Where Are You, America?

For me, and perhaps for you other Americans as well, this July 4th has been very different from all the others. I miss being able to travel from “sea to shining shore” to see fireworks, to have BBQ’s that include more family and friends. I miss the president whose mission was to unite us instead of divide us. Tonight before bed, I will watch Hamilton then clothe myself in strength and wake with the determination that America will secure for us a better tomorrow.⁠

Noting a few of our immigrants

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”― Franklin D. Roosevelt

“A nation ringed by walls will only imprison itself.”― Barack Obama

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations And Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and previleges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.”― George Washington

Just a few of our American immigrants:

Born Desiderio Alberto Arnaz III on March 2, 1917, in Cuba, Desi Arnaz fled Cuba to the United States with his family in 1933.

WHAT WOULD WE HAVE DONE WITHOUT I LOVE LUCY?

Chef Wolfgang Puck immigrated to US in 1973 from Austria.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Born in Austria in 1947. Moved to the U.S. in his 20s after winning the body-building title Mr. Universe.

Madeleine Albright, Czechoslovakia: Born in Czechoslovakia in 1937. Immigrated to the U.S. in 1948; studied at Wellesley College and Columbia University. Served as the 64th U.S. secretary of state from 1997 to 2001, and was the first woman to hold the job.

Elie Wiesel, Romania Born in Romania in 1928. Deported by Nazis to Auschwitz in 1944. Placed in a French orphanage after World War II, he later moved to New York as a correspondent for an Israeli newspaper. Author of more than 30 books, many of them dealing with the Holocaust and Judaism. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his efforts to fight violence and racism.

Bob Hope: Born in England, Hope was one of seven boys. The family immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio and Hope was naturalized at age 17.

Joseph Pulitzer (Journalist & Publisher) 1847-1911 from Hungary. Eldest son of Hungarian Jews, Pulitzer’s father died when Joseph was 11 years old. His mother remarried and Joseph was educated in Budapest. In 1864 he immigrated to the U.S.

Samuel Goldwyn 1882-1974 Poland- Movie producer and Goldwyn-Mayer studios in Hollywood

Angela Lansbury, actress:Lansbury was born to a middle-class family in central London, the daughter of actress Moyna Macgill and politician Edgar Lansbury. To escape the Blitz, in 1940 she moved to the United States with her mother and two younger brothers, and studied acting in New York City.

Yo-Yo Ma, Concert Cellist from France

And, Irving Berlin, from Russia, who wrote:

quote-god-bless-america-land-that-i-love-stand-beside-her-and-guide-her-thru-the-night-with-a-light-irving-berlin-303308.jpg

featured image photo credit

 

 

Don’t like the Outcome?

 

People are upset about the outcome of the election. I understand that. Here are two things you can do.

The U.S. Constitution  gave us the right to assemble peacefully in protest.

– Amendment I: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The rights of protesters. This link answers specific rules of conduct.

Do counter-demonstrators have free speech rights?

Q.Do counter-demonstrators have free speech rights?

A.Yes. Although counter-demonstrators should not be allowed to physically disrupt the event they are protesting, they do have the right to be present and to voice their displeasure. Police are permitted to keep two antagonistic groups separated but should allow them to be within the general vicinity of one another.

DO NOT BE VIOLENT. It will defeat your goals.

“Friends, don’t tell me how to feel. Just remind me how to act.” CD-W

Second – add your name to Petition Electoral Electors 

images-13

Why the eagle?

President John F. Kennedy added to the list of noble descriptors when he wrote to Charles Callison of the National Audubon Society on July 18, 1961: “The founding fathers made an appropriate choice when they selected the bald eagle as the emblem of the nation . The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolizes the strength and freedom of America.”

 

Oh, Say Can You See?

th-9

… of the United States, have elected a new president and I spent most of yesterday in the dark, literally.

Do I blame those who voted differently than me? Of course not. Our forefathers gave us that right.

The ground beneath me (perhaps yours) has cracked and shifted. Like a desert with no water? I hope not.

Oh say can you hear?

–how the voices on both sides were loud, strongly opposing, and severely divided.

On Tuesday night, did we form a “more perfect union?”

Do you hear Lady Liberty’s song, the lyrics still tucked in my brain after singing them almost every day in my elementary school music class?

ss017thumb%2520-%2520give%2520me%2520your%2520tired__36093-1409339985-1280-1280

 

 

No, not anymore. Not anymore.

We have chosen a different kind of candidate. “In order to form a more perfect Union”?

Oh say can you feel? Why I am sad? Bear with me here.

I follow politics, but I am not a politician. I am not skilled in the workings of politics nor do I hold a public office.

But I do hold something else and have carried it for a long time.

I was a quiet hippy kid in high school when our psychology class took a field trip to the state school that housed our mentally impaired. After other classmates had shooed her away, a five-year-old girl with Down Syndrome climbed up my (then) skinny body like I was an oak tree. We clung to each other as if life depended on it. For me, it did. Her grip so tight, the attendants had to peel her away from me. But I never forgot her, that little girl who helped me choose what path to take.

In high school, I avoided conflict. In speech class we had a student who kept to himself. He wore thick glasses and could read only if the text was an inch from his face. One day we had a fire drill. My speech class, including this student, left the building and united with others on the school grounds. A popular football player pushed the boy, laughed, called him a name.

“And the rocket’s red…” glared.

The quiet, non-conflict Carolyn tugged his sleeve and yelled, “Hey! What are you doing!”

I had shocked myself. But I had discovered that indignity was too powerful for me to ignore.

Mr. Trump brought back that memory. To me, he was that bully who not only mocked that reporter but pushed my classmate with the thick glasses.

At UT Austin, I went from studying Special Ed to Early Childhood. After tugging my professor’s arm, I was allowed to student teach at a Title XX  low income center where I interacted with children of all races and religions. I learned.

And the man said, “I like kids. I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them.”

I graduated, ran a Child Development Center, taught my staff about  bias-free education, and how to implement it in their classrooms.  I spoke at state and local conferences on why teaching tolerance was so important to, not just our country, but to our world.

Intolerance scrapes, tugs and wrenches my insides.

People with disabilities, African Americans, Mexican Americans,  women, the LBGT community, children, illegal immigrants, Muslim Americans, (the list continues) all of us, want to see a better world, have a better life.

Some used to proudly say America is melting pot. I  believe we are a beautifully tossed salad and, in our giant bowl, each ingredient adds a special flavor.

I have to believe that we are not a union of intolerance. I do not want to believe that intolerance motivated people to vote for Trump. But if he won the electoral vote because his voters wanted change in our government, I can accept the decision. Because that reasoning trumps intolerance.

We are all huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Let’s just huddle a little closer to one another and let freedom to ring for all.

unknown-6