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U-N-I-T-Y: Diverse ways of viewing diversity

Raynard Jackson | 2/23/2014, 6:59 a.m.

Diversity can be an asset or it can be a liability, depending on whether it is embraced or resisted. Certain things must be embraced in order for diversity to be an asset. English must be the language that binds us together. Knowing and understanding America’s “total” history is mandatory to understanding how good we have it. Believing in America’s promise of freedom and opportunity, while never forgetting your heritage, helps you to fully embrace the American dream.

But, in this pursuit, we must resist the temptation to self-isolate based on country of origin, race or religion. I fail to understand how a person can live in America or any country for years and not speak the native language as too many immigrants have done. Far too many people have never been to a church outside of their own denomination. Far too many people have never been to an ethnic restaurant in their own city.

America is far from perfect; but sometimes we spend so much time focusing on that which divides us that we forget what unites us. Remember, we can’t have unity without “u-n-i.”

Raynard Jackson is president and CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his website, http://www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.