Monday, July 2, 2018

America Land Of The Deported

An opinion by Chef Rossi. When I was growing up, the Fourth of July was a chance to celebrate the freedom I was taught the United States stood for. Land of the free, home of the brave. The Declaration of Independence: just its name made me feel proud & empowered. Signed on July 4, 1776, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty & the pursuit of Happiness.” As I got older & smarter, issues with the Declaration bubbled to the surface. All men were created equal, but women weren’t allowed to vote until 1920. All men were created equal, but most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves. Yes, a lot of the Founding Fathers were against slavery, but not enough. Slavery wasn’t abolished until 1865 & it took a civil war to do it. Immigrants were fine. We were a struggling new nation, we needed our immigrants & gave them the same rights “to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness” that natives had. Oh, not the real Native Americans, of course. They were raped, murdered, conquered, had their histories erased & were forced, if they survived, into white society or onto reservations. Immigrants did come. More than 80 million of them (since they started counting anyway). My grandparents came, escaping anti-Semitism in Hungary. They were welcomed by the great lady herself, the Statue of Liberty! “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” The 45th president of the United States is clearly not a fan of huddled masses. He likes to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. His “zero tolerance policy” separated thousands of immigrating children from their parents. Since his election, I hear this expression a lot: “This is not America.” I grew up thinking that the United States stood for freedom, honor & humanity. But we also have a dark history of racism, sexism & homophobia. It is that fire that the 45th president stokes. Sadly, that vile flame is also America, just not the America we celebrate & certainly not one we care to repeat.
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1 Comments:

Anonymous Marilyn Rosen said...

The current situation is more than how to survive this "regime"; it's how we rise to meet the very difficult challenges of creating a democracy in an inclusive and equitable environment for all.

July 2, 2018 at 9:05 AM  

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