I parked behind a car tonight with the following bumper sticker:
“When did it become American to be Un-American”
My immediate response was “As soon as being American meant being able to discriminate, hate, and bash, hurt and destroy other people, communities and countries.”
Lets think back to the reason America was founded. I am assuming most people have had the history lessons of Europeans leaving for freedom in America. They wanted to worship who they wanted and the way they wanted. Ellis Island, the physical and symbolic entrance to the USA says:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
But I guess the poem wasn’t finished. What it should say is “Give me your tired, your poor, etc etc so I can beat them down even more. We are going to allow and encourage cycles of poverty, discrimination against anyone who is not a WASP, make sure that even if the minority does make progress that we hold fast to institutionalized racism and sexism and although we want religious freedom we are the only ones who should have it especially the Muslims, and then we have to be extra careful for the gay people because they will destroy everything and everyone. So thank you world for all your outcastes because here in America we will light a lamp beside our golden door and lure them in so we can use them to feel better about ourselves. To do our dirty work, to give us an opportunity to be superior”
Maybe my version is not the best poetry ever… I have never been a big fan of poetry, but mine is the view of what I think America has become.
So owner of the silver crossover with the enlightening bumper sticker, that is why you would define me as un-American. Because America is un-American. Because a law was passed last week in Indiana that allows businesses to discriminate against who ever they want in the name of religion. Because we have thousands of endangered children escaping to the safety of our country only to be turned back around and sent back to the place that is trying to kill them. Because somehow, the idea that every single person deserves health care is actually a controversy. I am not un-American, I am pro-humanity. I am anti-hatred and discrimination. I believe that every person has inherent worth.