I am an immigrant...I am American

Not going to give the clown running for office (which one may have come to mind of many of you) any more publicity by mentioning his name but his anti immigrant stance has really ticked me off.  Almost as badly as the religious fanaticism we are seeing on the far right, the anti-choice campaigns and a host of other science denying that just make my blood boil.  After all I am an American by choice which means I feel I have the right to disagree without being afraid. I get upset in general when we are not as great as I think we can be but these are the topics that ticked me off in the past few weeks - there are others trust me but then blog would be book. 

That's right I am an American by choice not by birth - that pretty much will cover many of today's current citizens, and potential citizens.  It means that while I can see room for improvement to me the US is still the home I want to live in and the one that I want to fight to make better.  I love the speech from the opening episode of the Newsroom, if you have not seen it Google it, it ends with some of my favorite language  something like "...no we are not the greatest country in the world but we could be".

There is nothing wrong with patriotism it is not nationalism, kind of like nothing wrong with faith until it becomes mandate.  This country still stands for opportunities and for potential.  Yet it cannot reach it's potential unless we are willing to go through what is basically our puberty as a nation.  In the scheme of the age of the world's nations this is at best tween time.  We see the struggle still for equality among our people - racial, gender, gender identity.  It is puberty right now in the US - between those who see the country as the parents who want you just to not grow up and those who are vying for the independence that is much needed so we can become adults.

My family and I watched a movie about the struggles of a town in California where migrant Mexican workers live - my sons, natives, cannot really imagine what it must be like to have to work like that and try to have an education and fight to not be seen for less than you could be and worry about everything every moment of every day. Yet they can empathize and know that they should treat all people equally for we are better as a country and as a people for it.  So if my 11 and 8 year old get that we are all people who are here by choice, by birth who have the same hopes why can't the bozos running for office?!!!

My sons cannot imagine what it is like to leave everything you know, your language, your people and come to a place that at times will be glad you are here and others remind you that you are not one of them.  They do not know what a struggle their mother still has when a piece of me is still European in thought and heart but grateful and devoted to the country I choose to love and live in.  I get mad at the things I see that we can do better, term limits, women as equals in the decisions/pay, race as something you have to add to the mix not be denied for, campaign contribution reforms and getting back to being the voice of science and progress not deniers. 

As immigrants we owe this country and it's native born a debt of gratitude, the respect to learn how to integrate with them while we share our own cultures, respect for the customs and common language that we need to use to become the successful nation we are meant to be.  We owe them - and they owe us for the work we do, for the additions we make.  We are more the same than different and as Bono once said America is not just a place but an idea ... a crazy, wonderful, ambitious idea.  So as immigrants who are Americans by choice and as Americans who were immigrants (by choice or not) it is time that we do not let those who point out the negative in us be our voice it is time to embrace one of the founding principles of this country and speak up for ourselves to a government that should be for the people by the people ... yeah we can be the greatest nation because what can be greater than all of the awesome pieces of the countries we have here from all over this wonderful planet we all share?!!


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