Toward a More Perfect Union
in an Age of Diversity

What some Americans are saying ...

Bonds and Boundaries:

Looking at Our Communities

Americans have complex ideas about identity and community.

People in the two AMPU videos --
had lots to say about connections and community.

Here's what some of them said:

To me what's important is where do we make connections? Where do our pasts tie in? We all come from agrarian backgrounds at some point in our past that are very rich with folklore, history, oral history, and values.

-- Vicente Martinez

If I see that you're hurting, that there's something wrong with you and I can help you out, why do I have to care about what color of skin you have, what color of eyes you have, or where you come from. In New Mexico we say, "Mi casa es tu casa." My house is your house.

-- Estevan Arellano

Some cultural traditions, like Sephardic Judaism, understand difference as a condition of life, not a hostile act. Is it possible for us to imagine a fence as a condition of life, not an uncrossable barrier?

-- Ammiel Alcalay

Saint Augustine said that a community was a group of people who were bound together by the object of their love. And the problem, in part, is that we have not put our hands on what it is that we love. I think because the world's economic system is in such upheaval, people have become insular, focused on the most easily identifiable things that they love -- which is usually their families. So they can't think of anything larger than that individual unit to which they are willing to make a commitment.

-- Rosemary Bray

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