Monday, October 9, 2017

Strangers in a strange land

Flag day
Almost everyday is some sort of holiday in
Manhattan. Many weekends Fifth Avenue
is closed for another BIG parade. Causing
traffic in the surrounding areas to crawl to
almost a halt. Yesterday was the Hispanic
Day Parade the purpose being to promote
unity between all Latino and Hispanic folks.
Today is the Columbus Day Parade which
over the years has become a celebration of
all things Italian American. However both
are reminders that with barring an isolated
few exceptions - each and every one of we
citizens of the USA are transplants at best.
Invasive species 
My mother was fiercely proud of roots that
went back to the beginnings of this country.
Her great, great, great, great, great, great
grandfather Jan Blauw landed on Manhattan
in 1664. So in truth, Ethel's ancestors also
came over on the boat. There is no question
that Jan would be considered an illegal alien
according to our modern standards. All he
did was walk off some wharf in Manhattan
post traveling across the sea. From then on
he built a life and legacy. However he was
unfettered by governmental intervention.
So whether he was legal or not he belonged!
Past imperfect
In truth none of us belong here. History shows
that our ancestors stole or cheated this amazing
land from those who rightfully called it home.
Today I'm not dealing with said crimes of our
past but trust me... what our fore bearers and
subsequent generations did to said "indigenous
people" is criminal. Who gave them the right
to take anything from another? Why do many
American's want to do exactly the same thing
to innocent interlopers hundreds of years later?
Is cruelly protecting our unfair advantage the
American way? Or have we simply forgotten
from whence we came?
Over the edge
As citizens of this great land, most of us are
phenomenally blessed. Even the poorest in
America enjoy a standard of living far above
many other countries. Therefore it isn't all so
surprising that many of us take everything
we have for granted. After all, generations
before somebody else took the risk. Some
ancestor gave up everything to come to a
new land in order to benefit their offspring.
Thus while our capitalistic culture offers
opportunity - some "natives" resent others
succeeding at what they consider to be their
disadvantage. When basically they're lazy.
No sweat equity
Success is elusive, yet in capitalistic America
anybody can succeed. No wonder living within
these fifty states is the dream worldwide. The
difference between "us" and "them" is that the
majority of newcomers understand just how
special this country is. Therefore they arrive
with the full intent of making their American
dreams come true. Meanwhile many who've
been here for generations have gotten rather
sedentary. Said disenfranchised sit back and
wait for anybody but them to do the dirty work.
All while voting for some billionaire huckster
to be our President. And how foolish is that?
Dream on...
I'm native born thus I've no idea what its like
to be an "alien." However post traveling the
globe I more than know what makes this land
of opportunity great. Since 1776 freedom,
liberty, and justice for all have fueled our
success. Fortunately our founders crafted a
framework that continues to guarantee that
happens even in today's skewed political
arena. Isn't it time that we all remembered
exactly how we got here?! If one believes
in the golden rule - then we must insure that
all "dreamers" can do what is necessary to
to make their American dreams come true.