This I Believe

Charles - Midlothian, Virginia
Entered on December 13, 2006

The blood of my ancestors runs the gambit from those native to this land, to those forced to be here against their will, to immigrants that came here to find a better life on this land in the 17, 18 and 1900s. My forefathers include those given land by kings, to those forced to work upon that land, to those that the Great Spirit blessed the land for their use. Yet to see me, one would say I am a white man.

What I am is an American. As varied as my lineage is, I am no different than most Americans. Many Americans can claim some drop of native or slave blood in their genes and most can trace a relative that went through Ellis Island. We are a melting pot, a mongrel race that through immigration and assimilation has become our own over the last 200 plus years.

We are all Americans; we are truly no more Native, African, Asian, Latino, Pakistani, Irish or any other Americans… As soon as all Americans acknowledge that we are one people, created from many, we will realize the debate over immigration is a hollow one.

We are Americans due to the fact we are all related to immigrants one way or the other. Be it your father or great great grandmother, to deny this fact is futile. We are a country founded by immigrants and to deny those wishing to be Americans is to deny ourselves.

Although, as hypocritical as it is for Americans to deny those wanting to become an American by coming here, it is as equally hypocritical for those that come here to wall themselves off and not embrace our language, or our customs. To say Americans need to change to accommodate their languages or customs is as equally wrong as those that want to close off of borders.

Just as Americans should respect another countries language and customs when traveling overseas or looking to immigrate to a foreign land, immigrants to our land should do the same.

This I believe.