".... but we are all Americans."


Lately, these last five words could be seen as a secondary slogan to "United We Stand" and "God Bless America." These five words have often been used the patriotic and unifying anchor for statements that begin with "We are all different religions...," or "We all look different...," or "We are all started as immigrants..."

The combination of these clauses reflects a message that is two-fold. First, the beginning part attributes to the celebration of diversity, while the end (or the "opus") sings out to a unified spirit. So is this what is means to be an American? In one way you can answer, yes. And in another you way can also answer, yes.

"Yes- America embraces the diversity of others. And only in America could you be a part of the greatest world power; have the freedom to live by your cultural rites and customs; and the freedom to be enlightened by the cultrual rites and customs of others."

Or, "yes-- America 'celebrates' diversity by taking uniques and even sanctomonious item of a culure an fitting it into a unified monolithic commodified package."

There is still a third option of answering "varies with situation."

More importantantly however, as purveyors of information, it is viable to understand the different viewpoints and issues that are sensitive to some and non-existent to others. American popular culture not only influences and shapes the ideologies of its citizens, it also defines major aspects of our national identity. The degree with which information specialists and librarians become aware and critically analyze America's different societal issues will sharply influence the decisions they make in accesssing; describing; cataloging; and/or collecting multi-media, multi-cultural, and other miscellaneous resources.

 

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