“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to break free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, but only if they speak English.”
One of the things that I’ve tried to avoid doing with “The Storyteller Chronicles” is turning it into a platform for my diatribes. Yes, I am opinionated, and I get annoyed with people who don’t share my opinions, but when I get into a debate, or a flame war, I rarely have the presence to find or recall the facts that back up my opinions, and I end up sounding shrill and fanatical, and lose by default.
There is one thing, though, that I would like to say. Bigotry and xenophobia don’t look good on anyone.
Recently, I’ve been buffeted by people wanting to ‘keep America pure’ by forcing everyone who comes here to learn English. They tend to express their opinions through loud, obnoxious, sweeping statements.
And have last names that probably came from places other than England to begin with.
Now, logically, I can understand xenophobia. Most of human history was protecting your family, your territory, your hunting grounds from other people. Who and what you were comfortable with is safe, those guys from the next valley over, though…you just can’t trust them.
As humanity grew, so did our culture, but not our instincts. We moved to towns and cities, and met people with different coloring, different clothing and different language than we have. Different is scary.
Different is what makes us interesting.
All people, but Americans especially, should know better. America was built by immigrants. We came in, usurped the native inhabitants, took their land and destroyed their culture. And now, we insist that everybody who comes here conforms to the way we do things?
I’ve started rebutting people who insist “This is America. We speak English.” by saying something like–“That’s right. When my ancestors came here, they learned to speak the native tongue–Navajo” or something similar. They usually don’t get it.
America is a land of diversity, it’s a part of who we are. Granted, I live in the most homogenized county in the most homogenized state in the union, but I still see a great amount of cultural and physical diversity. I’d like to think that by the 21st century we would have figured out that people are all the same–we have the same thoughts, feelings, desires and loves. But unfortunately…
Hopefully the alien invasion will come sooner rather than later. I’m afraid that the only way that mankind will realize that humanity is humanity is to be forced to contend with intelligence that isn’t human.