Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘immigration

There has never been a time when I have not been proud of my country.  When the Star Spangled Banner is played, I get chills up and down my spine, and the flag , proudly waving, brings tears to my eyes.  I am proud to state that I am a true Red, White, and Blue citizen, who also happens to be Hispanic.

This is the reason that I have decided to state my views on the recent controversy surrounding the new law passed by the state of Arizona.  In my opinion it is blatantly racist.  If a police officer stops a car driven by a blonde blue eyed citizen, for whatever infraction committed, does he ask for proof of citizenship?  No, this is only done when the driver happens to have brown skin, dark hair, and looks of Hispanic origin.  Then he or she is asked, in Spanish, for proof of the right to be in this country.  If this isn’t bigotry, racist, and whatever word you wish to call it, what is?

I never thought I would live to see the day when almost fifty percent of the population including myself,  would have to carry passports.  Is this the good old USA, land of the free, and home of the brave?

I don’t live in Arizona, and will skip that state on any of my travels.  If you wish to live in la-la land and believe it is all a big lie, ask someone you know who has endured this harassment several times, like my daughter in-law’s brother who happens to live in Phoenix, and now carries his passport.

At one time, before the word Hispanic came into being, we were simply called Mexican-Americans, and we laughingly referred to ourselves as the hyphenated ones.  Our men served their country honorably, going to war and dying to protect our homes and rights.  Of any ethnic group, ours has the most Medal of Honor winners.

At one time, before World War II, there was discrimination, sometimes blatant, in my home state of Texas.  If you were job searching, the want ads stated “Only Anglos need apply”.  In some restaurants we were denied service, and growing up, I never knew of any doctors, lawyers, head of companies, who had Spanish sir-names.  This all changed when the men came home with the knowledge that a different, better world existed out there.  They went to college on the G I Bill of Rights, knowing that with an education, they would provide a new, better world for their children. My grandparents, who came to this country with nothing but their dreams, would be proud of their offspring’s accomplishments.

There is still some discrimination, although obscurely hidden, but then there has  been, and will always exist, bigotry in many shapes and forms.  Sad isn’t it?

Today, I am proud to say, we are in every conceivable career available to all citizens, including having the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.

Arizona dares to question this?  Let our Federal government solve the immigration problem; isn’t the Constitution the law of the land, including that  of the sun-drenched state?

There, I have vented, and feel a lot better.  Letting off steam sometimes helps.

HAPPY JULY 4TH!  SAVOR YOUR FREEDOM

Hasta La Vista

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A man’s feet should be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world”–George Santayana

The above chord struck a note within me, it was resonant because several years ago legislation was passed by our neighboring country of Mexico that allows citizens born there to have dual citizenship.

While I was not born in Mexico, my grandparents were.  They left to find a better life in this country.  I have no desire to have any other citizenship than that of the USA.

My grandparents, if alive, would heartily agree.  They left all that was familiar to them to establish themselves in a foreign land.  Everything was strange to them–language, customs, etc.  They foresaw that their children and grandchildren would have better lives in this land of opportunity.  Not a day goes by that in my heart I thank them.

I have no quarrel with those few individuals who have chosen to accept the offer and have that dual citizenship.  We are a nation of immigrants, and unless you are Native Americans, your forefathers came from somewhere else.  Then, why the intolerance of one race against another?

Children are born without prejudice, it “Must be Carefully Taught”, as a song from the musical “South Pacific” states.  They learn it at home, through the behavior, actions, and words of their parents.  What a heavy burden to carry, to look in the mirror and face yourself, knowing you have fed into the minds of your innocent children, hatred and bigotry.

I love the United States, complete with all its faults.  I can think of no other country where I would care to live.  I always get chills when I hear the “Star Spangled Banner”, and tears in my eyes when “America the Beautiful” is sung.

My husband and I traveled to many foreign lands, and enjoyed every minute of it.  We explored the different cultures, tasted a variety of food, tried communicating in different languages, joined in their celebrations and commiserated in their anguishes.  We respected their customs and their laws.

There is no greater feeling than that of returning to your own soil. A cloak of peace descends upon re-entering our country.

Yes, there are prejudiced people who resent the fact that we speak Spanish; but there are also those who admire and even envy our ability to do so.

Yes, there are people, who in fits of anger over dozens of undefined reasons, will tell us to “Go back where you came from”.

I can proudly answer, I am where I came from; I am home.

Hasta La Vista.

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