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Voice: Doing the multiculturalism mambo

January 12, 2002

Christine, it's high noon in Calipatria. You're the "goodie," multiculturalism varmint and I'm the "oldie" gunslinger and we're going to settle our dispute here and now.

I'm going to make you give the right answer to all those politically correct questions you asked in your last letter to the editor.

I challenge you to "name that tune." Here are the clues. It's a song of praise for a beautiful country that lies between two shining seas, has "spacious skies," purple mountains and a "fruited plane" covered with "amber waves of grain."

When you were a second- or third-grade student, a little girl with a missing front tooth that put a hole in your varmint smile and gave your pointy little tongue a place to play where it didn't bother anyone, you probably sang this song.

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This country is known to almost everyone in the world by the name in the song's title and has never been mistaken for Canada or even Mexico. Each year millions of people from all over the world — many with less than a third-grade education, but unconfused — find their way without a map to the country this song is about, and enter illegally.

Name that tune, Christine.

"United States the Beautiful"? Dance you varmint!

To lose more multicultural points, can you name the tune that tells what unites and identifies the citizens of this country as one people while letting individuals, as you put it, "act, eat, sing, dance, speak, believe differently"? It's also the "beacon of light" that beckons the "huddled masses yearning to breath free" to our shores.

Here are the clues. It's a paean to a "sweet land of liberty" were freedom rings, inside its borders, "from every mountainside" louder and clearer than anywhere else on earth.

The song's title is one word and can't be found on any of your maps. Name that tune, Christine.

"United States"? Dance you varmint! and keep on dancing — the twist, the jitterbug, the flamenco, the mambo, the Texas two-step, the polka, el baile folklorico, and — yeaaa — "The Nutcracker" ballet, and be sure you do all the splits. That should make us even.

WALT TYLENDA

Calexico

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