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30Jun/180

What We Have Become.

Posted by Nate

Immigrants

What we have become.

Separation.

The bond.

I still remember Mom going away.

Much later I understood she was going to Siberia to visit my father in a labor camp.

I was 5 or 6 at the time.

I was crying, I didn't want her to go.

She was dressed, already leaving the house and I kept crying for a long time.

She really did not have a choice.

Much later when she told me about it, she said she cried all the way to the camp.

It was a 7-day ride on the train.

More than 60 years passed.

I still remember.

I am thinking of these kids.

I am thinking of their parents.

Is it for real? A nightmare maybe.

I am trying to imagine terrified kids, little kids.

They do not understand.

Where are they, where are mama and papa?

Some big, mean people took them.

Why are they being punished?

These kids. They are looking at this scary place.

The world looks distorted through their tears.

I know how hard it is not to cry.

All these kids feel is they are all alone.

Alone in this new and scary world.

Have they done something wrong?

All mothers, fathers, kids form a special bond.

They need each other, love binds them together.

Not just humans. Any creature on this planet.

Little ones die if forcibly separated from parents.

Apes and elephants, wolves and tigers. cats and dogs.

And yes, humans.

I cannot say that to break up families is inhumane.

Animals do not posses such cruelty, only some humans do.

I am this little one, thrown into the cage.

It is me crying!

I am the mother, the father.

These mean people took us away from each other.

They broke our hearts.

I, we cannot be silent, we cannot be indifferent

It is just not natural. For any living creature.

I want to scream: please stop this!

People, it is not about politics, or policies.

It is about families, mothers, fathers, children.

It is about love. It is about compassion.

It is about us being who we are – people.

Because if we allow this to happen, we lose our humanity, our souls.

We become Trump.

Immigrants

Alone and scared

22Aug/120

What makes us strong

Posted by Nate

Inclusion

The microcosm of the World

I was watching the Olympic Games, following the American Team.

I think I understand why this team is the strongest, most successful team in the world. http://sports.yahoo.com/photos/olympics-olympians-of-mixed-heritage-slideshow/kyla-ross-photo-1344627096.html

DIVERSITY.

I could see white, Asian, black, Christians and Jews, Muslims and Hindus, immigrants or children of immigrants from all over the world representing the United States of America

DIVERSITY made our country exceptional.

Not the Ku-Klux Klan, not the white supremacists, not hateful groups of any kinds.

America is exceptional despite all of these.

Beauty in diversity.

Strength and beauty in diversity.

America is exceptional because it is a microcosm of the world.

America is exceptional because it welcomes the best and the brightest, regardless of religion or skin color.

America is exceptional because people from all over the world come here to fulfill their dreams, and America welcomes them.

People do not come to America for guns and violence.

Immigrants come here for a free and peaceful life, they come here to live in a democracy.  They come to America to build lives for themselves and their children.

And I was watching these children, the Olympians, the pride and the future of this country.

They will build this country.  They will make sure that this society is free.

Guns did not build our freedom, hatred did not create our country, fear did not create our Constitution, money did not buy equal rights for all.

divided we fall

United we stand

We, the People, built and support this country, we the 99%.

Scientists and engineers, dreamers and artists, builders and teachers, all of us together.

Throughout the history of mankind there has always been a struggle between us and those who want to divide us for their benefit--divide and conquer.

But sooner or later, they fail.

Fanatics of all kinds.

And forces of greed and bigotry.

Humanity will survive the next crisis. And those whose only motivation is money and power.

They will fail--like those before them.

No matter what crisis awaits us, humanity will prevail.

What makes us human will prevail.

Humanity, the Olympians, will go on.

9Nov/111

Warning: Don’t do unto me!

Posted by 00tj8jh3

A few weeks ago I biked past Evanston's Central Street Metra Station. The Metra, Chicagoland's suburban transit line, carries suburbanites to and from downtown Chicago.  In addition to serving more remote locations, it is considerably more plush and costly than the El.  Central Street Station is located in the northern section of Evanston, home of Northwestern University, and a city priding itself on its tolerance and diversity.

"Truth be told" (the credo of this author) North Evanston is not very diverse; the riders boarding the trains at this stop are pretty much lily-white.  However,  Evanston overall has significant African-American and Latino populations.  Though most of the city's wards tend to be identifiable by skin color, the city's schools are thoroughly integrated, and the city and much of its citizenry work to break down racial and cultural barriers. It is my belief that the vast majority of Evanstonians would self-identify themselves as progressive and liberal.  I, who lived and raised my kids a few blocks from that station, do.

Thus, I was amazed to see a huge, crudely spray-painted message scrawled across the station entrance stating. "If you support immigration don't be sorry when in the future your child will be a minority in America." The writer was not warning of increased social costs, lowering wages, unfair competition.  He (I will prejudicially assume the author was a male) was frantically warning the riders using this station that they could soon be a minority. That alone is terrifying and something to be feared.

Obviously, the scripter was pretty angry, and was familiar with his intended audience.  They were White, and they likely supported liberal immigration policies. They needed some educatin'.

Hide the Kiddies

 

This wasn't just your typical racist writing hateful slogans on the back of stop signs or on bathroom walls.  No, this guy was performing a public service; this person was a Paul Revere, warning of dire consequences if we allowed more Latinos to live and work in the US.  I say Latinos, because I assume he was not warning of a great influx of Swedes or Canadians crossing our borders.

 I would really like to meet this guy.  I imagine that we might not get along too well, and our world views would be quite different, but I really would like to understand his fear.  I would love to have the opportunity to ask him the following questions:  (Note: my guesses  as to how he might answer are in parentheses.)

Are you afraid that the total number of European-Americans would be less than the combined population of all the people of color? (I think so)

Would it be okay if your group was  the largest minority in a country made up of minorities? (I think not)

Just curious, would you include Native-Americans as immigrants? (Maybe)

Do you think minorities get special treatment; you know stuff like affirmative action, free health care, welfare, food stamps? (Absolutely)

When minorities get special treatment, is that a burden on the majority; you know, us white people? (You betcha)

If minorities get good stuff, why would you not want your kid to be a minority? (Uh, could you repeat the question?)

People like our spray-painter tend to be anonymous; so, I probably won’t ever meet Paul Revere.  Regrettably, I shall remain uncertain as to his motivations. But if I were to guess, my graffiti friend, believes that his group, people descended from immigrants of different countries and cultures across Europe, are, by dint of chance, a majority in this country.  As a member of this majority, he and those of his group now maintain a superior position in our society.   That superior position insures his group makes the rules.  He implies being a minority is something to fear, so it follows that any rules made by him and people who think like him will be unfair to the minority. My conclusion : Paul just does not want what it is done to others to be done to him.

Mr. Revere, I read your warning, I thank you,  not for warning me of people taking risks and undergoing hardship to be my fellow citizens, but instead,  for warning me of people like you.

Addendum:  I was just informed by a friend and reader that our Paul Revere was nabbed by the Evanston Police Dept.... you might find it interesting tto read his explanation for his actions... my conclusion: bigots often don't even know they are bigots..

http://triblocal.com/evanston/2011/11/07/evanston-man-charged-in-anti-immigration-graffiti-case-says-u-s-policy-spurred-tagging/

   
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