Friday, July 3, 2009

A Proud Nation of Immigrants: Happy July 4th 2009

My husband and I went out to dinner tonight. At a table across from us, I saw a young Latino man and his wife with their children at dinner. It wasn't an expensive restaurant but you could tell, for this family, it was their special night out.

The man was deeply tanned, like a construction worker. It was obvious he was a hard working man who worked outside doing some sort of manual labor. The sun coated his skin a deep, shiny bronze. His wife wore no make-up, but she was beautiful, with her hair pulled tightly back, away from her face. The five young children, 4 girls and 1 boy, all looked between the ages of 4 and 9, and were well behaved as they sat and ate dinner, listening to their dad lead the conversation.

I was struck with a sense of deja vu when I saw them. When I was a young girl, on the rare occassions we went out to dinner, I imagine we looked just like this family. My dad was also a deep bronze colored hard working man who stood straight and tall. My mother also did not wear make-up, but looked beautiful with her light copper skin and tightly woven hair. We children also sat at attention as our dad spoke of his workweek adventures or stories of his past.

As I watched them, I thought of Emma Lazarus' poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
I thought of this young, beautiful family who came to our shores, yearning to breath free, looking to achieve the American Dream, through hard work and education for their children.

Emma Lazarus' poem gave a profound meaning to the Statue of Liberty. Perhaps Emma was inspired to write her message straight from the Founding Fathers' hearts. In writing the Declaration of Independence, they shared with us that Liberty doesn't only mean the freedom the colonists yearned for from Britain, Liberty also means freedom to come to our country and create a new life without religious or ethnic persecution. Through Emma's poem, the Statue of Liberty became a symbol of Freedom, a symbol that all men/women are created equal, as our Founding Fathers' believed.

I believe it is important we NOT allow today's restrictionists to instill fear or hatred of immigrants into us. We cannot demonize them and believe we are superior to them. The reality is, we ARE them, only generation(s) later.

The demonization towards immigrants has happened so many times in the past towards Germans, Italians, Irish, and now Latinos. We overcame the rantings of our nation's past restrictionists. I am confident we can overcome their rantings today.

As JFK said, "We are a proud nation of immigrants." Ronald Reagan said,"divine providence" has made the United States a home for "a special kind of people from every corner of the world, who have a special love for freedom." This is our heritage. This is our culture. We continue to evolve and will continue to evolve into a beautiful, multi-ethnic, multi cultural society. The Land of the Brave and the Home of the Free!

God Bless America
Happy July 4th

(and thank you Emma for a beautiful poem!)

8 comments:

The Arizonian said...

Happy Independence Day!! Happy Birthday America!!

Following Vicente's model:

The Conspiracy Of Dependence

Far too few people call the Fourth of July by it's official title here in the United STATES: Independence Day. The birth of a nation that later would be the example (if only for a short time) of a free and Liberty filled country ran by it's citizens, and not by some leader by birthright.

So, why do so many call it 'The Fourth of July'?

Seems to take the impact out of our Nation's first real holiday. Is it possible that the term changed many years ago to whitewash the word 'Independence' out of the public's collective psyche?

After all, one only has to spend less than an hour on the internet, watching the news, or get their mail for someone from the Government telling them that they NEED the Government. That their very existence depends on it. Every aspect of their lives are due to the Government's very existence.

That's not exactly true....

Before the 1930's, most the country's roads, railways, water, electricity, healthcare (?), goods and pretty much everything else was made by and paid for by private business or the people themselves. Even the first American planes were shunned by the government until the Wright brother's perseverance finally paid off.

It was this Independence from the Government that gave us what we have today, not in spite of it.

How fast are we to change that, to become dependent on the Government? Depends on how many more taxes are placed of it's citizens...

KB -AKA- The Arizonian

Vicente Duque said...

I believe in America and Future Mental Health. Happy Fourth of July !

Besides Limbaugh ..... There was another big radio demagogue in America : Father Charles Edward Coughlin in the 1930s.

This Nazi Priest preached the most horrible and cruel rants against Jews.

Guess what happened to this Idiot ??

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, This Racist disappeared from the scene.

Rush Limbaugh shows signs of being tired and spent. ... This guy is eshausted in his Racism, his Hatred, his FearMongering and WarMongering.

Also DebtMongering and DeficitMongering.

One day Americans will realize that they are beginning to be tired of Limbaugh, Fox News and other idiots, so much Imbecility will be spent and worn. I believe in America.

America won't be conquered by Wickedness, Evil and Hatred !

Happy Fourth of July !

Milenials.com

Vicente Duque

Lucy said...

"came to our shores"

to be fair, do you think this young family came through Ellis Island or across or southern border?

Dee said...

Anon,

"Shores" is a poetic metaphor for any entrance into our country.

JJ said...

In your descriptions of the skin tones of the people you watched in the restaurants, proves you a little too obsessed with race. Yes, my Irish, German and Italian ancestors immigrated to this country. They survived all of the difficulties without Hate Crime laws, welfare, free health care and everything else you advocate. They made it all by themselves. Liberty means freedom and RESPONSIBILITY for yourself and your loved ones. It means a constitution that constrains the state! Happy Independence Day. It might be our last one.

JJ said...

Vincent, Do you give a wit about the debt and the deficit? If you don't, I'm a little concerned. Wickedness, evil and hatred is such a small part of this country that it is hardly worth mentioning. Give me one example of Rush's "racism" Wickedness, evil and hatred are found in Chavez, Castro, Kim Jong Il and others.

Dee said...

JJ,
It is clear you and yours have always lived a priveleged life and never suffered the slings, arrows, attacks of a minority. How does that silver spoon taste?

Until you walk in the shoes, you cannot and should not judge.

Try having some compassion.
None are so blind as those who will not see.

JJ said...

Dee,

You don't know my background, so how about NOT judging me, ok? Obviously, I have pissed you off because I called you out and you can't respond to it. So you refer to "you and yours." Are you talking about whites? Huh?

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