Magazine September 21, 2020, Issue

An American Tragedy

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Here’s a patriotic yarn:

In my suburban Maryland neighborhood, there resides a dizzying array of ethnic, religious, and national identities. These Americans not only coexist peacefully, they send their kids to the same schools and overpriced universities; they not only shop at the same big-box stores and stream the same television shows, they often become friends and engage in communal projects without displaying a hint of ethnic, racial, or religious animus.

In my kid’s senior high-school yearbook, I can discern no fewer than 25 distinct nationalities — and there are likely many more. In the 1980s, schools were crammed with Michelles and

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