An immigrant is defined as “A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another” (dictionary.com). In this definition, would it not be easy to say that the typical white American male, could also be considered an immigrant? Did not our founding fathers cross the ocean blue and “settle permanently” on this land? Are we not ourselves a byproduct of immigration? If you ask the Native Americans, I’m sure they would think so.
Immigration is currently on the news and political “hotseat”. It seems every other news story offers coverage of the minutemen, border problems, “illegal” immigration practices and now the latest, “a day without immigrants.”
For African Americans, racism is something they have dealt with for many many years. As I’ve watched my children grow, I am finally seeing proof that racism, in many respects, is subsiding. My children see no difference in black, white, brown, red, blue or any other skin color. They are taught that everyone is equal, that skin color has no bearing on what’s inside a person, and that we are never in position of a judge in any circumstance. Everyone deserves an even chance. The last couple generations have seemed to be working to eliminate this travesty, and with this I have been well pleased.
However, now it seems we are intent on promoting the very dividing lines that have plagued any who have suffered at the hands of racism. When our founding fathers first came to this country, the Native Americans owned and occupied this land. As we intruded, we drove them away & out, fighting fierce battles essentially stealing the land from them. Now, I’m as patriotic as anyone, and I love my country so don’t soap box me too quickly. But facts are facts, and many times we are quite hypocritical in that we criticize the very thing that we ourselves are doing. Is it fear that motivates us to resists immigrants? The fear that we will lose this country as we obtained it?
No question the lines of peace were severely strained with the 9/11 attacks. Suddenly anyone muslim was looked at in a different light just as the Japanese were after Pearl Harbor, Koreans during the Korean war, Vietamese during Vietnam, etc. This Nation welcomes all with trust, but once that trust is broken, a suspicious eye becomes the dominating opinion former.
To the “immigrants” that have been marching and protesting I say as gently as possible: Wisen up. You will create suspicions, lines of division, and irritations that need not exists. It takes us all to make this Nation what it is. What you will do is cause resentment to every White American male who is unemployed. Those who were still in the work place when you took a day to protest, will not look at you the same when you return. Be smart my friends. You are welcome here, don’t jeopardize what you’ve been given.
We must not teach our children that it’s ok to segregate and to receive or be denied certain treatments because of nationality. Instead we must teach them that to prove a point, it’s not ok to walk out on our responsibilities for a day to “promote” ourselves as important.
Those who are interested in “immigrant rights” need not be encouraging them to stage walk outs, but instead be encouraging them to become citizens of this great land, by the provisions and means attainable by all.
Should this behavior continue, the reality is this Nation could suffer civil war, but we all know wars are never civil. Let’s keep our heads on straight America, and continue to build a land founded on the principles of “Liberty and Justice for all”.
God bless America.