An emotional week, reflecting on America: What are you thinking about our future?

n the anniversary of 9/11, the presidential candidates called a brief moratorium on politicking, coming together at Ground Zero in a moment of unity. Soon after, of course, they resumed what is becoming their no-blow-too-low political sparring contest.
   This week on we paused to consider the precarious status of Arab and Muslim Americans in light of 9/11. Above the specifics looms a large question: What is America and what should it be?
   Your comments provided different answers.
   Faten described her situation as an American-born Muslim who is able to simultaneously blend into the melting pot and retain her religious and cultural distinctiveness.
   Ms. Eusebia E Aquino-Hughes says that she and other Hispanics will not give up their culture and value system “for a nation that only know that we exist when they want their beds made and their tables cleaned.”
   J. Jermain Bodine worries about how the mainstream perceives Arab Americans “through negative and fear-producing stereotypes of both Arabs and Muslims.”
   kmonster offers an attractive alternative to the idea of a melting pot—what he calls “a swirling pot.” In this America, people share core American values while maintaining their distinctive religious and cultural values.
   As you’ve now come through this busy week and the anniversary of 9/11, what do you think about all this? We’d really like to hear from you, even if it’s just a brief comment on one of these issues.

PLEASE, we’d like to hear from you!
   Click on the “Comment” link above, or if you prefer to drop us a quick Email, you can do that as well. We’re also still inviting readers to sign up for a couple of in-depth surveys Dr. Baker plans to conduct a little later this fall. To take part in that effort, add your Email address to the box in the upper left area of our Web site.

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