The Public Interest

Assimilation’s quiet tide

Richard D. Alba

Spring 1995

ASSIMILATION has become America’s dirty little secret. Although once the subject of avid discussion and debate, the idea has fallen into disrepute, replaced by the slogans of multiculturalism. At best, assimilation is considered of dubious relevance for contemporary minorities, who are believed to want to remain outside the fabled “melting pot” and to be, in any event, not wholly acceptable to white America.

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