The structure of the American ‘quilt’

The idea of a quilt as a metaphor to explain a diverse concept is a hackneyed choice. It is used in this case to appeal to people of all lands.

There are 196 countries in the world. If each is a patch in the American quilt, it represents the diversity of our population. Joining a row of these patches together is a strip of light-colored fabric. Its contrast highlights the English language that is currently the most common form of oral communication in our country. By the end of the century, it will mutate into something that combines words from current immigrants.

The biggest patch in the quilt should be a circle in the center. This represents the Indigenous or Native Americans whose land we took. They deserve the most respect we can muster.

Underneath the patchwork layer of countries is the batting. This shows the many industries that keep us warm and fed. The third layer is the backing that has all the bureaucracy that keeps our country working. And finally, the entire three layers are held together at the edges with binding from our Constitution and other laws.

Determination to provide and succeed guides the needle in and out of the three layers as the package is quilted. Courts and their ruling keep the quilt taught enough for successful stitching.

While each of those 196 countries bring new and positive ideas to America, it is crucial we respect them and show them how to find comfort the American way. Reputedly it takes about three generations to assimilate, so if someone or some practice seems curious to you, just remember how long it took your ancestors to do so. The more cohesive we think, the greater probability of resolving issues.

Susan-Marie Kelly


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