Note: This is the second in a two-part series aimed at sharing thoughts about ‘We the People’ and E Pluribus Unum given the current national dialogue regarding immigrants and border security. The first installment appeared in the Feb. 6 issue. All feedback is welcome.
I hate discrimination of any kind. And what really irks me is that we humans discriminate against others over things people have no control over. Things like race, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc.
Nobody who ever lived on this planet got to choose what race or color they were. They didn’t choose when, where and to whom they were born. They didn’t get to choose (at least initially) what religion, if any, they would be raised with. They didn’t get to choose where they lived, what schools to attend, whether they were born boy or girl, etc.
Yet these are the things we often find objectionable in others. Why can’t we accept others and respect the choices they make later in life as long as those choices are lawful? We can certainly debate the choices we all make but we don’t need to discriminate people because of them.
As everyone knows, the first three words of our magnificent Constitution are “We the People.” There are no adjectives inserted before the word “people.” So it includes every one of us.
The rest of the preamble reads “in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”
On some cold night why not look up the Constitution and read it word for word with your entire family. In my opinion, with no offense to Tom Brokaw, the Founding Fathers (and Mothers like Abigail Adams) who wrote those words are truly the Greatest Generation.
I hire people from Peru to work in and around my house, my barbers are from Iran and Korea, the people that own and work at our favorite restaurant are from Greece, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mongolia, Tahiti and elsewhere. One of my doctors is from India. Two more are from Vietnam. When I was in the hospital last summer there were people from 14 different countries (I asked) who took care of me. Every one of them was kind, professional and hard working. All are here legally, some after seeking asylum.
Diversity is wonderful and it works well. Remember, every one of us, unless we’re Native American, has ancestors who came from someplace else. And if they were German, they were discriminated against. If they were Irish they were discriminated against. The same is true for Italians, Africans, Asians, Poles, Central Americans, etc. Every group had their detractors and lived through unconscionable events.
But our ancestors persevered. Immigrants from all over the globe created one nation—our United States—giving us our national motto “E Pluribus Unum”—out of many, one.
With countless difficulties along the way for sure, that motto has served us well for more than 240 years. And it will for many years to come.
Immigration should be orderly and legal, yes, but let us not fear diversity. Let us embrace it and keep everything in perspective.
Email Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org.