The American Renaissance

Baja Canada del Sur: Comedy and Comment in the Age of Occupation

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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

found done in needlepoint on Mel's Front Porch: I Pledge Alligence to the Constitution of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it guarantees, One Nation, Undeniable, with Liberty, Truth, and Justice for All.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

the constant immigrant

In my own life, I seem to be on a constant trek West. Finding myself now in Seattle (after being born in Maryland, raised in Arkansas, and living in Texas for many years), there's been challenges. I've never moved anywhere I had a job waiting for me. Like any Pioneer, I've always had to just go there and start hunting before I bagged something. Good thing I've always know that a little dirt never hurt a Pioneer; sometimes I've had to start small. But there's nothing wrong with that.

Living in Texas for fifteen years, I came to realize something...just by virtue of being born in the United States, I am so incredibly blessed. You see, that was where I first became aware of the plight of immigrants from outside this country. Long gone is the days of honoring Lady Liberty's welcome of 'send us your tired and downtrodden.' What has replaced it is an attitude of disdain at the unwashed hordes. And the attitude of the business community, which has long prospered on the work of such peoples. In the eighties in Texas, the dicotomy was amazing. Many said in public "you are not welcome" while in private would invite the same into their yard to mow and rake, or into the kitchen to cook and clean. As Arte Johnson used to say, "Very interesting."

I'm here to say something plainly. Anybody in or comes to America who wants to work, who wants to live and raise a family, who contributes so much to this country, should never be called "illegal." The wags complain about the immigrants costing taxpayers such and such amout of money, and the practical truth is they cost us nada. For all that immigrants from Central and South America bring to our country in their work ethic and willingness to contribute to society as a whole, we should only be ashamed to call them outlaws and aliens. If you recall, most of the little brown folks we turn a blind eye to when we take advantage of them with our lucrative trade policies in their home countries are in fact quite closely kin to the same brown folks who populated the United States for centuries before being overrun by European immigrants.

Now you tell me. Before both houses make English the 'official' language of the land, could we white folk just realize the native language of America is sign language. That's right. American Sign Language is directly taken from the Native American sign language, a form of communication that supported a trade network so efficient that wampum from New England was fairly common in Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City).

If you want to start splitting hairs about who was here first.

¡Dios bendiga a América!

7 Comments:

Blogger spadoman said...

Mitakwe Oyasin.........

In Lakota, this means: We are all related

You are correct in every way. All white people in America are immigrants. I believe as you do.

4:47 AM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Thanks for your comments...at forty-three, I'm still overcoming my "wasischu" upbringing (dad=Archie Bunker, mom=enlightened country gal). If I've learned anything in this life, it's to look at the big picture...I don't believe in the melting pot theory near as much as I think the U.S. is a salad -- every ingredient important and distinct, but all together we are a wonderful experience as well. We are all indeed related.

Gracias, amigo.

1:41 AM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Just for FYI:

The image I used is of Quanah Parker; look his story up sometime.

Born of a white woman, grew up to be a Commanche war chief. Among the last to surrender, he went on to become a very wealthy rancher and businessman in Texas. And never forgot who he was.

It's a great story of a great American.

3:47 AM  
Blogger spadoman said...

Thanks. I'll look it up.

Wasischu eh? Me too, but with a Native spirit.

3:57 AM  
Blogger meldonna said...

I have a cousin back in Arkansas looking into our roots on my Mom's side, and we suspect there is a smattering of Cherokee somewhere way back; most of us have blue eyes, but there's some facial clues that don't say Europe.

Either way, I've found that the true natives of this land didn't (and don't) care where you came from; it was more important to know where you were going. That's a forward looking attitude I like.

sign me
wasischu on better path

5:20 AM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

Okay I am confused what does waisischu mean again?
(feeling very stupid)
I love this post and WHAT it means and says about all of us...and Spado is right we are all connected..related and when certain people (Bushco) lose sight of that people get excluded and worse....
Hmm, and the Salad theory is very interesting...and I really never did like the idea of any of us melting...
excellent post....

5:01 PM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Wasischu is one of the few Lakota terms I know -- roughly translates, if I understand correctly, to mean a stupid or greedy person. If you remember in Dances with Wolves, when the 'Lieutentant' first went to the village with the injured woman, that was what the first person to sight him started screaming as a warning to the rest of the people. Considering what their experience with white hunters and soldiers had been up to that point, it's little wonder they called them wasischu!

6:45 PM  

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