Immigrants deserve respect, not scorn

Posted 9 August 2019 at 8:44 am


This will meander.

When “your” team wins a game, do you care what your winning pitcher’s national origins are?  Whether the name is Masahiro Tanaka, Hyun Jinh Ryu, Clayton Kershaw or Luis Severino, it goes in the win column.

Did I care in my senior year that a descendant of slaves, Willie Torrance, hit the grand slam that helped end Lyndonville’s six-year baseball reign? Guess what? I did not. Much later, when Al Gibson lined a shot over Alexander elementary school to help us down the Trojans, none of his mates said we shouldn’t count the runs it produced because Al was an American Indian.

Yet racism is—and has long been—America’s Achilles heel.

Are certain words defined in The Constitution? Reading the document suggests that at least one word is so defined.

Again, racism is our Achilles heel. Putin knows it. And each of us can do something about it every day. Of course, doing so would make our “friend” Vladimir unhappy.

And then there is the rock—more than any other—this great nation was built upon. At least for most of us, that great nation was founded on our immigrant ancestry.

A study of American History will demonstrate, beyond doubt, that—practically regardless of your national origins—at one point, you and “your kind” were projected to be our nation’s undoing.  Our “kind” nonetheless built America and made it great, whether we were Irish, Chinese, Italian, German, Polish, or some other national origins group.

Today, it is Latinos who continue the legacy and remain too often hated by those whose ancestors were the earlier targets of hatred. This is the case even though without Latinos, Orleans County’s, San Diego County’s, and our Country’s economy would find other similarly resented substitutes—or collapse.

No amount of ranting will change the reality that immigrants have long been—and remain—exceptional people by their very circumstances.

It is past time to awaken from what is wishful thinking at best and take commitment to our pluralistic nation seriously.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Kent