Friday, July 18, 2014

history 101

we are a nation of immigrants.

that simple sentence should be the beginning and the end of the immigration argument. 

unless you are a Native American, you came to be because your ancestors came to this specific landmass on Earth from another specific landmass on Earth. from the thousands of Pilgrims and early settlers that sailed over the pond to the New World for religious freedoms to the 12 million immigrants that came through Ellis Island for a better life to the handful of children coming over the border each day from Central & South America to escape harm... they all have two things in common: #1 - they were (and are) not wanted here. 

the Native Americans, i'm sure were skeptic upon our arrival, but they tolerated us and taught us how to live and survive in our new home. so how did we repay them? we gave them crazy diseases, and while they were down, we kicked them by taking all their land... and since we "inherited" our new land of independence, we we've made damn sure that what we did to the Native Americans, would never happen to us. "no Irish need apply" signs were scattered everywhere in NYC in the mid-late 19th Century and early 20th Century. Hell's Kitchen just isn't a trendy address, you know. it gets its name honest ...and during WWII, there were Japanese Internment camps simply for people with Japanese heritage.

so now we are up to the children from Central & South America and also to the second thing all these immigrants have in common: #2 - they all came here (and they all still want to come here) for the exact same reason... because this country is free. this country is safe. this country is great... it's the land of opportunity. it's where dreams come true. 

and almost every child i spoke with in Uganda, when asked what their dream was...? they all wanted to come to America. America the Beautiful! their eyes would light up with hope. can you blame them? look what we say about ourselves? look what we put out there on the television and in movies. we are not a modest bunch. 

but if this country is so great, why do we treat people who want to be one of us, so bad? isn't imitation the best form of flattery? [see modest comment in previous paragraph] how can you brag about the foundations of this country but turn your back on immigrants rather than making them your neighbor. we were all... once them. we are a nation of immigrants! and if you can't agree with that, then you haven't learned anything from history, in fact, i think you've forgotten it... or sadly, most likely, never learned it. 

"those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

ig-no-rant adj lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular.