Americans, we are all immigrants

To the Editor:

And so again you tell me I can’t move into “your” neighborhood because I’m not like you. I don’t look, act, talk, and pray like you so I’m not worthy. I thought we had put this to bed several decades ago but no again the snake raises his head. Oh the push back: I see you think I am playing the “race card.” Absolutely not, I am playing the “human card” the card that has made me, you, and us into this nation. It wasn’t and isn’t the “powerful” who make us great but the “neighbor” helping someone in need. Surely the tired, the poor, the broken, the homeless, didn’t look like me. They were and are me!

Those words were not enshrined to proclaim a goal for us to achieve. They were spoken as a testimony of who we were and are. Not something to pursue but a statement of how we live our lives. Absolutely not a “race card.” Through our willingness to help others we have become and declare who we are. We are great today because we live “great”… it is not a future destination but a statement of our lives today.

For a few votes, some … no, “too many,” of this great country’s leaders have said we must slam our door in the face of those fleeing homelessness, those who have become widows, those who are now orphans, and especially those who would seek to protect their families from tyranny, oppression, and death … simply because we’re afraid. What have I become a whimpering self-satisfied corpse … unwilling to aid anyone if it involves risk?

And what of our conscience those who feel they possess a greater religious piety. Where are the voices that would remove these leaders blanket of protection? Surely the vision laid down in the telling of the Good Samaritan calls us to act even in our fear. We recall that those who refused to help had “good reason” to ignore a wounded and dying soul. However only the person who walked in the face of his fear of being entrapped, robbed, killed was commended as the “neighbor” and raised as the model for us, all of us, to follow.

We are Americans we have been given much not solely for us but for us to share abundantly with others: yes even those who are “different.” Yes even in spite of our fear of losing all that we have. This is who we are: coming to a place, risking all, and in that effort achieving far more than we could have imagined.

— Victor Hardin


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