Thursday, May 6, 2010
Allow me start by sharing some very old wisdom my Dear Ol' Dad shared with me: Opinions are like assholes; everyone's got one and they all stink. I'm full of opinions and as a friend of mine shared with me, I am not afraid to share them; consequences be damned. I'm very much a bull: docile until provoked and when I'm provoked the horns come down. All that being said, I'm irritated and I'm going to share with you my unsolicited opinion. Why? 'Cuz this is America dammit. All we have are our opinions.
Recently Facebook and Twitter have been littered with opposing opinions about this issue. I even once reacted to a friends rant with a very well thought out and rational response. In return she deleted it. So instead of wasting my energy on responding to every single rant for/against the issue, I'm taking to my blog and going off topic.
Let's start with a scenario: You're a white American citizen. You're driving to work. You're obeying all the rules of the road. No laws are being broken. Suddenly you see in your rear view mirror police car lights flashing. You say to yourself "WTF? What did I do?" The police officer comes up to your window and demands to see your proof of citizenship. "What? Why?" That police officer suspects that you are an illegal immigrant and wants to see your proof of citizenship. You don't understand. You're a tax paying American citizen, why are you being hassled because the officer thinks you may be an illegal immigrant. You're mad. You feel harassed. You feel your time has been wasted and you've been singled out.
Now let's put this fantastical scenario on pause here. Why is this scenario fantasy? Because in this scenario you are white and that would never ever ever happen. Now let's change the scenario: You're Hispanic. No, you're Middle Eastern. No, actually let's make you Mediterranean. Or Asian! Or African American! Or any color but white. You're an American citizen, either by birth or through all the legal means of becoming an American citizen or resident. You get pulled over or stopped by a police officer because that officer is determining by the color of your skin whether or not you belong in this country.
It doesn't stop with police officers. You're walking down the street and you're being leered at and judged by people who feel that certain laws now allow them to decide whether or not you get to be an American, because of the color of your skin. Apparently, unless you have a really good reason to be here, Americans can only be white.
I would like to dust off an old walnut:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!--Emma Lazarus
At one point everyone in this country came across that statement, either through study or in our rich ancestral history when our great great great Grandparent's came across it when they went through Ellis Island to seek a greater life. Or when our ancestors stepped off the Mayflower. Or jumped off a raft and ran to freedom from their dictator lead country. We are all immigrants and America started as an asylum for people who wanted to taste freedom and were tired of living in oppression. As human beings living on this planet everybody has the right to fight for a better life, no matter where they are from.
For those who argue that illegal immigrants are living off the state, I know more white women who live on welfare and food stamps than illegal immigrants. So should they be thrown out of the country too? I'm just sayin'.
So there you go. That's my opinion and you are more than welcome to take it or leave it or leave me angry comments and call me a communist and put Hitler mustaches on my picture or throw tea bags at me; but this is the beauty of America: I'm allowed to have one.