Immigration....and my hypocrisy

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billybud
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Immigration....and my hypocrisy

Postby billybud » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:23 am

I do worry about the numbers of immigrants who flood our border. Faced with a changing face of America, I face a certain unease.

I have become used to, I suppose, the dual language signs in Lowes and Home Depot and having to dial "1" for English when I call my bank. Even here in Southern Appalachia in the North Carolina mountains, there is a hispanic influence. America is changing from the eurocentric culture that I grew up in.

But I also think about my hypocrisy.

My GG grandfather fled Prussia in 1855 at age 36 with a wife and an infant. He had been wounded in the 1848 revolutions in europe and had recovered. He traveled to a settlement in Wisconsin in 1856 (that frontier had other german speakers). He spoke no or little english.

At age 40, when he did not have to, he joined the Wisconsin 3rd Cavalry and fought in the Civil War. He skirmished with indians and Missouri raiders in Kansas and Missouri and received a disablity discharge for a wound in 1864. In 1881, in his 60's, he was out in the Arizona Territory at Tombstone when the Earps, Doc Holliday, and the Clantons were shooting it up and the Apaches were still raiding the outlying areas.

He died at age 95 on the Wisconsin farm, wearing his prized cavalry boots. My grandfather told me he watched "old Henry" chop wood without a shirt in his 90's...and that he had a "hole from a chunk missing out of back shoulder" but was still vigorous.

The old man had changed his name from Heinrich to Henry, learned accented English, and left a productive brood as his legacy. We became lawyers, college professors, career servicemen, nurses, farmers, and football fans.

If I can admire his courage to leave an old life as a near serf in a small Prussian village and seek a better life in a far foreign country, and his lifelong sense of adventure and orientation towards action, why do I fret about today's immigrants who probably exhibit the same characteristics?

I puzzle that and I am not sure that I like the answers.
Some light is so intense that it can only be experienced as darkness

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Spence
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Re: Immigration....and my hypocrisy

Postby Spence » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:07 pm

We shouldn't worry about the immigrants. Anyone who comes here to raise a family lawfully should be welcomed into our society. If they come to break the law, then we should send them away. That is how it was always handled before. It mostly worked pretty well. I do believe that if you come here you should try to assimilate into society while not turning their back on their cultural traditions. That too is how it has always been. It is the reason cities have an little Italy or a China town. It has been done before. Not many of our ancestors are native to this country.
"History doesn't always repeat itself but it often rhymes." - Mark Twain

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donovan
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Re: Immigration....and my hypocrisy

Postby donovan » Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:13 pm

I, like Mr. Billybud, feel conflicted with wanting this country to continue to be the melting pot, to embody Emma Lazarus' poem,

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

And yet I do not want our country destroyed, as I sometimes feel it is.

Not so long ago, when immigrants can they brought their culture and traditions, but first and foremost they assimilated their lives into the new home, America. They learned English, joined churches, fought in wars, supported schools and proudly waved the stars and stripes. Their culture was sustained with festivals and gathering where the entire community if they chose, participated. There was not this change America's way so our needs are first and foremost. There was no sense of entitlement without effort on their part.

We forget our forefathers and what they did. Our heritage is lost in tweets and texts, emails and blogs. Malachai's warning maybe is upon us, I do not know.
"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, Helen, Ellie, Peggy, or Thelma Lou, Gomer, Goober, Howard and even Ernest T. Bass were all single. Only Otis was married and he stayed drunk all the time.

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Spence
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Re: Immigration....and my hypocrisy

Postby Spence » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:57 am

There is nothing wrong with immigrants injecting their culture into American culture. It is isolation with little "melting" into the American culture that causes problems. The melting pot only works if we all melt into the same people. It isn't the melding that is a problem or is dangerous. It is fractioning of people not wanting to join into the society. It was a problem before in this country with Italian Immigrants. Their self imposed isolation from the rest of the people lead to the gangs of the 30's. People, no matter what nationality, can be positive, functioning members of this society if they join what has become the American culture.
"History doesn't always repeat itself but it often rhymes." - Mark Twain

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Derek
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Re: Immigration....and my hypocrisy

Postby Derek » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:17 am

Spence wrote:There is nothing wrong with immigrants injecting their culture into American culture. It is isolation with little "melting" into the American culture that causes problems. The melting pot only works if we all melt into the same people. It isn't the melding that is a problem or is dangerous. It is fractioning of people not wanting to join into the society. It was a problem before in this country with Italian Immigrants. Their self imposed isolation from the rest of the people lead to the gangs of the 30's. People, no matter what nationality, can be positive, functioning members of this society if they join what has become the American culture.


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