Irish. Americans executed each other wholesale in cities and small towns out of fear of people who are different. They rename streets all over the country from Berlin Street to Liberty Street. We viewed the Chinese as subhuman, only good enough to provide slave labor. Then it was the Italians, Jews and Greeks who would stay in their neighborhoods and never be "Americanized", whatever that's supposed to mean. We locked up thousands of Japanese Americans out of fear.
Now it's the Latinos...they'll come to our country, never assimilate, send all their money back home, leach off the government.
And you're right. After a generation or two, everyone forgets about it because all those people found the proof was in the pudding and will you look at that? America's a pretty great place after all! all of them!
I look at it with the same detached pity as I do the people who claim "this is the worst generation ever" or "our culture is deteriorating" or "the economy's going to collapse" or "it's the end times".
It's just more of the same. There's nothing to support it except irrational fear.