We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have experienced several somewhat extreme forms of multicultural Americans: Amish and Mennonites, Hasidic Jews, neighborhoods entirely made up of Latino immigrants or Korean immigrants and even, in some wards, neighborhoods which are Italian-dominant. Some want to assimilate, some do not. The Mennonites and the Hasidim definitely do not, and just want to be left alone.
In 1880, I suppose my WASP culture (and it is a culture) was still the core, dominant Americanism. Now, for better or worse, it's just one tribe of many.
My parents were from two different parts of the country and settled in a third part, where I was born and raised. The town where I attended a regional high school had a distinctly different ethnic and socioeconomic makeup from my home town.
I have thus always been aware of differences, as many or most Americans are.
But not all people are that aware of such differences. I was recently discussing with my sister a Lebanese deli in my town, and made a comparison to the Lebanese origin entrepreneurs from our home base. She said that she wasn't as aware of such things as I was.
I grew up in a very mixed culture area and can swear competently in three languages in addition to English. Every year in school we would have a few new kids, immigrants from Eastern Europe usually, who spoke no English and within 3 months they spoke and read some English and by the end of the year could speak good English accent free. Most of my friends parents spoke both English and their native (or their parents native) language. Back then in the 50's multiculturalism was a good thing. It's different today. It seems more punative, negative and aggressive. First of all it isn't something that just "happens" but seems to be plotted and planned for some agenda or other. Secondly the goal doesn't seem to be a melting pot and immigrant children are often taught in OUR schools in their native language for years instead of being taught English. Today just the word "multiculturalism" seems to imply that YOU are going to have to give up something and/or pay higher taxes so someone else can have "free stuff". Multiculturalism today is so much more one sided or one dimensional then it was a few decades ago.