I’m baffled at the hatred shown to some immigrants today. Aren’t these the people we want in this country — people with guts and drive? If you have the courage and strength to hike 30 miles across the desert surely we can find a job for you. If you have the fortitude to risk an ocean crossing in a tiny tippy raft surely we can welcome you. Instead of walling them out we should be inviting these people in. Immigrants are entrepreneurs — they create jobs for others. (My husband and I have created five companies, two of which have employed other Americans besides ourselves. My daughter has started her own company.) Immigrants seize opportunity. And if their qualifications aren’t accepted here they find other, often more menial, work. Contrast that with the people who say “I want my car factory, my coal mine, my steel works back. I want the same kind of work my mother/father/uncle/grandparent had. I want to be able to buy the same kind of house and send my kids to the same kind of school. I want it right here and I’ll shout until I get it.” They want back what they had but that will never happen. The working world doesn’t stand still, as the agricultural workers who lost their jobs when combine harvesters were invented, or the printers who lost their jobs when desktop publishing was invented, discovered. If you don’t adapt, you become extinct. Those who survive the big upheavals are those who are willing to take risks, to retrain, to move somewhere else, as countless immigrants have done. Unless you are Native American, you are an immigrant or the descendant of immigrants. If you’re of Japanese, Polish, Irish, Italian, or Chinese descent, your ancestors were vilified much the same way Mexicans and people from some Middle Eastern countries are being vilified now. How are we doing this again? It was wrong then and it’s wrong now.
I’m baffled by the slogan “Make America Great Again.” Who will do this making? What America are we speaking of? What exactly does “great” mean? And why “again”? When did we lose our greatness? I love this country. I love all the different colored faces, the vibrant cultures represented on its streets, the delicious ethnic foods in its restaurants. Why does this reality make so many people fearful?
I won’t despair. The people who voted in this minority president with his talk of a stupid monstrous wall will soon find themselves in the minority. In the meantime the rest of us will resist.