I would like to welcome you to the American Borg. Please leave your language, culture, traditions and world view at the border. You are now part of the "Collective".
For those of you that are not fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation, let me take a few moments of your time to introduce you to the Borg.
The Borg are an amalgam of humanoids of many different races that are enhanced with cybernetic implants, giving them improved mental and physical abilities. This is done to achieve the self expressed goal of "perfection." The Borg function as automata; the minds of all Borg drones are connected via implants and networks to a hive, a collective mind (the Borg Collective), orchestrated by the Borg Queen and controlled from a central hub, Unimatrix One. According to themselves, the Borg only seek to "improve the quality of life for all species" by integrating organic (biological) and synthetic (artificial) components in their quest for perfection
Despite being perceived as an evil conquering juggernaut by all who know of or have encountered them, the Borg harbor no ill will to anyone; they merely fulfill their imperative to assimilate and achieve perfection. As they say, "Resistance is futile — you will be assimilated." They make good on that threat through their ability to quickly adapt to any attack, rendering it harmless.
This brings me to today’s thought. America has made an art of assimilating people of different racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Like the Borg, we consume all facets of multiculturalism and quickly erect a generic version for mass consumption. The existence of San Francisco’s Chinatown or Manhattan’s Little Italy is not proof of our diversity, but proof of how we absorb cultures and Americanize them.
With America as with the Borg, there is no evil agenda behind American assimilation. There exist in white America a white supremacist mindset and genocidal tendencies where they seek to destroy or enslave every culture that crosses their paths, but we can delve into that another day.
Assimilation is just part of the American way. For all the push and pulling among black and white people, after you strip away the thin veil of ancestral genes, traditions historical experience, there’s not a dime bit of difference between the two races. It’s the same for everything else. Sushi, chili and burritos are as American as apple pie. Being American means that it is possible to go around the world and never leave Manhattan.
The debate on illegal immigration tends to bring up what some see is an unwillingness of recent immigrants to assimilate. This is usually followed by an “English Only” sentiment and I think that is a fair argument. But all other forms of assimilation will happen, if not with the current generation then with the next. One day Cinco De Mayo will eventually become what St. Patrick’s day currently is. Mexican immigrants will become a part of the collective. Today, they may not want to. But they will come to learn what many others before them have already come to know –
You will be assimilated.
Resistance is futile!
1. What does it mean to assimilate?
2. Is learning English the only evidence of assimilation?
3. Are there aspects of American culture that immigrants should reject?
4. How far should America go to accommodate different cultures?
5. What part does racism play in the assimilation debate?
Do you think President George W. Bush is a spawn of the devil?