A few years ago I read a touching account of a gentleman in New York who took his family to see the Statue of Liberty. And he took along a co-worker who happened to be a recent immigrant. When they got to the island, the immigrant knelt down and kissed the ground then explained how grateful he was to be in this great country and how much he dreamed of being an American. The gentleman's children were stunned.
That story came to mind today after reading America the Place vs America the Idea by Dan Joppich. He describes the plight of the immigrants who risk their lives in leaky boats to migrate to Greece. They are leaving one broken country for another. Why?
Mr. Joppich asks some provocative questions:
Do these mostly unskilled, uneducated Muslims go to Greece or Europe hoping to someday become Greeks or Europeans? Do they wish to embrace Western culture and raise their children in a Western society? Or are they just looking for handouts like the ones that Greece already provides to over 70% of its population?
Do Central Americans, Mexicans, and Muslims come to America because they want to become Americans? Do they wish to embrace American culture and raise their children in an American society better than the one they left, or do they come here hoping to create Somalia in America? Do they raise the Mexican flag on American soil and force schools in their adoptive communities to cover symbols of America because they might be offensive to some of them? Do the predominantly unskilled and uneducated immigrants bring unemployment and the vices that accompany it like drugs, violence, crime, homelessness, dependency, etc? ...
Are the immigrants to America crossing the southern border illegally, doing so because they want to be Americans, or are they just looking for free stuff promised by Obama for themselves and their children? Do the Muslims in Minnesota long to be Americans and live the American dream, or do they dream of returning to the Middle East and fighting the western Satan when they realize they can’t make America more like the Middle East?
Unfortunately, too many Americans try to discourage assimilation. So we hear accusations of racism when an American complains of hearing only Spanish in a Wal-Mart. It's not racism. It's nostalgia for the days when immigrants embraced American ideals instead of wanting to recreate the society, culture, and system of government they left behind.
Oh, by the way. Everyone knows that in America you may be able to get a free Obamaphone. But did you know that if you live in Mexico the government will give you a free TV set?