posted on Jan, 14 2004 @ 12:29 PM
Intergration. We all know what it is. Whehter or not you support forced intergration, is a matter of opinion, and duly respected.
Growing up in Chicago, we have a large number of minorities and foreigners living here. I, myself, am of Croatian descent, as our grandparents got
"off the boat" here in the early 1900's. My wife is from Germany, and well, our kids are now mixed.
I remember stories our grandparents told us about hte life the led once they came to America. How they, along with others, were looked down upon,
because they were 'slavic'. For this reason, they moved to a suburb of Chicago, with a large Croatian/Serbian/Bosnian/Albanian/Polish etc. slavic
population. The cultures differed some, but not to the point where it caused conflict. Everyone got along for the most part. Across the tracks lived
the Italians. But everyone had one thing in common: they were from the 'old world'.
I remember grandpa saying how when he first went to school, he was forced to learn English. No teachers spoke Croatian. At home, only the
mother-tongue was spoken. But he made it through ok, and eventually became a union carpenter. Life was good.....
Now, as I experience and read about life in America, especially Chicago, I see some differences between the immigrants of old, and the neo-immigrants.
In the early 1900's, most immigrants came from southern and eastern Europe, in sharp contrast to the 1800's, where most came from northern and
central Europe, and Asia. These peoples migrated to their own special 'sections' of the city: 'Jewtown', 'Little Village', 'Chinatown',
"Little Italy', 'Ukrainian Village', 'Greektown', and so on. They felt comfortable around their own kind.
This is where I have a problem....... When
A. Certain peoples are offered 'free rent' for housing and apartments for a year to intergrate the neighborhood
B. Bussing students in to various schools from other sections of the city, even though those same schools have their own overpopulation and economic
C. When public housing is torn down, and the former occupants are moved to the suburbs.(note: this is a legal opposition on my part, not
rascist). The owners of apartments are being forced to take certain occupants, or be threatened with a lawsuit.
These are where my problems lie. I like the fact that I can go to 'Chinatown' and experience Chinese culture. Fact is, I'll probably never get a
chance to go there, so this is the next best thing. Same goes for all the different neighborhoods in the city. To experience their cultures in the
purest sense, aside from going to the respected country of origin.
If everyone was 'mixed' together, I believe that the various cultures would be 'watered' down. But, in America, that's the point, isn't it? One
big melting pot.
But, I believe our differences only make us stronger, and gives us a better understanding of people who may be just a bit different from ourselves.
Just my opinion!