People are often surprised at my vehemence about allowing anyone who wants to, to immigrate to the US. We're a nation of immigrants and that's our strength. Each new wave of folks brings their customs and traditions, and eventually they're assimilated into the melting pot that's the US, and we're the richer for it. Who doesn't love poonchies, those Polish donuts for Fat Tuesday? Or Asian stir-fry food? When I was growing up ketchup was the favorite condiment; now it's salsa, and might I add, a much yummier choice! We all wear green on St. Pat's day, eat pizza and spaghetti regularly, and everyone under the age of 30 listens to rap music, a testament to the Black experience in the inner cities. Note: many older folks like me prefer the blues or jazz, both of which also sprang from the Black experience here.
Our future lies in not closing our borders. As an example, if that had happened years ago I wouldn't be here. Mom's parents were both immigrants (from Poland), as was my Dad (from Scotland.) Go back 2 generations and there's no sign of me here. Yet I'm proud to be an American. I think everyone who wants to should be allowed to join the grand experiment of a fairly young country (worldwide-speaking) that is made up of people from all over the world. Yes, it's hard to keep in mind that we have to respect each others' traditions-- that there's no one right way to live. Freedom means freedom for all of us, not just those like us.
I taught my kids to feel comfortable with having friends and neighbors who are totally different: who speak another language, eat different foods, and have different customs. I'll watch their house when they go on vacation, and they'll do the same for me. Their freedom ends when they walk into my yard and tell me I have to live like them. So does mine...and that's the part most often forgotten.
Final note: I read a joke recently. A man is standing behind a woman in a grocery store line and she's on the phone speaking a different language. He waits until she's done then rudely tells her, "We're in America, you know. You need to speak English."
"Pardon me?" she replies in confusion.
"If you want to speak Mexican, go back to Mexico. This is America and we speak English."
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