How many Americas are there? Perhaps the answer is "Too many." The New World, particularly the United States, is unique among other regions of the world. It has been built by many generations of immigrants. The "Great Melting Pot" of the United States has been an important force in shaping the modern world. Our common thread has always been that we are all immigrants, and it is this common bond that has been our strength. It is the strength of diversity that has allowed America to be in the forefront of new beliefs, filled with fresh ideas, and willing to try new concepts. Cultural diversity has given America a strength and characteristic all its own.
Our greatest strength may have become our greatest liability. Originally cultural and ethnic diversity worked for us and worked very well. Perhaps the concept has been taken to its most ridiculous extreme. Our glory has become our damnation. Has America has reached a point of saturation? Where the once famous "Great America Melting Pot" was our strength has it now become our weakness? Do we really need multiple Americas?
The desire for multiple Americas has and will continue to fractionalize the United States. As each ethnic group demands not only recongention but privileged treatment the strength of unity that has been an American hallmark ebbs away. In America fractionalization is occurring along racial and cultural lines. Therefore, we no longer speak of the homogeneity of America, but of black-America, hispanic-America, asian-America and white-America. The breakdown continues into smaller and smaller units. We have disabled-America, gay-america, the religious right and the liberal left. Once formed the sub-group demands privilege by virtue of being a sub-group and thus a "minority." Fractionalization does not stop there since minority status and its accompanying privileges are the rewards for the formation of smaller units at the expense of the larger. Each sub-group splinters of into sub-sub groups to demand favor of the now larger sub-group much the same way gay cross-dressers demand recognition of their minority status from the larger, merely gay group.
Two hundred years ago if Virginia planters had been told that the needs of black slaves had to be considered they would have found that concept just as absurd as we find slavery offensive. 200 years from now will what we considered absurd be the standard. Will there be a Tall-America, the size thirteen shoe America, or something so ridiculous we cannot even imagine it?
Where are all of our Americas going? Is the states of America going to follow that of the States of the Soviet Union? Yugoslavia was once a Soviet state that has fallen into armed conflict centering around ethnic diversity. Each group strives to have their needs and desires become the standard for the nation no matter at what cost. Is this their nightmarish answer to "How Many Yuhoslavias are there?" We are so caught up in our need of the political correctness of cultural and ethic diversity that the rest of the world will pass us by.
Europe, after centuries of nationalism and ethinisity, is merging into an economic giant. Most of Europe is able look past its cultural and nationalistic loyalties in favor of economic stability while the United States proceeds toward trying to provide more and more expensive social programs for smaller and smaller groups of people. The result is economic chaos. In place of wondering "How many Europes are there" Europe is creating the powerful European Economic Community (E.E.C.), the conglomerate of nations that might very well economically squash America.
In the demand for multiple-Americas the United States is facing a fading glory that many other civilizations have seen. Look today at Egypt, Greece, Rome, or even Spain. Where once they were the world's might today they have become just lesser constituents in the community of nations. Will history think of the late great America Republic in the same manner as the Roman Republic, the Egypt and Greece of antiquity, and other famous nations who have faded from spotlight of greatness? Are we the Spanish Empire of the 20th century, if so will fractionalzation be our Spanish armada and the E.E.C. the victorious English navy. No amount of speculation will ever provide us with the correct, and proper path. As Americans we must be watchful that we do not choose poorly. Travel down the wrong path and history will look back with ridicule and amusement at our error.
Three decades ago it was the generation of peace and love. The following generation was the ME FIRST generation. The next generation, the generation that answers "How many Americas are there?", will be the ME ONLY generation. As we break apart into smaller and smaller units, each one at war with the other the ultimate outcome can only be each individual a soldier in his own army. The question will then be finally answered "as many Americas as there are individuals."