While visiting family in San Jose, Calif., my wife and I attended a Fourth of July symphony and fireworks celebration sponsored by the Rotary.

As we watched thousands of people gather for the program we were struck by what wonderful human diversity we saw — people representing many different ethnicities came together to celebrate America’s birthday.

It brought to mind something I heard once: A person who immigrates to Japan isn’t called Japanese; someone who immigrates to Germany isn’t called German; an immigrant to Brazil isn’t called Brazilian.

Only in America is a person who immigrates given the same name as one who is born here: “American.”

That’s a good thing to ponder as we hear so many public expressions of negativity and distrust toward people of different ethnic groups than our own.

Bruce Jayne

N. Hampton Drive

Charleston