Opening Remarks on “Celebrating Our Diversity” Ceremony, May 28th, 2003, by Seth Cropsey, Director, International Broadcasting Bureau

THE ENDS OF DIVERSITY

It is a great pleasure for me to
have this opportunity to speak on Diversity Day and to share some thoughts
about the important role diversity plays in American history and in our daily
lives.

America has
always been a diverse country, a land that has attracted and continues to
attract people from around the world, people who come with many different
values but who aspire to live in the one country where that diversity is not
only possible but celebrated.

There is no community or country
around the world, no matter how small or how distant, that is not now
represented in the fabric of American life.
There is no country on earth into which so many different people from so
many different places continue to want to come. This diversity is one of the defining features of our national
life. It is one that has always set us
apart from others.

We are not a nation-state where one
self-appointed group overwhelmingly controls the political landscape and claims
special privileges. We are not an
empire where one people dominates another.

Because
this American approach represents such a radical departure from other political
and social systems, we should not be surprised that the intolerant among us
have at times been frightened by the power of diversity to defend the rights of
the individual, and create the conditions for an open, tolerant society. Nor should we be surprised that extremists

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