The article on the changing face of Georgetown {Magazine, Nov. 8} is a sad commentary on the nature of America as a melting pot. This article should have been subtitled "The Here Firsts Versus the Here Nows." The author shows us a snapshot of immigrants working and living in Georgetown today. However, the faces, places and time could easily be any time in U.S. history.

When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock and set up housekeeping, there was probably an equal amount of hostility penned by Indian scribes about the commercial and philosophical character of those immigrants. Meanwhile, the Pilgrims thought they were doing the Indians a great favor by taking their land and spreading influenza, Christianity, subjugation and other charming European imports.

Are the Iranians who left their homeland under threat of persecution and death any different from the Irish, Poles, Germans, French, Cubans, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Protestants, Catholics, Jews and other immigrants to this country? No! Are the Iranians any stranger in their customs, business practices, zeal to succeed, desire to educate their children or wish to become part of American "culture" than any of us whose parents were lucky enough to have come to this country before we ourselves were born? Of course not!

What The Post article implied is that we should pity immigrants, not purchase from them. According to the writer, it is a shame that these immigrants were able to take along some of the affluence they achieved in their native lands or are able to use skills they acquired there.

Our society advocates "cultural pluralism" and investment of personal talents and resources to achieve success -- success that can be measured in a free-market economy. But when new immigrants come here and do exactly as we say they must do to be Americans and successful, some of us are quick to criticize them as disruptive of our culture and "un-American." We can't have it both ways. RONALD H. WOHL Gaithersburg