Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Being American

Sitting at the table doesn't make you a diner, unless you eat some of what's on that plate. Being here in America doesn't make you an American. Being born here in America doesn't make you an American.
~Malcolm X

I'd like to add to that quote (by someone, I might add, I'm really not a fan of): In order to become American, you must participate in your community, exercise your right to vote, defend your country's honor, and, above all, honor the Constitution.

The whole immigration issue has me thinking about what it is to truly be an American, and this quote by Malcolm X is a good start. Just because I was born in America doesn't really, truly, make me an American. If you recall, just about every "American" started out as something else. As for me, I'm very German and Polish, and who knows what else. But do I go around waving the German flag, or put it above the Stars and Stripes? NO WAY. I am an AMERICAN. President Roosevelt had some thoughts on this too, waaaaaay back in 1907:
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

If YOU want to be an AMERICAN... YAY! Good for you- we will welcome you with open arms... as long as you do it LEGALLY. Come here ILlegally, and we'll kick your sorry ass back to wherever you started. That includes babies whose mothers sneaked over the border just to have their babies "born" Americans. Fuck that. Your babies ARE NOT American. You want them to be Americans? EARN IT. Come here legally, take the classes, pass the test, take the oath, and become integrated into our society. Learn the language, for Pete's sake.

I'm not saying "forget your heritage"... but I am saying that if you want to become an American, BE AN AMERICAN. LEGALLY.


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