— Martin Dempsey Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1952
March 23rd, 2016 lecture at Trinity University, around 19 minutes into the lecture.
Kontext: Number 2: We are a paradigm of diversity, now I kind've touched on that already. I had my Israeli counterpart of all people, one day say to me, "hey, do you understand why you are who you are?". You mean me personally? "No, your country." I said, 'well I think so, but I'd love to hear it from your perspective.' And he said, "it's the dash". And I said, 'what are you talking about the dash?' And he said, "the dash, Irish-American; Jewish-American; Arab-American; Black.. African-American." And you know I thought about it, and I thanked him actually for the perspective because we are a diverse nation, and that's who we are. I mean, I don't know how many of you in the audience are actually native Americans; my guess is not many. Everybody else here is at some level, from some other part of the world. And we're very diverse, we embrace diversity, and we embrace it because: in my case I'll tell you when I had the Joint Chiefs around me; the Army; the Navy; the Air Force; the Marines; the Coast Guard. I would never have been able to have been an effective Chairmen if everyone had been of one view, or if everyone was of one culture. It just wouldn't have worked. We would have convinced ourselves that we had a single perfect answer, when in fact the world lend itself to single perfect answers. So look, I think in terms of assertions about America's role, we have to show the world what's possible when you embrace diverse thinking, diverse personalities, diverse groups, diverse ethnicities, diverse religions. And if we don't do it, there's very few that are going to be able to do it. So whether we accept that or not, as I said earlier, is really an individual and ultimately at some level a national choice. But my assertion is, if you're asking me our role one part of it is to continue to be that paradigm of diversity.