During the campaign and since the election of President-elect Donald Trump…as part of the undercurrent of the anti-immigrant rhetoric there has been the continued story that immigrants need to assimilate. That they don’t do that. But they do…they do it very effectively…even if it isn’t on the schedule that the right thinks is normal.
My paternal grandfather spoke German when he came to this country…but none of his children or grandchildren did (in retrospect I wish he had allowed a bilingual family). My maternal great-grandparents spoke German and Irish but none of their children or grandchildren did.
In the early 20th Century there were dozens of foreign language newspapers across the nation and I believe at one time Milwaukee had more German language papers than English. Those are all gone now.
So what is the fuss? Our memory is short. Many of the new immigrants will take on American culture as they add unique new aspects to it. It just might not happen as quickly as someone thinks it should.
But immigrants haven’t always been so good at assimilation. If they had you’d be reading this in Ojibwe right now!