Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Tolerance Part of U.S. Identity

Friday, September 8, 2006 To the Editor: I read Farooq Tirmizi’s column in which he said is worried about America last week (“Worried About America,” The Hoya, Sept. 1, 2001, A3). As an American, I am glad that he shows such empathy and gratitude to my country, but I hesitate to accept his suggestions for the United States. I was most disturbed by his suggestion that “you cannot run an imperialist nation without having a healthy dose of social Darwinism running through its society and culture.” Social Darwinism is an outdated and primitive concept, which has its roots in bigotry and intolerance. We are barely 230 years from our founding and still mending the horrible consequences of the racism which has plagued our history, yet Tirmizi wishes that we wind back the clock. Anyone who values a tolerant and peaceful humanity must find this absolutely appalling. Likewise, I don’t see where the United States is attempting imperial domination of the world. Imperialism implies subjugating foreign states to domestic authority, law and governance. Perhaps you can argue for American cultural imperialism, but ultimately it is the global economy and foreign consumers that determine such things. Lastly, Tirmizi proves his confusion concerning American society when he states that “pluralism has got to go.” The distinguishing characteristic of the United States is that for the first time in world history, national identity is not established by religion, ethnicity or race, but rather by an idea – an idea of liberty and equality, an idea that we, the people, can rule ourselves. These principles unite us as a people – a people who understand each other through our hopes and dreams rather than language, complexion or heritage. This tolerance and acceptance of all peoples is a unique American identity and thus to suggest that we should discard it strikes at the very core of all that America, this “great experiment,” represents. Matthew J. Engler (SFS ’08) Sept. 4, 2006

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