Almost all of us are immigrants. Do you know your family’s heritage or is the trans-ocean story so many generations back that you have no real connection to that Old Country place? No stories?
Many people don’t remember so can’t even reach for empathy with this issue, but a recent short discussion with someone who recognized the nationalities of his grandparent immigrants made me think about what was different between his experience and mine. Because there was one.
The big difference was that my grandparents were part of a discriminated group when they came and for decades after, and my family education was full of stories of that experience. During my childhood I was carefully taught. I have struggled with that, trying to accept all people as equals, knowing full well they may not feel the same about me. I have been the brunt of discrimination myself and yet I recognize it is not bad compared to so many others.
It is perhaps because of my heritage and this discrimination that I have supported the fight for equal rights and equal access under the law for all people. For gays. For the transgendered. For people of color. For people who may even sneak in, mostly on visitors’ visas and overstay their permitted time.
Now, with Trump’s massive acceptance by an angry mostly white population that generally is not highly educated, we see just how dangerous life in the United States can be for people who are different. Not white. Not the right religious expression and practice. Not men, although there are many women who are part of that angry group thinking they are okay. You’re not okay, women. Your turn will come.
All of our turns will come. It has happened before and we are seeing the start of a horrible eruption.
It has to be stopped now.
We are ALL Americans. It took a nation of immigrants for over 150 years to build this nation. We called it a “Melting Pot” for years but that has changed. Now, more than even before, new immigrants stay isolated from mainstream society. Because of this, the language barrier persists. Because of this, the education gained is less. Because of this, fewer and fewer than even 20 years ago feel that have to fight for a place here.
The United Sates used to be a beacon of hope and opportunity to the world. Not now. Now we are getting a worldwide reputation for being a country of hate. And of stupidity.
The hyphenation has to stop. I don’t need to know if someone like Bobby Jindal is an Indian-American. Saying that makes me realize he is “different”. I don’t need to know if the judge in the Trump University case is a Mexican-American. Saying that makes me wonder what the “problem” could be. I don’t care what your heritage is.
I DO care about your ethics and your activity in being an active productive member of the community that makes up a strong nation that believes in freedom and liberty. I DO care if you are accepting that others in your community have equal access to education and opportunities. I DO care if you are a loving person or a jerk.
Don’t be a jerk.