Picking Cabbages

February 26, 2017

I wrote to my Republican high school friend, if she were embarrassed yet -- yet, after the Russian hacking, the xenophobia, the misogyny, the Putin Romance, the pussy grabbing, etc. and she answered: “No"

 

Once I tried to arrange an invitation from the Franklin, NC Baptist Church for some of my organist friends in Mexico.  I mentioned to my friend, the Episcopal organist, that I’d like for local people to know that Mexicans do more than just pick cabbages.

 

And she derisively answered, unhappily, that they had just had some “little cabbage pickers” move into her neighbourhood.  

 

I wasn’t able to arrange for my friends, the Mexican organists, to take part in the North Carolina event.

 

"The dark, xenophobic underbelly of America has always been there for people who look different, speak differently, or worship differently. We can see this with the way different ethnic groups have been treated throughout our history. The Chinese, Japanese, Irish, Mexican, and a laundry list of others have have been the moving targets of this xenophobia."

 

Based on my reading of American history, I naively believed that we were living up to the words in Emma Lazarus’ poem

 


On a cold day in January 1973 I went and gazed at Emma’s poem on the wall at the Statue of Liberty.  And I use to play Irving Belin’s musical set for the poem, not realising that I would become an immigrant some day and spend slightly more than half of my life as an immigrant.

 

 

 


My immigrant status here in Merida, Yucatan, has been positive -- much more positive than my everyday life in the rural, racist, xenophobic, homophobic American South.  I will not leave and return to "the new colossus”, unless the pro & anti-Trump forces, now unleashed around the world, force me to.   I’m in love with my expat life, business, and friends.

 

The New Colossus:

 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "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!"

 

"Trump’s election has brought out an ugliness I have never seen in my fellow Americans. We are a nation of immigrants, yet so many of our countrymen are against immigration. Not only are they against it, but Amnesty International and other groups have stated that the United States is not safe for refugees."

          My country, the country that I grew up in, that I believed in—is no longer safe for refugees  !

 

 

 

adapted from Mark E Andersen, Dailykos

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