In American folklore, no place epitomized the melting pot more than the borough of Brooklyn. Brooklyn was the crucible in which the children of different immigrant groups were forged into mainstream Americans. New York City’s public school system played a central role in this process, along with providing many first-generation Americans with a first-rate education.
Today, those same schools are playing exactly the opposite role – perhaps best exemplified by PS 169 in the Sunset Park neighborhood. At PS 169, the Pledge of Allegiance has been banned. Thanksgiving has been replaced by a “Harvest festival.” Santa Claus – though not exactly a symbol of American identity like the Pledge or Thanksgiving – has been similarly barred from PS 169.
Principal Eujin Jaela Kim has purged this public school of these symbols in an effort not to offend the sensibilities of the schoolchildren or their families, 95 percent of whom are of Asian or Hispanic origin. Or, more likely, Ms. Kim has imposed these bans in an effort to inculcate the children under her charge with the belief that these are symbols of cultural oppression directed against them, rather than symbols of what generations of immigrants came here to be part of.
The assimilation process has not broken down; it is being deliberately sabotaged by a political elite who seek to use mass immigration as a means to impose their own vision of America on the rest of us. When we can no longer ask, much less expect, immigrants and their children to pledge allegiance to the country they have chosen to live in, or join the rest of us in giving thanks for what this country offers them, then it is time to question seriously what national interest our immigration system is serving.