By Craig Considine – Frankie and I met Dean Louis Goodman in his office at the School of International Service – American University on a Friday afternoon. Our conversation began with our most frequently asked question: what is American identity? The Dean’s response was a unique one. His notion of it is rooted in his Jewish American heritage. His family came over from Europe in the 19th century and worked diligently in the community to create prosperous businesses. His grandfather, he noted, was a prominent politician in New York City that was dedicated to the NAACP and to civil rights for all Americans, not just Jews. The most interesting part of this conversation is the Dean’s thoughts on the Jewish community in America today. Secondly, he also offers some interesting ideas on Muslims in America while simultaneously comparing this ethnic group with his people, the Jews.
In my opinion, Dean Goodman is an American dedicated to the preservation of the ideals laid forth in the constitution. America was not meant for just White Anglo Saxon Protestants but rather all people from around the world. The beauty of America is its openness in accepting different cultural norms and values. Without the continuation of these principles, America will lose its meaning and purpose as the one country in history dedicated to the acceptance and equality of all peoples.