The more serious challenge, for Americans new and old, is to make a common culture that’s greater than the sum of our increasingly diverse parts. It’s not enough for the United States to be a neutral zone where a million little niches of identity might flourish; in order to make our diversity a true asset, Americans need those niches to be able to share a vocabulary. Americans need to be able to have a broad base of common knowledge so that diversity can be most fully activated.


Interesting article. I have my reservations about the necessity to create a common cultural "vocabulary"; the exercise seems forced, and it's impossible for any author to divine out how much of which cultural influences should make up this vocabulary. How African, Mexican, German, or English should we make our "shared culture"? Taken seriously as a call to action, the entire exercise seems ridiculous. Nonetheless, it's a good starting point from which to discuss the commonalities of our national identity.

With all of that said, what would you put on such a list?

posted by DeadClassicalPoet: 1416 days ago