Tolerance: The ability or practice of tolerating; an acceptance or patience with the beliefs, opinions or practices of others; a lack of bigotry.
I would say that after all these years, America hasn’t quite gotten tolerance down to a t. Sure, for the most part we’re well behaved, but the exceptions are plentiful. Think of it like a thermometer. Some days are hot with trouble boiling over. Other days are an icy stare. But those are only at the extremes. Religiously, the same sort of things tend to happen. We like to be in the middle. It’s the lack of bigotry that we have the most trouble with. It’s easier to be prideful in our being right and our being best than to build the bridges we need to get along with each other.
So what does tolerance have to do with assimilation? If a group had fully assimlated into the dominant culture there would be nothing to tolerate. Generations of our ancestors managed to assimilate, that’s why lots of us don’t get days to celebrate our heritage. Some groups were simply tolerated. I sort of it think it unfair that some must be assimlated and not all and that some must be tolerated and not all. Why not both for both?
Some days I wake up and hope that today is the day that people will decide that content of character is that most important characteristic we are to measure ourselves by. Then I see people choosing diversity quotas over Martin Luther’s dream. I would like to think that if roles were reversed I would demand the true meaning of fairness. Chances are, in a very few years, I will get the oppurtunity to do so.