On this 4th of July, I would like people to consider a few things. First of all, if you’ve got white skin your family was at one point an immigrant. The native American’s shared their food and got slaughtered, lied to, and disease ridden for their trouble. So, right off the bat, when one thinks about the political circuit right now it would be good to put everything going on now in perspective. Since we’re all immigrants and the native peoples were treated in undeniably harsh, brutal, and morally reprehensible ways it might be nice to think about this and then when you’re getting defensive about how YOU didn’t do that to them and how YOU can’t be blamed for it.
Think about… When a Mexican comes into your work (since most the population works service jobs like myself), and doesn’t speak English but tries to communicate with you, how are you treating that person? If you’re not responsible for what your ancestors did to the Native Americans, then is this immigrant responsible for a Mexican gang-banger somewhere, are you going to tell that person they should go home? Are you going to think, is this person an illegal?
When a person of color comes into your business, is that person to be held responsible for the actions of others who share the same color skin - does that person deserve to be watched extra carefully? Are you going to back up half a step, just in case they get violent? If you’re not to be held responsible for the actions of your ancestors or other of your same ethic background, why hold them to a different standard?
Why do I bring this up today? On this 4th of July we should all recognize that immigrants - as 99% of us are - brought amazing things to this country, immigrants go us to the moon and back. Immigrants gave us marvelous technology, fight in our wars, fix your car so you can get to work, deliver the mail, walk your dog, work at the grocery store and smile at you to make you feel more comfortable, run fortune 500 companies that give back to communities all over the world, they work as secretaries that make your doctors appointments and search the system to see if you can get that appointment that you really need soon, they install your cable so you can get your Internet and argue about politics on the Internet.
On this 4th of July… Remember the words “one nation”, as part of our pledge of allegiance, I don’t think it says “one nation of citizens only” or “one nation for pale skin”… No, just one nation, of immigrants, who at some point in time some part of everyones family had to come across and ocean, step off a boat, and not know anyone, not know any customs, and find a job. Find a job amongst signs that said “Irish need not apply”, just by the red hair, the last name, or the accent.
Remember all that… And perhaps when you fire off your fireworks, eat your macaroni salad and freshly grilled hot dogs and hamburgers on disposable plates sitting out in a field. Remember that we’re all in this together and everyone - no matter where they come from - deserves to be respected, treated with courtesy and kindness. Whether they have dark skin, light skin, a particular shade of color in their skin, parents with “Mc” in their name, red hair, blue eyes, brown eyes, supported Hillary Clinton, or are touting their Make American Great Again hat. Doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but manners, cordiality, and politeness (and political correctness) aren’t about superiority or making someone feel bad - they are about showing the other person; hey we may not agree, but you’re a human, and I’m going to treat you like one. Even if we disagree, because, we’re all in this together. Might as well act like it.