This I Believe

Oscar - Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Entered on July 5, 2006
Age Group: 65+

I believe fear is the face of the brown flock inching its way across the southern border of the United States. I believe that fear is tempered by the passionate expectation of something better. That same fear is reinforced by the possibility that the door to deliverance will be slammed shut just before they arrive.

I believe that fear is the face of America shaped by a porous border, a bias that is decidedly anti poor and anti uneducated. I have never been an immigrant of any kind, but I believe my great-grandfather, a freed slave, and his fellow freedmen would welcome those who come to his America for a better future.

Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, referring to the slaves declared, “We cannot make them our equals.” In spite of the prevailing attitude of white Americans, North and South, that blacks and whites could not coexist as political and social equals, in spite of bone crushing poverty, abject ignorance, and broken promises I believe my great grandfather and his cohorts died believing in the promise of America. I believe he would be proud to know that his progeny is a genuine , bona fide, fully assimilated American.

Irish, German, and Italian immigrants, mostly poor and ignorant, came to America beliving their hopes and dreams of success would not be dashed. These immigrants had the one advantage of being white, but were nonetheless detested and despised. It took a while but America eventually wrapped these human beings in her loving and ample bosom.

I believe America is too vibrant, too vigorous, and our culture too deep-rooted to be overwhelmed by the influx of poor, uneducated human beings seeking only to eke out a living for themselves and their loved ones. In addition to everything else they come with the twin curses of language deficiency and zero influence. I ask myself the question, how can these pitiful people, with nothing save their diginity and strong backs do lasting injury to the greatest country in the history of mankind?

I believe we Americans are too proud of our history of compassion and freedom and our position as the world’s greatest democracy to forge a legacy of intolerance; a legacy that would leave an indelible stain of shame on our history.

Finally, I believe America to be too civilized and too decent to look in the face of immigration in 2006 and turn a blind eye and a deaf ear. This is what I believe.