A few years ago there was a quote by one of our former presidents regarding immigration making its way around the blogosphere. It included the word "assimilate" which always seems to make the little hairs on the back of my neck stand out. Especially when in the context of that particular president whose idea of assimilation was for everyone to be like him...white, male and militant. If you weren't, you were beneath him. Native Americans and Blacks suffered greatly under his presidency.
After seeing the quote multiple times, I spoke up. It was on blog I'd been reading and commenting on for a while. The knee jerk reaction to my comment against the quote? A list of every single other country in the world and an invitation to move to any of them.
So...I don't agree with the views expressed by a dead president and I'm shown the door?
"Let's create this brand new country and only let the ones who agree with Us, look like Us, believe like Us live here!" said no Founding Father ever.
Our founding fathers couldn't even agree among themselves. That's one of the reasons they created the Constitution. It wasn't to give the American people rights they didn't already have. It was to limit the government in what it could and could not do because the one thing they did agree on was that no government should have as much power as the one they were fighting against. They were human and they admitted it. They also had no idea they were going to win the war. But they still wrote and signed the damn thing because they believed in liberty for all. Sure, at the time "All" meant ones like them...white and male. Again, they built the Constitution to be amendable as we grew as a country and as humans beings. Today? All means All. All colors, all genders, all beliefs. All.
I've lived under dictators. I've lived in countries void of religious freedom. I've lived under socialism. I've lived in countries claiming to have freedom of speech except when it came to speaking out against the ruling party. When I hear people claim this country is heading in one of those directions, I calmly and respectfully disagree.
This is still a great nation. Still worth fighting for. Still worth celebrating.
Happy Birthday, USA. Lookin' pretty good for 236!