Seeking a greater understanding of blending cultures

Published 2:25 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2010

By Samantha Hurst / Associate Editor for Special Promotions and Projects

I don’t, as a young American, claim the acuity to know the appropriate steps for our nation regarding immigration.

Do we create a stronger force along the border? Should we give those already living here amnesty? Are children born to illegal immigrants in America automatically United States citizens or citizens of their parents’ native country? Should they receive medical aid? Should they be deported to their home country if they are caught speeding?

I don’t consider myself ignorant on the subject of immigration, but I think there is so much more to learn prior to taking a firm stance one way or another. There are things regarding immigration I do not know.

But what I do know are fundamentals ingrained into my mind as an even younger American to treat all with respect and kindness.

I applaud county leaders, school administrators and community members for their work to protect and improve the lives of all residents.

There are among us those already endeavoring to reach out to the Hispanic community.

Schools host culture festivals, churches lead ESL classes, law enforcement familiarizes themselves with cultural norms and businesses provide translated information.

HICA, meanwhile, bridges a wide array of remaining gaps.

The series of stories you will read in the Shelby County Reporter over the next 12 months regarding the Hispanic population in Shelby County has no intention of stirring the pot or selecting a side.

Viewpoints within our community vary greatly. Viewpoints within this newsroom vary greatly.

We simply aim to examine all aspects of this segment of our growing population looking at the negative and the positive of a unique culture blending with our own.

We’ll dig deeper into the effects the growth has on our schools.

We’ll consider what benefits or drawbacks Hispanic employment or businesses have had on our economy.

We’ll feature the intricate relationships within an immigrant family.

In the end, we aspire to enlighten ourselves, and you the reader, as to how this growing population integrates into a new and unfamiliar home.