In the milling crowd after my grandson’s high school graduation in Northern Virginia, parent groups gathered by nations of origin: those from Korea, for example, India, several African cultures. They were mostly speaking their native languages.
But in the midst, their children excitedly talked together…in flawless American English.
Next day, we picked up my granddaughter after school, and she had two other teens with her. From my front seat in the van, I couldn’t tell who was who. Their rapid-fire English was exactly the same. Everything about them was the same…except one girl was African-American and one was a white minority.
Both times, I smiled and said to myself, “This is how it should always be.” Races and cultures were set aside. They were American kids.
I was observing the behavior of teenagers. But more than that, I was seeing the hand of their parents. By word and by example, these kids had learned that people are people. Parents had guided their kids toward success in America by jumping into the great Melting Pot.
I thought, “If society were like this, we wouldn’t have need for ‘diversity.’” People would be equal. They’d just look different.
Parents are the key.