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22Jun/19Off

National Identity

I just came from our family reunion and want to share some thoughts.

It was great as it have been for many years.

But I thought of it in the light of current events in our country.

A populist President

The rise of hate, intolerance, isolationism.

Anti-immigration policies, growing divisions in American society.

Family reunion

Meeting relatives that came from different parts of the country

I look around

Old and young

White, Asian, Hispanic

Jews, Christians, atheists

Straight, gay, lesbian,transgender

Big, loud, joyful, friendly crowd.

Talking, playing games, eating and drinking.

Enjoying time together

So free, open, uninhibited.

And I thought about our country

Not the country we came from – the soviet Union

No. It was never OUR country.

I thought about America.

The country where all these people are accepted as equals.

I am watching young people

They don't see skin color, sexual orientation

They don't see race or religion

None of this matters.

They see each other.

They see relatives, friends.

This is America I thought, real America.

This is America that accepted us...Russian Jewish refugees.

This is America where we feel free.

Our new home, real home.

Home we did not have before.

Home for our children and grandchildren

I want it to be the America that we came to.

To raise our family, to build a new life.

I want it to be “America the beautiful”, the beacon of the world.

The shiny city on the hill.

And I thought about current events, the face of America under the current regime.

Who are we? How do you define an American?

What is America's national identity?

I am looking at my relatives, my friends.

Americans.

The microcosm of the world.

America is exceptional because it represents the World.

And it is beautiful, it shows the way, the future for humanity.

It is young, energetic, colorful, open.

And we need to do all we can to keep it this way.

To not allow the dark, rigid and hateful side of America to take ower.

New populism and preservation of identity.

There is a wave of populism washing over the world. From the Philippines to Brazil, from Hungary to US, populists got into power on promises to save their country’s national identity.

But let's take a look at history. Great civilizations, powerful empires. Where are they? Check the history of any nation. For how long does any nation exist in its present form, language? Babylonians, Philistines, Incas, Mayans – where are they?

Nothing is forever. The world is changing, population moves around. The Earth is changing constantly. Societies are changing and people move. And that is how it should be.

As many as half of the world's 7,000 languages are expected to be extinct by the end of this century; it is estimated that one language dies out every 14 days. Endangered languages, much like endangered species of plants or animals, are on the brink of extinction. Apr 15, 2013 https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_languages

And it is inevitable as the world becomes smaller. What race, what nationality is America, Canada, Australia? How about the EU?

It is a tide populists and racists (same) will not be able to stop. History, reality is against them. Global economy, the internet, social media, transportation and climate change will mix up the planet population and no wall will stop it.

So let's embrace it. The brave new world. Children are born without hate. Children don't know races, religious differences. Children do not have preconceptions. We adults teach our children. And then they go into the world. And many discard these biases, these preconceptions. They, our children, accept the world, accept each other without hate and bias. They, the new generation, will build the better world.

I hope.

They will lead.

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